Thursday, October 31, 2013

Concealed Handgun Laws in Nevada

In the state of Nevada, adults can purchase and carry firearms without a permit. Although carrying visible weapons is legal without documentation, an adult cannot carry a concealed firearm unless they have a concealed handgun permit.

In order to obtain a concealed handgun permit, you must be at least 21 years old, successfully complete a firearms safety course, and not be disqualified by any of the following:

  • You are currently on parole or probation
  • You are prohibited from possessing a firearm according to state or federal law
  • You were declared incompetent or insane by a doctor or a court
  • You were convicted of certain violent crimes, like domestic violence or any other crime involving injury
  • You were committed to a mental health facility within the past five years, whether voluntarily or involuntarily

Additionally, if you struggled with alcoholism or addiction in the past, or if you were convicted of crimes involving alcohol or controlled substances, your ability to obtain a concealed handgun permit could be impacted.

It is a category C felony to carry a concealed firearm in Nevada without a valid permit. Conviction for a category C felony is punishable by 1 to 5 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000. If you are charged with possession of a concealed handgun without a permit, discuss your defense options with an experienced lawyer before making any decisions about your case.

Learn about other firearm offenses in Nevada by visiting the Weapons Charges page on our website. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

High Wind Warning in Clark County - Protect Yourself on the Road

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for all of Clark County this morning, and forecasters say that the winds could gust up to 80 miles per hour in some locations. These extreme winds have already caused power outages throughout the state of Nevada.

Strong winds increase the risk for car accidents, so it is important that Las Vegas drivers operate their vehicles carefully in these weather conditions. Be on the lookout for objects and branches that could be blown onto the roadways, as well as downed power lines. Also remember that powerful winds can kick up dust and sand, causing limited visibility.

According to Las Vegas officials, drivers of high-profile vehicles, such as large trucks and SUVs, should be particularly careful of crosswinds. Strong gusts of wind can sometimes push against the sides of taller vehicles and cause them to tip or rollover, which can lead to serious injuries and property damage. Drivers of high-profile vehicles are advised to take extreme caution when traveling through areas that are experiencing high winds. 

If you need to be on the road in Clark County while the wind advisory is in place, make sure you take precautionary steps to reduce risk to yourself and others. 

  • Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • Never drive over downed power lines, and be especially cautious if there is water near a downed line.
  • Be aware of a possible sudden calm in the middle of a windstorm, and know that the winds could pick back up suddenly.
  • Do not drive faster than the speed limit and maintain a speed that is appropriate for the conditions.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel so that you are prepared if a gust of wind hits your vehicle.
  • Focus on driving and do not allow yourself to be distracted by your phone, GPS, or passengers.

De Castroverde Law Group represents victims of accidents in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County. Visit the Car Accidents section on our website to learn more. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What is Harassment?

The term harassment is commonly used, but many people don’t understand what this offense actually involves. Under NRS 200.571, in the state of Nevada a person is guilty of harassment if they knowingly threaten to:

  • Cause injury to a victim in the future
  • Physically damage a victim’s property
  • Restrain or physically confine a victim 
  • Do anything which will substantially harm a victim’s physical or mental health or their safety

Harassment is also committed when a person uses words or actions to put a victim in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out against them.

Penalties for Harassment in Nevada

Harassment is charged as a misdemeanor unless the offense involved other crimes, such as stalking, or aggravating circumstances. Sentencing for a simple harassment charge will depend upon whether the defendant was previously convicted of this offense.

  • First Offense: A misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $1,000 and/or incarceration in county jail for a maximum of 6 months.
  • Second or Subsequent Offense: A gross misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $2,000 and/or incarceration in county jail for a maximum of 1 year.

Additionally, the judge will likely issue a restraining order against the defendant to protect the alleged victim. If the defendant violates the protective order they will be guilty of a gross misdemeanor and will face fines and jail time.

As with any criminal charge, a defendant accused of harassment is not without defense options, and should speak with an experienced lawyer about their case.

