Trial Taxes, Definition of Firearm Discharge, Limited Powers of P&P

State of Nevada v. Eighth Judicial District Court/Schneider

(published opinion affirming DUI conviction)

Ms. Schneider, accused of misdemeanor DUI, was found guilty after bench trial.  Before any argument at sentencing, the justice court remanded Ms. Schneider to jail to serve the remainder of the 48 hours jail time.  Ms. Schneider argued for the alternative 48 hours of community service as provided by NRS 484C.200(1)(a)(2).  The justice court policy at the time was to always sentence those who went to trial to 48 hours jail time and not give the option of community service.

Drunk driving

Schneider argued on appeal that the sentence was biased punishing her for "trial tax" and the judge abused his discretion.  The Court disagreed and ruled that the judge did not abuse his discretion in predetermining a sentence because the option was allowed for by law.

McNeill v. State of Nevada

(published opinion reversed Lifetime Supervision Violation and remanded)


A convicted sex offender and homeless individual under lifetime supervision allegedly violated his restrictions and was charged with violating lifetime supervision conditions.  He was convicted and appealed on the grounds that the restrictions imposed on him by the State Board of Parole & Probation were overstepping into legislative function when it added conditions such as curfew, restricting his movement in sleeping arrangements, and drug testing. 

The Court reversed and remanded his convictions ruling NRS 213.1243 (conditions for lifetime supervision) does not enumerate powers for the P&P to impose additional conditions other than what the statute states.  Any discretion in these conditions would allow P&P to overstep their authority and legislate themselves.

Martinez-Hernadez v. State of Nevada

(published opinion reversing writ dismissal)

Martin-Hernadez was found guilty by a jury on assault with deadly weapon.  Sentenced to probation with 12-36 months suspended.  Martinez subsequently violated his probation and he stipulated to revocation.  While in prison, Martinez filed a writ petition for ineffective assistance of counsel and appeal deprivation.  Martinez was released and completed parole while his writ was progressing through the court system.


The State argued that because Martinez had already finished his sentence the writ was moot.  The Court disagreed and ruled "a post-conviction petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging the validating of a judgment of conviction challenging the validity filed while the petitioner is imprisoned or under supervision as a probationer or parolee does not become moot when the petitioner is released if there are continuing collateral consequences stemming from that conviction.  A criminal conviction creates a presumption that continuing collateral consequences exist."

Washington v. State of Nevada

(published opinion affirming discharge of firearm convictions)

In the early morning hours of November 5, 2013, Marque Hill, LaRoy Thomas, Nathan Rawls, and Ashley Scott were asleep in an apartment in Las Vegas when they were awakened by gunshots being fired into the apartment in rapid succession.  Scott was shot in the foot, Thomas shot in the ankle, and Rawls was killed.  Washington was then arrested and charged with ten (10) counts of discharging a firearm into a structure.  Washington was convicted of all ten counts.

On appeal, Washington argued double jeopardy precluded him from being charged and convicted on ten separate counts of discharging a firearm in rapid succession.  The Court ruled that Washington's argument actually raised an issue of redundancy versus double jeopardy. 

Cornella v. State of Nevada

(published opinion affirming vehicular manslaughter conviction)

hit and run, bike, vehicular manslaughter

Cornella was charged with both failure to yield and vehicular manslaughter after running through a stop sign and hitting and killing a 12 year old girl on her bike.  She succeeded in getting the first charge of failure to yield NRS 484B.257 dismissed on the grounds that the girl was on a bike and this did not meet the legal definition of "motorized vehicle" as defined in NRS 484A.320. 

Cornella was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter (NRS 484B.657(1)).  On writ of certiorari, Cornella challenged NRS 484B.657(1) for being too vague in vehicular manslaughter requiring an "act or omission" and "simple negligence."  Cornella also argued that simple negligence was insufficient to impute criminal intent. 

The Court held that act/omission as used in NRS 484B.675(1) equated to a traffic law violation.  The Court also ruled that simple negligence is the same as ordinary negligence as previously defined in Driscoll v. Erreguible (Nev. St Ct. 971).  The Court determined that the statute was not vague and that in the public welfare context, mere simple negligence is sufficient for criminal liability.  

McNamara v. State of Nevada

(published opinion affirming first degree kidnapping causing substantial bodily harm conviction)

kidnapping las vegas

James McNamara kidnapped and beat Kathryn Sharp in Illinois.  McNamara and Sharp then flew to Las Vegas.  Mrs. Sharp had wounds from the prior beating in Illinois that became badly infected.  While in Vegas, McNamara prevented her from seeking medical treatment.  McNamara was arrested in Nevada and charged with first degree kidnapping causing substantial bodily harm.  McNamara argued Nevada did not have jurisdiction because he did not cause the substantial bodily harm in the state of Nevada as the beating took place in Illinois.

The Court ruled that although McNamara did not beat Sharp in the state of Nevada, the fact that he precluded her from seeking medical treatment constituted substantial bodily harm in which Nevada has jurisdiction over. The Court interpreted NRS 171.020 "Not [to] require that there be partial execution of the actual crime" within Nevada, but rather that NRS 171.020 "only requires some carrying out of the criminal intent" within Nevada.  Nevada courts obtain territorial jurisdiction when proven by preponderance of the evidence that (1) a defendant has criminal intent (irrespective of where it was formed) and (2) he or she performs any act in this state in furtherance of that criminal intent.  

Manning v. State of Nevada

(published opinion reversing battry with intent to commit robbery conviction and remanding for new trial)

Robbery, battery

Manning roughly pushed past an old man, who fell to the ground and claimed that he felt a hand in his pocket as he was being pushed.  As a result, Manning was charged with robbery and battery with intent to commit a crime of robbery.  Manning's defense was that he roughly brushed past the man, but never tried to commit a robbery.  Defense counsel had requested a lesser included instruction of simple battery which judge denied.  The jury found Manning not guilty of robbery, but guilty of battery with intent to commit a crime of robbery. 

The Nevada Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case holding that the lower court should have provided the simple battery instruction.