NRS Chapter 213 – Overview of How Pardons and Paroles Work in Nevada

There are a series of steps and requirements associated with seeking a pardon for a criminal conviction. There is also a similarly multi-faceted process for considering a prisoners eligibility for parole.

Full and Unconditional Pardon

When the State Board of Pardons Commissioners grants a full, unconditional pardon, it:

  1. Cancels every disability imposed resulting from the conviction; and
  2. Restores every civil right.

However, some pardons are not full and unconditional. When you or any person receives a pardon, you receive an official document that proves as much and states any limitations that may or may not apply.

Restoration of Rights

There’s one more stop. The official document from the State Board of Pardons Commissioners is simply to let the courts know that the person is eligible to have their rights restored. When the court receives the document, they will issue an order that will restore the person’s civil rights.

Overview of Commutation

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If someone is convicted of a first-degree criminal offense or sentenced to death penalty, they are generally not eligible to receive a pardon through state law, but their sentence could be modified to life without parole. This decreasing of the sentence is often referred to as commutation.

For someone convicted of a first-degree offense and sentenced to life without parole are not eligible to be commuted down to a lesser sentence unless they’ve served 20 consecutive years.

Overview of Parole

The Division of Parole and Probation has set several standards to keep the public safe. It starts with not paroling those who are a significant safety risk to the public and moves on to setting standards of supervision and even up to severe consequences for breaking the parole agreement.

What Are the Regulations for Granting or Revoking Parole?

The Board sets specific regulations for granting or revoking parole. They use a set of standards and other factors to determine whether to give someone parole.

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Some of the factors they use for determination are included in what they call a Nevada Parole Risk Assessment sheet. Others are on the Discretionary Release Parole Guideline Worksheet.

The Board must review its standards by the First of every odd-numbered year. If they find a specific standard is ineffective, they’ll need to change that standard.

What Are the Conditions of Parole?

Your parole officer will provide you with a list of your conditions. You must sign a copy before they’ll release you on parole.

A few possible conditions are that you may be:

  1. Confined to Nevada or within a particular county;
  2. Prohibited from contacting certain people directly or through someone else; and
  3. Required to pay restitution.

There are additional conditions that come along with specific crimes, such as sex offenses and crimes using the internet.

What Happens If I Violate Parole?

If you break a condition of parole, or a peace officer has reason to believe you did, you’ll be arrested.

Next, there will be an investigation into the allegations. These will start within fifteen working days of your arrest. You’ll get a chance to represent yourself or have a lawyer represent you.

If the inquiring officer decides there’s probable cause that you violated the conditions of your parole, he’ll schedule you for a hearing by the Board.

Until then, they will:

  1. Release you on parole;
  2. Place you in residential confinement; or,
  3. Put you in full confinement.

Overview of How to Be Discharged from Parole

Securing an “Honorable” Discharge

By the end of your sentence, if you haven’t violated any conditions of your parole, or if you fulfilled every condition except paying restitution and that due to economic hardship verified by your probation or parole officer, you’ll get an honorable discharge from parole. It is worth noting that any unpaid restitution becomes a civil liability upon discharge according to NRS 176.275.

Regaining Your Civil Rights

Honorably discharged parolees regain their civil rights, but not without limitation.


  • The right to vote
  • The right to serve on a jury in civil court

In Four Years

  • The right to hold office

In Six Years

  • The right to serve on a jury in criminal cases

Overview of Work Release Programs

There is a program available where someone convicted of a crime can still bring in money, help support their family, earn “good behavior credits” and maybe shorten their sentence. This is what is possible with a work release program. This program is not just for work. It is for educational purposes too. You may be able to leave secure custody to go to a vocational or technical school or even to gain general education.

Can I Get Residential Confinement?

Residential confinement, which is also commonly known as “House arrest,” comes with its own set of standards for determination. For instance, for an offender who has been determined to be an alcoholic or drug addict to be released on residential confinement, he must first go through an intensive physical and mental rehabilitation in prison. If he doesn’t attend the regular classes in education and counseling along with other treatments afterward that the Director finds necessary, then he may not be seen as likely to complete treatment while on residential confinement. This revelation would disqualify him.

Programs of Reentry into the Community

Judicial Program

Judicial courts often establish a program for reentry of offenders into the community. They offer these programs to some prisoners who they are considering for parole and to some parole violators as a condition of parole rather than revoking their parole and returning them to prison.

Correctional Program

The correctional program is similar to the judicial program. The only real difference is that the Director in the county where the prisoner or parolee will be living established the correctional program.

Charged with a Crime? Speak to an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you were arrested in Las Vegas for a criminal offense, you may be tempted to simply listen to the “advice” of family and friends and family or even law enforcement. Do not make this mistake. Every criminal case is unique and different. More importantly, your freedom should not be left to chance. Instead, it is strongly recommended that you retain the services of an experienced and qualified Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. Contact LV Criminal Defense at (702) 623-6362 to request a free, confidential case review.