"Gross Misdemeanor" in Nevada (NRS 193.140)



Gross misdemeanors are a class of crime in Nevada that is more serious than misdemeanors but less serious than felonies. A conviction carries up to 364 days in jail and up to $2000.00 in fines. Defendants charged with gross misdemeanors are entitled to a trial by jury.

Typical examples of gross misdemeanors are:

Defendants charged with a gross misdemeanor may have either a jury trial or a bench trial. Maximum gross misdemeanor penalties are:

  • 364 days in jail, and/or
  • $2,000 in fines

Most gross misdemeanor conviction records can be sealed once the case has been over for two (2) years. If the defendant is not a U.S. citizen, a gross misdemeanor conviction could result in deportation.

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

A scale of justice showing "gross misdemeanors" in between felonies and misdemeanors.
Gross misdemeanors are more serious than misdemeanors. But less serious than felonies.

1. What are gross misdemeanors in Nevada?

Gross misdemeanors are a type of criminal offense in Nevada that are punished more harshly than misdemeanors but less harshly than felonies.

Note that attempting to commit a category C, D, or E felony is prosecuted as a "wobbler" crime that can be treated as either a felony or a gross misdemeanor.

Common gross misdemeanors

Some common gross misdemeanor crimes in Nevada are:

  • A first offense of open or gross lewdness
  • A first offense of indecent exposure
  • false imprisonment (as long as it was not committed by a prisoner, with a deadly weapon, or to avoid arrest)
  • unlawful use of a hotel key

2. What are gross misdemeanor penalties in Nevada?

Gross misdemeanor punishments in Nevada may include:

  • Up to $2,000 in fines, and/or
  • Up to 364 days in jail

However, judges may be amenable to letting the defendant avoid jail completely. And if the defense attorney can persuade the prosecutors that their evidence is weak, they may agree to lower the charge down to a misdemeanor offense or to dismiss it altogether.

Note that most people use the terms "jail" and "prison" interchangeably, but they are very different: Anyone sentenced to incarceration for a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor in Nevada will serve the time in a city or county jail, which are usually located in metropolitan areas close to the courthouse. Only people serving out felony sentences go to state prisons, which are usually in rural areas.

Jail cell of person arrested for a gross misdemeanor in Nevada.
Gross misdemeanors carry up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines in Nevada.

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

Yes, people charged with gross misdemeanors in Nevada may have a jury trial.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a trial by jury for charges that may result in more than six (6) months incarceration. Gross misdemeanors carry a maximum jail sentence of nearly twice that.

4. Can I get gross misdemeanors sealed in Nevada?

In most cases, eventually. People convicted of gross misdemeanors in Nevada have to wait two (2) years before petitioning the court to seal the criminal record. But note that Nevada courts will not seal sex crimes or crimes against children.

It is important to retain counsel to try to get a gross misdemeanor charge lowered to a simple misdemeanor, most of which require only a one (1) year waiting time. And if the case gets dismissed (no conviction), there is no waiting time to commence a record seal.

Folder holding a defendant's criminal records. Dismissed charges can be sealed right away in Nevada.
Nevada judges may seal gross misdemeanor convictions two years after the case ends.

5. Can a gross misdemeanor get me deported?

Possibly. There are some gross misdemeanors that may be considered "crimes involving moral turpitude" in Nevada, which are deportable. That is why any non-citizen charged with a gross misdemeanor should seek counsel immediately to try to get the charge lowered to a non-deportable offense.  Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants.

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.

In California, some crimes may be either a felony or a gross misdemeanor, called a "wobbler".  Learn more about California wobbler law.

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