In some cases, we are able to get misdemeanor charges against our clients completely dropped. It is important to know that a conviction for a misdemeanor goes on your record and can result in increased penalties if you are arrested for a subsequent offense of any kind. More important, perhaps, a misdemeanor conviction shows up on your record when you apply for a job, a loan, college scholarships, etc.
Your response to a misdemeanor charge in Nevada — such as a DUI, simple drug possession, prostitution, or domestic battery — should be to promptly contact our experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys. Our dedicated defense lawyers know there are two sides to every story, and police officers almost never have all the facts before making an arrest or issuing a ticket.
At Adras & Altig, our criminal defense attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience saving Las Vegas residents and visitors from severe fines and jail sentences. No matter the charge you face, you should schedule a free consultation now with our understanding legal team. Our law firm provides personalized attention and treats clients with the respect they deserve. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
Our Attorneys Fight Misdemeanor Charges in Las Vegas
A conviction on a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor charge in Nevada will have a negative impact on your life, no matter how minor the crime seems to be. If you have been arrested and/or charged with a misdemeanor, we understand. We know people make mistakes. We also know police make arrests that are mistakes.
Our Las Vegas misdemeanor defense attorneys will investigate the circumstances of your arrest and the alleged evidence against you to evaluate your options. In many cases, we are able to have charges against our clients reduced or dismissed without them ever appearing in court.
It is not unusual for misdemeanor cases to be dismissed due to:
- Improper arrest, such as an illegal search or failure to advise of Miranda rights
- Mistaken identity
- Unreliable or unavailable witnesses, which is not unusual in a tourist destination like Las Vegas
- Lack of evidence and/or weak evidence
- Problems with evidence, such as chain of custody issues
- Evidence that supports the defendant’s innocence or lack of intent
In addition to identifying problems with the prosecution’s case, our attorneys will explore alternative approaches that may result in misdemeanor charges being reduced or dropped. This may include:
- Making restitution to victims (who then decline to press charges)
- Citing the defendant’s lack of a criminal record and/or good standing in the community or school
- Entering or agreeing to enter counseling, such as alcohol or drug addiction rehabilitation, anger management, or other psychological counseling
Making a deal with prosecutors in Clark County (Las Vegas) courts requires the work of a criminal defense attorney who has spent time in local courts and with the assistant district attorneys who handle misdemeanor cases. It also requires thorough knowledge of Nevada law and a willingness to find creative solutions that meet each client’s unique needs.
The attorneys of Adras & Altig have more than 30 years of combined experience successfully defending Las Vegas residents and out-of-state visitors from criminal charges or all kinds in Clark County, Nevada. We work diligently to pursue the best outcome available for our clients, including fighting charges when prosecutors do not have solid cases.
Your future does not have to be damaged by a mistake, a misunderstanding, or an arrest that never should have happened in the first place. Schedule a free consultation with our team today.
Punishments for Misdemeanor Crimes in Nevada
Misdemeanors are criminal acts that are considered less serious than crimes classified as felonies. Nevada recognizes two levels of these relatively minor crimes:
- Misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months, or by a fine of up to $1,000, or by both fine and imprisonment
- Gross misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 364 days, or by a fine of up to $2,000, or by both fine and imprisonment
Additionally, certain misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors have a prescribed penalty by law. For example, a gross misdemeanor committed on school property requires a jail sentence of at least 15 days up to 364 days and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
In some cases, punishment will include such additional penalties as:
- Court and administrative fees
- Community service
- Suspended driving privileges
- Drug and alcohol counseling
- Attending a victim impact panel
Even after people have “paid their debt” for a misdemeanor conviction, their criminal record can haunt them as they apply for jobs, loans, and school. Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys make sure our clients understand the long-term effects of their decisions, and we craft a legal strategy with your future in mind.
Common Misdemeanor Charges in Las Vegas
There are numerous misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses under Nevada law. Among the most common misdemeanors in Las Vegas are:
- Traffic Offenses: A traffic ticket may be issued for a moving violation (speeding, illegal passing, failure to wear a seat belt, etc.) or nonmoving violation (illegal parking, faulty taillight, etc.) A first offense of driving under the influence (DUI) within seven years is a misdemeanor if no one was injured, such as in a crash.
- Drug Possession: Simple possession (not including intent to sell, furnish to a prisoner, etc.) of 1 ounce or less of marijuana outside a private residence is a misdemeanor. A third offense becomes a gross misdemeanor, and fourth and subsequent offenses are treated as felonies. Use of a Schedule V controlled substance (e.g., medication containing codeine) and possession of drug paraphernalia are gross misdemeanors.
- Prostitution: Engaging in or soliciting sex in exchange for money (or anything of value) in Las Vegas is a misdemeanor as long as it is between adults. Soliciting a minor for prostitution is a felony. Prostitution is legal in a few Nevada counties (not including Clark County, the home of Las Vegas) within a licensed house of prostitution (brothel).
- Assault: Attempting to use physical force against another person or intentionally placing another person in reasonable fear of immediate bodily harm is a misdemeanor, unless the victim is a peace officer (police, firefighter, jailer, judge, etc.), school employee, or health care provider, which makes it a felony.
- Battery: Any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person is a misdemeanor, unless the victim is a child or a weapon is used, which makes it a felony. Battery upon a peace officer (police, firefighter, jailer, judge, etc.), school employee, health care provider, taxicab driver, transit operator, or sports official based on the performance of his or her duties at a sporting event is also a felony.
- Domestic Battery: Any willful and unlawful use of force or violence on your spouse, domestic or romantic partner, or blood relative is a misdemeanor on first offense. Domestic Battery (DB), or Battery Domestic Violence (BDV), is punishable by 2 days to 6 months in jail, community service, a fine, and mandatory counseling.
- Shoplifting and Petit Theft: Taking someone else’s property or obtaining services without permission and with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the property is a misdemeanor as long as the value of the property is less than $650. If the value of property involved is higher, the charge becomes a felony.
- Receiving Stolen Goods: Buying or otherwise receiving stolen property that the recipient knew or should have known was stolen is a misdemeanor if the value is less than $650. If the value is higher, the charge becomes a felony.
- Trespassing: Entering a building or land owned by someone else with “intent to vex or annoy” the owner or occupant, or to commit any unlawful act, or remaining on land or in a building after having been warned by the owner or occupant not to trespass is a misdemeanor.
- Vandalism / Graffiti: Willfully or maliciously destroying or injuring someone else’s real or personal property is a “public offense,” with penalties assessed according to the value of damage done, unless specific laws apply. For example, vandalism of a church, synagogue, temple, cemetery, mortuary, school, or school grounds is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $400 to $1,000 and 100 hours of community service on a first offense, plus restitution for the damage done. Graffiti is also a gross misdemeanor if the value of damage is more than $250 but less than $5,000. It is a felony if damage exceeds $5,000 in value or if the graffiti defaces a state historic or “protected” site.
Talk to Our Las Vegas Misdemeanor Defense Lawyers Now
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a minor crime in Las Vegas, Nevada, do not try to fight a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor charge on your own. Contact our seasoned criminal defense attorneys today.
At Adras & Altig, our misdemeanor defense attorneys treat clients with respect and provide solid, professional legal representation. Contact us now to set up a free legal consultation about how we can help you.