Las Vegas Loitering Laws

Nevada has three statutes that define loitering in specific areas, including around children, in casinos, and near public restrooms. While loitering is a misdemeanor and usually carries a fine, it can be a serious charge. Whether you’re guilty of loitering or have been wrongfully charged, contacting a criminal defense attorney is essential to building your case. Let’s explore the loitering laws in Las Vegas.

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Loitering Laws in Las Vegas, NV

Understanding Nevada’s Law on Loitering Around Children

Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 207.270 states that it’s a crime to hang around places where children gather, such as schools and parks, without a legitimate reason. This is to help protect children. Legitimate reasons to be in those areas include being a staff member, a parent of one of the children present, or someone authorized by a child’s parent to pick the child up or supervise them. You would also have a legitimate reason to be at a park if you were hiking the trails, walking your dog, or enjoying a picnic lunch.

The law states that you shouldn’t loiter around children if you have no reason to be around them in a public place. This law aims to protect children from people with criminal histories, such as those who have committed sex crimes and sexual predators. NSR 207.270 deters sex offenders from hanging out in places where children tend to gather, which include:

  • Parks.
  • Schools.
  • Swimming pools.
  • Playgrounds.
  • Daycare centers.
  • Children’s community centers.

What Should You Do if You’re Charged With Loitering Under NRS 207.270?

If you or someone you love has been charged with loitering under NRS 207.270, you should know that the burden of proof lies with the state of Nevada. The state must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you were loitering in an area where children gather. A skilled attorney can raise a defense against the loitering charge to fight the charges. De Castroverde’s criminal defense team  may use any of the following defenses, depending on your case:

  • Length of time: If you were only in the space where children gather for a few minutes, it wouldn’t be long enough to be considered loitering. Therefore, you wouldn’t have committed a crime.
  • Legitimate reason: If you were in the area for a legitimate reason, such as walking your dog or going for a run, you had the right to be there, and you wouldn’t have committed a crime.
  • Authorized individual: If a parent of one of the children in the area permitted you to pick up their child, you have the right to be in the area without being charged with loitering.

Nevada Revised Statutes 463.350

You can be charged with loitering in Nevada if you’re an underage person in a casino. NRS 463.350 states that anyone under 21 should not hang out in a casino or anywhere that allows licensed gambling. Minors are allowed in casinos but cannot linger around the gaming tables, slot machines, or sportsbooks.

What Should You Do if You’re Charged With Loitering Under NRS 463.350?

Like loitering under NRS 207.270, the burden of proof is on the state of Nevada. A qualified criminal defense attorney can help you fight a loitering charge under NRS 463.350. Potential defenses include:

  • Over 21: You could contest the charge with proof of age if you didn’t have your driver’s license at the time of the arrest to confirm your age.
  • Walking through: If you were walking through the casino, looking for friends, trying to get to your hotel room, and not lingering around machines, you can’t be charged with loitering.
  • Attached area: If you were visiting the casino’s restaurant or gift shop and you weren’t hanging out by the gaming spaces, you can’t be charged with loitering in the casino.

Nevada Revised Statutes 207.030

NRS 207.030 makes it illegal to loiter near or in a public restroom to commit an unlawful act or solicit or engage in sexual favors. In Nevada, police use undercover sting operations to catch people breaking the loitering law under NRS 207.030. This practice is allowed if the police officer doesn’t threaten or force the suspect into breaking the law.

What Should You Do if You’re Charged With Loitering Under NRS 207.030?

You may have difficulty proving your innocence if you’re charged with NRS 207.030 after hanging out near a public restroom, especially if you fall prey to an undercover sting operation. If you’re charged with NRS 270.030, the state still bears the burden of proof. An experienced criminal defense attorney can use several potential defenses to fight the charge, including the following:

  • Intended purpose: You were using the public restroom for its intended purpose.
  • No unlawful acts: You were not engaging in any illegal activity, such as soliciting or sexual acts.
  • Passing through: You were passing through the area of the public restrooms; therefore, you weren’t loitering.
  • Police misconduct: The undercover officer threatened, forced, entrapped, or coerced you into confessing to loitering near a public restroom.

What Is the Potential Penalty for Loitering?

Loitering is a misdemeanor crime under NRS 207.270 with the following potential penalties if convicted:

  • Up to a $1,000 fine.
  • Up to six months in the county jail.
  • Both.

Typically, a first offense will result in a fine, with the prosecutor dismissing the charge. If you’re convicted of loitering, the conviction will remain on your public record for one year. After a year, you can request your record be sealed by petitioning the court. You can petition the court to seal the record immediately if the charge is dismissed, with or without imposing a fine.

Our De Castroverde team is ready to help you or your loved one fight a loitering charge in Nevada. We have the knowledge and expertise to defend your rights and keep a loitering charge from your public record. Complete our secure online form or call us at 702-996-3779 to request a legal case evaluation. We focus on your needs through affordable, dependable, and aggressive legal representation from start to finish. Our team consists of lawyers with unique backgrounds, including former prosecutors, to help resolve your case favorably.

Photo Credit: No Loitering by William Ross is licensed with CC BY 2.0