Nevada Laws Pertaining to Homicide

NRS  200.010 of Nevada law defines murder as the unlawful killing of human being (1) with malice aforethought, either express or implied; (2) caused by a controlled substance that was sold, given, traded, or otherwise made available to a person in violation of the Nevada law on controlled substances; or (3) caused by a violation of NRS  453.3325.

Degrees of Homicide

There are two degrees of homicide in Nevada. First-degree murder consists of killings that are premeditated and felony murders, which are carried out while the defendant is committing a felony. Second-degree murder consists of unintentional killing and essentially any other murder that is not considered a first-degree murder.


Manslaughter is considered a type of homicide where the killing of a person was unintentional. There are two types of manslaughter, voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is the killing of another person without premeditation, meaning it was committed in the moment with no prior planning. Involuntary manslaughter is the killing of a person out of negligence. Most traffic fatalities would be considered involuntary manslaughter.

Penalties of Homicide

Homicide is considered a Category A felony. In most cases, the penalties for homicide are life imprisonment or a death sentence. It is possible, however, to get a homicide charge either dismissed or plea-bargained to manslaughter, which has less severe penalties than homicide.

Defenses to Homicide

There is a possibility that a homicide charge could be dismissed if an attorney can prove one or several of the following:

  • The homicide was out of self-defense
  • The homicide was an accident
  • The defendant was insane

Due to the seriousness of a homicide charge, defenses to the charge must be strong.

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