Different Felony Categories A,B,C,D and E

Crimes in Nevada are divided into three basic types, which range from relatively minor to very serious – misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and felonies. While the information below will primarily cover the details of felonies, which are categorized into five levels, we have also included a brief synopsis of misdemeanor charges in order to offer a cohesive and convenient look at all types of crimes as recognized by the state. Each section will be clearly labeled for those seeking specific information related to each type or category.


Misdemeanors and Gross Misdemeanors

While many states divide misdemeanor charges into multiple levels, Nevada uses only two distinctions for misdemeanor crimes.

●      Misdemeanor – Sometimes called a “simple misdemeanor”, this is the least serious type of crime. Misdemeanors are not tried in jury trials, but instead are decided in what are called “bench trials”, where the defendant will face only the judge presiding, who renders the verdict and sentencing himself. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor can be 6 months in city or county jail, $1,000 in fines or both combined. Misdemeanors may also come with community service or other penalties as the judge sees fit.

●      Gross Misdemeanor – Gross misdemeanor crimes are more serious than simple misdemeanors and may be tried in either a jury or bench trial, though a preliminary hearing may result in the negotiation of a plea deal before the case gets to trial. The maximum sentence for a gross misdemeanor can be either 364 days in city or county jail, $2,000 in fines or both combined. While jail time is always a possibility, the presiding judge may opt to substitute this with a probationary period of up to three years.

A felony crime is the most serious type of crime that someone can be charged with in Nevada, and comes with the most serious potential penalties if convicted.


Legal Definition of a Felony

A felony crime is the most serious type of crime that someone can be charged with in Nevada, and comes with the most serious potential penalties if convicted. According to the Nevada Revised Statutes, every crime which may be punished by death or by imprisonment is a felony (NRS 193.120).  Felony crimes are those that are punishable by at least one year in a Nevada state prison, minimum. 


Jury or Bench Trial

Regardless of category, a defendant who has been charged with a felony is entitled to a jury trial, but can opt for a bench trial instead.


Felony Categories in Nevada

The state uses five categories to differentiate felony level crimes. These range from Category A, which is applied to what are considered to be the most serious crimes that someone can commit, to Category E, which are the least serious.


Penalties for Felony Categories

With the exception of Category A felonies, these categories also come with a minimum and a maximum prison term to be used in sentencing, unless there is a statute in place at the time the crime was committed that specifies a different penalty to be applied to a specific kind of crime (per NRS 193.130). The standard penalties will be listed below, along with the most common examples of criminal acts that are typically classified into each category.


Category A Felony

This category is reserved for the most serious crimes that can be committed, and as such, carries the most severe punishments if convicted.

Some of the most common examples of crimes associated with category A include the following:

●      First and second-degree murder

●      Sexual assault

●      Battery, when there is an intention to commit sexual assault or when the victim has suffered serious bodily harm

●      Child abuse and/or neglect

●      First-degree kidnapping

●      Aiding in or committing an act of terrorism

●      The possession or promotion of child pornography

●      Drug trafficking


Standard Penalties for Category A Felonies

●      Life in Nevada state prison with the possibility of parole

●      Life in Nevada state prison without the possibility of parole

●      The death penalty, applicable only for convicted cases of first-degree murder


Category B Felony

This category covers crimes considered to be the second most serious in Nevada.

Some of the most common examples of crimes associated with category B include the following:

●      Voluntary manslaughter

●      Second degree kidnapping

●      Burglary

●      Arson

●      Identity theft

●      DUI causing substantial bodily harm or death or third DUI offense in seven years

●      Home invasion

●      Theft worth $3,500 or more


Standard Penalties for Category B Felonies

●      Minimum of no less than one year in Nevada state prison

●      Maximum of twenty years in Nevada state prison

●      Possible fines and/or mandatory restitution for applicable crimes


Category C Felony

This category covers crimes considered to be the third most serious in Nevada.

Some of the most common examples of crimes associated with category C include the following:

●      Battery (without weapon, but causing substantial injury or involving strangulation), or that constitutes domestic violence

●      Stalking via computer or internet-enabled device

●      Violation of an extended court order for protection of a child

●      Theft of more than $650, but less than $3,500

●      Animal abuse and/or neglect


Standard Penalties for Category C Felonies

●      Minimum of no less than one year in Nevada state prison

●      Maximum of five years in Nevada state prison

●      Possible fine up to $10,000 or more, if required by an associated statute

●      Mandatory restitution for applicable crimes


Category D Felony

This category covers crimes considered to be the fourth most serious in Nevada.

Some of the most common examples of crimes associated with category D include the following:

●      Involuntary manslaughter

●      Perjury

●      Insurance fraud

●      Arson (third and fourth degree)

●      Forgery

●      Credit or debit card fraud


Standard Penalties for Category D Felonies

●      Minimum of no less than one year in Nevada state prison

●      Maximum of four years in Nevada state prison

●      Possible fine up to $5,000 or more, if required by an associated statute

●      Mandatory restitution for applicable crimes


Category E Felony

This category covers the least serious crimes considered to be felonies in Nevada.

Some of the most common examples of crimes associated with category E include the following:

●      Recruitment for a criminal gang

●      Welfare fraud

●      Graffiti (devaluation of $5,000 or more for single offense or $500 combined for multiple offenses)

●      Possession of schedule I – IV drugs (first or second offense), schedule V drugs (first offense) or one ounce or less of marijuana (fourth or further offense)


Standard Penalties for Category E Felonies

●      Minimum of no less than one year in Nevada state prison

●      Maximum of four years in Nevada state prison

●      Possible fine up to $5,000 or more, if required by an associated statute

●      Mandatory restitution for applicable crimes


Probation for Category E Felonies

This category differs from the other four in terms of penalties, due to the fact that the judge may suspend the sentencing and grant the defendant probation instead. However, probation cannot be granted in cases where the following apply to the defendant:

●      Already serving a term of probation or was on parole for a prior felony conviction

●      Had a previous probation or parole revoked for a prior felony conviction

●      Had failed to successfully complete a previous court assigned treatment program

●      Had two prior felony convictions

If you or someone you care about have further questions regarding felony charges in Nevada or are in need of legal representation, we invite you to contact our offices today for a free case evaluation.


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