In some cases, defendants face criminal charges for committing multiple different crimes. All of the crimes could arise out of the same transaction or scheme, or all of the crimes could relate to one criminal act done over and over. When defendants face multiple criminal charges, the defendant may sometimes be tried in one big trial for all of the different offenses, rather than having separate trials for each different crime that was allegedly committed. When multiple defendants participate in the same criminal scheme or in the same criminal transaction, it is also possible that the defendants will have one joint trial instead of two or more separate trials.
The rules that determine when defendants will be tried together, or when a defendant will be tried for multiple crimes in one trial, are referred to as rules for joinder. If a defendant wants to try to separate out the cases, or if multiple defendants do not want a joint trial, they can make a motion to sever their cases. The motion may, or may not, be granted.
A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can help you to understand all of the charges that you could face in a criminal proceeding, and can help you to decide how best to deal with all accusations against you. Your attorney can also help you to decide what to do if you are being tried with another defendant as part of one trial in which you and the defendant are both accused of criminal acts.
LV Criminal Defense is a trusted, knowledgeable criminal defense firm with extensive experience serving clients in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Our legal team is known for its skill with legal strategy. We know how to help you determine if a joint trial is an advantage or a disadvantage and we can help you to decide if you should petition to severe your case. We can also help you to make a compelling argument for relief from prejudicial joinder when a joint trial would not be beneficial to you. Give us a call as early as possible during your criminal proceedings so we can make sure you make strategic choices about all of the procedural issues involved in your criminal case.
Nevada Revised Statute section 174.155 is found within the section of the Nevada Code of Criminal Procedure dealing with joinder of cases and defendants. N.R.S. 174.155 makes clear that it is permissible for the court to order that two or more indictments or informations, or both, be tried together. The process would be the same as if the defendant had been faced with multiple crimes charged in one indictment or information from the start. It is permissible for the court to make this order for a joint trial for both indictments or information if the defendant’s charges initially could have been presented in one indictment or information.
Prosecutors can get a single indictment or information with multiple charges, including both felonies and misdemeanors, as long as the charges arise from the same criminal act, or from the same series of acts or transactions. Prosecutors often choose to get a single indictment or file just one information in the first place because this is easier for prosecutors than convening two grand juries to get indictments or having two preliminary hearings so two informations can be filed. However, if prosecutors didn’t do this and there are multiple indictments or information that could be joined, the court can order joinder.
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The court can also joinder of the trial of two or more defendants if the two defendants could both have been charged initially under the same indictment or same information. Defendants can be tried together as long as their offenses arose out of the same transaction or involved the same criminal act. This is true even in certain circumstances where not every defendant faces the exact same charges.
If the court orders a joint trial with other defendants or orders you to have one trial to face charges from multiple indictments or multiple informations, you need to determine if this is a positive development for your legal strategy or not. If you believe it could hurt your case to have a joint trial or to face charges from multiple indictments or informations in one proceeding, you may have options to fight the joinder.
Nevada Revised Statute section 174.165 sets the rules for relief from prejudicial joinder. If it appears that either the defendant or the state is prejudiced by a joint trial, the court can order separation. The court could order that the defendant face separate counts for separate charges, or could order that each defendant face a separate trial.
The prosecutor or defendant could make a motion for severance to split cases or split defendants. When the court rules on a motion by a defendant for severance, the court can order the district attorney deliver to the judge’s chambers any statements or any confessions that were made by the defendant that the State intends to introduce during criminal proceedings.
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.
LV Criminal Defense can help you to determine if joinder is likely to be prejudicial. Our legal defense team can also help you to make a motion for severance when it is appropriate to do so and can assist you in making a compelling argument about why you would be disadvantaged by a trial for multiple crimes or a trial shared with other defendants.
You need to make informed choices about every aspect of your criminal case, including whether you should seek relief from prejudicial joinder of not. There can be benefits sometimes to just having one trial or to sharing your trial with other defendants, but you do not want to do anything to make your situation worse or increase the likelihood of conviction. To get help finding out how best to proceed and what your legal strategy should entail, call LV Criminal Defense today so we can begin working on your case.