Defense Attorney Speaks About Joinder of Offenses in Nevada NRS-173.115
A criminal trial against a defendant begins with an indictment handed down by a grand jury or with an information filed with the criminal court after a preliminary hearing has been conducted to ensure probable cause to move forward. It is possible for a single indictment or a single information to result in a defendant being charged with multiple offenses under certain circumstances.
Defendants need to be aware that they can face multi-count indictments or an information that results in them being charged with multiple crimes. If you are charged, you need to be prepared to fight all of the charges against you. LV Criminal Defense understands how to raise vigorous defenses and how to help defendants to develop a comprehensive legal strategy to deal with multiple criminal accusations being raised against them. The more charges you face, and the more serious the nature of the charges, the more essential it is to have an attorney with a strong background representing defendants in Nevada criminal cases.
Nevada Rules for Joinder of Offenses
Nevada sets the rules for joinder of offenses in Chapter 173 relating to indictments and information. According to Nevada Revised Statute 173.115, a defendant can be charged with two or more offenses in one indictment or with two or more offenses in one information as long as the multiple offenses that the defendant is charged with were either based on the same act or transaction, or were based on two or more acts or transactions that are connected or that are part of a common scheme or a common plan.
If, for example, a defendant was accused of hacking into a computer to steal a credit card and then illegally using that credit card, the defendant could be charged with both the computer crimes and the credit card fraud crimes in the same indictment or same information because the acts are part of a common plan to unlawfully obtain and use the credit card information.
The Nevada rules for joinder of offenses allow for the offenses to be charged in the same indictment regardless of whether the offenses are felonies or misdemeanors. However, there must be a separate count for each offense.
Facing a Multi-Count Indictment or Multi-Count Information
It is very common for prosecutors to take advantage of the rules for joinder of offenses and to try to indict a defendant on multiple counts or to try to have a defendant charged with multiple counts in an information. Prosecutors may charge defendants separately for each part of a criminal transaction, or for each separate instance where the same criminal act was committed. Prosecutors sometimes specifically try to bring charges for as many different criminal counts as possible in an effort to try to get defendants to negotiate a plea deal because defendants fear lengthy prison sentences if convicted of all counts.
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When you face a multi-count indictment or information, you need to be prepared to deal with all of the accusations against you. The investigation into the evidence and the legal arguments you make should take each separate offense into account so you have a solid overall strategy.
How a Las Vegas Criminal Lawyer Can Help
It is natural to be frightened when facing a multi-count criminal indictment. It is important that you do not agree to any plea agreement with a prosecutor based on threats of multiple criminal charges until you have spoken with an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney who can help you to determine if you can get charges dropped or fight conviction.
LV Criminal Defense is ready to help you fight any charges, even when you have been accused of committing multiple crimes. Give us a call as soon as possible if you have been indicted or if an information has been presented to the court and a prosecutor is seeking to move forward with criminal charges against you.