The state of Nevada puts criminal offenses into three different classes: misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and felonies. The felonies, of course, are the most serious, and following your release, the aftermath of a conviction for one of these crimes can follow you into the future and often into the grave.
A felony differs in several ways from the lesser crime of misdemeanor. For one thing, while a misdemeanor conviction can carry a jail sentence of up to 354 days, people convicted of felonies are assured of spending at least 365 days and more likely several years locked behind prison bars. In addition, while the state of Nevada identifies misdemeanors as either gross or simple, it uses a system of categorization ranging from category A through category E to differentiate between its five different classes of felony in accordance with the harshness of the crime.
Category E Felonies in Nevada
Among the five felony classes, Nevada considers category E to be the least serious. Among other offenses, the state will use this category to identify non-violent crimes such as those involving, concerning or resulting from:
- Criminal gang activity.
- The solicitation of children for prostitution.
- Illegal possession of a controlled substance.
- Recruitment of members for a criminal gang.
- Election or welfare fraud.
People convicted of category E felonies face state prison terms ranging from 1 to 4 years. However, Nevada law insists that the court suspend the sentence in lieu of probation for a category E-convicted individual whose criminal record is sufficiently clean. Seven years after the end of the sentence, a person convicted of a category E crime can petition the court to seal his or her criminal record.
Category D Felonies in Nevada
In contrast to the non-violent crimes that fall into category E, a category D felony concerns more serious offenses such as:
- Involuntary manslaughter.
- The purchase or sale of a child for adoption.
- Indecent exposure.
- Possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.
In addition to a fine of up to $5,000, a conviction for a category D felony will carry a prison term of no less than one year and no more than four years, all in accordance with the nature of the crime. A request for sealing of the criminal record will be permissible after 12 years.
Category C Felonies in Nevada
Within the confines of category C, the crimes grow increasingly egregious. This class therefore covers such things as:
- The receipt or purchase of stolen goods.
- The violation of a restraining order.
- Possession or receipt of a forged instrument.
- Concealing an escaped felon.
Those convicted of category C felonies will face a one- to five-year prison term and a possible fine that may go as high as $10,000. All persons charged with category C felonies can petition the court to seal the criminal record 12 years after the end of the sentence unless their conviction was for sexual assault or any type of crime against a minor.
Category B Felonies in Nevada
Category B felonies in Nevada are far more serious still. Its checklist of prosecution-worthy offenses includes:
- The possession of child pornography.
- Assault or battery with a deadly weapon.
- The exploitation of an elderly or vulnerable person.
- Arson in the first or second degree.
- Criminal neglect of a patient resulting in death or serious bodily harm.
A person convicted of a category B felony will face a state prison sentence of between one and 20 years along with a possible fine. Once 15 years have passed from the end of the sentence, category B felons can petition the court for the sealing of their criminal records.
Category A Felonies in Nevada
In the state of Nevada, category A encompasses the most serious felonies of all. Among a wide range of offenses, the class incorporates:
- First- and second-degree murder.
- Kidnapping in the first degree.
- The use or promotion of children for pornographic purposes.
- Battery that causes serious bodily injury or takes place with the intention of committing sexual assault.
In the eyes of the law, the severity of a category A felony mandates an equally onerous punishment. Although the courts may or may not impose a fine, sentences can consist of life imprisonment with or without possibility of parole or, in the worst cases, the death penalty. Anyone charged with having committed a category A crime has the right to a jury trial, and unless the conviction had to do with sexual assault or crimes against a minor, he or she may file a petition to have the criminal record sealed 15 years after the end of the sentence.
Additional Considerations for Those Facing Felony Charges
In Nevada, immigrants and aliens who face felony charges are accordingly in danger of permanent deportation, particularly if their crimes involved any sort of moral turpitude. This is true regardless of their legal status and may even apply to category E offenders despite the lesser severity of that category’s crimes.
Anyone charged with a felony in Nevada has the right to a trial by jury. It is also important to recognize that in certain cases, the state of Nevada considers certain category C, D and E felonies to be so-called wobbler crimes that can also be prosecuted as gross misdemeanors.
The Future After a Felony Conviction
If you are found guilty of having committed a felony, the conviction is going to have a profound and lingering effect on your future life. After spending years behind bars and possibly paying a fine, you will find your life restricted in other ways. You will lose your right to own a gun, and if you choose to obtain one despite this restriction, the law will consider you to be a felon in possession, thereby subjecting you to another term in jail along with the loss of your voting rights.
It can get even worse. When your record contains a felony conviction, you may find that:
- Potential employers find you mysteriously untouchable.
- The apartment that you planned to rent is suddenly off the market.
- If you’re a professional, you may lose your license to practice.
- You’ve seriously reduced your chances of winning a child custody battle.
- Future charges against you may automatically escalate.
- Friends begin to leave your side in droves fearing guilt by association.
The stigma of a felony conviction is real, and if you are unable to have your record sealed, it can follow you for a lifetime. If you should find yourself charged with a felony in Nevada, you’ll find that the assistance of a skilled and determined criminal attorney is essential. At Weiner Law Group, we realize the importance of avoiding a felony conviction, and we will leave no stone unturned in fighting the charges against you.
We will do this by:
- Exploring your plea bargain options.
- Working to have the charges against you reduced.
- Having incriminating evidence cast out.
- Fighting to win your acquittal at trial.
Don’t take chances with your future! Call Weiner Law Group for a consultation today at 702-202-0500. We will discuss your options, inform you of your chances and defend you in court if it comes to that. Remember that felony charges are serious charges, and if you’re convicted, they can ruin the rest of your life. Give yourself a fighting chance. Call Weiner Law Group today.