Like many other states, Nevada has its own version of California’s “Three Strikes” law which imposes harsher sentences for repeat criminal offenders. Individuals in the state who are convicted of multiple felonies are labeled as “habitual offenders” and face lengthy prison sentences in addition to the penalties for the underlying felony offense. In some cases, a third felony conviction can expose a defendant to life imprisonment without parole, even if the third offense was nonviolent in nature.
Habitual offenders in Nevada are classified into three different categories:
Habitual felons: People who have been convicted of three serious or violent felonies such
rape, first-degree arson, vehicular homicide, or human trafficking are considered
habitual felons. Being convicted of being a habitual felon is a category
A felony and can carry any of the following sentences:
- Life in prison without parole
- Life in prison with possibility of parole after 10 years
- 25 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years
- Habitual fraudulent felons: Individuals who are convicted of three crimes which involve the “intent to defraud” or the defrauding of a victim 60 years of age or older or who has a physical or mental disability are classified as habitual fraudulent felons. A conviction of being a habitual fraudulent felon is a category B felony and can carry an additional 5 to 20 years in prison upon conviction.
- Habitual criminals: Finally, anyone who has been convicted of any three felonies may be prosecuted as a habitual criminal. Depending on the circumstances, a habitual criminal charge can carry anywhere from 5 to 20 years in prison to life imprisonment without parole.
Unlike California’s Three Strikes Law, however, Nevada’s standard habitual criminal statute is enforced at the discretion of the prosecutor and judge involved in a defendant’s case. District Attorney may charge a defendant with a habitual criminal charge alongside their current felony charge or after the defendant has been convicted at their discretion, which a judge may dismiss at their discretion. With that being said, habitual felon and habitual fraudulent felon charges may not be blocked by a judge.
Facing Criminal Charges? Dial (702) 381-6590
If you or someone you know is facing a third felony charge, it is imperative you retain the services of a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself against life-altering consequences. At Turco & Draskovich, our team of aggressive Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys have been defending the rights of accused clients for more than 40 years combined and can provide the tenacious advocacy you need to minimize your chances of conviction.
Get in touch with us online today to get started towards building your defense.