Nevada’s murder laws are defined under NRS 200.030. These crimes are considered the worst that anyone can be accused of. Accordingly, the consequences are dire. If you’ve been accused under NRS 200.030, then it’s imperative that you hire a competent Las Vegas murder defense lawyer.
Being investigated for murder is frightening. Even if you haven’t been charged with anything yet, it’s advisable to seek the advice of a qualified lawyer. With their assistance, charges may never be filed, and if charges are eventually brought against you, your attorney will already be well on the way to mounting an aggressive defense.
The legal definition of murder charges in Las Vegas requires “the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.” Generally, this means that murder in Nevada must be premeditated. Without premeditation, the taking of a human life is generally charged as manslaughter.
NRS 200.030 further breaks down murder charges into two categories: first degree and second degree. First-degree murder is the most serious offense as it involves the deliberate taking of a life. People accused of first-degree murder in Las Vegas may be suspected of having shot or stabbed the victim. The same charges may be brought against a person who was perpetrating a crime like arson, rape or kidnapping that resulted in the death of another person. Labeled as “felony murder,” the intent to kill is not required to obtain a conviction.
Second-degree murder is charged when the prosecution believes that the death of the victim was unintentional, but that the alleged perpetrator behaved in so reckless a manner that death was a foreseeable result. Essentially, if someone takes an action that could kill another person, then they may be guilty of second-degree murder, even if they did not premeditate the killing.
The penalties for conviction on murder charges in Las Vegas are particularly severe. Among the most notable consequences is the imposition of the death penalty. However, terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole or 50 years in prison with the opportunity for parole after 20 years are more common.
Contact a Nevada criminal defense lawyer if you’re facing murder charges in Las Vegas.