Las Vegas Criminal Lawyer Explains Court Authority on Probation (N.R.S. 176A.100)
A defendant who was convicted of a criminal offense or who pled guilty to a criminal offense can face penalties imposed by the state of Nevada. It is common for a defendant to face probation or a suspended sentence. When a defendant is sentenced to probation, he does not go to jail for his crimes. Instead, during a period of time, he will be under the supervision of a probation and parole officer. The goal is to see if the defendant is able to comply with the laws and be a good citizen after the conviction. As long as a defendant follows the rules, his term of probation will end and he can move on with his life. If a defendant violates probation, he could be jailed or face other consequences.
Probation or a suspended sentence, in which a defendant is sentenced to jail time but does not have to serve it unless he makes a mistake during the sentence period, can be a better alternative for those who have been found guilty. Not only does probation benefit a defendant, who can continue to work and be a contributing member of the community, but it also benefits the state because Nevada does not have to pay for the cost of incarceration. Despite the benefits of probation, however, it is not an option in all criminal cases. There are Nevada rules which give the courts authority to order probation in certain circumstances, and which impose limitations on when probation is an appropriate penalty.
Our skillful criminal defense attorneys in Las Vegas can help you to understand whether the law allows probation in your particular case, based on the offense which you were convicted of. Our legal team can also provide you with assistance in arguing in favor of probation instead of incarceration so you can stay out of jail. To find out more about the ways in which we can assist you in fighting for your future, give us a call to speak with a Las Vegas criminal attorney.
The Authority of the Court to Order Probation
N.R.S. 176A.100 provides information on when the court can suspend a sentence and grand probation. This statute also details the persons who are eligible for probation, the factors that a court can consider, the intensive supervision which may be required, and the report of pre-sentence investigation which must be submitted and reviewed in determining if probation is an appropriate sentence or not.
According to N.R.S. 176A.100, there are certain defendants who cannot be sentenced to probation due to the crimes that they have been convicted of. A court cannot suspend a sentence and sentence someone to probation if that person was convicted of:
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- First or second-degree murder
- First-degree kidnapping
- Sexual assault or attempted sexual assault with a victim who was a child under 16.
- Lewdness with a child.
- Any other Nevada offense which the criminal code has indicated carries a sentence of imprisonment which cannot be suspended.
A defendant also cannot be given probation if the defendant is considered to be a habitual criminal, if the defendant is considered to be a habitually fraudulent felon, or if the defendant is thought to be a habitual felony.
What Should The Court Consider in Deciding Whether to Suspend a Sentence?
N.R.S. 176A.100 instructs the court on some of the things which should be considered when making a decision on whether to suspend a sentence or not. The court can consider:
- Whether the person who committed the crime for which he is being sentenced was already on probation or on parole in Nevada or anywhere else at the time when the current offense was committed.
- Whether the defendant has past convictions.
- Whether the defendant has ever been assigned to a program of treatment or rehabilitation and failed to succeed in the program.
- Whether the defendant had previously had parole or probation revoked in any state.
- The recommendations of the Chief Parole and Probation Officer
- The report from a pre-sentence investigation prepared by the Division of Parole and Probation of the Department of Public Safety
Defendants who have committed certain categories of offenses must be certified as not presenting a high risk before they can be granted probation. For example, offenders who committed crimes like attempted sexual assault of someone 16 or older; or statutory sexual seduction; will be required to undergo a psychosexual evaluation. The evaluation has to be conducted by someone who is trained in psychosexual evaluations, and the outcome of the evaluation must show that the defendant does not present a high risk to reoffended. The court should carefully consider the findings from the examination before assessing whether or not a suspended sentence is an appropriate outcome.
The court cannot consider whether the defendant has the financial resources to pay for a program of rehabilitation. The court should consider the impact of parole and probation conditions which it imposes which would affect the payment of child support, if the defendant is obligated to pay support.
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Getting Help from a Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyer
A suspended sentence or probation is far preferable to incarceration, so you need to know what to expect and how to try to convince the court that probation is the most appropriate penalty for you. LV Criminal Defense can provide you with invaluable assistance in trying to secure the most minimal penalties possible. We represent defendants both before and after convictions and we bring extensive legal experience to your case.
To find out more about how a Las Vegas defense attorney can assist you with the process of fighting a conviction of arguing for a lenient sentence, give us a call today to speak with a member of our legal team.