TITLE 14 – Procedure in Criminal Cases Explained By Vegas Defense Lawyer
Every criminal defendant is entitled to due process as guaranteed by the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments and as guaranteed by the Nevada State Constitution. Before the government can deprive you of your liberty, take any property, or restrict any of your rights, appropriate legal proceedings must occur. Due process has been interpreted broadly in United States and Nevada jurisprudence to include a right to a speedy and public trial, a right to a trial by jury for most offenses, a right against self-incrimination, and a right to a lawyer.
The question for most defendants, however, is what form exactly do the legal proceedings take that protect their right of due process. What exactly constitutes appropriate legal proceedings, and how do those proceedings work? State and federal Codes of Criminal Procedure establish the relevant rules that courts, prosecutors, law enforcement agents, public officials, and defendants must abide by.
When you are charged with a criminal offense, or are under investigation for potentially committing a crime, the Code of Criminal Procedure is going to determine things like where your trial takes place; how a jury is formed; what instructions are provided to a jury; and whether and how you can appeal. The rules set forth in the Codes of Criminal Procedure that exist throughout the United States must be followed, and these rules determine whether you win or lose a case where your life may literally hang in the balance. You need an attorney with an in-depth understanding of procedure in criminal cases. You can find that attorney at LV Criminal Defense.
What Nevada Laws Establish Procedure in Criminal Cases?
The Nevada State Code establishes the rules for Procedure in Criminal Cases in Title 14 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. These are the rules that apply for all trials that occur in Nevada when you are accused of violating state law. Since the vast majority of crimes are illegal under state law and prosecuted locally, it is likely these rules will apply to establish how your criminal case proceeds.
Within Title 14, there are different chapters including:
- Chapter 169, which is a preliminary guide to the state’s criminal procedures that does things like define what a trial means or who is considered a public officer.
- Chapter 170, which sets forth rules to prevent public offenses. These rules do things like establishing requirements for when a defendant must post a security bond based on threats, and when a defendant violates a bond by committing a public offense.
- Chapter 171, which establishes guidelines for which courts have authority to hear cases.
- Chapter 172, which addresses processes that occur before a defendant is indicted, such as establishing rules for when and how a grand jury should be empaneled.
- Chapter 173, which provides guidelines for the indictment process. Indictment occurs prior to arrest, and involves a grand jury determining if there is probable cause to move forward with arresting and prosecuting a defendant.
- Chapter 175, which sets forth guidelines for trial process, including when a juror can be challenged and removed, the oaths jurors must take, the presumption of innocence until a defendant is proved guilty, the prosecutor’s burden of proof, and the presentation of evidence.
- Chapters 176 and 176(a), which provide requirements and procedures for sentencing defendants, as well as details on suspended sentences and probation
- Chapters 179, 179A, 179B, 179C, and 179D, which deal with when criminal records can be sealed and when criminal information can be made available to the public.
- Chapter 180, which provides information on the duties and obligations of state public defenders.
The many different rules within each of these sections outline procedural requirements for the most mundane aspects of navigating the criminal justice system, as well as for the most complex and important protections in place for defendants.
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The Importance of Understanding Nevada Rules of Criminal Procedure
There are myriad laws related to criminal procedure in Nevada and, for most defendants, developing a full understanding of the laws is an overwhelming and impossible task.
While you may not know what the criminal procedure rules mean to your case, you are expected to follow every rule as you navigate through an investigation, indictment and arrest, and criminal trial. If you don’t enforce and protect your rights or if you don’t follow required procedures, you could find yourself facing further charges; giving prosecutors evidence that could be used to secure conviction; and putting yourself at increased risk of a jail or prison sentence that could change your life.
Nevada rules of criminal procedure address everything from when and how you must make requests to the court to the types of questions you can ask of witnesses, to the proper procedures for asking for charges to be dismissed or appealing an unfavorable verdict. An experienced attorney who handles Nevada criminal cases has devoted an entire career to learning the Nevada rules of criminal procedure and to finding ways to apply the rules in the most favorable manner possible for each client.
What Our Client are saying
When I initially met with Mr. Wooldridge, he took the opportunity to sit and go over my problem with me. He described details in my case which he found disturbing and explained why he I should have him on my side.
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When you are represented by LV Criminal Defense, you will have a lawyer who knows the Nevada Rules of Criminal Procedure inside-and-out. Your attorney will explain what your options are at each step of your case, and can step in and speak on your behalf to law enforcement and prosecutors and judges and juries.
The reason you are entitled to a lawyer when charged with a crime in the United States is because the rules of criminal procedure are simply too myriad and too complex for most people to be able to successfully follow. When you have a lawyer who has the skill to make these procedural rules work to your advantage, this knowledge can make all the difference in developing effective legal strategies.
Contact a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
At LV Criminal Defense, our legal team is ready to provide you with the help you need. Contact us as early in the process as possible so we can be there to make sure that a failure to follow the rules of Nevada criminal procedure does not have an adverse impact on your case. Give us a call now to learn more about how we can help.
The criminal process in Nevada involves many “characters” and personalities, as well as written rules and unwritten procedures. A conviction can result in a loss of freedom due to jail time and loss of rights to custody of children, immigration status, to carry a weapon, to vote, or the right to work in certain industries. For sex crimes, you may be required to register as a sex offender which can be devastating to your future.
Due to the complexity of the system and the potential loss of significant rights, your best bet is to retain LV Criminal Defense – a group of highly qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyers who can defend you if you have been arrested.