Many people do not fully understand the ramifications of accepting a plea bargain. When you enter a plea to a misdemeanor, there is generally a jail sentence that is suspended, or held over your head, while you do some requirements and stay out of trouble.
For instance, you could be charged with Battery Constituting Domestic Violence and plead to Disturbing the Peace. You would be required to take some classes, pay some fines, and stay out of trouble.
What does “stay out of trouble” mean? It can mean different things, depending on the case. A DUI charge is enhanceable if you are arrested for another DUI. You might face six months in jail just for the arrest if it is during the stay out of trouble period for a previous DUI.
For many people, this is easy. They only get in trouble once in their life, and never get arrested again. But, sometimes it comes to pass that a new arrest violates the stay out of trouble order. Keep in mind that a battery charge, a possession of marijuana charge, or any illegal activity (greater than minor traffic citations) can be seen as a violation of this order.
Here is the kicker: you do not have to be convicted of a new charge to be revoked for failure to stay out of trouble. Nevada law dictates that all the prosecutor needs to prove is that there was probable cause for a new arrest. Therefore, they do not need to prove the elements of the new case beyond a reasonable doubt to lock you up. This is scary, and can end up with some very unfair results.
But there is good news. Most Judges in Clark County are reasonable. They have discretion on whether to revoke you to jail or not when there is an allegation of a stay out of trouble order. Many of them require that the elements of the crime be proven on some level, or that the prosecutor at least show some evidence that there was a violation or that they are at least going forward with the case. Many Judges will delay the decision to revoke a defendant until the new case against them is resolved.
Your best bet is to keep your nose clean and never violate a stay out of trouble order. But, even if this scenario comes to pass in your life, there is hope. There are ways to negotiate you out of jail time, and possibly even win a revocation hearing.