You may have heard the term “gross misdemeanor” but never knew exactly what it meant. How does the state of Nevada define this term?
Gross misdemeanors are a class of crime more serious than misdemeanor but not as severe as felonies. Fines are higher, sentences longer and the intrinsic nature of the crime is something a bit more substantial on your permanent record. If your looking to avoid or reduce conviction from our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys are here to help.
Examples of Gross Misdemeanor Crimes in Nevada
- Open or gross lewdness
- First offense of indecent exposure
- Second offense of stalking of a victim 16 years or older
- False imprisonment
- Unlawful use of a hotel key
Can my gross misdemeanor conviction records be sealed?
Yes, they can. Once the case has been on file for two years, the records can then be sealed.
What if I’m not a U.S. citizen and I’m convicted of a gross misdemeanor?
You can be deported.
“Regular” Misdemeanor Convictions
A misdemeanor conviction is a lesser crime than a gross misdemeanor and typically carries a less severe punishment. For example, a misdemeanor conviction may carry up to $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail.
As well, misdemeanor defendants have no right to a jury trial, solely a bench trial. One except to this is being charged with battery domestic violence.
Examples of misdemeanor crimes in Nevada
- First or second offenses of DUI
- First or second offenses of battery domestic violence
- Shoplifting less than $1,200 worth of goods
- Soliciting prostitution
- Smoking marijuana in public
What are “wobblers” – what does that legal term mean?
Some crimes in Nevada are considered wobblers, meaning, they can be either gross misdemeanors or felonies. The most common wobblers in Nevada are:
- Attempted battery (causing substantial bodily harm without a deadly weapon)
- Attempted violation of a protective order
- Attempted illegal drug sale (first offense for schedule 3, 4, or 5)
- Attempted illegal drug possession for sale (first offense)
- Attempted arson (third degree)
- Attempted illegal drug possession (first offense)
Punishments for Gross Misdemeanors
The punishment for a gross misdemeanor is defined by NRS 193.140. Every person convicted of a gross misdemeanor shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 364 days, or by a fine of not more than $2,000, or by both fine and imprisonment, unless the statute in force at the time of commission of such gross misdemeanor prescribed a different penalty.
What are felonies in Nevada?
This category of crime is far more complex than others. Nevada organizes felonies into five categories according to the seriousness of the crime and the possible punishments. Nevada uses a phrase: “indeterminate sentencing” which means, for most crimes, the court sentences a convicted felon to a minimum and maximum term, and that person will be eligible (typically) for parole at some point after serving the minimum. To note: the minimum term can’t be more than 40% of the maximum term.
Category A Felony
These are the most serious crimes in Nevada, punishable by death or life in prison. Examples include:
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
- Sexual assault (rape)
Category B Felony
In general, the minimum sentence for this type of felony is at least one year, and the maximum is 20 years. Some examples include:
- Voluntary manslaughter
Class C Felony
The standard sentence in the class is a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of five years. Examples in this category include:
- Domestic violence battery
- Grand larceny
Class D Felony
For this class, the minimum sentencing in one year, while the maximum is four years. Examples include:
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Sharing an intimate image of an adult electronically without consent (meant to harm victim)
- Parental kidnapping
Class E Felony
The final category of felony carries a minimum term of one year and a maximum of four. Examples in this category include:
- Possessing or obtaining a fraudulent drug prescription
- First or second offense of possessing most illegal drugs for personal use
- Making a 911 call intended to prompt an emergency response when there is no emergency
- Base jumping from a structure owned by someone else
No matter what type of criminal defense you need, the legal team at Half Price Lawyers can help represent your side of the case.