Criminal Lawyers in Las Vegas Explain Probation Programs
A defendant who is convicted of crimes in Nevada may get a suspended sentence or be sentenced to probation instead of incarceration. Chapter 176A of the Nevada Code provides details on situations when defendants can be sentenced to a period of probation. The Chapter also offers information on some of the requirements which defendants may have to fulfill in order to stay out of prison.
Within Chapter 176A of the Nevada code, there are specific requirements in place for defendants who suffer from various types of problems or who fit into various categories. For example, there are rules for what happens when defendants are mentally ill. Understanding these rules can be beneficial as you go through the post-conviction sentencing process.
A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can help you to understand what to expect during sentencing and can help you to argue for the most lenient sentence available under the circumstances. Once penalties have been imposed upon you and conditions of probation have been set, we also offer assistance in complying with the requirements that the court has established. For those who are classified as mentally ill, the requirements that must be fulfilled may be quite substantial. Contact LV Criminal Defense today to find out more.
Mental Illness and Sentencing
There is a subsection of Chapter 176A which provides information on when a court should assign someone to a program for treatment of mental illness. This subsection provides details on how such a program can be established, the transfer of jurisdiction which may occur so a defendant can be assigned to a program; the conditions and limitations on assigning a defendant to a program; and the sealing of records.
N.R.S. 176A.045 also provides a definition of “mental illness” so the court and defendants are on the same page and have an understanding of exactly what mental illness means for purposes of probation and sentencing. Mental illness is given the meaning that is ascribed to the term in N.R.S. 433.164, which defines mental illness in on of two ways.
Mental illness means a “clinically significant disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, memory, or behavior” that is listed in the most current ICD-9-CM Manual and/or the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) OR that imposes a serious limitation on the capacity of a person to function and complete routine activities of daily living, such as employment and personal relations.
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Assignment to Program for the Treatment of Mental Illness
The subsection of Chapter 176A which helps the court to determine when someone should be assigned to a program of mental illness is comprised of N.R.S. 176A.250 through N.R.S. 176A.265.
N.R.S. 176A.250 gives a court the authority to establish an appropriate program for treating the mentally ill or for treating intellectual disabilities. The assignment of a defendant to such a program that the court creates must include specifics on the terms and conditions that a defendant has to meet to successfully complete the program. The assignment also must provide instructions for progress reports at periodic intervals in order to make certain that the defendant is making progress towards successfully completing the program.
N.R.S. 176A.255 provides for the transfer of jurisdiction from a justice court or a municipal court to a district court so the district court can assign a defendant to a program of mental illness. The justice court has to get approval of the district court to make the transfer, and the defendant must be an eligible on. This means he must not yet been found guilty or guilty of mentally ill of a misdemeanor offense. The defendant must also not have pled no contest, guilty, or guilty but mentally ill. The defendant also must appear to be either intellectually disabled or mentally ill, and it must appear to the court that the defendant would benefit from a program established under N.R.S. 176A.250.
N.R.S. 176A.260 provides details on the conditions and limitations on when and how a court assigns a defendant to a program for the mentally ill. It also details what happens if a defendant violates terms and conditions, and what will happen when the defendant has fulfilled his terms and conditions.
If the defendant committed an offense involving the use of violence or force, or threatening the use of violence or force, and the defendant has previous convictions, the court generally cannot assign the defendant to a program for treatment of the mentally ill unless the prosecuting attorney agrees to the assignment. In other situations, the court can put the defendant on probation, but must make that probation conditional on successfully completing a program established for treatment of the mentally ill. The court can put the defendant on probation and impose this condition if the defendant has been found guilty or guilty but mentally ill, or if the defendant pled guilty, guilty but mentally ill, or nolo contendere.
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If the defendant fulfills the terms and conditions of the program, the court can discharge the defendant and dismiss the case without adjudication of guilt. The dismissal won’t be considered a conviction for public or private purposes, but will be considered a conviction of the defendant reoffends. After a defendant has been discharged for successfully completing the program, the court should order documents in connection with the case to be sealed.
Getting Help from a Las Vegas Defense Lawyer
Defendants need to understand when the court can sentence them to a program for treatment of the mentally ill and what such a sentence can mean for their future. LV Criminal Defense provides legal representation to defendants who may be eligible for probation and treatment on the basis of mental illness.
We also provide help to all other defendants who are going through the sentencing process or who have been placed on probation and who need help complying with terms and conditions imposed by the court. Give us a call to find out how a Las Vegas defense attorney can assist you.