When you are accused of committing a crime, you deserve to have a fair trial by an impartial jury of your peers. Normally, this trial takes place in the location where the crime occurred. Sometimes, however, there is too much publicity surrounding the crime or there are other factors which can result in a tainted jury pool. If a local court is not an appropriate place for your case to be heard because you cannot get an unbiased jury and a fair trial, you will need to seek removal of the action before trial.
The stakes are very high when you are facing criminal prosecution and are worried that you won’t get an unbiased hearing in the court where your fate could be decided. It is absolutely imperative you have a qualified and experienced Las Vegas defense attorney representing you if you find yourself in this difficult situation.
LV Criminal Defense has a strong legal team with experience representing defendants who were accused of committing criminal acts which are both famous and notorious. We understand the difficulties that defendants face in getting due process when their crime has been well-publicized and we can help to put together the strongest possible arguments for removal to a different court where the case could be heard with a jury that is less familiar or less personally affected by the case. Your future is at stake and you cannot afford to have your case in the hands of a jury that is predisposed to make a decision that could end your freedom.
Nevada Revised Statutes section 174.455 through N.R.S. 174.505 provide details on the rules for removal of action before trial. If you wish to argue that your case should be removed, you will need to understand the requirements set forth within these statutes and you will need to make compelling arguments to the court.
N.R.S. 174.455 details grounds for removal of your case. According to the relevant code section, a criminal action may be removed from the court where it is pending if either the defendant or the state apply for removal on the basis of the fact a fair and impartial trial cannot be had in the county where the case is pending. An application for removal may be submitted for a criminal action which is being prosecuted by indictment, information, or complaint. However, no application for removal may be granted by the court until the voir dire examination process has been conducted.
The voir dire examination process is the process during which prospective jurors are questioned to determine if they can serve on a jury and make an unbiased assessment of the facts of the case. The voir dire examination process must be conducted before an application for removal is submitted because the court must consider whether the process made it apparent that an impartial jury could not be selected in the county where the case was pending.
If an application for removal is submitted, the decision of the court to either remove or not remove the case can be appealed, but it may be appealed only from the final judgment. This would mean the entire trial would need to take place and a decision would need to be made before you could appeal the decision of the judge regarding whether the case should have been removed or not.
N.R.S. 174.464 outlines the specific process which is required to request removal of a case. According to this Nevada law, an application for removal has to be made in open court. It must be a written application and it must be accompanied by an affidavit verified by either the defendant or the district attorney who is seeking to have the case removed. The other party (either the defendant or DA who isn’t requesting the removal) must be served with the affidavit at least one day before a court hearing is held on the application.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
The application may be supported by other affidavits, or it may be opposed by other affidavits in addition to the original affidavit which accompanies the application for removal. Witnesses may also be called to testify either in support or in opposition of the application and affidavit. However, witnesses have to testify in open court.
If the defendant believes it is too dangerous for him to appear in open court because the public is so prejudiced against him that his personal safety could be at risk, the law allows for a hearing on the application to proceed without the defendant being present in open court. The defendant will need to show the extreme risk in his affidavit. If he successfully does so, the application can be made by the defendant’s attorney in court, in the absence of the defendant.
Hiring an attorney is essential if you cannot appear in court when an application for removal is submitted- but it is also important even when you can come to open court without risk to your safety.
It is absolutely imperative your criminal case be heard in court where you can get a truly fair and impartial trial. Too often, this is not possible in the court where the case has been originally brought. You need to understand whether you may have grounds for removal and, if you do, you must follow the requirements for submitting an application. You also need to make a compelling case and present solid arguments to the court to back up your reasons for applying for removal.
At LV Criminal Defense, we know the rules of criminal procedure are as important to an effective defense strategy as understanding the underlying criminal laws giving rise to your charges. Our legal team can carefully review the details of your case to provide advice on whether removal is possible. We can also help you to do everything possible to convince the court to grant your application and move the case. To learn more about the ways in which we can help you to fight for a fair trial and the best outcome possible to criminal charges, give us a call today.