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Nevada "Burglary" Charges Explained

Burglary – NRS 205.060

Burglary is a commonly charged crime in Nevada, codified under Nevada Revised Statutes 205.060. In many situations, it is used to turn a set of facts that would otherwise only be a misdemeanor into a felony. For instance, if a person steals a handful of goods from Wal-Mart, prosecutors can twist the facts in order to charge the criminal defendant with a felony burglary.

To commit burglary in Nevada, one must enter any home, business, structure, vehicle, plane, or railcar with the intent to commit the following crimes:

  • Larceny or Grand Larceny
  • Assault or Battery
  • Any Felony
  • Obtain money by false pretenses.

There are many odd situations that the average person would not think of as burglary, but can be charged as a burglary in Nevada. Retail theft is a very common burglary charge. Battery Constituting Domestic Violence can give rise to a burglary charge if the person entered a dwelling with the intent to commit the crime.

“Intent” In Burglary Charges

An important distinction between Burglary and many other criminal charges in Nevada is that the actual crime need not be commited for a defendant to be found guilty. That’s right; you can be found guilty of Burglary simply for intending to commit Burglary. Let’s use the Wal-Mart example again. The prosecution doesn’t need to show that the criminal defendant actually palmed any of Wal-Mart’s property in order to obtain a conviction; they need only prove that a person “intended” to steal the goods when they entered the store. This can be done a number of ways, such as through a confession the defendant gave to police (“I came here to steal a TV but I changed my mind when I noticed security in the aisle”) or by witness testimony that the defendant told them he intended to steal the items in question that day.

The crime of burglary is very broad, and the minority of burglaries are actual nighttime residential break-ins. It is important to note that a forcible entry is not required to constitute burglary. In many states, a “breaking” or unwelcome forcible entry is required to substantiate a burglary charge. However, in Nevada you can be charged with burglary even if you are in a place where you are allowed to enter. As proven by many Battery Constituting Domestic Violence cases, you can be convicted of burglary for entering your own home.

Nevada Burglary Penalties

Burglary is a category B felony, and punishable by 1-10 years in the Nevada Department of Corrections. If the burglary is convicted while in possession of a firearm or the defendant obtains a firearm while committing the burglary, the penalty is 2-15 years. These minimums are mandatory, so a prisoner cannot obtain “good time” off the minimums of these sentences.

Many times, we are able to persuade the prosecution to offer our clients a very favorable plea bargain from the State of Nevada. We have successfully negotiatied bargains that resulted in non-felony treatment of the offense, or even outright dismissals of the charge.

If your or a loved one is charged with Burglary, call the Boley & AlDabbagh Law Firm at 702-435-3333.