Nevada Murder Law


The legal definition of murder in Las Vegas, Nevada is “the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.”  In other words, murder is any premeditated or extremely reckless killing.  There are two types of murder:  First degree and second degree . . .


First-degree murder

First-degree murder in Las Vegas, NV, comprises any deliberate act of killing.  Examples are purposely shooting, stabbing or poisoning someone.

First-degree murder is also charged in cases where the defendant may not have intended to kill but ends up doing so in the perpetration of either rape, burglary, arson, kidnapping, robbery, child abuse, elder abuse, or sexual abuse of a child.  This is called “felony murder” in Nevada.

Second-degree murder

Second-degree murder in Las Vegas, NV, comprises unintentional homicides where the defendant behaved so recklessly that the death was a foreseeable result.  An example is killing someone by playing Russian Roulette.

The federal definition of first and second degree murder is very similar to Nevada’s.  Read more about federal murder law in Nevada in our article on federal murder law in Nevada.

Murder vs. Manslaughter in Las Vegas, NV

Murder and manslaughter are both types of homicide, but manslaughter is a less serious crime.  This is because manslaughter, unlike murder, is killing without malice and premeditation.  There are two kinds of manslaughter in Nevada:  Voluntary and Involuntary . . .

Voluntary manslaughter in Las Vegas is killing in the heat of passion.  An example is a husband unexpectedly finding his wife in bed with another man and immediately killing them.  The maximum prison term is ten years.

Involuntary manslaughter in Las Vegas is an unintentional killing done while breaking the law (such as speeding slightly and hitting a pedestrian) or by being negligent (such as adjusting your shoelaces while driving and hitting a pedestrian).  The maximum prison term is four years.

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