Criminal Justice

New Nevada Laws Criminal Justice

Perhaps the greatest area of change in the 2021 legislative session is in the area of criminal law. From reducing speeding ticket penalties to banning certain types of weapons to expanding the statute of limitations on sex crimes, the legislature was busy listening to their constituents. The public outcry of the events of the past two years between police brutality to sex trafficking definitely rang through the legislator halls in Carson City. Our lawmakers were well aware of public outrage of police brutality and the exploitation of women and children in the serial sex trafficking that has become a greater reality than anyone wants to comprehend. The following are a list of the new laws the legislature passed to address many of these issues.

New Laws in Criminal Justice 

Assembly Bill 42: From a legal perspective this is a very groundbreaking a new law that allows for jury trials for misdemeanor charges in domestic Violence cases where weapons possessions are involved.   This law is based on a 2019 state Supreme Court decision that allowed for jury trials in misdemeanor domestic violence cases where weapons possession was involved. It is highly unusual in the law to have a jury trial for a misdemeanor charge. This new law establishes our state commitment to creating stiffer penalties and domestic violence cases especially those involving weapons. Effective January 1, 2022.

Assembly Bill 113: This Bill address is six trafficking crimes in our state. Did extend the statute of limitations for four years to six years however I think this is still much too short of a time for this grievous crime. However, the legislature Saw this New extension of the time should be sufficient.  Effective July 1, 2021. 

Assembly Bill 143: Expands state services for human trafficking victims. Effective October 1, 2021.

Assembly Bill 158:  is actually a deal that reduces penalties and is likely long overdue. This law will reduce his penalties for underage use and possession of marijuana or alcohol. Given that the current drinking age is 21 and most of respect to college at 18, seems harsh to extend severe penalties to teenagers for drinking it is very important this has no effect on is not related to charges of drinking and driving. Drinking and driving is a serious matter, and he is considered serious in the law as well. This law only impacts underage drinking or use of marijuana not involving driving.    Effective October 1, 2021. 

Assembly Bill 182: changes the elements of the legal definition of “advancing prostitution “. It is surprising that this bill passed as it allows the owners of property work illegal prostitution is taking place to be charged with advancing prostitution. This is significant in that the impact on the hotel industry has yet to be seen. Under this new law prostitution that occurs at any establishment in hotel properties on the Las Vegas strip could be prosecuted as advancing prostitution which could packed business licenses gaming licenses liquor licenses etc. It is yet to be seen how this law will be enforced.  Effective October 1, 2021.

Assembly Bill 186: Assembly bill 186 will be a welcome wall for most residents of the valley. This law bands to get an arrest quote is by law-enforcement agencies. It has long been known that police agencies have maintained arrest quotas and ticket quotas which really on its face seems like constitutional and a platform for frivolous arrests and citations. It is unknown whether this will have an impact on the number of arrests for petty offenses or petty traffic violations that occur. I think most law abiding hard-working taxpaying citizens are tired of seeing the police in neighborhoods handing out citations for going 10 miles over the speed limit when Heinous and violent crime or reckless drivers are truly plaguing our communities   Effective July 1, 2021.

Assembly Bill 214: changes the definition of the sexual assault laws to allow sexual assault to be gender neutral. This law is long overdue as all persons should be protected from sexual assault.  Effective July 1 and October 1, 2021.

Assembly Bill 251:  provides for expungement of juvenile criminal records at the age of 18 instead of 21. It even goes on to allow for some records to be sealed automatically at the age of 18.  One thing that is important to note is that generally courts have access to these seals records in the event that additional crimes are committed as an adult.

 Effective December 31, 2021.

Assembly Bill 286: Assembly bill 286 Is also a response to the overwhelming gun violence we are facing. This bill bans to sell and possession of firearms that do not have a serial number. These types of weapons are also guns that can be made with 3-D printers or sold as kids. This is an attempt to make sure that every weapon that is sold can be traced as much as legally.  I do not know why the law in only in place through the end of 2022.  Sections effective immediately through January 1, 2022,

Assembly Bill 336 Establishes an annual behavioral wellness visit for peace officers. Effective January 1, 2023. 

Assembly Bill 396:  This Bill revises rules allowing for use of deadly force by law enforcement.  It states that it can only be used if there is a threat of harm.  The new law reads as follows:

If  necessary  to  prevent  escape, [an]a  peace officer may,  after  giving  a  warning,  if  feasible,  use  deadly  force  to  effect the arrest of a person only if there is probable cause to believe that the person:1.Has  committed  a  felony  which  involves  the  infliction  or threat of serious bodily harm or the use of deadly force; or 2.Poses [a]an  imminent threat  of  serious  bodily  harm  to  the peace officer or to others. Effective October 1, 2021. 

Senate Bill 50: Limits issuance of no-knock warrants to law enforcement except to protect the public or a police officer or to prevent destruction of evidence. Effective October 1, 2021.

Senate Bill 148 Requires law enforcement agencies to submit information on hate crimes to the state’s central records repository. Various effective dates through July 1, 2021. 

Senate Bill 166   The next bill passed by legislators in 2021 to allow for the hate crime statute to apply to victims of the same race, gender, national origin, or other characteristics of the perpetrator of the crime. In the past, A black person could not commit a hate crime against another black person and likewise with any race or ethnicity. The statute changes the law to be affective if it is proven that a crime is committed against an individual on the basis of race, gender, or national origin or other characteristics such as religion. Although it may be difficult in a court room to prove that a white person committing a crime against a white person is a hate crime, in our world of social media there is often evidence that the perpetrator has engaged in hate speech or is member of a discriminatory organization prior to the time the crime is committed.  Our legislature here in Nevada is taking our state to the next level and protecting our citizens against hate and civil rights violations to the best of their ability. 

Senate Bill 212 Limits police use of force and requires use of de-escalation techniques. Effective October 1, 2021. 

Senate Bill 236 Requires police agencies to enact early-warning screening for officers displaying signs of bias or other problem behaviors. Effective October 1, 2021. 

Senate Bill 275 Repeal’s felony statute for engaging in conduct that spreads HIV, providing for lesser penalties in line with other communicable diseases. Effective immediately. 

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