All posts by DUI Lawyer Ross Goodman

Five Common Internet Sex Crimes in Nevada

Rapid advancements in technology has made it easier for unscrupulous individuals to commit crimes while minimizing the chances of being apprehended and properly charged. One of these many crimes in the age of the internet are sex crimes. People can be baited, tricked, or coerced to create and proliferate sexual material, sometimes without their knowledge that such an act is taking place.

As state and federal authorities crack down on these illicit acts, it is best to know the five common internet sex crimes in Nevada so that you can prevent them, or know how to defend against them if you are charged with these crimes.

  1. Sexting: sharing lewd messages and images over the internet as a form of sexual gratification is permissible provided it is consensual between parties and no children are involved. Sharing lewd images of children amounts to child pornography; sending lewd images to children counts as lewdness with a minor; if all parties involved are minors or if it is the minor who sent out the images in the first place, it all falls under juvenile laws.
  2. Sextortion: blackmailing people by threatening to distribute obscene images online in exchange for favors or other forms of compensation.
  3. Sex trafficking: utilizing an online market to offer, purchase, and trade individuals for sex.
  4. Child pornography: creating, owning, and/or distributing pornographic material that involves individuals 16 years old and below.
  5. Sexual solicitation: offering sexual companionship in exchange for money or other material compensation.

These sexual crimes are common and it can be easy to pin you to a particular crime even if you did not commit anything. Always have a veteran defense attorney on call to defend you against these charges.

Arson as a Federal Crime

The legal definition of arson is the intended burning of a property, whether public or private, where the subject is scorched, charred or burned. On its own, arson is considered a severe state crime; in Nevada for example, even a fourth-degree arson charge counts as a category D felony.

With that in mind, one may ask: when do we count arson as a federal crime?

As in many state-level cases, arson can be elevated to a federal crime if the property involved is owned by the federal government. Title 20, section 107e of the federal code defines federal property as any land, building, or other real property owned, rented, or occupied by any federal agency. Also covered are materiel, munitions, and supplies that are used by US agencies within territorial waters, as described in Title 20, section 81. Therefore, willingly and knowingly setting fire to government offices, military installations and equipment, or federally-preserved wildlands automatically merit a federal arson charge.

Federal arson can also be accidentally committed if the accused does not know that they are burning federal property. For a state like Nevada, this can be a commonplace occurrence because the federal government owns vast swathes of land in the area for a number of vital reasons (economic, environmental, and military).

Being accused of arson is tough enough at the state level, but having it escalate to a federal court case can be difficult to recover from. Knowing what constitutes a federal arson charge is a first step to devising a solid legal defense against it.

What Involves a Drug Paraphernalia Possession Charge in Nevada

Aside from being charged for possession of drugs, you can also be charged for owning and using the devices needed to exploit them. This is called possession of drug paraphernalia in Las Vegas. Drug possession cases are rife in Nevada and it should be a given that these charges always follow.

What involves a drug paraphernalia possession charge in Nevada is not entirely complicated, but it helps to know the details involved so that you will know how to defend yourself if you ever are accused of such a crime in Las Vegas.

 

  • State laws define drug paraphernalia as equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.
  • It does not matter if you do not have drugs on hand when arrested, as long as you have the paraphernalia in your possession.
  • Conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia is affected by other factors, including
    • statement by the owner/s or previous user/s of the item/s
    • prior convictions of the owner or user
    • proximity of the object to the person of interest
    • presence of residue of any controlled substance on the object
    • direct or circumstantial evidence regarding the owner’s/user’s intent
    • manner in which the object was displayed
    • expert testimony concerning its use

There are other factors regarding possession of drug paraphernalia that require further discussion. Talk to a reputable Las Vegas defense attorney to learn more.

Describing Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse in Nevada

Domestic violence is not limited to being directed at children, romantic partners, or spouses. Thanks to the vulnerability brought about by their advanced age, elder people are just as prone to domestic violence as anybody else, perhaps even more so. Such cases have been growing in recent years and remain to be a major contributor to reported domestic violence cases in the state.

Describing domestic violence and elder abuse in Nevada will give you a better understanding of how things work in the state for elder people affected by such crimes.

