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Nevada Making Headlines…Violent Crime in Nevada

The United States Peace Index, developed by the Institute for Economics & Peace to measure the cost of crime, shows that in 2012, Nevada had the third lowest peace index of all 50 states and was ranked as the worst state for violent crime. The Peace Index is formulated by applying statistics for the number of homicides, violent crimes, number of police officers, rate of incarceration and the general availability of small firearms.

Overall, the level of violent crime across the U.S. has fallen significantly since 1991, with a drop from 748 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens to 399 per 100,000 in 2012. The cost of a high peace index is substantial. The overall cost to Nevada from all violent crime, and the lost productivity it causes, is estimated to be almost $4 billion. Each homicide alone is estimated to create direct costs of around $1.3 million.

In addition to the direct financial cost, commentators note that the low ranking in the peace index is also accompanied by poor high school graduation rates, the lowest ranking for children’s health and other generally negative societal indicators.

Violent crime includes the offense of battery. Nevada law states that you commit battery if you willfully and unlawfully use force or violence against another person. The penalties in Nevada for battery can be harsh depending on the circumstances:

  • If you did not use a weapon, and did not cause substantial bodily harm, you face a maximum penalty of six months in prison or a fine of $1,000.
  • If you did not use a weapon but either caused substantial bodily harm or strangled the victim, you could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If your victim is a police officer, taxi driver or one of another set of delineated occupations, and you caused substantial bodily harm or used strangulation, you could face up to 20 years in prison.
  • If you used a deadly weapon and caused substantial bodily harm, you could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

If you have been arrested for a violent crime, make an appointment with an aggressive Reno criminal defense attorney to fight for your freedom.

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