If you need legal help in the Las Vegas area, don’t hesitate to call our team at De Castroverde Law Group. Contact us for assistance or read about our firm on our website. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Space Heater Causes Henderson House Fire

Four people and one pet were displaced from their home in Henderson this past weekend after their space heater caught the house on fire. The fire is believed to have started after the space heater was left unattended in the home.The Henderson Fire Department responded to the blaze around 1:00 p.m. at a two-story home near Arroyo Grande Boulevard and Sunset Road. Firefighters saw smoke rising above the roof and quickly tried to squelch the flames. The fire was located in the second-floor bathroom and promptly extinguished. 

No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries; however, the fire caused significant property damage. The fire department estimates that repairs on the home will cost approximately $50,000. Henderson fire investigators have determined that the fire was a complete accident and was solely the result of the unattended space heater.

Space Heaters and Products Liability 

In recent years, space heaters have caused countless fires throughout the country, even leading the products to be banned in most workplaces. If a fire is caused by a space heater and there was no warning on the product, or if the space heather malfunctioned due to a design or manufacturing defect, then the manufacturer could be held liable for any resulting damages.

Victims of defective products are able to seek financial compensation for their injuries and losses under products liability law. There are three main types of defects recognized by products liability law: manufacturing defects, design defects, and the failure to adequately warn or instruct.
  • Manufacturing Defects: the product is defective because some sort of error occurred while it was made, and as a result the product is different than the rest.
  • Design Defects: the product’s design is inherently dangerous, and the defect is not the result of a manufacturing error.
  • Failure to Adequately Warn or Instruct: the manufacturer fails to provide consumers with adequate warnings about the risks presented by the product or fails to provide instructions about the proper use of the product.

If a victim can prove that their injuries were caused by one of the aforementioned defects, they can file a claim against the manufacturer for compensation.

To learn more about defective product claims, visit the Products Liability page on our website. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Local Man Arrested for Serial Arson

A 28 year-old Las Vegas man has been arrested and charged with setting close to a dozen fires in a twelve hour period in the area surrounding the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Some of the fires to which Clark County firefighters responded were a dumpster fire by an apartment complex, a dumpster fire by a mall, and a car fire which resulted in approximately $20,000 worth of damage. 

The man in custody had been charged and convicted of arson in April of this year. He was recently released after serving a sentence of six months in the Clark County Detention Center. The man now faces ten counts of arson and one count of attempted arson.

Nevada Arson Laws and Penalties

In Nevada, arson is defined as willfully and maliciously setting fire to homes, buildings, mobile homes, vehicles, real estate, or the personal property of others. Anyone who aids, counsels, or procures such fires can also be arrested, charged, and convicted of this crime. Under state law, arson is categorized as being in the first, second, third, or fourth degree.

First-degree arson is the most serious category, charged as a Class B felony which is punishable by 2 to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000, and reimbursement of the costs of putting out and investigating the fire. Second-degree arson is a Class B felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000, along with the same reimbursement costs as first-degree arson. Third and fourth degree arson charges are Class D felonies punishable by 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, as well as reimbursement costs.

You can learn more about this offense by reading the informative Arson page on our website. Contact De Castroverde Law Group if you need aggressive defense counsel in the Las Vegas area. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Toddler Hit by Car After Climbing Out of Moving Vehicle

The Las Vegas Sun reported that a two-year-old boy was struck by a car on Sunday after he climbed out of a moving vehicle. The toddler, whose name was not released, was taken to the Sunrise Trauma Center with serious injuries. Metro Police said the boy was improperly restrained and got out of the vehicle and ran across the street near Russell Road and Palm Street. The child was hit by a Chrysler minivan that was traveling through the intersection.

The incident is under investigation by Metro Police, and it is possible that the child was not restrained inside of the vehicle at all. If that was the case, the parent or the caretaker who failed to correctly restrain the child could be held liable for the accident.

Under the law children are required to be properly restrained in age-appropriate safety seats or seat belts when traveling in motor vehicles. Because of the child’s young age, he should have been safely restrained in a car seat designed for toddlers. LVMPD is working to determine what led to the tragic incident and if any negligence was involved on the part of the child’s parent or caretaker.  

Our thoughts are with the little boy and we wish him a full and quick recovery. De Castroverde Law Group represents clients in personal injury and criminal cases in Las Vegas, NV. Visit our website for more information. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Challenging Assault and Battery Charges

The crimes of assault and battery can be charged as either misdemeanor or felony offenses in the state of Nevada, and conviction will result in harsh penalties. Although many people assume assault and battery are essentially the same crime, they are actually two distinct offenses.
  • Assault can be charged if a defendant attempts to use unlawful force against a victim or if the defendant purposefully put a victim in fear of imminent bodily harm.
  • Battery occurs when a defendant uses force or violence against a victim.

