What’s the Difference Between Jail and Prison in Nevada?

In Nevada, differences exist between jails and prisons. Jails in the state are run by counties or cities as detention facilities, designed to house those who have been arrested, are awaiting trial, or are serving sentences for being convicted of misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors. Prisons in Nevada, on the other hand, are run by the state as facilities containing people who are serving sentences for felony convictions.

What Would Land Me in Jail in Nevada?

If you find yourself in a Nevada jail, it is likely due to one of these four reasons:

  • You have been arrested for a crime and are waiting to bail out.
  • You have been arrested for a crime and are not able to make bail, and are therefore awaiting trial.
  • You have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense, with the sentence of up to six months in jail.
  • You have been convicted of a gross misdemeanor offense, with a sentence of up to 364 days (one year) in jail.

As mentioned above, jails in Nevada are run either by the county or the city. They are smaller than prisons, and are usually located within highly-populated metropolitan areas near a local courthouse.

If you are a jail inmate and are convicted of a felony through a plea bargain or a trial, you will be transferred to a Nevada prison to serve your sentence for that crime.

Misdemeanors in Nevada

A misdemeanor in Nevada is defined as a crime punishable by up to six months in jail (or less) and a fine not to exceed $1000. Examples of misdemeanors in Nevada include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Battery constituting domestic violence (first and second offense)
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) (first offense)
  • Petit theft (property under $250)
  • Local drug possession
  • Prostitution
  • Resisting arrest
  • Shoplifting
  • Traffic tickets (certain offenses)
  • Trespass
  • Vandalism

Gross Misdemeanors in Nevada

Gross misdemeanors in Nevada are severe versions of regular misdemeanors. Several convictions for the same misdemeanor can elevate a crime to a gross misdemeanor, ranked right below a felony. Penalties for gross misdemeanors in Nevada include imprisonment in jail for not more than one year, or a fine not more than $2000, or both imprisonment and a fine. Examples of gross misdemeanors in Nevada include:

  • False imprisonment
  • Indecent exposure
  • Open or gross lewdness
  • Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana
  • Stalking (first or second offense)

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony in Nevada, contact our criminal defense lawyers for help. We are dedicated to working aggressively to combat your legal charges and protect your rights.

What Would Land Me in Prison in Nevada?

State prisons in Nevada house individuals who have felony convictions, which carry at least a one-year prison sentence. Prisons are much larger than jails, and are run by the Nevada Department of Corrections. They are usually located in rural areas of Nevada. State prisons in Nevada include:

  • Ely State Prison, which houses Nevada’s death row, in Ely
  • High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs
  • Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock
  • Northern Nevada Correctional Center and Stewart Conservation Camp in Carson City
  • Southern Desert Correctional Center in Indian Springs
  • Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center in Las Vegas
  • Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City

What Kind of Training is Available for Nevada State Prison Inmates?

Prisons, being long-term detention facilities, offer inmates various types of vocational training and educational programs. These include, but are not limited to, training in life skills, GED preparation, basic literacy, and English as a Second Language (ESL). Vocational training offered by some Nevada state prisons includes car mechanics and restoration, computer skills, HVAC installation and repair, dry cleaning, cooking, animal science, furniture-making, fire-fighting, equipment repair, business and management, and construction.