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What Does It Mean When Someone's on Probation?

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What Does It Mean When Someone's on Probation?


When someone is on probation, that means they have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a crime but are given an alternative to incarceration. In other words, instead of serving their sentence in jail or prison, they are allowed to remain out of custody. Still, they are under supervision and must comply with several terms and conditions during the probationary period.

Typically, when a court grants probation, a judge will set a jail or prison term but suspend it, meaning the individual will not be incarcerated. However, if the individual fails to adhere to the conditions of probation, they can be jailed or imprisoned for the amount of time previously entered by the judge.

Can You Get Probation for a Felony?

Yes, a Nevada court may grant probation to a person who is convicted of or pled guilty to most felonies, gross misdemeanors, and misdemeanors. Those convicted of category E felonies may also be eligible, provided that they do not have two prior felony convictions on their record.

Instances exist when probation can never be granted. These include cases involving:

  1. First- or second-degree murder,
  2. First-degree kidnapping,
  3. Sexual assault,
  4. Attempted sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age,
  5. Lewdness with a child,
  6. Habitual criminals and
  7. Habitual fraudulent felons.

For specific crimes, probation can only be granted when certain conditions are met. For instance, if an individual is convicted of a crime against an elderly person, the court may not grant probation until the individual has paid at least 80% of the restitution ordered.

Also, for the following crimes, the individual cannot be placed on probation unless an evaluation determines they are unlikely to re-offend:

  1. Attempted sexual assault of a person 16 years of age or older
  2. Statutory sexual seduction
  3. Battery with intent to commit sexual assault
  4. Abuse or neglect of a child
  5. Child pornography-related offenses
  6. Incest
  7. Open or gross lewdness
  8. Indecent or obscene exposure
  9. Sexual penetration of a corpse
  10. Sexual conduct between a school employee and a student
  11. Felony-level luring a child or a person with mental illness

What Are the Conditions of Probation in Nevada?

As mentioned earlier, when someone is placed on probation, they must follow certain court orders for the duration of their sentence. The specific conditions placed upon them will depend on the facts of their case.

Common probationary terms include, but are not limited to:

  1. Paying restitution
  2. Disposing of all weapons
  3. Remaining in the state
  4. Not contacting certain persons
  5. Not entering certain locations
  6. Not engaging in specific conduct
  7. Completing an alternative program or treatment

If the individual is determined to have a drug or alcohol abuse disorder, they might be required to attend and complete a substance abuse treatment program. Or, if they have a mental illness or are intellectually disabled, they might be required to attend and complete a program designed to address the underlying condition. In these cases, if the individual successfully finishes the program, their case may be discharged and dismissed, and records relating to the matter may be sealed.

Persons convicted of certain sexual offenses may be subject to even greater restrictions during the probationary period.

For instance, conditions imposed upon them may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Submitting to a search and seizure by a parole and probation officer at any time and without a warrant
  2. Living only at approved residences
  3. Accepting only approved jobs or volunteer positions
  4. Abiding by a curfew
  5. Submitting to controlled substances testing
  6. Not having alcohol in their possession
  7. Not being within 500 feet of a facility primarily used for children
  8. Not having any unapproved sexually explicit materials

Failing to comply with the terms of probation can result in serious consequences. The individual may be summoned to appear in court or have a warrant issued for their arrest. If they are found to have violated the conditions, their probation may be revoked and they can be incarcerated for the term of the sentence initially ordered.

How Long Does Probation Last in Nevada?

The court has the discretion to determine the probationary period. A judge can suspend, extend, or terminate it at any time. That said, Nevada law places limitations on the amount of time for which a person can be placed on probation.

Probationary terms may be imposed as follows:

  1. Gross misdemeanor: Up to 12 months
  2. Category E felony: Up to 18 months
  3. Category C or D felony: Up to 24 months
  4. Category B felony: Up to 36 months
  5. Violent or sexual offenses: Up to 60 months

Consult with an Attorney Today

If you have been accused of a crime in Reno, being sentenced to jail or prison is not the only option in your case. If you can show that incarceration is not warranted, you might be granted probation and allowed to serve your sentence outside of police custody. To make a strong argument for alternative sentencing, you need a criminal defense attorney on your side.

At the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover, we have helped numerous clients fight their charges and have achieved favorable results in complex cases. Although past victories do not guarantee future successes, we are prepared to seek a just outcome on your behalf.

To discuss your case with us, please call (775) 502-1575 or submit an online contact formtoday.

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