Nevada Laws on Theft, Larceny, and Shoplifting

A conviction for theft or larceny carries serious consequences, including imprisonment, fines, and restitution. Learn about the penalties for theft and larceny in Nevada.

By , Attorney · Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Updated December 16, 2020

Nevada criminal statutes provide detailed definitions of, and penalties for, theft and larceny.

Definition of Theft in Nevada

Nevada criminal statutes provide a detailed definition of theft that encompasses a number of specific actions. Examples of theft include:

  • controlling the property of another person with the intent to deprive that person of the property
  • converting or obtaining property or services of another by an unauthorized act, misrepresentation, or failing to use efforts to identify the true owner
  • receiving property knowing or having reason to know that the property was stolen
  • obtaining services, products, or other items without paying or agreeing to pay for them or by diverting them without lawful authority
  • taking, destroying, concealing, or disposing of another person's property with intent to defraud that person, and
  • obtaining gasoline or other fuel without paying or agreeing to pay for it.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. § 205.0832 (2020).)

Definition of Larceny in Nevada

Nevada laws also include a detailed definition of larceny, which is a specific type of theft. Here are a few examples of grand larceny:

  • intentionally taking personal goods or property owned by another
  • wrongfully using an ATM card or other device for withdrawing or transferring money
  • intentionally stealing livestock, domesticated animals, or domesticated birds owned by another, and
  • intentionally stealing a firearm or motor vehicle.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. § 205.220 (2020).)

Classification and Punishment of Theft and Larceny Offenses in Nevada

Like many other states, Nevada classifies its theft-related offenses as felonies or misdemeanors according to the dollar value of the property involved in the offense. Larceny crimes are classified in a similar fashion but referred to as grand larceny (felonies) and petit larceny (misdemeanors). Let's take a closer look at the different levels of theft and larceny in Nevada.

Misdemeanor Theft and Petit Larceny

Theft and larceny are considered misdemeanors in Nevada if the value of the goods, services, or property stolen is less than $1,200. A person convicted of a misdemeanor faces up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Felony Theft and Grand Larceny

Theft and larceny become felonies when the property stolen is valued at $1,200 or more or the stolen item is a firearm or motor vehicle. The penalty increases as the value of the stolen property increases.

Category D felonies. Theft and grand larceny are considered category D felonies if the value of the property or services involved is more than $1,200 but less than $5,000. Category D felonies may be punished by one to four years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.

Category C felonies. If the value of property or services stolen is between $5,000 and $25,000, the crime constitutes a category C felony, punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Stealing a motor vehicle (any value) is also a category C felony (unless it's a repeat offense as described below).

Category B felonies. Nevada divides category B felonies into three levels of punishment as follows:

  • A repeat offense for stealing a vehicle—within five years of each other—is a class B felony, punishable by one to six years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
  • For property stolen valued at $25,000 or more but less than $100,000, or when the property is a firearm (any value), a conviction is punishable by one to 10 years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000.
  • If the value of the property or services involved is $100,000 or more, the penalty is one to 20 years in state prison and a fine up to $15,000.


For all levels of theft and larceny offenses, Nevada law requires an offender to pay restitution to the theft victim. Restitution is different from a fine. Fine money is paid to the government, while restitution is money paid to a victim to make them whole.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 193.130; 205.0835, .222, .226, .228, .240 (2020).)

Shoplifting: Stealing Merchandise

Shoplifting merchandise can result in both criminal and civil penalties.

Criminal Penalties

Shoplifting offenses generally fall under the crime of theft. In most cases, the penalties outlined above apply. (Involvement in organized retail theft, however, involves much more serious penalties.)

Civil Penalties

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 attorneys' fees.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 597.860, 597.870 (2020).)

Talk to a Lawyer

If you face charges for theft or larceny, it's best to speak with an attorney. A criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the criminal justice system, protect your rights, and help you understand the potential penalties and consequences. Even misdemeanor charges, which might seem like no big deal, can result in serious consequences that can follow you for years, making it more difficult to obtain a job, housing, or loans. An attorney can explain how decisions in the short term might affect you in the long term.

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