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What is Alternative Sentencing?


A conviction in Nevada can be punishable by a long jail or prison sentence and costly fines. However, the criminal courts may offer certain defendants “alternative sentencing,” which comes in the form of community service, rehabilitation programs, and educational courses in lieu of traditional penalties. 

While a defendant is out on a suspended sentence (probation), they must complete all conditions of the alternative sentencing program. If the defendant violates their probation, the court will “un-suspended’ their sentence and order them to serve their original term of incarceration. 

Alternative sentencing in Nevada is generally available to defendants convicted of low-level offenses, which include misdemeanors such as: 

While suspended sentences are off-limits to defendants convicted of serious felonies, such as sexual assault or murder, low-level felonies – such as a third DUI within seven years – are eligible. The maximum length of a suspended sentence is based on whether the original offense is a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony. 

Suspended sentences for misdemeanors last up to six months, gross misdemeanors last up the three years, and felonies last up to five years. However, a convicted felon may obtain a suspended sentence that lasts up to three years if they are convicted of a minor drug crime, a U.S. veteran, or diagnosed with a mental illness and complete a treatment program. 

In order to obtain alternative sentencing, defendants must make a request to the judge in court and will be subject to screening for certain programs. Prosecutors may also offer alternative sentencing as part of a plea agreement. 

To increase your chances of obtaining alternative sentencing, you must hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Draskovich Law Group can thoroughly examine your case, figure out all your legal options, and build an aggressive and personalized defense plan to help you avoid serving harsh penalties. 

If you have been arrested in Las Vegas, contact us today at (702) 381-6590 for a free initial consultation. Let our legal team with more than 25 years of experience to defend you immediately!