What is a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a crime that is less serious than a felony. In Nevada, misdemeanors are punishable “by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months.” However, if you are charged with multiple misdemeanors, you may be required to serve them consecutively, making for a longer sentence. There are also fines associated with many misdemeanor convictions. Being convicted of a misdemeanor can result in fines of up to $1,000.
Misdemeanors consist of charges ranging from DUI to domestic battery. While misdemeanors may not carry punishments as serious as felonies, they certainly affect your employment opportunities. If you have a misdemeanor on your record and are seeking employment, it is important to understand the best route to take in order to increase your chances of securing a job.
Understand Your Legal Obligations
It is important to understand what you legally have to divulge and what you can keep quiet about in regards to your misdemeanor record with potential employers. If employers do not inquire about any convictions, then you do not legally have to tell them; only answer the questions they ask. However, pertaining to the questions they do ask, it is critical to be honest. While dishonesty can result in getting hired initially, once it is exposed the company can terminate your employment and all of your benefits, including unemployment benefits. Furthermore, they can hamper your ability to obtain future employment.
While searching for a job, you are likely to be asked by a number of potential employers to agree to a background check. While background checks may be expensive, many companies still elect to have them performed when hiring new employees. Employers have a legal duty to execute due diligence when hiring new employees; they need to take steps to help ensure potential hires do not pose a threat to coworkers and/or customers.
For background checks, your potential employer will have you sign a form that legally allows them to perform the background check. They may not run it immediately, but once that form is signed it will be ran. Once they complete your background check, they will know your criminal history for the last seven years, excluding anything that was expunged. Having your misdemeanor expunged erases it from your record. If you went through this process, then you have no legal obligation to tell your employer about any expunged misdemeanor. Put simply, if your offense was expunged, you are not legally obligated to put it on your application and if your employer asks, you can legally state you have none and should exempt it.
Having a misdemeanor on your record can be a hindrance in achieving employment, especially for violent crimes, but it does not make it impossible. Your best choice is to be completely honest with your employer from the beginning. This does not mean that you have to volunteer information, but if they ask, be honest. More than likely they will appreciate your integrity, which will speak positively towards your character. You can also offer additional references to prove your reliability.
Following the principles in this post will increase your chances of gaining employment. Should you require further information or legal consultation, please contact John at the office of Routsis Hardy-Cooper at 775.785.9116.
TITLE 15 – CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-193, n.d. Web. 2 Jan. 2013.
Nevada Misdemeanor Guide. Jail Guide, n.d. Web. 2 Jan. 2013.
Domestic violence is defined by the city of Reno as, “ … a violent crime committed in the context of an intimate relationship. It is a crime involving the use of power, coercion and violence to control another.” Furthermore, “Domestic violence is different from other random crimes because a perpetrator and victim are not strangers. Instead they are intimate partners, family members or parents of common children. This relationship, therefore, binds a victim to his or her perpetrator.”
In Nevada (and the rest of the country), domestic violence most commonly occurs between a man and a woman who are intimately involved and usually living together—with the man being the perpetrator and the woman being the victim in the vast majority of cases. Domestic violence also commonly occurs between a parent and their child and even an adult child and their elderly parent or grandparent.
Ongoing Domestic Violence
When a victim is continually abused by their perpetrator, and the perpetrator exhibits a pattern of attempted control over the victim, it can be categorized as “ongoing domestic violence.” The perpetrator may use a variety of tactics to control the victim. These include, but are not limited to, coercion, violence, deprivation, threatening deprivation and threatening violence. In situations of ongoing domestic violence, it is common for the abuse to escalate in intensity as the pattern continues.
Is Domestic Violence a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
A domestic battery conviction can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on a number of criteria, including the amount of bodily harm caused, the perpetrator’s past record of domestic violence and whether or not weapons were involved. If weapons were used, it typically escalates the severity of the charge. In Nevada, generally, if a weapon—such as a firearm, knife, baseball bat, etc.—was used during the domestic violence, the crime can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. If the incident did not involve a weapon and the victim’s injuries were not significant, the crime can be charged as a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and/or 180 days in jail.
If you have been involved in a domestic violence incident, you need first-rate representation. Domestic violence charges can be stringent, especially if you are charged with felony domestic violence. I am exclusively focused on criminal defense, and I am confident I have the experience necessary to provide you with the best possible defense in your domestic violence suit. Contact my office today to schedule a confidential consultation. 775-785-9116.
“Domestic Violence Resources.” City of Reno. www.reno.gov/
“Domestic Violence.” City of Las Vegas. http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/information/659.htm
Nevada is known for having a very active nightlife. Both downtown Reno and Las Vegas see tourists and locals come out by the thousands to enjoy the unique nightlife offered in these two late-night cities. As a result, Nevada ranks as one of the highest states in the nation for alcohol consumption per capita. But, when the party is over and it is time to get back home or to the hotel room, the car keys are best left in your pocket; Nevada is not tolerant of drinking and driving.
In Nevada, you can be found guilty of a DUI if your blood alcohol content is greater than .08%. This level can be easily exceeded and there is almost no safe amount to drink before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Once detected, first time DUI recipients in Nevada can expect a variety of fines and possible jail time. Here are how first-time DUI charges typically breakdown in our state:
1st Drunk Driving Conviction in Nevada
- Jail – From 2 Days to 6 Months, and/or 48 Hours community service minimum
- Fine – From $400 to $1,000
- License Suspension – 90 Days
- Restricted License Possible After Half of Revocation is Served
- Ignition Interlock Device (May be Required for Restricted License)
- DUI School Tuition – $150 (Average Cost)
- DUI Program or Treatment- 8 Hours to 1 Year
- Court CCP Program
If arrested for a DUI, a knowledgeable attorney can generally help you avoid a few of the punishments listed here. Of course, there are also preventative options to ensure you avoid the conviction: don’t drink, find a designated driver or take a cab. The last two options are most effective when arrangements are made at the beginning of the night and are not left to the last minute (after everyone in your party has been drinking).
Remember, Nevada is strict when it comes to enforcing drinking and driving laws. The state is full of officers who take their jobs very seriously. So, the next time you decide to head downtown for an event, a cocktail or a “crawl,” make plans for getting home beforehand, and avoid getting behind the wheel.
I’m an experienced DUI lawyer licensed in Nevada and California, and I’m confident I can provide expert representation for your case. A former deputy district attorney in Washoe and Los Angeles counties, I’ve gained an insider’s view of what must happen in order to provide superb criminal defense regarding your charge of driving under the influence.