In Nevada, a felony is a crime punishable by one year or longer in state prison. There are five types of felonies ranging from category A felonies (the most serious) to category E felonies (the least serious).
Here are five key things to know:
- All felonies are more serious than misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses.
- Everyone charged with a felony is entitled to a jury trial.
- Even if you avoid incarceration by felony probation or a plea, having any criminal record can hinder future employment and residential prospects.
- The waiting period to get a felony record sealed ranges from 2 to 10 years or sometimes never, depending on the crime.
- Non-citizens convicted of certain aggravated felonies face deportation from the U.S.
In this article, our Las Vegas felony lawyers answer frequently-asked questions. Click on a topic to go to that section:
- 1. What are felonies in Nevada?
- 2. What are the penalties in Nevada?
- 3. Can I get a jury trial in Nevada?
- 4. Can I get felonies sealed in Nevada?
- 5. Can I get deported?
Under NRS 193.130, Nevada has five categories of felony offenses. They are (ranging from the most serious crimes to the most minor):
- Category A felonies, such as first- or second-degree murder or sexual assault
- Category B felonies, such as reckless driving with substantial injury, robbery or home invasion
- Category C felonies, such as violating a protection order, domestic violence with strangulation, battery with substantial bodily harm, or internet stalking
- Category D felonies, such as involuntary manslaughter, forgery or unpaid casino markers
- Category E felonies, such as a first- or second offense of marijuana possession of more than 1 ounce
- a felony or
- a gross misdemeanor.3
A criminal defense attorney would fight to get the charge treated as a gross misdemeanor.
(The category of certain theft crimes like grand larceny depends on the amount stolen.4)
The punishment depends on the category.
Category A felonies carry:
- life in prison with the possibility of parole,
- life in prison without the possibility of parole, or
- death penalty (in first-degree murder cases)
Category B felonies carry:
- A prison sentence of one to twenty (1 – 20) years, 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 carry probation and a suspended sentence, with a possible jail sentence of up to 1 year. (But if you have two or more prior felony convictions, the court may order a prison term of one to four years of Nevada State Prison and a maximum of $5,000 in fines.)
Note that it may be possible to get even the most serious charges reduced to lesser offenses as part of a plea bargain or dismissed outright. The judge may also grant alternative sentences to prison, such as house arrest with electronic monitoring.
|Felony Category in Nevada law||Penalties (under Nevada Revised Statute 193.130)|
|E||Probation and a suspended sentence, with a possible jail sentence of up to 1 year. Though if you have two or more prior felony convictions, the court may order: |
See our related article, What are the Nevada felony sentencing guidelines?
Yes. If you are facing a felony charge, the United States Constitution’s Sixth Amendment entitles you to a jury trial. If you do not want a jury trial, you may elect to have a bench trial where the judge and not a jury returns the verdict.6
It depends on the offense. Three types of crimes can never be sealed:
- Sex crimes,
- Crimes against children, and
- Felony DUI
Violent crimes as well as burglary of a residence may not be sealed until ten (10) years after the case closes.
Otherwise, crimes may be sealed after specified time periods depending on the category:
- 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 no waiting period is necessary to seal 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
Possibly. Non-citizens in Nevada face deportation for being convicted of an aggravated felony or crimes involving moral turpitude. Examples of deportable crimes include:
- rape (including statutory rape)
- child pornography
- drug trafficking
- fraud or tax evasion involving more than $10,000
- theft or violent crime with a sentence order of at least one (1) year8
Aliens arrested for any crime in the state of Nevada are advised to retain experienced counsel as soon as possible. You may be able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the case or reduce it to a non-deportable offense.
In California? Go to our page on California crime laws.
In Colorado? Go to our page on Colorado crime laws.
- NRS 193.120.
- NRS 193.140. NRS 193.150.
- NRS 193.330.
- NRS 205.220.
- NRS 193.130. Categories and punishment of felonies.
1. Except when a person is convicted of a category A felony, and except as otherwise provided by specific statute, a person convicted of a felony shall be sentenced to a minimum term and a maximum term of imprisonment which must be within the limits prescribed by the applicable statute, unless the statute in force at the time of commission of the felony prescribed a different penalty. The minimum term of imprisonment that may be imposed must not exceed 40 percent of the maximum term imposed.
2. Except as otherwise provided by specific statute, for each felony committed on or after July 1, 1995:
(a) A category A felony is a felony for which a sentence of death or imprisonment in the state prison for life with or without the possibility of parole may be imposed, as provided by specific statute.
(b) A category B felony is a felony for which the minimum term of imprisonment in the state prison that may be imposed is not less than 1 year and the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed is not more than 20 years, as provided by specific statute.
(c) A category C felony is a felony for which a court shall sentence a convicted person to imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 5 years. In addition to any other penalty, the court may impose a fine of not more than $10,000, unless a greater fine is authorized or required by statute.
(d) A category D felony is a felony for which a court shall sentence a convicted person to imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 4 years. In addition to any other penalty, the court may impose a fine of not more than $5,000, unless a greater fine is authorized or required by statute.
(e) A category E felony is a felony for which a court shall sentence a convicted person to imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 4 years. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of subsection 1 of NRS 176A.100 or paragraph (a) of subsection 2 of NRS 453.336, upon sentencing a person who is found guilty of a category E felony, the court shall suspend the execution of the sentence and grant probation to the person upon such conditions as the court deems appropriate. Such conditions of probation may include, but are not limited to, requiring the person to serve a term of confinement of not more than 1 year in the county jail. In addition to any other penalty, the court may impose a fine of not more than $5,000, unless a greater penalty is authorized or required by statute.
See also SB 413 (2023)(revising the method for determining credits to reduce the sentence of an offender). See also AB 51 (2023)(committing a felony in violation of a restraining order carries an extra 1 to 5 years in prison – or an extra 1 to 20 years if the felony was a category A or category B felony).
- See also Baldwin v. New York (1970) 399 U.S. 66. NRS 175.
- NRS 179.245. NRS 179.255.
- 8 U.S. Code § 1227.