Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Is Forming a Gang in Nevada a Crime?

To directly respond to the question, the answer is it depends: forming a gang in Nevada is not in itself a crime, but forming a gang to do criminal acts and doing crime on behalf of the gang is. Moreover, there are many types of gangs in Nevada, and there is no way for the authorities to catch a gang in the act of forming the organization. If the authorities can control the formation of a gang, then the number of existing gangs in Nevada should be low-to-none. The simplest evidence lies in the fact that there approximately 20,000 street gang members in Las Vegas alone as of 2015. These gangs include white supremacist gangs, black gangs, Latino gangs, and Asian gangs. Sadly, most of these gangs qualify as criminal gangs and are actively performing gang crimes.

What is a criminal gang?

The federal laws and Nevada laws have different grounds for an organization to qualify as a criminal gang. The legal definition of a criminal gang under federal are is a group of five or more people that meet the following conditions:

  • One of the group's primary purposes is to commit either (a) federal drug felonies that carry prison sentences of at least five years, or (b) federal violent felonies that involve the use of force against someone else;
  • He group's members have engaged in a continuing series of drug or violent felonies in the last five years; and
  • The group's activities affect interstate or foreign commerce

Note that if a gang has less than five members, has no criminal record in the past, and is not performing any violent or drug crime, then it cannot be considered as a criminal gang—it is, plainly and simply, just a regular street gang. So how about Nevada? The Nevada Revised Statutes define criminal gang as an organization which:

  • Has a common name or identifying symbol,
  • Has particular conduct, status, and customs indicative of it, and
  • Has as one of its common activities engaging in criminal activity punishable as a felony.

Defenses and penalties for criminal gangs

Defenses and penalties for criminal gangs or gang members depend on the circumstances and pieces of evidence surrounding the case. Factors that need to be taken into consideration include questions “is the crime or felony committed by the gang (or gang member) a violation of the federal law or the state law?” and “did the defendant commit the felony on behalf of his/her gang?” If a defendant knowingly committed the crime on behalf or for the benefit of the gang s/he belongs to, an additional of one to 20 prison years may be imposed on his/her sentence as per the gang crime enhancement law.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

DUI Rundown: The Effects of Certain Drugs to Your Driving

It is known that most drugs whether they are prescription or illegal could cause impairment to anyone who is driving a vehicle. In retrospect, too much drug intake could cause DUI (Driving under the Influence) of drugs and this article here is to refresh your knowledge of the certain drugs to help you avoid being indicted of it the future.

Prescription drugs

Prescription drugs are drugs prescribed by medical professionals and can be taken from pharmacies. However, despite them being approved by doctors, prescription drugs can also result to addiction and a lot of people use doctor shopping just to get drugs that are not actually prescribed to them. This is a violation of Nevada prescription drug laws.

Here are some of the prescription drugs that could impair your system and cause driving under the influence of drugs:

  • Benzodiazepine – An anti-anxiety drug, benzodiazepine could render a person drowsy, dizzy, and feeling tired. Common forms of benzodiazepine are Valium and Xanax.
  • Painkillers – Codeine, hydrocodone, and Vicodin are painkillers that cause lightheadedness, constipation, and overall difficulty to concentrate when taken on an excessive amount.
  • Sleeping pills – As their name, sleeping pills dozes off a person and while usually taken at night, its effects could last until the next day when you are driving.
  • Decongestants – Pills, nose drops, and liquids that are used to treat cold or allergies can be detrimental to drivers as it could cause sleepiness, irritation, and high blood pressure.

Illegal drugs

The following drugs are illegal in the State of Nevada for its strongly addicting properties that could really affect someone’s ability to drive.

  • Cocaine – Short terms effects of cocaine include extreme euphoria, nausea, hallucination, and psychosis.
  • Methamphetamine – A psychostimulant drug, methamphetamine or meth produces intense ecstasy which is the typical reason for many arrests of driving under the influence of drugs.
  • Heroin – With heroin, breathing and heartbeats are slowed and one’s mental presence becomes unsteady.
  • Marijuana – While recreational marijuana is legal in Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada, you still cannot drive while using it.


How is drug impairment measured?

When a police officer asks you to pull over, they usually already have some suspicions that you were driving under the influence of drugs. Field sobriety tests and chemical blood alcohol tests are some of the procedures taken to find out if you are actually drug-impaired, and written in the Nevada Revised Statutes is the amount of drugs found in your urine and blood that would mean your incrimination.

What happens if charged for drugged driving?

A first DUI caused by drugs is a misdemeanor in Nevada. This imposes a jail time of up to six months and fines that should not exceed $1,000. A second and third offense within seven years is a felony and it does not matter if it is a mild prescription drug or a robust illegal drug that you have taken, you can still be penalized depending on the frequency and the scale of your DUI offense.

