Probation in Nevada
Probation in Nevada
If you have no extensive criminal history and have been charged with a felony or gross misdemeanor that is a nonviolent offense you may qualify for probation in lieu of doing jail or prison time. By Nevada law certain criminal acts are not qualified for probation. They are: murder in first or second degree; sexual assault; first-degree kidnapping; repeat offenses of any kind. For habitual felony offenders, probation may not be offered, no matter what the current charge.
What is Probation?
If you qualify for probation, and are convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony, probation may be granted as a means to satisfy the court without the need to serve the statutory prison term. Under probation, the sentence is suspended, allowing the accused to return to their community and life. However, under a court mandated probation, conditions will be imposed by the court, and certain rights will be lost, which will need to be followed closely in order to successfully complete the probation.
For gross misdemeanors, probation could be for a term of months to years, for felonies it could be three to five years.
Common Terms of Probation
Each court will set their own terms of probation applicable to the charges against the accused. However, conditions set by the courts in probation cases must be followed to the letter in order to satisfy the terms of probation.
The most common probation conditions set by courts require that the recipient of probation not be charged or arrested at anytime during the period of probation, or the probation may be revoked. They must meet regularly, and cooperate fully, with a court appointed probation officer. They must pay any court determined restitution and fines resulting from the crime. Additionally, they may be required to perform community service.
If the crime was a drug crime or alcohol related crime, those granted probation may be required to submit to alcohol or drug testing on demand. They may be required also attend drug or alcohol counseling during the period of probation.
The judge may also impose other conditions relevant to the charged crime. In most cases, recipients of probation are forbidden to make contact with victims of the criminal act that resulted in the probation.
Rights lost while on probation
In addition to the terms set by the court, recipients of probation may lose various constitutional rights during the probation period. For example, you may be required to remain in an area of court jurisdiction, or you may be required to gain prior approval from the court in order to leave the county, state, or country while on probation.
You may lose your rights regarding searches and seizures, and be required to allow searches of your person, vehicle, or dwelling on demand.
You may not own or use a firearm during the probation period.
You may not vote during a period of probation.
Can Probation End Early?
Although, Nevada law does not provide for an early end to probation, on a case by case basis, early release from probation may occur. However, it is a matter of the sentencing judge, your record while on probation, and your previous criminal history. Your record during your period of probation must show that you have fulfilled all terms of the probation and have not become entangled in additional legal charges. Your lawyer can file a Motion for Early Termination of Probation, and in some cases, the court agrees and grants the motion.
Can probation be revoked?
If you fail to meet regularly with your probation officer, or do not follow their instructions, or if you leave the jurisdiction without prior authorization, or fail to live up to the terms of probation in any way, you may face a Probation Revocation Hearing. Your probation officer may report to the court on any infraction of the conditions of probation and the court will schedule the hearing. You will need to attend any such hearing.
You will be informed of the grounds for the hearing and you can, and should, be represented by an attorney at the hearing. The potential outcomes of revocation hearing are serious and can include these possibilities:
- An order to revoke probation and imposition of the original sentence
- An order to revoke probation and a modified sentence be imposed.
- Probation may be extended, but with modified (stricter) terms
The Defenders will represent you in your probation revocation hearing
While Nevada laws allow for probation instead of jail time for certain offenses, and under certain conditions; failure to abide by all conditions of your probation may subject you to additional restrictions, and possible jail time. You need an attorney to represent you in such cases. If you have been summoned to a probation revocation hearing, contact the lawyers at the Defenders to aggressively represent you and protect your rights. Call us today at (702) 333-3333