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Nevada Second-Degree Murder

In Nevada, there are several types of criminal homicide including: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. This article provides a brief overview of Nevada's second-degree murder law.

First-Degree Murder vs. Second-Degree Murder in Nevada

In most states, first-degree murder is defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated. On the other hand, second-degree murder ordinarily doesn't involve premeditation and is either an unplanned intentional killing, or a death caused by a reckless disregard for human life. However, under Nevada's homicide laws first-degree murder is clearly defined, and any other murder is classified as second-degree murder.

Code Section

Nevada Code section 200.030: Degrees of Murder

Murder in the First Degree


First-degree murder is any killing that is committed by poison, lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing committed:
  • During the perpetration (or attempted perpetration) of sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, robbery, burglary, invasion of the home, sexual abuse of a child, sexual molestation of a child who is less than 14 years old, child abuse, or abuse of an older or vulnerable person
  • To avoid being arrested or to escape from legal custody
  • At a school, a school sponsored activity, or on a school bus by a person who intended to create a great risk of death or substantial bodily harm to more than one person via a weapon, device, or action that would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person, or
  • In the perpetration (or attempted perpetration) of an act of terrorism
Murder in the Second Degree

Murder of the second degree is all other kinds of murder.



Murder in the second-degree is a category A felony that can be punished by imprisonment:
  • For life with the possibility of parole (eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years have been served), or
  • For 25 years (with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served)

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Nevada's second-degree murder law contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

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