One indictment can bring charges against multiple defendants. A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer explains the impact of joinder of defendants.
In Nevada, the law allows one indictment or one information to be used to bring charges against multiple defendants. It is permissible for a single indictment or information to bring charges against multiple people only under certain circumstances. If you and another defendant have been accused of participating in the same crime and criminal proceedings are initiated under the same indictment, you will need to determine if having a joint trial may be a good legal strategy for you or whether it is better for each defendant to face individual criminal proceedings.
A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can explain the rules for indictments and informations and can help to determine how best to respond if you and another defendant were indicted under a joint indictment. LV Criminal Defense has extensive experience helping clients who have been accused of participating in criminal acts with others or who have been accused of taking part in conspiracies to break the law. Give us a call to learn more about how we can assist after you are indicted, either on your own or with other defendants.
Nevada Rules for Joinder of Defendants
Indictment or an information are the two ways that a prosecutor initiates a criminal trial against a defendant in Nevada. Either the grand jury decides there is probable cause to indict or a preliminary hearing is held to determine probable cause before an information is presented to a criminal court with jurisdiction over a case. The indictment can indict a defendant on multiple criminal counts as long as the counts arise from the same crime or same series of criminal acts. A single indictment or information can also be used for multiple defendants.
Nevada Revised Statute 173.135 sets forth the rules for joinder of defendants. According to the relevant statute, it is permissible for a single indictment or information to result in charges against two or more defendants if the defendants are accused of participating in the same act, in the same criminal transaction, or in the same series of transactions that constitute a criminal offense.
When a single indictment is brought against multiple defendants, the defendants could be charged in one or more counts together, or could be charged separately. It is not required for all of the defendants to be charged with all of the criminal counts in the indictment in order for a single indictment to be used. This means the indictment could result in different defendants having proceedings initiated by a single indictment, with the defendants facing different accusations based on their own roles in an alleged crime.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
When two or more defendants are accused of participating together in a criminal trial or in a criminal transaction, it is sometimes possible for the defendants to have a joint trial together. Joint trials can save time and can save money because the defendants can pool resources to build a defense and try to work together to disprove the case being made by the prosecutor.
However, there could be downsides to multiple defendants having a joint trial when accused of participating in the same criminal transaction. The defendants could end up having conflicting interests, or could find themselves wanting to present different defenses or different explanations for the events that occurred. One defendant could also decide he wants to testify against others, which could complicate a joint trial.
Before you decide whether a joint or separate trial is a better option, you should speak with an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer about the specifics of your situation.
A Las Vegas defense lawyer can provide assistance in cases where multiple defendants are indicted for the same transaction. LV Criminal Defense can carefully review the specifics of the evidence and the charges and help you to decide on what legal strategy may be the best choice for you.
Even if you do opt for a joint trial, you need your own lawyer who advocates only for you. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help.