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.
Though if you have two or more prior felony convictions, the judge may order:
1 – 4 years in prison, and
possibly up to $5,000 in fines5
However, statutes can spell out different penalty ranges specific to the crime.1
For instance, robbery is a category B felony that carries two to 15 years (if no deadly weapon is used).2Voluntary manslaughter is a category B felony that carries one to 10 years in prison.3
What is the 40% rule?
Depending on the felony case, Nevada judges can sentence you to:
a specific number of years in prison, or
a range of years in prison.
If a judge imposes a sentencing range, the minimum can be no more than 40% of the maximum.4
Example: Jack is convicted of burglary of a residence, which carries one to 10 years in prison. If the judge wants to sentence Jack to a maximum of 10 years, then the minimum can be no less than four years since four is 40% of 10 years.
Also depending on the case, you may be able to be released early on parole.
How do judges decide on felony sentences?
If you are convicted of a crime in Nevada, you are entitled to a sentencing hearing. This is where you can present mitigating factors to the judge in an effort to sway them to grant a lax sentence.
Examples of mitigating factors are:
You were abused as a child;
You have been cooperative with the police and prosecutors; and/or
You have been a model inmate.
The sentencing hearing is also where prosecutors can present aggravating factors in an effort to sway the judge to give you a harsh sentence. Examples of aggravating factors are:
You tortured the victim;
Your victim was underage or disabled;
You used a deadly weapon.
Sentencing hearings look similar to trials since both parties can present evidence and call witnesses, though the rules of evidence are much more relaxed.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.