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Las Vegas Sexual Assault Attorney

Last Modified: December 18, 2023

Sexual Assault Charges In Las Vegas, Nevada

The Nevada crime of sexual assault, which is similar to rape or sexual battery in other states, is one of the state’s most serious offenses. The punishment can be life imprisonment without the opportunity of parole, depending on the circumstances, including the victim’s age. The negative psychological and emotional effects of a conviction can be long-lasting. Because a sexual assault charge in Nevada is such a serious matter, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side is critical.

In a sex crime case, it is vital for investigators and analysts to have sound knowledge of the facts and evidence. At Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers, we understand both state law enforcement practices as well as local court procedures and regulations. If you or a loved one has been charged with a sexual assault in Nevada, our Las Vegas sexual assault attorney is here to help. Chandon Alexander will use his extensive experience as a criminal defense attorney to fully evaluate your case, mount a vigorous defense, and explore all options for resolving the charges against you. Contact our office today for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.

Sexual Assault Defined

Sexual assault in Nevada is defined in by Nevada Revised Statute 200.366:

A person who subjects another person to sexual penetration, or who forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself or another, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct, is guilty of sexual assault. There are only two elements necessary to establish the crime:

  • Sexual penetration
  • Lack of consent, including the inability to consent

Although it’s not always necessary, some defendants think that they need to use physical force for a sexual assault charge. However, this could not be farther from the truth. The question of consent generally relies upon whether or not the victim was able to resist or agree. This has been recently decided by Nevada’s Supreme Court and thus affects how defense attorneys can argue based on such claims of ‘consent’.

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled that a victim’s testimony of sexual assault is enough to support a conviction, regardless of whether there is other evidence. This court rule is part of the state’s law on sexual assault charges and makes it difficult to mount a defense against these types of charges.

The complexities of defending a sexual assault charge are heightened by Nevada’s rape shield legislation, which prohibits the defendant from using the victim’s previous sexual conduct as part of his or her defense. The Nevada Supreme Court has created a limited exception that allows a defendant to utilize prior false accusations of sexual assault or abuse in specific situations.

Penalties For Sexual Assault In Nevada

If you are convicted of sexual assault, the general penalty is life imprisonment. However, whether a defendant will be eligible for parole and how long they must wait depends on the age of the victim and other circumstances expressed in more detail below. Without taking those other facts into account, here is the minimum eligibility period for parole:

  • 10 years, if the victim is over age 16
  • 25 years, if the victim was under age 16 but over age 14
  • 35 years, if the victim was under the age of 14

If a conviction includes allegations of substantial bodily harm and the victim is under age 16, the penalty is life imprisonment without parole. If, however, the victim is over age 16 at the time of sentencing, the minimum eligibility for parole instead increases to 15 years. Additionally, if the defendant has certain prior convictions regardless of other circumstances, their sentence can be increased to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Related Sex Crimes

Convictions of any of these sex crimes will land you a place on the sex offender registry:

Being labeled a sex offender has lifelong consequences. To safeguard your anonymity throughout these procedures, you will require discreet representation. Under Nevada law, if you or someone you care about was raped or sexually assaulted in jail or in a supervised care facility by an offender who has been charged with committing indecent acts, the perpetrator can be held liable. When two people are not married and have sex with someone under the age of 16, it is known as statutory rape. Even if the act itself is considered consensual, the non-minor can be charged with statutory rape if he or she was forced against his or her will to participate in sexual activities. Sexual advances, sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical contacts of a sexual nature are all examples of sexual harassment. Both males and females can be charged with sexual harassment.

Understanding Express vs. Implied Consent

In cases involving sexual assault, the issue of whether or not a person gave consent is crucial. In these circumstances, there are two types of consent: (1) express consent and (2) implied consent.

The easiest type of consent to define and identify is express consent, which occurs when a person clearly states that he or she consents to the penetration. If you can imagine two adults sitting down and having a long conversation about their planned intimate activity, during which they go through each other’s exact wants and fears around different types and degrees of penetration, before proceeding to simply have the precise kind and degree of penetration that each one previously agreed to, then you’ve probably got yourself a scenario where express consent was present.

Although implied consent is more common, it is also far more subjective, implying that all of the elements of the situation must be evaluated to determine whether or not a reasonable person in those circumstances would have believed that consent was given. A competent Las Vegas sexual assault attorney will be able to identify and utilize any information that supports your case so that he may persuade prosecutors, as well as — if required — a court and jury, that a reasonable person in your position would believe that implied consent existed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Defenses To Sexual Assault Charges In Nevada

The three most common defenses to sexual assault charges are:

  1. The sex was consensual: There are many possibilities as to why someone would falsely accuse you of sexual assault. Maybe they had sex with you and then felt guilty about it afterward so they accused you to make themselves feel better. Or maybe they saw something on TV or on the news about rape and began to question what happened between you and them, even though nothing actually did happen.
  2. The accuser is lying: The person who accused you might be angry with you and seeking revenge by making up false rape accusations. In some cases, accusers will even harm themselves to make their story appear more credible.
  3. There was no penetration: If no non-consensual penetration occurred, then no sexual assault took place. If it’s all that the prosecutors can prove is non-consensual fondling, felony sex assault charges should be lowered to open or gross lewdness – which is usually a misdemeanor.

Finally, in order to be convicted of sexual assault, the district attorney must disprove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high standard, especially considering that there are generally no third-party eyewitnesses or video recordings of the alleged assault. The charge should be dropped as long as your Las Vegas sexual assault attorney can demonstrate to the court that insufficient evidence exists to sustain a conviction.

What Are The Statute of Limitations For Sexual Assault?

Below is the statute of limitations for sexual assault charges in Nevada:

  • In Nevada, the statute of limitations for any crime of sexual assault is 20 years. (NRS 171.085)
  • If the victim promptly files a police report within 20 years of the crime, there is no statute of limitations and the case may be brought at any time. (NRS 171.083)
  • Even if many years have passed, an accused person can still be charged with a crime if their DNA is found at the scene. (NRS 171.082)
  • If the crime involved sexual exploitation of a minor, the prosecution can bring charges up to and including the victim’s 36th birthday if they discover it by that age. If the crime was not discovered until after the victim’s 43rd birthday, the prosecution has until the kid’s 50th birthday to prosecute. (NRS 171.095)
  • Defending a case becomes more difficult when the crime wasn’t reported for years after it allegedly occurred because witnesses’ memories fade and evidence to establish an alibi is lost. Any issues related to not reporting the act must be aggressively litigated.

Can I Be Released On Bail After A Sexual Assault Charge?

Although Nevada judges lean against granting bail to those accused of sexual assault, our Las Vegas sexual assault attorney would still argue for your release at a hearing. If the judge denies bail outright, we might be able to negotiate so you’re released on house arrest instead. There are defenses available, and Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers will exhaust every option to have you released on bail and ultimately prove your innocence.

Contact Our Las Vegas Sexual Assault Attorney Today

If you have been charged with sexual assault in Nevada, you need a lawyer who is both experienced and trustworthy to help guide you through this complicated legal process. Our Las Vegas sexual assault attorney has extensive experience in investigations and criminal defense that he will use to evaluate your case. Contact Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers today for a consultation and to discuss your case with our legal team.

(702) 660-1234