Although people generally know that jaywalking is both dangerous and illegal, most of us have done it at some point. While it may be tempting in situations when you’re in a big hurry, or you’re sure that there are no cars in sight, it’s important to remember that even a simple case of jaywalking can have serious legal ramifications. Read more to gain a better understanding of Nevada’s jaywalking laws and find out how our experienced lawyers can help you in specific situations related to jaywalking.
What Is Jaywalking?
Jaywalking is a general term that refers to a pedestrian crossing a street in any other area than those specifically marked as crosswalks. It’s also considered jaywalking if the pedestrian crosses the street on a crosswalk when the red-light indicator is on for pedestrians. Although it may seem like a minor offense with little consequence, jaywalking can have serious implications for all parties involved. Data from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that pedestrian deaths are on the rise. Preliminary 2022 data shows an increase compared to 2021, which was a 40-year high.
What Are the Penalties for Jaywalking in the State of Nevada?
Nevada state laws consider jaywalking a misdemeanor, meaning that the usual penalty is a fine. The amount of money you must pay if you’ve been caught jaywalking depends on your exact location. For instance, the jaywalking fine in Las Vegas is around $160, which is higher than in the rest of the state due to the increased risks of crossing the road in crowded areas such as Downtown Las Vegas. The fine in Reno is $115. The police can also arrest you for jaywalking in Nevada under the following circumstances:
- If there’s already an outstanding warrant in your name.
- If you’re displaying unlawful behavior toward the police officer who issues the citation.
- If a major car accident occurred because of your jaywalking.
- If you’re released on probation.
- If you’ve been repeatedly caught jaywalking.
How Can a Specialized Attorney Help You With Jaywalking Charges?
There are multiple ways in which our specialized lawyers can help you if you’ve been charged with jaywalking. Some of them are:
You Can Dispute the Jaywalking Charges
If you’ve been charged with jaywalking and you think that the circumstances may help you avoid the fine, consider contacting one of our experienced attorneys. They’ll work with you to determine your situation and explore all your options for successfully fighting your charge. Some situations that may warrant a successful charge dispute are:
- If you actually crossed the street on a designated crosswalk but the police officer mistakenly thought you didn’t.
- If someone else crossed the street illegally but the police officer confused you with the respective person and charged you.
- If you crossed the road to avoid an emergency, such as a vehicle coming right toward you or an object falling near your location.
You Can Fight Additional Charges
Although most jaywalking situations have no major consequences, you may experience one that can lead to additional, more serious charges. For example, if the officer who witnessed the incident thinks that your actions were particularly careless and may have put someone else in danger, they may arrest you for reckless endangerment. This could result in thousands of dollars in fines and even time spent in jail or Nevada State Prison, depending on the consequences. An experienced attorney can help you build a strong case and potentially escape these charges.
If your jaywalking may have caused an incoming car to crash and resulted in a fatal accident, you may also be charged with involuntary manslaughter. This is a category D felony according to the law in the state of Nevada, which is punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Working with a lawyer with experience in similar cases can help you demonstrate that you’re not responsible for the fatal accident.
You Can Defend Against a Civil Lawsuit
If another party received an injury because of your jaywalking, they may sue you in a civil court and claim negligence. An attorney can help you demonstrate that the circumstances for a civil lawsuit aren’t fully met. You may be found liable for negligence if all three of these conditions apply:
- You violated local traffic laws.
- Your violation directly caused an injury (for instance, a driver swiftly turned the wheel to avoid hitting you and crashed into a tree, injuring themselves).
- The injured party is either a driver, a passenger in a nearby vehicle, or another pedestrian.
You Can Take Advantage of the Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that you may receive financial compensation even if you were partially responsible for the situation. For instance, if you’re considered to be 20% at fault for the accident due to your jaywalking, you’ll be receiving 80% of the awarded compensation. This may occur in the case of a distracted or negligent driver or where they were under the influence of various substances. If you were 51% at fault or more, you’re not eligible for any compensation.
You Can Sue if You’re the Injured Party
In the reverse situation where you’ve sustained injuries as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian as a result of someone else jaywalking, an experienced attorney can help you sue the alleged jaywalker and demonstrate that their actions directly caused the accident that injured you. You can claim compensation for the following:
- Hospitalization and long-term treatment costs.
- Lost earnings because of your injuries.
- Potential earnings you won’t be able to make in the future because of your injuries.
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering you’ve been through.
De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers Can Help You With Your Jaywalking Charges
Contact De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers if you’ve been charged with jaywalking in the Las Vegas or Reno areas and want to dispute the charge, avoid any additional penalties, or seek compensation. Our attorneys can help you build a strong case and succeed in court.