  • Domestic violence rules are still the same: it still involves performing acts of physical and mental maltreatment to a person related by blood or marriage
  • It still includes acts like assault, battery, threats, sexual assault, stalking, arson, larceny, unlawful detention, and more
  • The victim is a person 60 years of age or older
  • The person may or may not be able to perform tasks on their own
  • The penalties are largely the same, although certain circumstances can alter how the penalties are laid out
  • Failing or deliberately ignoring to meet the elderly’s needs is counted as gross negligence and can either be a misdemeanor or a category B felony, depending on how much suffering the victim experienced
  • Taking advantage of the victim’s vulnerability for the perpetrator’s financial gain counts as an exploitation offense and is counted as a class F felony

Wildlife Crimes in Nevada

Nevada is a state that is blessed with a diverse ecosystem, from its large deserts to its rocky peaks and everything in between. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area alone offers a glimpse into all the different natural environments existing throughout the state.

Sadly, such a diverse environment continues to attract the attention of unscrupulous individuals who wish to exploit the environment and the fauna that reside within. Over the years these individuals have contributed to a growing list of wildlife crimes in Nevada which have affected both the biodiversity in these ecosystems and have affected the livelihood of people connected to these fauna. A few of these wildlife crimes are listed below.

  • While hunting is legal in Nevada, there are limits that prevent people from going overboard, as well as restricted species that cannot be hunted, such as
    • Bighorn sheep
    • Mountain goat
    • Elk
    • Deer
    • Pronghorn antelope
    • Mountain lion
    • Black bear
  • Using illegal methods for hunting, such as firing from aircraft or hunting game outside of hunting season
  • Hunting endangered species in a wildlife preserve
  • Importing and trading game wildlife
  • Illegal possession of exotic wildlife
  • Vandalizing signs and warnings related to wildlife protection
  • Cutting or trimming of fauna without permission
  • Mutilation of fauna in State-preserved property

Knowing these crimes will help ordinary citizens, game hunters, and nature trekkers to avoid committing any of these acts by mistake.

Penalties for Out-of-State Drunk Driving in Nevada

Nevada’s DUI laws are not limited to its residents. Any person who is within Nevada’s borders, no matter how short their stay is, is subjected to the same drunk driving rules as anybody else. For American citizens visiting Nevada as tourists, this is what is known as an out-of-state DUI, where they are charged based on where the crime was committed instead of what their home state is.

If you’re visiting Nevada or are just passing through the state, you will have to abide by these rules if you don’t want to be arrested and face with the following penalties for out-of-state drunk driving in Nevada:

  • First-Time Offenses are misdemeanors and often includes
    • tuition payment for a full-fledged educational course on alcohol, drugs, and DUI (no sessions skipped)
    • between two to six months in a Nevada prison
    • between 48 and 96 hours of community service
    • between $400 and $1000 in fines
  • Second-Time Offenses within seven years of the first one are still counted as misdemeanors, but with heavier penalties
    • maximum six months of jail time
    • maximum six months residential confinement (refusing this counts as a separate misdemeanor charge)
    • between $750 and $1000 in fines
    • enrollment into an alcohol and drug treatment program
  • Third-Time Offenses within seven years fall under a Category B felony and can be punished with
    • between one and six years of prison time
    • between $2000 and $5000 in fines

Note that these penalties are separate from any penalties that can be handed by the offender’s home state, which may include license suspension or revocation.

Factors that Constitute Robbery in Las Vegas

According to NRS 200.380, robbery is the “unlawful taking of personal property from the person of another, or in the person’s presence, against his or her will, by means of force or violence or fear of injury.” The statute also specified that violence is used in this form of theft to:

  • Obtain or retain possession of the property
  • Prevent or overcome resistance to the taking
  • Facilitate escape

In essence, robbery can take on many forms, but nonetheless has the same factors involved, such as the use of threats of force to get what the offender wants. Another variation is armed robbery, where the perpetrator uses a weapon to force the victim to hand over his or her items. The last type is carjacking, which involves forcible entry and commandeering of another person’s vehicle.

Sample scenarios of robbery include:

  • Going to an establishment and flashing or holding a gun asking for money or properties (e.g. bank robbery)
  • Suddenly confronting a person and violently threatening them for their possessions
  • Approaching a person from behind and pressing a deadly weapon on their back so he or she will surrender their case

Understand that is still considered an armed Las Vegas robbery even though you only used your fingers or other objects to pass off like a gun. The fact that the person was coerced in giving out their money or property should be more than enough to be labeled as a crime.