When a person is accused of wrongdoing in the state of Nevada and prosecutors want to press charges, there are two different formal processes for initiating criminal proceedings. One option involves a prosecutor convening a grand jury. If the grand jury believes there is sufficient evidence to move forward to a criminal trial, the grand jury will hand down an indictment. The other option is an information, which is the first pleading submitted by the state to the court.
An information can be filed against a defendant after a magistrate or other examining officer conducts a preliminary examination to determine if there is probable cause to move forward with a case against the defendant. If an information is filed against a defendant, the case can progress and the defendant will need to try to secure an acquittal in order to avoid conviction and penalties.
LV Criminal Defense offers representation to defendants who are facing prosecution. We will work aggressively to help you get acquitted, get your charges dismissed or get the most favorable outcome possible.
To find out more about how a dedicated and knowledgeable Las Vegas criminal lawyer at our firm can help you, give us a call today.
Nevada has many laws related to an information, including statutes related to the court’s authority to act on an information and details on when an information must be filed in relation to a preliminary exam.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
One of the statutes relating to an information is N.R.S. 179.375. This statute is part of a subsection of Nevada’s rules of criminal procedure which contains authorized forms for different kinds of paperwork that is necessary in criminal proceedings. Legal documents including an information usually need to contain specific information in order to be valid.
According to N.R.S. 179.375, an information should specify that in a particular county court, a district attorney for the state of Nevada informs the court that the accused committed a particular offense against the “peace and dignity” of the state. In other words, the information must indicate who the district attorney is, who the defendant is, that the prosecutor intends to press charges, and the nature of the offense.
Many indictments will be written exactly as the statutory form found in N.R.S. 179.375 is written. However, indictments do not have to follow this exact form or contain the exact language found within the relevant code section. This is because N.R.S. 179.315 makes clear that the use of authorized forms is not mandated. If the legal paperwork that is produced is substantially similar in character to the authorized form and if it is sufficient to inform the defendant and the courts of the information, then the information will be accepted.
An information is typically presented as the state’s first pleadings in cases where the defendant is accused of a misdemeanor offense. If the defendant has been accused of a felony offense, typically the case is initiated by convening a grand jury and asking the jury to hand down an indictment.
This does not mean that you cannot face serious consequences if you’re convicted of an offense when an information was presented to the court to initiate the case against you. If you are convicted of even a misdemeanor crime, you could face incarceration and you could be left with a criminal record that forecloses future academic, personal and professional opportunities.
Nick Wooldridge can provide help in understanding what your options are if you have been accused of wrongdoing and are going to stand trial after either an information or indictment is submitted to the court.
Give us a call as soon as possible when you’ve been accused of breaking the law so we can begin helping you to put together the strongest defense possible.