It is common knowledge that inmates can sometimes be released early for good behavior. The same holds true for people serving probation. A skilled Nevada criminal defense lawyer may be able to win a defendant "early termination of probation" by showing that he/she has been compliant and paid restitution.
This page explains how "early termination of probation" operates in Nevada. Keep reading to learn about procedures and eligibility.
What is probation in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Any defendant who is convicted of a crime in Las Vegas faces time in a local jail or in Nevada State Prison. But sometimes judges allow defendants to avoid custody by putting the defendant on probation for a period of time. People on probation are out of custody but remain under court supervision. Therefore they have to comply with certain court orders such as:
- submitting to periodic drug tests
- submitting to house arrest in Nevada and electronic monitoring in Nevada
- regularly appearing in court so the judge can monitor his/her progress
In addition, people on probation for a felony in Nevada lose various civil rights until they are honorably discharged from probation. These rights may include:
- the right to vote
- the right to serve on a civil jury
- the right to serve on a criminal jury (note that this right cannot be restored until six years after the probationer is honorably discharged)
- the right to hold office (note that this right cannot be restored until four years after the probationer is honorably discharged)
Although probation can be very inconvenient, it is preferable to incarceration because the person can continue with their daily life. Note that sometimes judges will sentence a defendant to custody which will then be followed by a period of probation.
How long does probation last in Las Vegas, Nevada?
It depends on the case. More minor cases may have probationary periods as short as a few months. More serious cases may have probationary periods of three years, five years, or more. When determining the length the judge takes into account recommendations by the Nevada Department of Public Safety Division of Parole and Probation.
Is it possible to shorten a term of probation in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Perhaps. Unlike California, Nevada has no law explicitly permitting judges to terminate probation ahead of schedule. But defense attorneys ask for it all the time, and sometimes judges grant it.
How does someone request early termination of probation in Las Vegas, Nevada?
The probationer's attorney files a motion for "early termination of probation" with the court. Then the judge contacts the D.A. and probation officer to check if the probationer has been compliant and paid all their restitution (if any was ordered). The judge may hold a court hearing to help determine these issues. Finally, the judge decides whether to grant or deny the request.
How can people increase their chances of getting an early termination of probation in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Note that there are some judges in Las Vegas who never grant early termination of probation in any case. And the remaining judges consider it on a case-by-case basis. These judges will be more likely to grant early termination of probation if the following two conditions are met:
- the probationer has been compliant with all terms or probation, and
- the probationer has paid all the restitution (if the court ordered any)
Judges may consider additional factors as well. Some of these include the following:
- the number of prior criminal convictions sustained by the person
- the number of any other criminal prosecutions pending against the person
- the number of times in which the person has been incarcerated
- if the person is 23 or younger, the number of times in which he/she has been committed to a correctional facility for juveniles
- the number of years that elapsed since the person's most recent previous conviction
- the number of times in which the person has been supervised as an adult or juvenile probationer
- the tendency of the person to have engaged in crimes of increasing or decreasing severity, or in crimes involving violence
- the circumstances of the person's arrest for the present offense
- the nature of the present offense and the number of persons victimized
- the degree of psychological, physical and financial harm caused to the victim (if any) of the present offense
- if the present offense involved controlled substances and the nature of the conduct involved in the offense
- the sophistication of the present offense and the degree of premeditation involved in the offense
- the benefits received by the person as the result of any plea bargain in the case
- the use of any weapon in connection with the present offense
- the involvement in the present offense of any other offender
- the existence and nature of any motive for the present offense
- the age and education of the person
- the support provided to the person by his/her immediate family
- the person's history of employment and record of military service
- the employability of the person
- the person's financial self-sufficiency
- the ties between the person and the community in which he or she lives
- the person's history of substance abuse
- the availability to the person of rehabilitative or other programs in the community
- participation by the person in a mental health or substance abuse program, if such a program is warranted by the nature of the case
- the person's honesty and cooperation in dealing with probation officers
- the attitude of the person concerning the present offense and toward supervision on probation
- failure of the person to participate in any program established for him/her by the Probation Department, or to report to his/her supervising probation officer or any other person designated by the Department
- any change of employment or place of residence, or any departure from Nevada or the area of residence of the person, that occurs without the consent of his/her supervising probation officer
- failure of the person to submit each month a true and correct report in writing to his/her supervising probation officer in the form prescribed by the Probation Department
- any use of alcoholic beverages to any extent or, as directed by the court, to the extent that the person has 0.10 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his/her blood
- any unlawful purchase, use, possession, administration or sale or other transfer of any controlled substance or dangerous drug by the person
- failure of the person to submit to a test for the presence of any controlled substance or dangerous drug in his/her blood or other bodily substance, as directed by his/her supervising probation officer
- any possession, ownership or use of a weapon by the person
- any association by the person with any person who is of bad reputation or who has been confined to a penal institution
- failure of the person to cooperate with his/her supervising probation officer, or to obtain the written consent of the officer before marrying, engaging in business, incurring debt or purchasing any real property or any automobile
- failure of the person to conduct himself or herself as a good citizen or to obey any federal, state, county or municipal law or ordinance
- failure of the person to seek and maintain employment, or to participate in the program of employment established for him/her by the Probation Department
Call a lawyer . . . .
If you are currently on probation, our Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys may be able to help get your probation over with quicker. Call 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation on your options.
To learn about early termination of probation in California criminal cases, go to our article on early termination of probation in California criminal cases.