When it comes to someone breaking into your home, you may not know the laws because you always think that that won’t happen to you.
According to a study conducted by the United States Justice Department, nearly 1.03 million homes are broken into every single year. This is CAN happen to you, this does not just happen in a Breaking Bad episode.
Today, we are going to go over some frequently asked questions concerning the housebreaking laws in Nevada, along with some helpful information that will help you navigate the housebreaking laws as well.
What is Housebreaking?
First and foremost, housebreaking is considered a crime. Housebreaking is when you enter a vacant home or structure for that matter with the intent to use it as your own residency or what is commonly referred to as squatting.
Housebreaking is very similar to burglary, but as you and I know burglary involves you forcibly entering a home and/or structure.
In Nevada Law NRS 205.0813, when it comes to housebreaking, this incident is going to be much more limited rather than burglary. According to NRS 205.0813, you commit housebreaking in the state of Nevada when you do the following:
- When you choose to forcibly under a vacant or uninhabited home or dwelling
- You have no permission from the owner
- You are intending to use this residence as your own or provide residency to another.
When NRS 205.0813 uses “dwelling” they are defining that as a structure that is intended for residential use or for a sleeping place.
Common examples of dwellings will include the following:
- Guest Houses
- Hotel Rooms
Under the NRS 205.0813 statute, it does not matter whether you just enter the dwelling or take up residency because both options are going to be illegal.
Keep in mind that in the state of Nevada, that housebreaking is slightly different than home invasion. Home invasion is where someone will forcibly enter an already inhabited dwelling without any permission. There are times that a person can get charged with home invasion, even if they were never planning on squatting in the dwelling.
Under NRS 205.0813, it is irrelevant whether you take up residency or you just enter with the purpose of doing so. It is the entry itself that is illegal.
Define Unlawful Entry
I know we have talked a lot about unlawful entry, but what really is unlawful entry? Unlawful entry is going to be when you go into a dwelling without prior permission with the intent of squatting.
Squatting and Housebreaking Law in Nevada
When you decide to commit an unlawful occupancy and you follow through with the act to occupancy, you are against the law in the state of Nevada.
What are the Consequences for Housebreaking in Nevada?
If this is your first time being charged with housebreaking in the state of Nevada, you will have a gross misdemeanor on your record. With that being said, the punishment can contain the following:
- Up to $2,000 fine
- Up to 364 days in a county jail
If this is your second time being charged with housebreaking in the state of Nevada, you will have a Class D felony on your record. With that being said, the punishment can contain the following:
- Up to a $5,000 fine
- Between 1 to 4 years in a Nevada State Prison
Now, if you have been convicted and charged with three or more housebreaking charges, the Nevada court will be required to send you to prison. You should know that you will not get a Nevada suspended sentence or probation, if you have been charged with four or more housebreaking charges.
Court Defenses for Housebreaking
When it comes to your defense team while in the Nevada court, you will need to display the facts. Housebreaking is solely going to depend on the facts of the case. However, some of the more common defense tactics will consist of the following:
- You were not forcibly entering
- The structure was not a dwelling
- You had permission to enter the structure
- You were not intending to squat
- You were the one who was the victim of mistaken identification
Can You Shoot Someone Breaking into Your House?
First and foremost, the state of Nevada is a “stand your ground” state. But when it is a stand your ground state, there will be some conditions that need to be followed.
So, when it comes to Nevada self-defense laws, you will not be required to retreat prior to using deadly force on the intruder if they do one of the following:
- Doesn’t start an altercation
- Have belief your life is in immediate danger
- Has the right to use deadly force where he or she is
- Not breaking the law when you are using deadly force
In other words, all non-aggressors, yet law-abiding citizens can use deadly force if they fear their life is in danger, even if they had the chance to flee the scene prior to using deadly force.