Defining Theft Under Nevada Law
Nevada criminal statutes provide a detailed definition of theft that encompasses a number of specific actions. These laws state that a person commits theft by:
- controlling the property of another person with the intent to deprive that person of the property
- converting, making an unauthorized transfer of an interest in, or using the property of another person without authorization
- obtaining the property or services of another person by making a material misrepresentation
- coming into control of lost or mis-delivered property of another person, without making reasonable efforts to notify the true owner
- controlling property while knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen
- obtaining services, products, or other items only available for compensation, without paying or agreeing to pay compensation
- taking, destroying, concealing, or disposing of another person’s property with intent to defraud that person
- knowingly drawing or passing a bad check
- obtaining gasoline or other fuel or automotive products without paying or agreeing to pay compensation. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 205.0832.)
Nevada laws also include a detailed definition of grand larceny, which is another specific type of theft. Not all examples of grand larceny can be covered here, but here are a few:
- taking personal goods or property valued at $250 or more
- wrongfully using an ATM card or other device for withdrawing or transferring money (§ 205.220)
- intentionally stealing livestock (of any value) owned by another person; or domesticated animals or birds with an aggregate value of $250 or more (§ 205.220)
- marking or branding livestock owned by another person (or altering an existing brand); buying or selling livestock carcasses or hides that have had the brand cut out; and killing certain livestock or domesticated animals owned by another person (§ 205.220).
Classification and Punishment of Theft Offenses in Nevada
Like many other states, Nevada classifies its theft offenses according to the dollar value of the property involved in the offense. Let’s take a closer look at the different levels of theft in Nevada.
Theft is considered a misdemeanor in Nevada if the value of the goods or services stolen is less than $250. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 205.0835.) A number of other specific theft offenses can qualify as misdemeanor theft in Nevada. They’re too numerous to list here, so check the statute for details: Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 205 - Crimes Against Property.
Petit larceny, also known as petty theft, is a misdemeanor under Nevada law. A person convicted of a misdemeanor faces imprisonment in the county jail for no more than six months, a fine of not more than $1,000, community services, or a combination of these punishment options. (§ 193.150.)
Category C Felony Theft.
Theft is considered a category C felony in Nevada if the value of the property or services stolen is more than $250 but less than $2,500. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 205.0835.)
Grand larceny of a motor vehicle is also a category C felony (regardless of the dollar value of the vehicle). (§ 205.228.)
For a category C felony in Nevada, the offender may be sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum of one year to a maximum of five years, and the court may impose a fine of not more than $10,000. (§ 193.130(2)(c).)
Category B Felony Theft.
Theft is considered a category B felony in Nevada If the value of the property or services stolen is $2,500 or more. (Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 205.0835.)
A person will also be charged with a category B felony for participating in an organized retail theft ring (§ 205.08345, § 205.222).
Grand larceny of a firearm is also a category B felony under Nevada law. (§ 205.226.)
For a category B felony in Nevada, the offender may be sentenced to imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum of one year to a maximum of 10 years, and by a fine of not more than $10,000. (§ 205.0835(4).)
Note on All Levels of Theft.
For all levels of theft offenses discussed above, Nevada laws authorize courts to order the offender to pay restitution to the theft victim. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 205.0835(5).)
Civil Penalties for Theft in Nevada
In addition to criminal penalties, a person who commits shoplifting in Nevada (or the parent or legal guardian of a minor who commits shoplifting) may be civilly liable to the store owner for:
- the retail value of the merchandise
- damages of not less than $100 and not more than $250
- the costs of bringing the civil lawsuit, and
- reasonable attorney’s fees. (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 597.860, §597.870.)