Vegas Defense Lawyer Explains Appeals by State

Appeals involve asking a higher court to consider the actions of a lower court in order to determine if the lower court acted appropriately or not. In a criminal case, a defendant can appeal a conviction,or can appeal a court order which occurs during the course of the criminal trial. While there are limits on a defendant’s right to appeal, including a restriction on appealing in most cases if the defendant plead guilty, a person involved in a criminal trial usually has the right to ask the higher court to review many different decisions made by the lower court.

The appeals process can be complicated, as the success of your appeal will depend upon whether or not you are able to make sound legal arguments. The stakes are high, because an appeal could have a profound impact on the outcome of your case or could result in a conviction being overturned. A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in appealing and can help you to make the strongest possible arguments for why the higher court should overturn an unfavorable decision.

In addition to being able to appeal when you get an adverse outcome, you also need to be prepared in case the state appeals a decision that is made. The state has fewer situations where an appeal is possible, but can appeal certain court rulings and these appeals could also have a big impact on whether a defendant ends up being convicted or not. LV Criminal Defense can provide assistance in situations where a defendant appeals or when the state appeals. Give us a call to find out more.

What is the Effect of an Appeal by the State?

The state is not allowed to appeal in certain circumstances. For example, the state cannot appeal from a final judgement in favor of the defendant in a criminal case. Double jeopardy rules prevent appeals when a defendant has been acquitted because the state cannot just keep prosecuting a defendant over and over for the same crime.

The state can appeal other court decisions, including a decision made on whether or not evidence should be suppressed. There are notice requirements when the state appeals this type of ruling. There are also Nevada rules regarding what the effect of appeal by the state will be.

N.R.S. 177.085 explains the effect of the appeal by the state. According to N.R.S. 177.085, an appeal by the state cannot affect an operation of a judgment in the defendant’s favor, not even to temporarily stay (stop) the affect. However, if the state is appealing certain types of orders, like an order granting a motion to set aside an indictment or information, then the defendant could be subject to arrest and to trial if the court reverses the motion to set aside the indictment or information. In other words, if the defendant successfully got the lower court to prevent a prosecutor from moving forward with pressing charges, the defendant could be arrested if the appeals court overturns the lower court’s decision. If this happens, the statute of limitations is tolled (stops running) from the time that the state files the appeal.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


If the state is appealing an order granting a defendant’s motion for a new trial or allowing a motion in arrest of judgement, then a successful appeal could result in the trial court entering judgement against the defendant.

Getting Legal Help With Appeals

It is important to understand what to expect if the state appeals a decision made in your criminal case. A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can help you. Call LV Criminal Defense today to find out more about what your options are for responding to an appeal or filing an appeal.