Nevada "Misdemeanor" Laws (NRS 193.150)
Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys


Misdemeanors are the least serious category of crime in Nevada. Common examples of misdemeanors are:

People charged with a misdemeanor are not entitled to a jury trial but rather a bench trial. Maximum misdemeanor penalties are:

  • 6 months in jail, and/or
  • $1,000 in fines

Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. Depending on the case, it may be possible to get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor as part of a plea bargain.

Most misdemeanor convictions will not affect an immigrant's legal status. But a few may be considered crimes involving moral turpitude and result in the alien getting deported.

Even though misdemeanors are often minor, they still look bad on criminal records and may disqualify the defendant for employment. Most misdemeanor conviction records may be sealed one (1) year after the case ends. But some carry two (2) or seven (7) year waiting periods.

In this article our Las Vegas misdemeanor attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about the definition, penalties, and other information about misdemeanor offenses in Nevada. Click on a topic to go to that section:

Misdemeanor

1. What are misdemeanors in Nevada?

Misdemeanors are the least serious category of Nevada crimes. The next most serious are gross misdemeanors, and the most serious are felonies.

Note that Nevada does not have "infractions," which California does.

Common misdemeanors

Some of the most frequently prosecuted misdemeanor offenses in Nevada are:

Misdemeanor 20sign

2. What are misdemeanor penalties in Nevada?

The maximum punishment a Nevada judge may order for most misdemeanors in Nevada is the following:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines, and/or
  • Up to six (6) months in jail

For a defendant's first or second misdemeanor offense, Nevada prosecutors are often willing to negotiate a deal so the defendant does no jail at all. And if a defendant is charged with a felony or a gross misdemeanor, the defense attorney may be able to get the charge lessened to a misdemeanor as part of a plea bargain.

If a defendant is sentenced to incarceration for a misdemeanor conviction in Nevada, he/she will serve the time in a city or county jail. Note that jails are different from state prisons, which are located in more rural areas than jails and are reserved for people serving out felony sentences.

3. Can I get a jury trial for a misdemeanor charge in Nevada?

Misdemeanor 20gavel

No. Defendants charged with a misdemeanor do not have the right to a trial by jury. They may have only a "bench trial," which is where the judge (called "the bench") serves as the trier of fact and decides the verdict him/herself.

The reason defendants cannot have jury trials in misdemeanor cases stems back to the U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment: The right to a jury trial is extended only to people facing charges that may carry more than six (6) months in jail. So because the maximum jail sentence for misdemeanors is only six (6) months, misdemeanor cases do not qualify for jury trials in Nevada.

4. Can I get misdemeanors sealed in Nevada?

Usually, yes. Most misdemeanors may be sealed one (1) year after the case ends. But the following offenses mandate a two (2) year waiting period:

And the following offenses have a seven (7) year waiting period:

  • misdemeanor DUI
  • battery domestic violence convictions

Note that if a misdemeanor case gets dismissed (meaning there is no conviction), the record seal process may commence right away.

Type of Nevada misdemeanor conviction

Waiting period to get a record seal

DUI

Battery domestic violence

7 years after the case closes

Battery

Harassment

Stalking

Violating restraining order for stalking or harassment

2 years after the case closes

All other misdemeanors

1 year after the case closes

5. Can a misdemeanor get me deported?

Usually not. But some misdemeanors qualify as "crimes involving moral turpitude" in Nevada, which are deportable. So it is crucial for any alien who is accused of a crime to retain counsel to attempt to get the charge dismissed or changed to something that will not threaten their resident status. Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants.

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Call us if you have been arrested . . .

Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience in negotiating with prosecutors to ensure that your case gets resolved as favorably as possible. Call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to discuss for free how we might be able to keep you out of jail and your record clean.

To learn about California misdemeanor law, go to our article on California misdemeanor law.

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