Can You Go to Jail for Misdemeanor Charges in Nevada

Misdemeanors are considered less serious criminal charges than a felony or gross misdemeanor.

In Nevada, they are considered the least serious of the criminal charges that can be placed against you.

Nevada does not have lesser charges like many other states.

Most people won’t realize what is considered a misdemeanor and what is considered a more serious criminal offense.

Most misdemeanor crimes in Nevada are punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $1000 in fines.

These are the guidelines to the punishment but the actual penalty is determined by the severity of the misdemeanor and the judge’s decision in the case.

Misdemeanor charges can range from something as small like shoplifting a pack of gum to something as serious as a first time DUI or first time domestic battery without bodily harm.

Note that these examples each emphasize the first time offense.

Remember something like DUI can be a misdemeanor as a first time offense.Iif you reoffend for the same offense again, the charges against you may increase substantially. DUI, for example, is a misdemeanor for the first and second one. If you get a third DUI within a seven year period, it becomes a felony charge with very severe penalties and fines.

Since subsequent charges can be considered much more serious than the first offense of any crime, it’s important to have a legal team that might be able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed so essentially you have not committed a crime in the first place.

Since misdemeanor charges can carry fines and jail time, it is best to hire a legal team to help defend your case.

Even though it may not seem like a big deal, a misdemeanor charge can follow you around negatively for the rest of your life if not handled properly.

Having criminal charges on your record no matter how small can prevent you from getting a job you want or even prevent you from getting housing. You may not be able to even apply for a certain job with any criminal activity on your record.

If you or a loved one is facing misdemeanor charges, contact The Defenders.  Our experienced attorneys will work diligently to fight the charges and protect your rights. We understand the urgency of these matters and will provide you with informative, persuasive defense to help avoid jail time and clear your name. Don’t take misdemeanor charges lightly – contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

What Are Considered Misdemeanors in Nevada?

Some of the most common charges people face are considered misdemeanors. For example:

Some of these may seem like they fit the charge of a misdemeanor like trespassing, others like domestic violence seem like they are too serious to be considered misdemeanors. Nonetheless, any of these charges can result in jail time and fines if not properly defended.

Aren’t Traffic Tickets Considered Misdemeanors?

Yes, traffic infractions such as speeding were considered criminal offenses, i.e. misdemeanors, in Nevada before. However, a law took effect on January 1, 2023, that decriminalized these offenses. However, this does not mean that traffic tickets and citations are no longer important. They can still have consequences such as fines and points on your driving record. In some cases, multiple traffic violations can even lead to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.

So while they may not fall under the umbrella of misdemeanor charges, it is important to take traffic tickets seriously and address them properly.

Repeated offenses or more serious violations such as reckless driving can still lead to misdemeanor charges.

How Likely Are You to Go to Jail for a Misdemeanor?

The maximum sentence for misdemeanor offenses is up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1000 fine.

So yes, you can go to jail.

However, jail is not usually the first option for first and second offenses. In some cases, instead of jail, defendants may receive penalties like community service, education classes and restitution in lieu of jail time.

If you are charged with a felony or gross misdemeanor, an experienced defense lawyer might be able get the charges reduced to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement.

Diversion Programs in Nevada

A lot of misdemeanor cases can be dropped in exchange for a defendant completing certain criteria in a certain amount of time. If these items are completed, the charges may be dropped altogether.

This agreement is called a diversion program and usually used for first time offenders.

Diversion programs can include:

  • Counseling
  • Restitution
  • Support Groups
  • Educational Classes
  • Rehab
  • Curfew
  • No new charges during a certain period

Diversion programs are not for everyone and are not offered for:

  1. Crimes of violence
  2. DUI
  3. Prior criminal activity other than minor traffic violations
  4. If you have been given the opportunity to participate in a previous diversion program.

Finishing a diversion program can result in no jail time and the dismissal of charges if that is the agreement.

Failing to complete the diversion program offered can result in an order to appear in court for an arraignment and to enter a plea to the original charges.

In this case, you may end up in jail as a result of failing the diversion program.

