The Legal Definition of "Felony" in Nevada

Felonies are the most serious kinds of crime in Nevada. Everyone charged with felonies is entitled to a jury trial, and a conviction typically carries a one (1) year minimum term in Nevada State Prison.

Even if a defendant avoids incarceration by probation or a plea, having a felony criminal record can thwart future employment and residential prospects. The waiting period to get a felony record sealed ranges from seven (7) years to fifteen (15) years or sometime never, depending on the crime. 

Aliens convicted of certain aggravated felonies face deportation from the U.S. Therefore non-citizens charged with felonies should retain counsel to try to get the charges dismissed or reduced to non-deportable offenses.

In this article our Las Vegas felony lawyers answer frequently-asked-questions about "felony" crimes in Nevada including definitions, penalties, record sealing waiting time frames, and immigration consequences. Click on a topic to go to that section:

Felony

1. What are felonies in Nevada?

Felonies are the most harshly-punished crimes in Nevada. (The second most serious class of crimes in Nevada are gross misdemeanors, and the least serious are misdemeanors.)

Nevada has five categories of felonies. They are (ranging from the most major crimes to the most minor):

Note that attempting to commit a category C, D or E felony is a "wobbler" crime that can be punished as either a felony or a gross misdemeanor. Obviously, a criminal defense attorney would fight to get the charge treated as a gross misdemeanor.

2. What are felony penalties in Nevada?

The punishment depend on the category of felony.

Felony 20sign

Category A felonies carry:

  • life in prison with the possibility of parole,
  • life in prison without the possibility of parole, or
  • death (in first-degree murder cases)

Category B felonies carry:

  • One to twenty (1 - 20) years in prison, and
  • maybe a fine

Category C felonies carry:

  • One to five (1 - 5) years in prison, and
  • maybe up to $10,000 in fines

Category D felonies carry:

  • One to four (1 - 4) years in prison, and
  • maybe up to $5,000 in fines

Category E felonies are usually probationable without prison time. But the maximum sentence is:

  • One to four (1 - 4) years in prison, and
  • maybe up to $5,000 in fines

Note that it may be possible to get even the most serious felony charges reduced to lesser offenses as part of a plea bargain or dismissed outright. The judge may also grant alternatives sentences to prison, such as house arrest with electronic monitoring.

Felony Category in Nevada Penalties
A
  • life in prison with the possibility of parole,
  • life in prison with no parole, or
  • capital punishment (in 1st-degree murder cases)
B
  • 1 - 20 years in prison, and
  • maybe a fine
C
  • 1 - 5 years in prison, and
  • maybe up to $10,000 in fines
D
  • 1 - 4 years in prison, and
  • maybe up to $5,000 in fines
E

Usually Probation. Otherwise,

  • 1 – 4 years in prison, and
  • maybe up to $5,000 in fines

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

Yes. The U.S. Constitution's Sixth Amendment entitles people charged with felonies in Nevada to a jury trial. Defendants who do not want a jury trial may elect to have a bench trial, where the judge and not a jury returns the verdict.

4. Can I get felonies sealed in Nevada?

It depends on the offense. Three types of crimes can never be sealed:

  1. Sex crimes,
  2. Crimes against children, and
  3. Felony DUI

Violent felonies as well as burglary of a residence may not be sealed until ten (10) years after the case closes.

Otherwise, felonies may be sealed after specified time periods depending on the category of felony:

Felony 20stop 20sign
  • Category A felony convictions may be sealed ten (10) years after the case is closed.
  • Category B felony convictions may be sealed five (5) years after the case is closed.
  • Category C felony convictions may be sealed five (5) years after the case is closed.
  • Category D felony convictions may be sealed five (5) years after the case is closed.
  • Category E felony convictions may be sealed two (2) years after the case is closed.

Note that there is no waiting period necessary to seal felony cases that get dismissed (which means there is no conviction). Also note that the judge has final discretion over whether to grant a record seal request.

Type of Nevada felony conviction Waiting period to get a record seal

Category A felony

Crime of violence

Burglary of a residence

10 years after the case closes

Category B felony

Category C felony

Category D felony

5 years after the case closes

Category E felony

2 years after the case closes

Sex crimes

Crimes against children

Felony DUI

never

5. Can a felony get me deported?

Possibly. Non-citizens in Nevada face deportation for being convicted of an aggravated felony or crimes involving moral turpitude. Examples of deportable felonies include:

Aliens arrested for any crime in Nevada are advised to retain experienced counsel as soon as possible. They may be able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the case or reduce it to a non-deportable offense. Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Nevada.

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Contact us if you have been arrested

Are you facing charges for a felony, misdemeanor or traffic ticket? Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers will explore every avenue to get your case dismissed or reduced to a less serious sentence in order to keep you out of jail and your record clean. Phone us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation today.

Learn more about Nevada felonies and misdemeanors.

For information about California felony law, go to our page on California felony law.

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