If you’ve been charged with a crime by the state, sheriff, highway patrol or other government authority it’s considered a criminal case in the eyes of the courts. If you’ve been charged by another person or business entity and served due process it’s considered a civil case. These distinctions make for various rules governing your arraignment and potential trial. Your citation serve as the official complaint or a complaint might be filed by the prosecutor (District Attorney). When your first court date is set, it is usually known as your arraignment.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony
The severity of the charge determines its classification as misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony. Each carries a different penalty if found guilty. In Nevada, all persons are considered innocent unless they admit to guilt or are proven guilty by trial in court.
A misdemeanor is any crime where the maximum penalty at sentencing is a fine of $1,000 or less and/or a jail sentence of 6 months or less.
A gross misdemeanor is any crime where the maximum penalty at sentencing is a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence of 1 year or less in the county jail.
A felony is any crime where the possible penalty could include incarceration in Nevada State Prison or a year or more.
If you don’t understand the charges against you, you may ask the judge or consult with a lawyer.