Harboring a Fugitive In Nevada
Providing shelter or protection to someone who is evading law enforcement due to committing a crime or escaping from police custody is usually illegal. To be convicted of harboring a fugitive in Nevada, the prosecution needs to prove that the individual being hidden committed a crime, that the person giving them shelter was aware of the crime, and that their intention was to help the fugitive evade the authorities.
Harboring a fugitive can be referred to by different terms depending on the state’s laws. These terms include aiding a criminal, obstruction of justice, or acting as an accessory after the fact. In Massachusetts, for instance, acting as an accessory after the fact may apply instead of harboring a fugitive. It’s worth noting that these crimes can involve not only harboring the fugitive but also lying to the police or assisting in the destruction of evidence. If you’re facing similar criminal charges for harboring a fugitive in Nevada, do not delay. Contact our award-winning Las Vegas criminal lawyer at the Spartacus Law Firm for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.
Penalties For Harboring A Fugitive In Nevada
The punishment for harboring a fugitive in Nevada varies based on how serious it is. In most cases, you could face up to 5 years in federal prison or be required to pay a fine of up to $250,000. However, if you’re convicted of harboring a fugitive who is a terrorist or committing an act of terrorism, you could be sentenced to life in prison. The following are the penalties you should expect based on the offense.
- Fleeing arrest for a felony: Up to 5 years in prison or a fine for harboring the fugitive
- Fleeing prosecution for a non-felony: up to 1 year in prison or a fine for harboring a fugitive
- Escaped prisoner: Up to 3 years in prison for harboring the escaped prisoner
Federal Charges For Harboring A Fugitive
If a person is caught harboring a fugitive, they may face federal charges along with state charges. Under 18 U.S.C §1071, the prosecution is responsible for proving the following elements to convict a person of a federal harboring charge:
- The person who was concealed or harbored was a fugitive with a federal arrest warrant against them;
- The defendant had the knowledge of the fugitive’s warrant for their arrest;
- The defendant took specific measures to hide or attempt to hide or harbor the fugitive; and
- The defendant had the intention the assist in harboring the fugitive from the police.
The penalties for harboring a fugitive at the federal level can vary depending on the situation. If the fugitive is wanted for a felony or has escaped after being found guilty of a crime, then the penalty for harboring them can result in fines and up to five years of imprisonment. For other cases, the penalty can still involve fines and up to one year of imprisonment.
Accessories To A Crime In Nevada
In certain situations, someone may face charges as an accessory to a crime instead of for harboring a fugitive, as per Nevada law. Being considered an accessory means that the person in question must meet certain criteria.
- Conceals or destroys evidence of the crime, or
- Harbors or conceals the person committing the crime
In Nevada, being an accessory to a crime is a class C felony, which carries a penalty of:
- 1 to 5 years in prison, and
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Harboring A Terrorist
If someone is charged with destroying or attempting to destroy aircraft, government property, energy facilities, maritime navigation, or nuclear facilities or planning to use weapons of mass destruction or biological weapons, they could be considered a terrorist. Harboring such a person is a serious federal crime that could result in a fine, up to 10 years in prison, or both.
Harboring Runaway Children
In some states, it is illegal to provide shelter or protection to runaway children, even if they have run away from home or custody of the court. If caught, you could face charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a year in prison and a fine, depending on the state’s laws. In contrast to our state, where this crime is punishable as a felony, Iowa considers it an aggravated misdemeanor that can lead to up to two years of imprisonment and a $6,250 fine. Furthermore, Massachusetts has a different law that allows a person who assisted the minor to use it as a defense if they thought the child would face physical or sexual abuse by returning home.
Exceptions For Harboring A Fugitive
If someone is a victim of domestic violence, it’s okay to take them in even if they have a warrant for their arrest. Some shelters can take them in too. Also, in 14 states like Wisconsin and Nevada, it’s not illegal to shelter a fugitive if they’re a close relative. This is usually limited to immediate family members, spouses, grandparents, and grandchildren. It should be noted that in Florida, the exception to the aforementioned rule does not apply in cases where the crime committed involved abuse, neglect, or the murder of a child.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does It Mean To Harbor A Fugitive?
It is a criminal offense to harbor a fugitive, which means knowingly assisting a person who has committed a crime and is trying to avoid arrest or prosecution by law enforcement. Assistance can involve actions like hiding the fugitive, giving them food or shelter, or aiding in their escape.
What If I Didn’t Know They Were A Fugitive?
If you didn’t know the person you were assisting was a fugitive, you cannot be charged with harboring a fugitive. To prove that you committed this offense, the state needs to show that you knew or had a reason to believe the person committed a crime and was trying to avoid getting caught. Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that helping someone dodge arrest or prosecution for a crime they committed intentionally could result in legal repercussions.