Habitual Criminals

Habitual Criminals, Habitual Felons, and Habitually Fraudulent Felons

*This information is a general overview of Nevada habitual criminal status.  It is not intended as legal advice.  This information is current as of June 15, 2015.

HABITUAL CRIMINALS

Habitual criminal status carries a very severe penalty.  If you are currently facing a criminal change and have been convicted 2 prior times of certain felonies, the possible penalty for a third conviction is 5 to 20 years in prison. The penalty is even higher if you have 3 prior convictions and your new charge is a certain type of felony. In some cases, you could receive a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, life with parole after serving 10 years, or 25 years in prison, with a 10 years minimum before parole eligibility.

HABITUAL FELONS

There are certain felonies that carry a more severe penalty.  You could be adjudged a habitual felon if you have 2 prior felonies listed below and current conviction is one or more of the following crimes:
  1. Attempt to commit a category A felony;
  2. Perjury or subordination of perjury resulting in the conviction and execution of an innocent person;
  3. Kidnapping;
  4. Aiding and abetting of either first or second degree kidnapping;
  5. Sexual assault;
  6. Robbery;
  7. Administration of poison;
  8. Battery with intent to kill;
  9. Battery with intent to commit sexual assault;
  10. Death resulting from duel;
  11. Challenge to fight resulting in death;
  12. False imprisonment by prisoner with use of a deadly weapon;
  13. Involuntary servitude;
  14. Recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining another person to be held in involuntary servitude;
  15. Benefiting from another person being held in involuntary servitude;
  16. Assuming rights of ownership over another person;
  17. Purchase or sale of a person;
  18. Trafficking a person for financial gain or illegal purposes;
  19. Some types of abuse or neglect of a child;
  20. Unlawful to use minor in producing pornography or as subject of sexual portrayal in performance;
  21. Use of the Internet to control visual presentation depicting sexual conduct of person under 16 years of age;
  22. Lewdness with a child under the age of 14;
  23. Sexual penetration of a dead human body;
  24. Willfully poisoning or adulterating food, water, or medicine;
  25. Transportation or receipt of explosives if it results in substantial bodily harm;
  26. Use or possession of explosives in the commission of a felony;
  27. Use of explosives to damage or destroy property;
  28. First degree arson;
  29. Burglary while in possession of a firearm;
  30. Home invasion with a deadly weapon;
  31. Burglary with explosives;
  32. Racketeering activity, including investment of proceeds;
  33. Escaping prison by a felon;
  34. Allowing child to be present during controlled substance (other than marijuana) manufacture or use;
  35. Making controlled substance resulting in death available;
  36. Vehicual homicide;
  37. DUI with death or substantial bodily harm;
  38. Failing to stop at an accident involving death or serious bodily injury;
  39. Solicitation for kidnapping, arson, or murder; and
  40. First or second degree murder.
For these crimes, the penalty for being adjudged a habitual felon is a category A felony with a life sentence without the possibility of parole, life with parole after 10 years have been served, or 25 years in prison with parole eligibility after 10 years have been served.

HABITUALLY FRAUDULENT FELONS

A person who has been convicted in Nevada of any felony committed on or after July 1, 1995 and:
  1. The prior felony contained an element of fraud or intent to defraud; and
  2. Has two prior felony convictions of which fraud or intent to defraud is an element is a habitually fraudulent felon and is punished by imprisonment for a minimum term of not less than 5 years and a maximum term of not more than 20 years, and
  3. The victim of each offense was an older person, a person with a mental disability or a vulnerable person.
An “older person” means a person who is 65 years of age or older if the crime was committed before October 1, 2003, or 60 years of age or older if the crime was committed on or after October 1, 2003. “Person with a mental disability” means a person who has a mental impairment which is medically documented and substantially limits one or more of the person’s major life activities. The term includes, but is not limited to, a person who suffers from an intellectual disability, suffers from a severe mental or emotional illness, has a severe learning disability; or is experiencing a serious emotional crisis in his or her life as a result of the fact that the person or a member of his or her immediate family has a catastrophic illness. “Vulnerable person” means a person 18 years or older who suffers from a condition of physical or mental incapacitation because of a developmental disability, organic brain damage or mental illness or has one or more physical or mental limitations that restrict the ability of the person to perform the normal activities of daily living. It is very important to properly defend yourself against habitual criminal status.  You will receive notice in the document charging you with a crime if the State seeks to establish habitual criminal status against you. This Notice gives you and your attorney time to prepare your defense.

QUESTIONS REGARDING HABITUAL CRIMINAL STATUS:

Will a jury find out about previous convictions?

No.  The convictions cannot be given to a trial jury or read before the grand jury.  If the defendant testifies, the prior convictions can be used for impeachment purposes.

When will I find out if the State is seeking habitual criminal status?

It will either be filed with the indictment or information charging the new crime, but the State can file it separately not less than 2 days before the start of the trial on the new charge.

Will a jury decide if I receive habitual criminal status?

No. The sentencing judge makes this decision.   If you have questions about a current case where the State is seeking habitual criminal status, or if you think you were judged a habitual criminal in error, contact us immediately for help. It is important to exercise your valuable rights before they are lost.







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