Nevada Felony Crimes by Categories and Sentences

Learn about the different categories of felonies in Nevada and the potential prison sentences for each type of crime.

By , Legal Editor
Updated by Rebecca Pirius, Attorney · Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Updated 6/16/2023

In Nevada, a felony is any crime that may be punished by time in state prison or the death penalty. Nevada divides felonies into five categories—A to E—with category A felonies being the most serious and category E felonies the least serious. Read on to learn about felony penalties and sentencing in Nevada.

Felony Classifications and Penalties in Nevada

Nevada organizes felonies into five categories according to the seriousness of the crime and the potential punishment. State law spells out the possible range of penalties for each category. However, criminal statutes for individual crimes may prescribe more specific sentences. (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 193.120, 193.130 (2023).)

Category A Felonies in Nevada

Category A felonies are the most serious crimes in Nevada, punishable by death or life in prison. Examples of category A felonies and their penalties include:

  • first-degree murder, punishable by death, life with or without parole, or 50 years' imprisonment
  • second-degree murder, punishable by life or 25 years in prison
  • sexual assault (rape), punishable by life in prison
  • sex trafficking of a child, punishable by life in prison, and
  • first-degree kidnapping, punishable by life in prison or 40 years' imprisonment

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 193.130, 200.030, 200.320, 200.366, 201.300 (2023).)

Category B Felonies in Nevada

The standard sentence for a category B felony is a minimum of one year and a maximum of 20 years in prison. Examples of category B felonies and their penalties include:

  • voluntary manslaughter, punishable by one to 10 years in prison
  • robbery, punishable by 2 to 15 years in prison
  • home invasion (burglary), punishable by one to 10 years in prison
  • assault with a deadly weapon, punishable by one to 6 years in prison, and
  • grand larceny of a firearm, punishable by one to 10 years in prison.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 200.080, 200.380, 200.471, 205.067, 205.226 (2023).)

Category C Felonies in Nevada

Category C felonies carry a prison sentence of one to five years and up to $10,000 in fines. Examples of category C felonies include:

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 200.485, 200.575, 205.0835, 205.220, 205.228 (2023).)

Category D Felonies in Nevada

Category D felonies carry a prison sentence of one to four years and up to $5,000 in fines. Examples of category D felonies include:

  • involuntary manslaughter
  • unlawful dissemination of an intimate image (sometimes called revenge porn)
  • bail jumping on felony charges, and
  • fourth-degree arson.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 200.090, 200.359, 200.770, 200.780, 205.025 (2023).)

Category E Felonies in Nevada

Category E felonies in Nevada carry a prison sentence of one to four years and up to a $5,000 fine. However, in most cases, the court must suspend the prison sentence and place the defendant on probation. Probation can include a year in county jail. Examples of category E felonies include:

  • criminal gang recruitment
  • possessing or obtaining a fraudulent drug prescription
  • a first or second offense for illegal drug possession (personal use), and
  • making a false 911 call to get an emergency response.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 201.570, 207.245, 453.336, 454.311 (2023).)

Wobblers in Nevada: Gross Misdemeanor or Felony

A few of Nevada's criminal laws—such as a first offense of elder abuse and attempting to commit certain lower-level felonies—provide punishment as either a felony or a gross misdemeanor. Gross misdemeanor penalties carry up to 364 days of jail time. At the sentencing phase for one of these crimes (often called "wobblers"), the court will decide whether to treat the crime as a gross misdemeanor or a felony.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 193.153, 200.5099 (2023).)

Additional Prison Sentences in Nevada

Nevada law also provides for additional prison sentences—on top of the sentence for the crime itself—under some circumstances, including when a felony is committed:

  • on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity
  • with a deadly weapon or tear gas
  • in violation of certain types of protective orders, including a domestic violence protective order or a workplace harassment protective order
  • to promote gang activities
  • against a person age 60 or older or a vulnerable victim, or
  • based on the victim's actual or perceived ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

The additional sentence must be served consecutively with the original sentence for the felony.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 193.161, 193.165, 193.166, 193.167, 193.168 (2023).)

Enhanced Sentences for Habitual Felony Offenders in Nevada

Nevada imposes harsh penalties for habitual felony offenders, which includes those convicted of a third violent felony or any fifth or subsequent felony. For a third violent felony, the defendant faces the punishment for a category A felony—a life sentence or sentence of 25 years. Other habitual felony offenses carry penalties for category A or B felonies, depending on the current and past offenses.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 207.010, 207.012, 207.014 (2023).)

How Felony Sentencing Works in Nevada

When a defendant has been convicted of a felony, the court must choose a minimum and maximum prison term that falls within the range given in the law for that crime. The minimum term can't be more than 40% of the maximum term. The judge can also order the defendant to pay fines, restitution, and court costs.

Probation. In some cases, the judge can defer judgment or suspend the prison sentence and place the defendant on probation or in a specialty court program (such as drug court or veterans' court). These options require the defendant to abide by conditions set by the court and a violation can mean sanctions or being sent to prison.

Parole. Those sent to prison will typically serve their minimum term before becoming eligible for parole consideration (early release). The state provides incentives for inmates to reduce their minimum sentence by completing treatment programs, receiving an educational degree while incarcerated, and obeying prison rules.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 176.211, 176A.230, 176A.280, 176A.400, 176A.430, 176A.500, 193.130, 213.120 (2023).)

Felony Statute of Limitations in Nevada

Prosecutors generally must bring criminal charges within a certain period of time (known as a "statute of limitations") after the alleged crime took place. The default statute of limitations in Nevada for felonies is three years. However, numerous felonies have longer limitation periods, some as long as 20 years. There are no time limits on when murder charges may be filed.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 171.080, 171.083, 171.085 (2023).)

Seeking Legal Assistance

Having a felony conviction on your criminal record can have serious, long-term consequences, including making it hard to get a job or housing and being barred under federal law from possessing guns. If you're facing felony charges, it's critical that you speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can defend your rights throughout criminal proceedings and help obtain the best possible outcome—which may include negotiating a favorable plea bargain.

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