Many employers will not offer jobs people convicted of felonies. Many landlords will not rent to people with a felony on their record. You may not be allowed to own a gun or be able to vote. In some cases, you may not be able to resume work in your chosen profession ever again.
Being convicted of a felony is not a trivial matter. Fortunately, an arrest doesn’t automatically guarantee a conviction. You have the right to hire an attorney to defend you against the allegations. An experienced criminal defense lawyer could help you get the charges reduced or dropped – or you could be acquitted.
If you have been accused of a felony in Las Vegas, you need to contact the attorneys at Adras & Altig for legal advice and counsel. Call us or reach out to us online right away for a free case review.
Our Attorneys Fight Felony Charges in Las Vegas
Common examples of felonies include drug possession, domestic violence, assault, and battery, hit and run collisions, theft, stalking, and sexual assault. If you are accused of a felony, you need to enlist the help of a skilled attorney.
At Adras & Altig, our hard-nosed, experienced attorneys are prepared to fight for you. If we cannot get the charges dismissed outright, we can often convince the prosecutor to reduce the charge to a lesser category or even to a misdemeanor charge.
Unlike felonies, misdemeanors are considered to be somewhat minor crimes. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, your record won’t follow you around for years, and it will not interfere with your employment and housing prospects.
Felony Categories in Nevada
In Nevada, felonies are split into five different categories. The categories are based on how serious the crime is perceived to be. The punishment for each crime is adjusted based on its severity.
The five basic categories, from the most severe to the least severe, plus examples of crimes in each category, are:
- Murder (first and second degree), kidnapping, sexual assault
- Attempted murder (battery with the intent to kill), assault with a deadly weapon, theft, conspiracy to commit fraud
- Stalking, violation of a restraining order, domestic violence, illegal possession of a firearm, receiving stolen goods, child neglect, computer crimes
- Unpaid casino markers, pimping, forgery, credit card fraud, giving false testimony
- Gang recruitment, graffiti, solicitation of a child, welfare fraud
What Are the Felony Penalties in Las Vegas?
Category A felonies can receive the death penalty or life in prison, while Category E felonies are generally punished with one to four years in prison. The punishments for the other categories are in between these two extremes.
In general, the penalties are:
- The death penalty or life in prison. There is usually no fine, but in rare cases, fines may be as high as $500,000
- One to 20 years in prison and a fine of $5,000
- One to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000
- One to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000
- One to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000
Non-U.S. citizens who are convicted of an aggravated felony can face deportation even if they have a valid green card or visa.
Aggravated felonies include:
- Statutory rape
- Possession of child pornography
- Drug trafficking
- Fraud or tax evasion (for more than $10,000)
- Any violent crime or theft with a prison sentence of one year or longer
Non-citizens accused of a crime should call our office immediately. We will attempt to get the charges dismissed or reduced to a non-deportable offense.
How Long Does a Felony Stay on Your Record in Nevada?
Once you have been convicted of a felony in Nevada, this information goes on your record forever. Nevada maintains a record of every court conviction that lists the charges, the plea (guilty or not guilty), the final verdict, and the punishment. If parole or early release were granted, this is also noted in the record.
Cases that were dismissed or where the person was found not guilty are generally not included in the court conviction records. However, other records will be in existence, stating that you were arrested and charged with a felony, as described below.
In addition to court conviction records, Nevada maintains a Criminal Record of all individuals who have had official brushes with the law.
These records include:
- The full name of the person and any nicknames or known aliases
- The person’s birth date
- A mug shot and a description of any identifying features such as tattoos or scars
- A list of all indictments
- A list of all arrests and any outstanding warrants
- A list of all convictions and the outcomes of court cases that didn’t end in a conviction
Nevada also maintains a record of all arrest warrants, which include:
- Personal details of the person being arrested
- The reason for the arrest, namely what crime the person is being accused of
- The place, date, and time of the arrest
- The name of the arresting officer
- The location of the facility the person was held at after being arrested
However, it should be noted that people can be arrested without a warrant if a police officer observes a crime in process or believes someone has committed a felony. In these cases, there will be no record of an arrest warrant, but the arrest will be documented in your criminal record.
Court conviction records, criminal records, and arrest warrants are available to the public. They are commonly obtained during background checks. Employers, landlords, and even prospective dates can all conduct background checks and obtain the full details of your arrests, court appearances, and the outcomes of any trials or plea deals.
In some cases, felony records can be sealed on request. Your attorney can request that the court seal your record, and if a judge agrees, your felony record will be sealed. This means that all information relevant to your felony arrest and conviction will not be provided to anyone asking for a background check.
However, there are time limits before this can happen:
- Convictions for sex crimes, crimes against children, and felony DUIs can never be sealed.
- Category A felonies, violent crimes, and burglary convictions can be sealed 10 years after the case is closed.
- Category B, C, and D felony convictions can be sealed five years after the case is closed.
- Category E felony convictions can be sealed two years after the case is closed.
Felony records are only sealed in Nevada. They are never fully expunged. This means that if your record has been sealed, it won’t appear during a simple background check. However, law enforcement and other officials have access to your records.
Talk to Our Las Vegas Felony Defense Lawyers Now
The best time to call an attorney is before you are indicted or arrested on felony charges. If you have reason to believe the police suspect you have committed a felony, call the offices of Adras & Altig today. We may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor and police and completely avoid an arrest, or at least have the charges commuted to a lesser offense, such as a misdemeanor.
After you have been arrested, you will be offered a phone call. Call our office immediately. We can help you obtain bail. It is also possible we can get the charges completely dismissed at your 72-hour hearing. You must attend your 72-hour hearing in person, even if you haven’t been kept in jail. At this hearing, the charges against you will be explained.
Your preliminary hearing is usually held within 14 days after your 72-hour hearing. Preliminary hearings are key. A good attorney can often get your charges dismissed or commuted to a lesser offense during the preliminary hearing.
Attorneys need to gather all of the relevant facts, identify all of the relevant witnesses and obtain statements from them, and establish your alibi if you have one. Obtaining all of the necessary information within this tight time frame can be difficult, which is why it is essential you contact our office as soon as possible.
Our experienced and dedicated lawyers care about you and your future. We want to help you pursue the best possible outcome. We will work with you as your legal team and assist you in every way possible.
Being convicted of a felony can cause serious hardship. In addition to serving prison time and paying fines, a felony conviction can impair your ability to find employment and housing and will strip you of certain rights. The best way to avoid these problems is to not be convicted in the first place.
That is where the Las Vegas attorneys at Adras & Altig come in. We are prepared to work hard to get your case dismissed, the charges dropped or changed to a lesser charge, or to fight in court for that “not guilty” verdict. Don’t hesitate to call us or reach out to us online for a free case review.