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Prohibited Person Possessing Firearms in Nevada

Navigating the Law: Prohibited Person Possessing Firearms in Nevada

Facing charges for a prohibited person possessing firearms in Nevada introduces a complex legal battle with high stakes. This article succinctly identifies who qualifies as a prohibited person, outlines the legal ramifications of unlawful firearms possession, and provides a straightforward overview of defense strategies—all to prepare you for the legal road ahead without minimizing the seriousness of the situation.

Key Takeaways

  • Nevada law designates specific groups, including convicted felons, fugitives, drug users, mentally ill individuals, and undocumented immigrants, as prohibited persons who are legally barred from possessing firearms.
  • Firearm possession in Nevada covers actual and constructive possession, and violations for prohibited persons can result in significant penalties, such as Category B or D felony charges, prison time, and fines.
  • Legal defenses for prohibited persons charged with firearm possession include challenging the prosecution’s claim of possession, questioning the legality of searches and seizures, and highlighting insufficient evidence; these cases often necessitate the expertise of a criminal defense attorney.

Understanding Prohibited Persons in Nevada

The term “prohibited persons” might sound like it’s pulled straight from a spy movie, but in reality, it’s a legal term with serious implications. Under Nevada state law, prohibited persons are individuals who, due to specific circumstances, are barred from owning or possessing firearms within the state or any political subdivision thereof.

The first group that probably comes to mind when discussing firearm prohibitions is convicted felons. Indeed, their relationship with firearms is strictly regulated, and any violations can lead to serious penalties. But the umbrella of prohibited persons extends beyond convicted felons, covering several other categories.

Convicted Felons

Convicted felons embody a significant category of prohibited persons in Nevada. Their firearm rights are heavily restricted, both at the state and federal levels. The stakes are high, as the unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Nevada is considered a category B felony offense, which comes with severe penalties, including potential prison time and hefty fines.

Yet, the situation isn’t entirely bleak. There exist a few exceptions, albeit limited, outlined in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 202.360, that allow certain individuals with felony convictions to legally possess firearms. But navigating these exceptions can be intricate, often requiring professional legal guidance to avoid further complications and ensure compliance.

Other Prohibited Categories

Apart from convicted felons, Nevada law also identifies other groups as prohibited from owning firearms. These include:

  • Fugitives from justice
  • Unlawful users of controlled substances
  • Mentally ill individuals
  • Those illegally present in the United States

Each category carries its unique set of regulations and penalties. For instance, individuals unlawfully in possession of firearms while using a controlled substance may face a Category B felony charge, with possible prison time and fines. In contrast, a Category D felony might involve different circumstances and penalties.

To avoid unintentional legal breaches, individuals within these categories must comprehend these prohibitions under federal law.

The Definition of Firearm Possession in Nevada

Firearm possession, in the context of Nevada law, is a broad term that covers both actual and constructive possession. It includes not only physically holding a firearm but also having authority or control over it. Comprehending these types of possession is vital since they are at the core of many firearm-related legal cases in Nevada.

The term ‘firearm’ itself is not limited to particular types of guns. A wide variety of firearms are included, such as:

  • pistols
  • revolvers
  • rifles
  • semi-automatic weapons
  • antique firearms

This broad definition further emphasizes the importance of understanding possession in its entirety.

Actual Possession

Actual possession refers to instances where an individual has a firearm on their person, in close proximity to them, or in his or her possession, such as holding it in their hand or securing it to their body. This goes beyond the typical image of someone physically carrying a gun and can include having a firearm in close reach or even in a nearby bag or vehicle.

Actual firearm possession for a prohibited person in Nevada carries severe legal consequences, including a category B felony conviction, potential prison time, and fines. Therefore, understanding the specifics of actual possession can be a significant factor in legal defense strategies.

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession is somewhat more abstract than its actual counterpart. It applies when an individual has the ability and intent to control a firearm, even without physically possessing it. This could mean having the firearm stored in a location to which the individual has access or even being aware of the firearm’s location and having the ability to control it.

Establishing constructive possession in court hinges on proving that the defendant had knowledge of the firearm and the ability to control it. Grasping this type of possession can be challenging and frequently necessitates the expertise of an experienced defense attorney.

Penalties for Prohibited Persons Possessing Firearms in Nevada

The penalties for unlawful firearm possession in Nevada are substantial, and they vary based on the classification of the prohibited person involved. Convicted felons, fugitives, and unlawful users of controlled substances face Category B felonies, while mentally ill individuals and illegal residents face Category D felonies.

Nevada’s firearm possession laws’ seriousness is underscored by the severity of these penalties. For convicted felons and fugitives from justice found in possession of firearms, the consequences can include imprisonment, fines, or both, often leading to a substantial impact on their lives. Moreover, repeat offenses related to firearm possession could potentially lead to increased penalties.