With the help of a DUI lawyer in Las Vegas, your drugged driving charges could be lowered to reckless driving or be acquitted altogether. Get in touch with one now today to quickly solve your dilemmas of driving under the influence of drugs!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Quick Facts about Vehicular Manslaughter in Nevada

Vehicular manslaughter in Nevada is one of the most violent crimes that can happen in the State. While this is so, a death of a person caused by a vehicular manslaughter actually holds the mildest consequence in the State which is a misdemeanor. How this happens and other easy-to-digest information about vehicular manslaughter can be found below.

Legal definition of vehicular manslaughter in Nevada

According to the Nevada Revised Statutes or NRS 484B.657, vehicular manslaughter is when a person “while driving or in actual physical control of any vehicle, proximately causes the death of another person…”

Despite this, vehicular manslaughter in Nevada is not the worst kind of murder through a vehicle as it happens due to misjudgment of the driver and not because of utter negligence or premeditation. One example is texting while driving. The driver does not have clear aim to harm people and might have just only peeked at a message at the time of the event.

It is different from reckless driving in which a driver navigates the road with a “wanton disregard” to the safety of others. Examples of reckless driving are:

  • Unlawfully passing red lights
  • Driving beyond the speed limit
  • Racing with other vehicles
  • Taunting other drivers
  •  Doing makeup inside the vehicle
  •  Performing other tasks that takes away full attention from driving soundly

Vehicular manslaughter in Nevada is also dissimilar from vehicular homicide despite them seemingly interchangeable. Vehicular homicide is premeditated or a cause of other offenses such as an increased blood alcohol content and therefore results to felony charges.

Punishment for vehicular manslaughter in Nevada

As we stated above, anyone who is guilty of vehicular manslaughter shall be charged with a misdemeanor. This means:

  •  Six months in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000
  •  355 days of driver’s license suspension

Some of the defenses you can use to circumvent punishment for vehicular manslaughter are the following:
  • You were mistaken as the driver who caused the death
  • The collision was not the cause of the victim’s death 
  • The victim was also responsible for his death e.g. he or she stepped in the highway unlawfully

If faced with reckless driving or to an extent, vehicular homicide, you can use vehicular manslaughter as defense to reduce your charges. You could point out that your miscalculation while driving is not in the level of oversight found in reckless driving.

Being charged with vehicular manslaughter in Nevada can be traumatic as you are charged with the death of a person you never intended at all. Have a Las Vegas DUI lawyer by your side in times like these to ensure that you will get what is only justified!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Can Date Rape Happen to Males?

A sexual assault such as rape does not choose victims. The possible victims of this crime extends beyond a particular gender, race, or status. Simply put, we can all be victims of rape. Having said that, it is definite that it is women who are mostly victimized by rape but male rape victims do exists. And some of them are victims of date rape in Nevada. Read on this post to learn how and why date rape can happen to men.


What is date rape in Nevada?

As it name suggests, date rape happens during a date between two people or a get-together of a group. Common places this occurs in are restaurants, bars, and even fraternity and sorority houses.

Date rape is a forceful sexual penetration without consent of the victim during a date or a party. And what makes date rape different from other sexualassault in Las Vegas is it usually done by drugging or making sure that the victim was intoxicated to the point that they cannot refuse the sexual act. Horror stories of date rape include the perpetrator slipping club drugs to the victim’s drink to induce quick confusion and even loss of consciousness.

What happens when a male is a victim of date rape?

While the victims of date rape in Nevada is predominantly female, we cannot exclude the fact that male victims can exist with most of them probably not speaking out due to social stigma. Just last year, a male college student from Michigan claimed that he was drugged and assaulted during a party. The reports of male date rape victims are small in numbers but they are there.

A simple date in Las Vegas could lead to date rape. This is why it is important that you become vigilant as you can either be the victim or the accused. Just like any other victim of date rape, a male victim must go to the authorities and report the incident. Nevada is growing when it comes to protection of victims of abuse and the state do not discriminate on the gender. Men will absolutely be helped by the law and organizations against rape.

Now, if you are the accused of raping a male—whether you are a woman, a man, or of any gender preference, you must immediately get the aid of a Las Vegascriminal defense lawyer to help avoid charges.


What are the penalties for date rape in Nevada?

Date rape in Nevada is punishable by the same punishments given to people found guilty of standard sexual assault. This means a category A felony and the consequences could escalate depending on the victim’s age, injuries, and the criminal background of the rapist.

What to do to avoid date rape conviction?

With your legal representation, you must think of defenses that are in line with your side of the story. Here are some examples of defenses to use:

  • There is consent – through text messages, audio recordings, video footages, and even eyewitness accounts, you could argue that the plaintiff actually agreed to sex during your date in Las Vegas
  • No date rape drugs are found in the system of the plaintiff
  • You didn’t have sex – with the help of medical testimony, you could present that no actual sex happened
  • You were actually the victim of rape – the plaintiff was actually the perpetrator himself

A date rape is arguably one of the worst violentcrimes in Nevada and the rest of the country as it is a betrayal of trust and a mistreatment of one’s body and soul. Aside from being the culprit, men can be victims of date rape too and it is high time we learn more of this problem.