A Vegas Defense Lawyer Provides Details Timelines for Criminal Trials in Nevada Under Chapter 174
When you are charged with a crime, the process of navigating the criminal justice system can be lengthy and complicated. While you have a constitutional right to a speedy trial, there are a number of different things which could result in delays and which could make the process stretch on for months. Sometimes, it is beneficial for you when the case is delayed so you will have more time to prepare a vigorous defense and so you will have more time before facing the potential that a criminal penalty will be handed down. In many other situations, however, a more timely trial is better – if for no other reason than you can get your legal issues resolved and no longer have the threat of penalties hanging over your head.
Nevada laws set the timeline for trials as part of the state’s rules of criminal procedure. You need to understand what these rules are and you need to carefully explore any and all possible tactics for trying to ensure the timing of your trial is strategic and in your best interests. A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer who understands procedural rules as well as criminal laws can be an invaluable ally as you work to fight for your freedom and the most favorable outcome for your case.
At LV Criminal Defense, we understand Nevada rules related to the time of criminal trials and we’ll work hard to ensure we can make the rules work to our client’s favor. Our goal is to resolve your case as quickly as possible whenever it makes sense to do so, while never compromising on your right to justice or on our efforts to help you get the least possible penalties in your case. To learn more about the assistance we offer, give us a call today.
Nevada Rules for Criminal Trial Timelines
The rules for the timelines for a criminal trial are set forth in N.R.S. 174.511, N.R.S. 174.515, and N.R.S. 174.519. According to these Nevada statutes:
- The state has the right to demand that a trial of the defendant take place within 60 days after the defendant has been arraigned on criminal charges. However, the court can make an exception and postpone the trial in certain circumstances. An exception can be made either because the court docket is full and the case cannot be worked into the schedule within 60 days or because the defendant needs more time to prepare a defense. (N.R.S. 174.511)
- The court may postpone a trial for another day even when an action has been called to trial. Postponement may occur if either the district attorney or the defendant shows good cause to postpone the proceedings. However, whenever a continuance is granted after either party applies for one, the court may require that the party who is applying for the delay consent to taking a deposition of witnesses the opposing party had summoned if the witnesses deposition had not been previously taken. While the court may require a witness to come back on a different day after postponement was granted and may require the witness procure sureties, the witness can also be released on his own recognizance after giving the required deposition.
- If the trial involves a crime in which the alleged victim was younger than 16 or a crime which was witnessed by people under aged age 16, the court will consider the impact of a delay on the child when determining whether to grant a continuance. (N.R.S. 174.515). The prosecution also has the authority to ask the court to give preference in setting a date for the trial against the defendant when the victim was under 16. (N.R.S. 174.519).
It is important to carefully consider whether you wish to ask for a delay in your pending criminal case or whether you can prepare a defense and become ready on time to move forward quickly. Delaying can give you more time to find witnesses, assemble evidence and explore ways to try to undermine the case which the prosecutor is building against you. However, a delay also provides more time to a prosecutor as well- so you need to ensure you are thinking strategically when considering whether you should apply for a delay or not.
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If you do make the choice to apply for a delay, it will be up to you to show the court it is appropriate to extend the time before your trial. This can be especially complicated in situations where the alleged victim is under aged because of the special deference afforded under Nevada law for considering the impact on the underaged victim when assessing whether a delay is appropriate.
Getting Help from a Las Vegas Crimnal Attorney
While Nevada’s rules dictate the timelines for criminal trials, there are opportunities for defendants to try to either speed up the criminal justice process or to slow it down. You need to understand when taking advantage of either of these opportunities may be strategically smart. Pushing for either delays or for a fast-tracked trial could be beneficial or detrimental depending upon the strength of the prosecutor’s case and your own readiness to fight against conviction. You’ll need to have a solid trial strategy and a plan for fighting charges as you make decisions on how to try to make the criminal justice timeline work for you.
LV Criminal Defense is a trusted and experienced Las Vegas defense firm that provides invaluable guidance to clients on trial strategy. We not only help you to understand the criminal laws resulting in your charges and provide you with representation as you fight to avoid a guilty verdict, but we also understand rules of criminal procedure. We take a comprehensive approach to building your defense, including taking advantage of our knowledge of procedural rules to try to make it harder for the prosecutor to successfully prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
To learn more about all of the different ways in which we can assist our clients, give us a call today.
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