Defending Against Charges of Unlawful Firearm Possession

Facing charges of unlawful firearm possession can be an intimidating experience. However, there are defense strategies that can potentially reduce or even dismiss charges. These strategies revolve around challenging the prosecution’s claim of possession, questioning the legality of the search and seizure, and asserting insufficient evidence.

While these strategies can be effective, their application requires a thorough understanding of the law and a deep analysis of the case’s specific circumstances. Given this context, an experienced criminal defense attorney’s role is vital, assisting in traversing the legal maze and constructing a robust defense.

Challenging Possession

Disputing the prosecution’s assertion of possession is a standard defense strategy. This involves disputing the prosecution’s assertion of the individual’s control over the firearm or their intent to use or dispose of it.

This strategy can be applied to both actual and constructive possession cases. For instance, in an actual possession case, the defense may argue that the firearm was not on the defendant’s person or in their immediate control, or her custody. In a constructive possession case, the defense could challenge the idea that the defendant had knowledge of the firearm’s location or the ability to control it.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Claiming that the firearm was found through an unlawful search and seizure is another viable defense strategy. In Nevada, law enforcement officers are required to secure a search warrant prior to conducting a search of a residence, vehicle, or individual unless specific exceptions apply.

If a search was conducted without a valid warrant or probable cause, the evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissible in court. This can potentially lead to reduced or dismissed charges, making this an important consideration for any defense strategy.

Insufficient Evidence

Questioning the sufficiency of evidence is another frequently employed defense strategy in firearm possession cases. This strategy involves showing that the prosecution’s evidence is inadequate to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The defense can challenge the validity or reliability of the evidence, question its relevance, or argue that it does not conclusively prove that the defendant was in possession of the firearm. If successful, this strategy can result in the charges being reduced or even dismissed altogether.

Restoring Firearm Rights for Prohibited Persons in Nevada

While the road to restoring firearm rights for prohibited persons in Nevada can be complex and challenging, it is not entirely unattainable. The main method for such restoration is to secure a Nevada Governor’s Pardon. This process involves submitting an application through the Executive Secretary of the Pardons Board using the designated Application for Pardon form.

One should be aware that record sealing does not reinstate gun rights in Nevada. It is an important distinction to keep in mind when considering the effects of record sealing. The only legal pathway to reverse a lifetime ban is through a governor’s pardon. Navigating this process often requires the guidance of a legal professional well-versed in Nevada’s firearm laws.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

A criminal defense attorney can help you with firearm charges in Nevada by:

  • Maneuvering the complexities of the legal system
  • Offering potent legal alternatives
  • Providing a robust courtroom defense
  • Conducting a thorough case investigation
  • Evaluating the legitimacy of firearm possession accusations

A seasoned attorney can handle a wide spectrum of firearm-related charges, leveraging their legal knowledge and skills to advocate for their clients. Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers can guide you through the legal process, from initial consultations to court proceedings, ensuring your rights are protected every step of the way.

Las Vegas Criminal Defense ATTORNEY

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a prohibited person in possession of a firearm in Nevada?

A prohibited person in possession of a firearm in Nevada includes ex-felons, fugitives from justice, illegal drug users, mentally ill persons, and illegal immigrants. It is considered a crime under NRS 202.360.

What prohibits you from owning a gun in Nevada?

In Nevada, you are prohibited from owning a gun if you are subject to a domestic protective order, under a high-risk protection order, addicted to controlled substances, have documented mental health issues, have been convicted of a felony or certain domestic violence misdemeanors, or if you are illegally in the United States.

Which of the following types of people are prohibited from possessing a firearm?

Federal law prohibits certain categories of people from possessing a firearm, including convicted felons and individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes involving a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or co-parent. It also includes those subject to court orders restraining them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner.

What defenses are available for charges of unlawful firearm possession?

You can defend charges of unlawful firearm possession by challenging the prosecution’s claim of possession, contesting the legality of the search and seizure, and asserting insufficient evidence to support the charges. These are common strategies to consider when facing such accusations.

Contact Our Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Now

Understanding Nevada’s firearm laws is crucial, especially for those classified as prohibited persons. These individuals, including convicted felons and other categories, face severe penalties if found in possession of firearms. This possession can be either actual or constructive, each with its legal implications.

However, facing firearm charges does not signify the end of the road. Various defense strategies, from challenging possession to claiming illegal search and seizure, can potentially reduce or dismiss charges. Furthermore, prohibited persons have a pathway to restore their firearm rights through a governor’s pardon. 

With assistance from experienced legal professionals and support from various resources, these individuals can navigate through this challenging journey. If you’re facing these charges, contact Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.

Last Modified: January 21, 2024
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