- the standard penalties they carry,
- whether defendants have the right to a jury trial, and
- how long defendants need to wait to get a conviction sealed from their criminal record
Gross Misdemeanors in Nevada
1) Standard penalties
Gross misdemeanor convictions:
2) Right to a jury trial
Gross misdemeanor charges:
3) Waiting time to get a record seal
Gross misdemeanor convictions:
Misdemeanors are the least serious class of crime in Nevada. Even minor traffic violations are considered misdemeanors (not infractions like in California).
Common examples of Nevada misdemeanors include:
- first or second offenses of driving under the influence
- first or second offenses of battery domestic violence
- shoplifting less than $650 worth of goods ("petty larceny")
- soliciting prostitution
- smoking marijuana in public
As the least serious class of offense, misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of:
- six (6) months in jail, and/or
- $1,000 in fines
It is rare for judges to impose jail for a first-time offense.
If a defendant wishes to go to trial on a misdemeanor charge, the defendant may not have a jury trial. This is because the constitutional right to a jury only applies when the defendant faces more than six (6) months in jail. However, the defendant does have the right to a bench trial, where the judge determines the verdict.
With some exceptions, people convicted of misdemeanors can petition the court to seal their criminal record after one (1) year has passed since the case ended. However, there is a two (2) year wait time to seal misdemeanor convictions of:
- stalking, and
- violation of a protection order
And the waiting time is seven (7) years for misdemeanor convictions of:
- first or second offense of DUI, and
- first or second offense of BDV (battery domestic violence)
Nevada gross misdemeanors
Gross misdemeanor crimes are more serious than misdemeanors but less serious than felonies in Nevada. Common gross misdemeanors include:
- first offense of open or gross lewdness
- first offense of indecent exposure
- false imprisonment (if it was not committed by a prisoner, with a deadly weapon, or to avoid arrest)
- unlawful use of a hotel key
The maximum penalties for gross misdemeanors are twice that of misdemeanors:
- 364 days in jail, and/or
- $2,000 in fines
Defendants accused of a gross misdemeanor have the right to a trial by jury. But they can also choose to have a bench trial instead, where a judge and not a jury decides the verdict.
People convicted of gross misdemeanors must wait two (2) years after the case ends to pursue a record seal.
Note that some Nevada crimes are "wobblers," which means they can be either gross misdemeanors or felonies. Examples of Nevada wobblers include:
- attempted battery (causing substantial bodily harm without a deadly weapon)
- attempted grand larceny (if the value of the property is from $650 to under $3,500)
- attempted drug possession (first offense)
Felony punishments carry at least one (1) year in Nevada State Prison, though it may be possible to receive probation in lieu of incarceration.
NRS 193.140 Punishment of gross misdemeanors. Every person convicted of a gross misdemeanor shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 364 days, or by a fine of not more than $2,000, or by both fine and imprisonment, unless the statute in force at the time of commission of such gross misdemeanor prescribed a different penalty.
NRS 193.150 Punishment of misdemeanors.
1. Every person convicted of a misdemeanor shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both fine and imprisonment, unless the statute in force at the time of commission of such misdemeanor prescribed a different penalty.
2. In lieu of all or a part of the punishment which may be imposed pursuant to subsection 1, the convicted person may be sentenced to perform a fixed period of community service pursuant to the conditions prescribed in NRS 176.087.