Felonies are the most serious category of crime in Nevada. Everyone charged with a felony is entitled to a jury trial. 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 hinder future employment and residential prospects. The waiting period to get a felony record sealed ranges from five (5) years to ten (10) years or sometimes 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. We discuss definitions, penalties, record sealing waiting time frames, and immigration consequences. Click on a topic to go to that section:
- 1. What are felonies in Nevada?
- 2. What are felony penalties in Nevada?
- 3. Can I get a jury trial for a felony charge in Nevada?
- 4. Can I get felonies sealed in Nevada?
- 5. Can a felony get me deported?
Nevada has five categories of felonies. They are (ranging from the most major crimes to the most minor):
- Category A felonies in Nevada, such as murder or sexual assault
- Category B felonies in Nevada, such as robbery or home invasion
- Category C felonies in Nevada, such as violating a protection order or internet stalking
- Category D felonies in Nevada, such as forgery or unpaid casino markers
- Category E felonies in Nevada, such as a first- or second-offense of marijuana possession of more than one (1) ounce
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. A criminal defense attorney would fight to get the charge treated as a gross misdemeanor.
The punishment depends on the category of felony.
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 carry probation and a suspended sentence, with a possible jail sentence of up to 1 year. (But if the defendant has two or more prior felony convictions, the court may order 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 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|
|E||Probation and a suspended sentence, with a possible jail sentence of up to 1 year. But if the defendant has two or more prior felony convictions, the court may order:|
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.
It depends on the offense. Three types of crimes can never be sealed:
- Sex crimes,
- Crimes against children, and
- 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:
- 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|
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 felonies 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) year
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.
Learn more about Nevada felonies and misdemeanors.
For information about California felony law, go to our page on California felony law.
For information about Colorado felony law, go to our page on Colorado felony law.