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Mayhem is a crime in Nevada. Under NRS 200.280, mayhem consists of unlawfully depriving a human being of a member of his or her body, or disfiguring or rendering it useless. If a person cuts out or disables the tongue, puts out an eye, slits the nose, ear or lip, or disables any limb or member of another, or voluntarily, or on purpose, puts out an eye, that person is guilty of mayhem.
It does not matter how the injury was inflicted or what instrument was used to cause the injury. For example, biting an ear is the same as slicing an ear for the crime of mayhem.
Mayhem is a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 10 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000.
If the evidence at trial does not show that the injury inflicted will result in any permanent disfiguration of appearance, diminution of vigor, or other permanent injury, a defendant cannot be convicted of mayhem; however, he can be convicted of assault.
Case law interpreting mayhem finds that this crime does not require a specific intent to disfigure. Crawford v. State, 691 P.2d 433, 100 Nev. 617 (Nev., 1984). Further, whether the disfigurement is permanent is a question of fact for the jury. Beets v. State, 107 Nev. 957, 821 P.2d 1044 (Nev., 1991).Return to Reference Articles