Possession of Burglary Tools

Arrested for Possession of Burglary ToolsPossession of burglary tools is a gross misdemeanor in Nevada.  The legal definition of possession of burglary tools has two elements that must be met before you are liable this offense:

  1. The defendant makes, repairs or possess an instrument used for the commission of a crime, and
  2. The circumstances show the defendant’s intent to use the instrument to commit a crime

It is a crime to be in possession of the tools that you intend to use to commit a crime. Possession of burglary tools involve being found with any of the following items:

  • false key
  • picklock
  • bit
  • nipper
  • any other engine, machine or tool adapted, designed or commonly used for the commission of a crime

The courts presumes that if you are in possession of these tools intends to use them to commit a crime. Therefore if the case goes to trial, you have the burden to prove you lacked criminal intent.  The only exception is if you are a mechanic, artificer or tradesmen who possesses the tools open to public view at your established shop or place of business.


The Nevada crime of possession of burglary tools is a gross misdemeanor
in Nevada.  The punishment includes:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in crimes

Note that these penalties are considerably lower than the sentence for burglary, larceny, and other theft crimes which may carry several years in Nevada State Prison.  This is because the defendant was caught before he could commit another more serious crime.


If you have been arrested for or charged with possession of burglary tools, seek the counsel of a Reno criminal defense attorney with experience fighting Nevada larceny cases. We have successfully defended thousands of petty larceny and grand larceny cases.

There are numerous defenses to possession of burglary tools including lack of circumstances suggesting intent to commit a crime, police misconduct, and insufficient evidence. Lee knows all the defenses and can help you get the charges dismissed and can help you get the charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.

If you have been arrested for possession of burglary tools or a burglary related crime, you deserve an experienced criminal defense attorney who will personally handle your case. Call Reno Nevada Law attorney Lee Hotchkin (775) 786-5791 – it’s what we do!