The Nevada Supreme Court brought good news to many Nevada Prison inmates. Nevada State law has truth in sentencing where a defendant sentenced to prison is not sentenced to a specific number of years; instead, Nevada judges will sentence a prisoner to a term of months, for example 24-60 months. This tells everyone that the person will serve at least 24 months but no more than 60 months. While serving a sentence, prisoners who behave and take classes earn good time credits which can reduce sentences.
For years, cases that had a mandatory minimum sentence, such as DUI felonies, could receive good time credits from the high end, but not the low end. As a result, the prison took on a mandatory minimum so that an actual minimum sentence would be required of the prisoner. In October 2017, the Nevada Supreme Court corrected the prison’s unfair calculation to allow good time credits on the lower end for certain mandatory minimum sentences. Williams v. Nevada Department of Corrections, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 75 (October 5, 2017). The Nevada Supreme Court differentiated between laws that had a mandatory minimum with a minimum parole eligibility (murder) and mandatory minimum cases without a minimum parole eligibility (DUI cases). This change in the law will help shorten prison sentences for an entire new class of prisoners – those who have demonstrated that they are deserving of good time credits for their behavior.
Anyone who faces, or who has a loved one facing, a mandatory prison sentence should review this law, or at a minimum make sure your Las Vegas criminal defense attorney knows about this new change.