When a defendant is on trial in a criminal case, the goal of the trial is to provide the defendant with due process and to ensure that the prosecutor has proved the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Both the prosecutor and defendant have the right to present evidence to try to convince the jury to find in their favor. Sometimes, however, documents are not available or witnesses are not cooperative. When a prosecutor or defendant wants to compel someone to testify or wants to demand the production of information, the court may issue a subpoena.
Subpoenas can either order a person to attend court proceedings or can mandate that a person with documents or other materials in his possession turn those materials over to the court. Failure to comply with a subpoena can result in the person who has been subpoenaed being held in contempt of court, which could result in that person being jailed.
LV Criminal Defense will help you to understand how subpoenas work, what to do if you are subpoenaed and how to ask the court for a subpoena if you need one as part of your efforts to build a defense when you have been accused of wrongdoing.
Give us a call if you receive a subpoena or if you are involved in a criminal case and need help gathering evidence to prove your innocence or introduce doubt about your guilt.
Nevada law has many rules related to subpoenas, including rules related to when the court may order someone to appear or to produce documents. Among the different Nevada laws related to subpoenas is the law found in the Forms section of Nevada’s code of criminal procedure.
The forms section contains authorized forms which, while N.R.S. 179.315 indicates do not have to be used, do establish the types of information that should be included on different kinds of legal paperwork relevant to a criminal case. If the authorized form is not used for a particular legal document, whatever form is used and whatever language is included in the document must contain substantially similar information so document recipients understand what its purpose is.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
The part of the form section dealing with subpoenas is found in N.R.S. 179.390. The authorized form found within this statute states that the recipient of the subpoena is commanded to appear in court and/or to before a justice of the peace or other official in a particular township in a particular county. The form also states that the date and time when the subpoenaed person must appear should also be included.
The subpoena must inform its recipient that the reason they are being compelled to appear is because a criminal action against a named defendant is being prosecuted by the state of Nevada. If the person who is being subpoenaed is required to bring anything with him, such as books, papers, or documents, the subpoena should contain directions about exactly what should be brought with to court when appearing at the designated time.
If you are subpoenaed to testify in someone else’s criminal case, you may not believe that the proceedings are a big deal for you to worry about. In reality, however, there are many situations where witnesses who were compelled to testify end up accidentally saying something incriminating that implicates them in wrongdoing.
You don’t want to take a risk that you’ll be subpoenaed and end up facing any legal problems because of it. A Las Vegas defense attorney can help you to understand what to do if you’re subpoenaed and can be there with you in court when you testify or turn over documents in order to make sure your lack of legal knowledge does not automatically get you into trouble.
Contact LV Criminal Defense today to find out more about how our firm can protect your interests.