Violent Crimes

Energetic and reputable trial lawyers with 20 years of experience

When it comes to violent crime charges, experience matters significantly. Violent crimes like murder and manslaughter are serious felonies that are not easy to defend. Richard P. Davies, Esq. has been practicing law for nearly 20 years, and he has handled a number of high profile murder cases throughout Nevada. He has the fight and vigor of a young lawyer but has the decades of experience and knowledge that come with being a trial attorney who has fought many cases in court. 


Richard Davies is the only active private attorney in Northern Nevada that is death-penalty certified.


Looking for an experienced Reno attorney to take charge of your case? Call now to schedule your free consultation at (775) 360-6894.

First and Second-Degree Murder

What is the definition of murder?

According to NRS 200.030, murder is the unlawful killing of another person that is done with malice. There are two main types of murder charges: first-degree and second-degree.

Generally, first-degree murder comprises premeditated killings and felony murder (killings done while the defendant is committing a serious felony). Second-degree murder comprises unintentional killings where the defendant acted so recklessly that death was a foreseeable consequence.

What are examples of murder and felonies involved in felony murder?

Some examples of first-degree murder include purposely shooting, beating, or torturing someone to death.

Examples of felonies that are involved in felony murder are:

  • Burglary
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Child Abuse
  • Elder Abuse
  • Arson
  • Sexual Abuse of a Child

Some examples of second-degree murder include:

  • Throwing an object off a roof when there is a crowd below that ends up killing one of the people on the street
  • Firing a gun into a building that the defendant thought was vacant, and an occupant dies

What are the penalties for murder?

Below are possible penalties for first and second-degree murder.

First-Degree Murder

  • Death penalty
  • Life in prison without possibility of parole
  • Life in prison with possibility of parole after 20 years
  • 50 years in prison with possibility of parole after 20 years

Second-Degree Murder

  • Life in prison with possibility of parole after 10 years
  • 25 years in prison with possibility of parole after 10 years

Note that aggravating or mitigating factors could increase or lessen the defendant’s sentence, but it is to the judge’s discretion as to how they choose to factor in these circumstances.

For example, aggravating factors might certainly point to the death penalty, but mitigating charges might provide space for a more lenient sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter

What constitutes voluntary manslaughter?

NRS 200.050, Nevada’s voluntary manslaughter law, defines the offense as the killing of another person in the heat of passion (provocation) and with no premeditation. Voluntary manslaughter is charged as a Category B felony.

For example, a person who is in an argument with another person and becomes so enraged by the discussion that they strike and fatally wound the other person can be guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

What constitutes involuntary manslaughter?

Under NRS 200.070, involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another person in the commission of either an unlawful act or a negligent act. Involuntary manslaughter is a Category D felony. 

Note that the main distinction between involuntary manslaughter and second-degree murder, which is also an unintentional killing, is that second-degree murder is committed with such extreme recklessness that the person should have known death would result.

For example, involuntary manslaughter could be if someone handles a loaded gun that unexpectedly goes off and kills someone or if a parent leaves a dangerous drug in the cabinet, where their child finds it and dies from ingesting it.

In many murder cases, the defendant may seek to plea bargain a murder charge down to an involuntary manslaughter charge with much lesser penalties.

What are the penalties for manslaughter?

Voluntary Manslaughter (Category B Felony)

  • 1 - 10 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

The death penalty is not a possible penalty for voluntary manslaughter. With a compelling enough defense, it is possible to argue a voluntary manslaughter charge down to an involuntary manslaughter charge with lesser penalties.

Involuntary Manslaughter (Category D Felony)

  • 1-4 years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

In many murder cases, the defendant may seek to plea bargain a murder charge down to an involuntary manslaughter charge with much lesser penalties.

If you have been charged with a violent crime like murder or manslaughter in Nevada, contact Richard P. Davies, Esq. to discuss your defense options immediately. Murder charges are some of the most serious felonies in Nevada, and it could impact the rest of your life — both tangibly as it puts you behind bars for life, and intangibly as it marks your criminal record forever. Let us protect your constitutional rights in the courtroom. Our team of fierce trial attorneys will fight vigorously for you.

Have questions about your case? Looking for an experienced Reno attorney to take charge? Call now to schedule your free consultation at (775) 360-6894.

Contact Richard P. Davies, Esq. 

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