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Contempt

A Vegas Defense Attorney Describes Contempt of Court Rules in Connection with Subpoenas in Nevada NRS 174.385

criminal procedureIn a criminal case, a prosecutor or a defendant can go to court to secure a subpoena to compel a witness to provide testimony. Prosecutors and defendants may also get a subpoena to require the production of physical evidence like books, papers, emails, and other documents.  A subpoena must be served either in person or by mail to the individual or business being asked to provide the testimony or produce the documents or evidence.  The subpoena must contain the name and contact information of the individual being subpoenaed as well as the information about when and where the person being subpoenaed should report to give testimony.

There are serious consequences for not responding to a subpoena. In fact, a person who does not respond can be held in contempt of court and could potentially even be jailed. If you have been subpoenaed and you are concerned about the implications of being ordered to appear in court or to produce documents, you need to get help from a Las Vegas defense attorney. If you are a defendant in a criminal case, you should also be represented by a qualified lawyer who can help you to understand all of the rules involved with the subpoenaing of witnesses.

LV Criminal Defense provides legal representation to defendants in trial, as well as to individuals who have been served with a subpoena. We can help make sure you don’t answer any questions or provide any information in response to the subpoena in violation of your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. We’ll also be there to explain your rights and to look out for your interests throughout your entire interaction with the criminal justice system, whether you’ve simply been subpoenaed or whether you’re being held in contempt or are facing charges.

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Contempt of Court for Failure to Respond to a Subpoena

Nevada Revised Statute section 174.385 provides details on the failure to respond to a subpoena.  According to the relevant section of Nevada law, failure to obey a subpoena without an acceptable excuse will result in you being deemed in contempt of court. A person will be held in contempt only for a failure to obey a subpoena that was properly served and/or delivered or accepted.

If you refuse to obey a subpoena and don’t have a legally valid excuse for this failure, you’ll be held in contempt by the court which issued the subpoena. However, if the subpoena was issued by either a prosecuting attorney or by an attorney for a defendant, you will be held in contempt in the court presiding over the preliminary hearing or in the court where an indictment, information, or complaint is pending and/or is to be tried.

There are some justifications for refusing to answer questions or provide information, including the constitutional protection against self incrimination. However, you still must respond and cannot ever simply ignore a subpoena.

Getting Help from a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Las Vegas

If you are being threatened with contempt due to your failure to respond to a subpoena, you need to get legal help. You need an aggressive and knowledgeable Las Vegas defense lawyer who can help you to fight to avoid providing testimony you don’t feel you should have to offer. You need to ensure you can do everything possible to fight against being held in contempt so you do not end up locked up in jail due to the dispute over whether you must provide testimony.

A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer also provides assistance to defendants who are facing criminal charges and who are concerned about any issues related to witnesses, document production, or subpoenas. At LV Criminal Defense, our legal team understands all of the rules of criminal procedure related to evidence, including the use of subpoenas to compel the production of evidence. We are here to help you in every way during the pre-trial and trial phase, so give us a call as soon as possible to get a knowledgeable legal professional working for you.

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