How to Avoid Jail for Misdemeanor Charges?

The courts in Nevada are more likely to impose rehabilitative sentences for misdemeanors than punitive sentences like jail time especially for first time offenders.

This means you can avoid jail time if you enter into a diversion program or can be placed on probation.

The term of probation will depend on the crime you are charged with, but rarely lasts more than one year.

In order to receive misdemeanor probation, you must comply with the probation requirements set for your specific case. Each case is different and therefore each set of probation terms is different.

However there are some common things that you must comply with in order to avoid jail time.

  1. If a restraining order is in place for your offense you must adhere to that order at all times.
  2. You must pay any fines, fees, and restitution to the court in the time allotted and not be late or miss payments.
  3. Must complete any community service that was given in the time given
  4. Complete any drug or alcohol treatment issued by the court. This could be anything from alcohol classes to in-patient treatment.
  5. No further criminal charges brought against you while you’re on probation.

To avoid jail you must comply with the probation or diversion program that was issued by the court. If you fail to comply with any of the terms of your probation, you risk being sent to jail.

Violating probation can lead to a probation violation and the court has full discretion to revoke your probation and remand you to jail to serve out the remainder of your sentence.

What Happens If You Violate the Terms of Your Probation

If you violate your probation, you will be given a hearing that is similar to a trial, however these are much harder for the defense to win since the state does not have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated your probation; instead they only have to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence. Meaning, that it is more likely than not that you violated your probation.

You might receive a warning and continue on probation, or your probation terms could become stricter due to the violation. Alternatively, the court could revoke your probation and enforce the original jail sentence.

Navigating probation can be challenging due to its numerous requirements. If you’re unsure about your probation terms, it’s crucial to seek assistance. Consulting a defense attorney is advisable, as they can help you understand your misdemeanor charges and explore options for probation or case dismissal.

The Defenders legal team are experts in navigating the courts and probation system in Nevada.

We have been representing our clients for many years with favorable results. Never think that just because you only received misdemeanor charges that you should try and navigate these alone. Making the wrong choice can affect you for a long time and have severe consequences.

No matter how small you may think the charges are, it is better to have an advocate that can help you with your case.

If you or a loved one is facing misdemeanor charges in Nevada, contact our office today for a free consultation. Our team will fight to protect your rights and help you navigate the legal system in the best possible way.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I go to jail for a misdemeanor charge?

It is possible to go to jail for a misdemeanor charge, but it is not the most common outcome. Courts in Nevada often prefer rehabilitative sentences for misdemeanors and first-time offenders, such as probation or diversion programs. However, if you do not comply with the terms of your sentence, jail time may be imposed.

What are diversion programs and who do they apply to?

Diversion programs are agreements between the defendant and the court where certain criteria must be completed within a specified amount of time in exchange for dropping charges. These programs typically apply to first-time offenders and can include counseling, restitution, educational classes, and community service.

How can I avoid jail time for misdemeanor charges?

You may be able to avoid jail time for misdemeanor charges by entering into a diversion program or being placed on probation. This will depend on the specific circumstances of your case and the decision of the court. It is important to comply with all terms set forth by the court in order to successfully avoid jail time. Hiring a criminal defense attorney can also greatly increase your chances of avoiding jail time.

What happens if I violate the terms of my probation?

If you violate the terms of your probation, you will be given a hearing to determine if you have breached the conditions set by the court. If it is found that you have violated these terms, consequences can range from a warning to stricter probation terms or even revocation of probation and enforcement of the original jail sentence.

Is it better to hire a defense attorney for misdemeanor charges even if they seem minor?

It is always advisable to consult with a criminal defense attorney when facing any type of criminal charge. Even seemingly minor charges can have serious consequences and having a legal advocate on your side can help you navigate the legal system and potentially achieve more favorable outcomes. An experienced defense attorney will be able to assess your case, explore possible defenses, and negotiate with prosecutors for the best resolution possible. So, it is better to consult with an attorney rather than trying to handle the case alone. Hiring a reputable defense attorney like The Defenders in Nevada can greatly increase your chances of success in court and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

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