Nevada Felony Sentencing Guidelines
There are two different types of sentences when you get charged with a crime: misdemeanor and felony.
A misdemeanor is a less-serious crime that results in small times in jail or fines required to pay. A felony is any crime that may be punishable by death or incarceration in Nevada State Prison.
Felonies stay on your record permanently or for a long time, causing you to be denied employment and lose other privileges in life.
There are five categories of felonies that the Nevada Court uses when they are sentencing someone to a felony.
Category A Felony
Category A felonies contain the most severe punishments because they are the most serious felonies. Typically, a defendant will receive life in prison or a death sentence if they are charged with a category A felony. Category A felonies include:
- Sexual assault / rape: Life in prison.
- First-degree murder: Life in prison without parole, prison for life or 50 years, with the possibility to serve on parole after 20 years, or the death sentence.
- Second-degree murder: Life or 25 years in prison, with the possibility to serve on parole after 10 years.
Category B Felony
Category B felonies typically carry a minimum sentence of at least one year in prison, with a maximum sentence of 20 years. Category B felonies include:
- Assault with a deadly weapon: Minimum of one year with a maximum of six years in prison, and/or a fine up to $5,000.
- Burglary of a residence: Minimum of one year with a maximum of ten years in prison.
- Robbery: Minimum of two years with a maximum of fifteen years in prison.
- Voluntary Manslaughter: Minimum of one year with a maximum of ten years in prison, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
Category C Felony
Category C felonies typically carry a minimum sentence of at least one year in prison, with a maximum sentence of 5 years. The court is entitled to impose a fine up to $10,000 to anyone charged with a category C felony. Category C felonies include:
- Battery domestic violence by strangulation.
- Grand Larceny, if the stolen property is less than $25,000, but more than $5,000.
Category D Felony
Category D felonies carry a minimum sentence of at least one year in prison, with a maximum sentence of 4 years. The court is also entitled to impose a fine up to $5,000 on anyone charged with a Category D felony. Category D felonies include:
- Involuntary manslaughter.
- Parental kidnapping: When the parent does not have legal custody of a child and takes them.
- Sexting: Without consent and meant to harass the victim.
Category E Felony
Category E felonies carry a minimum sentence of at least one year in prison, with a maximum sentence of up to 4 years.
The court must suspend the prison sentence and grant the defendant probation. Additionally, the court is entitled to impose a fine up to $5,000 to anyone charged with a category E felony. Category E felonies include:
- Possessing a fraudulent drug prescription.
- First or second offense of possession of illegal drugs, excluding marijuana, for personal use.
- Base jumping from a trespassed structure.
- Making a 911 call stating an emergency when there is no actual emergency.
Future of Carrying a Felony
Being convicted as a felon can stay with you all of your life, impacting your employment opportunities and other rights.
Initially, you will be serving time in either jail or prison for your actions and potentially paying fines. As a felon in Nevada, you will lose your right to vote and will not be allowed to own a gun. If you do decide to own a gun illegally, you can be charged with a “felon in possession” in Nevada Law.
If you have children, you have the possibility of losing your right to see your children. It may also be very difficult to rent a house or apartment, as the landlord may not want to rent out to a convicted felon.
Being a convicted felon carries a serious social stigma around that, with people not wanting to be involved with a convicted felon.
If you are facing a potential felony charge, it is essential that you seek immediate legal assistance and make sure a qualified attorney can assist you with your case. It is crucial that if you hire an attorney, they aggressively fight the charges against you. Depending on the crime, it is possible that you may be able to get the charge reduced. At The Defenders, our experienced attorneys will aggressively fight the charges against you and help reduce the charges, depending on the seriousness of the crime.
Contact our office today if you are facing felony charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a felony conviction?
A felony conviction is a serious criminal offense that can result in at least one year of imprisonment. There are five categories of felonies in Nevada, ranging from Category A to E. Convicted felons often face difficulties such as job loss, housing issues, and other long-term consequences.
What should I do if I am charged with a felony?
Immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer when you are charged with a felony. A lawyer can review the facts of your case, advise you on available options, and help build a solid legal strategy to defend you in court. Knowing your rights, understanding the severity of the charges, and the possible consequences will make an impact on your case.
Are certain crimes considered more or less serious under the Nevada felony sentencing guidelines?
Yes. Nevada’s sentencing guidelines differentiate between types of crimes. Violent felonies, such as murder and rape, have stiffer punishments than nonviolent crimes like burglary or theft. A defendant’s criminal history could be an important factor that determines the sentence. Discussing your specific case with an experienced criminal defense attorney is necessary to understand the full scope of charges and how they could impact you.
What can a felon not do in Nevada?
Under Nevada law, felons face restrictions such as being unable to own or possess firearms and ammunition, not being able to vote until released from prison, or facing restrictions on obtaining professional licenses. It is important to discuss the potential restrictions with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand all the consequences of your conviction.
What factors determine the severity of a felony sentence in Nevada?
The type of offense, the number of offenses charged, criminal history, and circumstances surrounding the offense all determine the severity of a felony sentence in Nevada. Judges take into account both aggravating and mitigating factors when imposing a sentence. It is crucial to explore options with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand the full extent of your charges and possible mitigating factors.