Common Defenses

If you are charged with assault, battery, or both of these crimes, there may be defenses available to you, including:
  • Lack of intent to harm. Both offenses involve a willful attempt to harm a victim. If you did not intend to hurt the alleged victim, such as if the harm was accidental, you have not committed assault or battery.
  • Victim’s fear was unreasonable. Assault typically involves the threat of immediate harm, so if you did not actually threaten the supposed victim or if you did not threaten immediate harm, you may be able to challenge the charges.
  • Self-defense or defense of others. If you are facing immediate bodily harm, Nevada law says that you can defend yourself as long as you use reasonable force to fight back. Likewise, you can use reasonable force to defend another person from an attack.
  • Protection of property. If someone attempted to damage or steal your personal property, you can use reasonable force to defend yourself and protect your possessions.

Depending upon the factors involved in your case, there may be various defenses available to you. Speak with an attorney to learn about your options to fight the charges.

To learn more about these offenses, visit the Assault and Battery pages on our website. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Brief Overview of Nevada’s Illegal Weapons Laws

Under NRS 202.350(1)(a), there are a number of different weapons that are illegal to possess or use in Nevada. According to state law, it is a gross misdemeanor offense to manufacture, import, possess, or attempt to sell any of the following weapons: 
  • Switchblade knife
  • Slungshot
  • Billy
  • Blackjack
  • Sand-club
  • Sandbag
  • Metal knuckles

Additionally, a defendant can be charged with a gross misdemeanor if they possess or use a trefoil or nunchaku with the intent of harming another person. For any subsequent offense, a defendant will be charged with a category D felony.

An individual can also be charged with a gross misdemeanor or a category C felony if they conceal and carry any of the following weapons with the intent to injure another person:
  • An explosive substance
  • A pistol, revolver, firearm, or other type of deadly weapon
  • A dagger, dirk, or machete
  • Knife which is concealed as part of a belt buckle
The law also states that it is illegal to manufacture, import, possess, sell, or use a machine gun or silencer, which is a category C felony. 

What are the penalties?

The penalties for violating any of the aforementioned weapons laws are severe, and vary depending upon whether the defendant is charged with a gross misdemeanor or a category C felony.
  • Conviction for a gross misdemeanor is punishable by incarceration in county jail for a maximum of 1 year, or a fine of up to $2,000, or by both incarceration and a fine.
  • Conviction for a category C felony is punishable by incarceration in state prison for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

If you are charged with any type of weapons offense, it is imperative that you hire an experienced lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the best possible defense.

De Castroverde Law Group represents the people of Las Vegas in all types of criminal proceedings. Contact us to learn more about our firm and legal services.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Houseboats

The proximity of Lake Mead to Las Vegas makes it a favorite spot for many avid boaters. Visitors and boating novices can even rent houseboats on the lake for vacations, but unfortunately this can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, all carbon monoxide poisonings are preventable, so it's important to understand the risks and how to protect yourself.

Carbon monoxide is a gas that cannot be seen or smelled, and can be fatal if inhaled in large quantities. Carbon monoxide is often present around houseboats, and can put the houseboat’s occupants, swimmers, and other boaters at risk of exposure. Houseboat engines produce carbon monoxide, which can then waft through windows and into the compartments of the houseboat, affecting those inside. If people swim near the boat while the engine is running they are also at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The symptoms of small doses of carbon monoxide poisoning include confusion, headaches, seizures, dizziness, and nausea.   

Studies have shown that carbon monoxide poisoning near boats is far too prevalent. One study found more than 800 boating poisonings across 35 states in just the last few years. Over 140 of the poisonings cases reported resulted in the death of a victim.

If you are boating, swimming, or vacationing on Lake Mead, it is important to be aware of the possible dangers presented by carbon monoxide poisoning. Do your research beforehand and take care to avoid situations and areas where high levels of carbon monoxide are likely to be present.

If you or a family member has suffered carbon monoxide poisoning because of another person’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact our team at De Castroverde Law Group to discuss your situation and to learn about your legal options.