Felony crimes are the most serious type of crimes that someone can be charged with in Nevada. Being convicted of a felony crime will almost certainly result in life altering penalties that can range from the loss of certain civil rights to more than one year of prison time in either a state or federal prison. Some felony crimes are punishable by death. For these reasons, it is of the utmost importance that anyone who has been charged with a felony crime immediately contacts an attorney with the experience and dedication that will be needed to ensure that a proper defense can be built against such potentially grave resolutions.
An Explanation of Felony Classes in Nevada
There are a long list of crimes that are considered to be felonies in Nevada, and these crimes are divided into five separate classes that range from the most serious offenses at Class A to the least serious offenses at Class E (see NRS 193.130). These classes are what determine the sentencing if a conviction is made. Some of the most common examples of crimes assigned to each class are listed below.
● Class A Felonies – Class A felonies are major crimes. This is the most serious category with the most severe possible penalties for conviction. Crimes that fall into this class are sexual assault, battery that results in significant bodily injury or involves strangulation, the use of or promotion to use a child in pornography, first degree kidnapping and first or second degree murder.
● Class B Felonies – Crimes that are categorized as class B felonies are home invasions, reckless driving that results in serious bodily harm or death, robberies, possession of child pornography, assault with a deadly weapon, second degree kidnapping, Leaving a child unattended in a car, voluntary manslaughter and grand larceny (valued at over $3,500).
● Class C Felonies – Class C felonies are crimes like stalking (via internet or SMS text), violating a protective or restraining order, grand larceny (valued at more than $650 but less than $3,500), purchasing or receiving goods that are stolen (valued at $650 or more, but less than $3,500) and battery domestic violence (if it is the third offense and no substantial bodily harm has occurred).
● Class D Felonies – Class D felonies are forgery, arson (third degree) and involuntary manslaughter.
● Class E Felonies – Crimes that are categorized as class E felonies are the least serious kinds of felonies. Crimes in this class include marijuana possession (first or second offenses of more than one ounce), the solicitation of a child for the purpose of prostitution and criminal gang recruitment (by an adult).
Felony Penalties by Class
There are standard sentences that apply to a conviction for each class of felony. In general, one year in prison is the minimum sentence for any felony conviction in Nevada, but there is a more detailed list of the penalties associated with each class of felony.
● Class A Penalties – The class A felony of first degree murder is punishable by death. Other class A crimes will result in a sentence of life in prison – with or without the possibility of parole, depending on the circumstances of the crime.
● Class B Penalties – The maximum sentence for a class B felony is 20 years in Nevada State Prison, though the sentence can range anywhere from 1 to 20 years, as long as the minimum sentence given isn’t more than 40% of the maximum sentence. There may also be a possible fine, depending on the crime.
● Class C Penalties – A class C sentence is 1 to 5 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
● Class D Penalties – The sentence for class D convictions is 4 years in Nevada State Prison and up to $5,000 in possible fines.
● Class E Penalties – Class E convictions may receive a sentence of 1 to 4 years in prison, but more often this sentence is suspended and substituted with one year in jail and probation, with up to $5,000 in possible fines.
● Other Penalties – The conviction of a felony in Nevada also results in the loss of certain rights – these are the right to vote, to own a firearm, run for political office or sit on a jury.
Pardons for Former Felony Convictions
It is possible for people who have completed their sentence and waited the appropriate amount of time with good conduct to apply for a pardon of their felony by the state’s Parole Board. While a granted pardon doesn’t remove the conviction from the offender’s criminal record, it does restore the suspended civil rights from a prior conviction.
Sealing Felony Conviction Record
Nevada does allow offenders to seal their felony conviction record after a waiting period, the length of which is determined by the class of the felony they were convicted of, and good behavior. The waiting period for each class is:
● Class A felony – 10 years after closure of case
● Class B, C and D felonies – 5 years after closure of case
● Class E felony – 2 years after closure of case
It is also important to note that there are some types of felonies that have been designated as unsealable, regardless of sentence completion or good behavior. These are felony DUIs, sex crimes and any crimes against children.
Being convicted of a felony will forever alter the life of the offender. Even those who avoid prison time or are charged with a minor felony will suffer the negative consequences of such a serious type of crime for years to come. A criminal record with a felony conviction will make finding and getting hired for a job and renting or buying a home much more difficult. But even more seriously, being convicted of a felony is likely to come with prison time or in some specific cases, a death sentence. If you or someone you care about have been charged with a felony in Nevada, please call our offices today for a free case evaluation. The sooner you start working with an attorney who understands and can defend your position, the better.