Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Nevada DUI Laws to learn more.
What is a “Habitual Criminal” in Las Vegas, Nevada?
You can be charged as a habitual criminal in Nevada (NRS 207.010) if you get convicted of a crime after having five prior felony convictions. It does not matter how long ago – or in which U.S. state – these prior felonies occurred.
The best way to fight habitual criminal charges is to show that you have insufficient prior convictions to qualify. If the court records for your prior cases no longer exist or are incorrect, your habitual criminal charges can be dismissed.
25 years in prison with possible parole after 10 years.2
Prosecutors have crude names to refer to these sentencing schemes: “Small bitch” for having five prior felonies and “big bitch” for having seven prior felonies. “Bitch” derives from the bold part of “habitual.”
3. Do I automatically get “bitched” for having too many priors?
No. Prosecutors have discretion over whether to charge you with being a habitual criminal. Then if the D.A. does charge you with being a habitual criminal, the judge can overrule them and dismiss the charge.3
4. Is being a “habitual felon” different from being a “habitual criminal”?
Yes. In Nevada, habitual criminals refer to people who pick up a sixth felony conviction. In contrast, habitual felons refer to people who pick up a third “serious felony” conviction.
Allowing a child to be present during non-marijuana drug crimes (NRS 453.3325)
Perjuring yourself to have an innocent person executed (NRS 199.160)
Habitual felon penalties
Being a habitual felon is a category A felony. Prosecutors also call it “big bitch.” The penalties include:
Life in prison with or without possible parole after 10 years; or
25 years in prison with possible parole after 10 years
Note that judges may not dismiss habitual felon charges the way they can dismiss habitual criminal charges.4
5. What about habitual fraudulent felons?
You can be charged with being a habitual fraudulent felon in Nevada if:
You have been convicted of three felony fraud crimes;
Each of these crimes had “intent to defraud” as an element; and
Either of the following three conditions is true:
The victim was physically or mentally incapacitated; or
The victim was at least 60 years of age; or
The fraud occurred before October 1, 2003.
Being a habitual fraudulent felon is a category B felony carrying five to 20 years in prison. Similar to habitual felon charges, the judge does not have the discretion to dismiss habitual fraudulent felon charges.5
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.