What Is a Gross Misdemeanor?

In Nevada, the definition of a gross misdemeanor is a crime that is more severe than a misdemeanor but less severe than a felony. Nevada law states that:

  • A felony is every crime that is punishable by death or imprisonment in state prison.
  • A misdemeanor is every crime that is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or by imprisonment in a country jail for up to six months.
  • A gross misdemeanor is every other crime.


Misdemeanor vs Gross Misdemeanor

Gross misdemeanor crimes are more severe than misdemeanor crimes. The major differences are the penalties, the right to a jury trial, and how long it takes to get a conviction sealed.

People who are convicted of a misdemeanor crime can face up to $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months in jail.  Those convicted of a gross misdemeanor can face up to double the penalties. They could receive up to $2,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. In addition, gross misdemeanors that are committed on school property, at a school activity, on a school bus, or at a school bus stop can be punishable by no less than 15 days.

In misdemeanor cases, defendants don’t have the right to a jury trial. Instead, their case is held by a bench trial or a trial by judge. The exception to this is a misdemeanor charge for domestic battery. In gross misdemeanor cases, defendants always have the right to a trial by jury.

The length of time a convicted person needs to wait before their criminal record can be sealed also differs depending on the type of charge. Misdemeanor crimes can be sealed one year after the case ends. However, there are some exceptions to this. It takes two years after the case ends for battery, harassment, stalking, or violation of a protection order charges to be sealed. It also takes seven years after the case ends for DUI or domestic battery charges to be sealed. For gross misdemeanor crimes, it takes two years after the case ends before the criminal charges can be sealed.


Gross Misdemeanor Examples

In Nevada, there are several crimes that are classified as worse than a misdemeanor but not as severe as a felony. Examples of gross misdemeanors crimes include:

  • First offense of open or gross lewdness
  • First offense of indecent exposure
  • Firing a gun in a place where someone could be hurt
  • False imprisonment
  • Unlawful use of a hotel key
  • Making false statements to get a credit or debit card

There are also several crimes that are sometimes classified as gross misdemeanors and sometimes classified felonies. These crimes are called wobblers and include attempted battery without a deadly weapon and the first offense of attempted drug possession.



No matter what kind of gross misdemeanor charge you’re facing, our experienced lawyers can help you get your case dismissed or reduced. Contact our expert criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation.