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Warrants and Summonses

Nevada Rules for Warrants and Summonses descibed by a Vegas Defense Lawyer

WARRANTS AND SUMMONSESIn the state of Nevada, if there is a warrant issued for your arrest, police can take you into custody. If there is a summons issued, on the other hand, you will be served with the summons and required to appear in court at a given date and time.  There are specific rules for both warrants and summonses and defendants who find themselves facing either a warrant or a summons need to understand what their rights are and how to respond.

LV Criminal Defense is an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense law firm that is focused on helping clients who are charged with all types of criminal acts. As soon as you get a warrant or a summons, you should call us immediately so we can begin working on your defense and developing a legal strategy aimed at keeping you out of jail.  The sooner we get started on your case, the sooner we can offer you advice on how to plead and the sooner we can start gathering the evidence and putting together the arguments necessary to help you minimize penalties or avoid conviction and consequences altogether.

Nevada Rules for Warrants and Summonses

Nevada laws regarding warrants and summonses are set forth in Title 14 of the Nevada Code, which deals with Procedure in Criminal Cases. Chapter 173 of Title 14 contains statutes detailing the rules for indictments and informations, as well as for warrants and summonses.  Either an indictment or an information should be the first pleading by the state. Indictments are handed down by grand juries and informations are presented to the court when there has been a preliminary hearing and it has been determined there is probable cause for moving forward in a criminal proceeding against a defendant. When the indictment or information is submitted to the court, this can trigger the process of a warrant or a summons being issued.

Nevada Revised Statute Section 173.145 provides details on the specific rules and requirements for exactly when a warrant or summons will be issued. According to N.R.S. 173.145, the court should issue a warrant for each defendant who has been named in an indictment or an information.  The court should issue the warrant upon request of the Attorney General or the District Attorney.  If the district attorney or attorney general request a summons instead of a warrant, the clerk should issue a summons instead of a warrant. The clerk may also issue a summons instead of a warrant upon the direction of the court.

The clerk is given the task of delivering a warrant or summons to peace officers, or to others who have been authorized by law to execute the warrant or serve the summons.  Upon request or based upon court directions, clerks can also issue more than one warrant and/or summons for a defendant.  If a summons has been issued instead of a warrant and a defendant fails to appear when he has been summoned to court, then a warrant must be issued for the defendant’s arrest.

N.R.S. 173.55 provides more details on the form that the warrant should take, and indicates that the amount of bail can be fixed by the court and endorsed on the warrant. Warrants have to provide a description of the offenses that the information or the indictment claim the defendant has committed. The warrant also has to command the arrest of the defendant and mandate that he be brought before the court. A warrant must be signed by the clerk.

N.R.S. 173.185 provides details on the form that a summons must take. The summons must be just like a warrant, except instead of commanding that the defendant be arrested it should command that the defendant appear before the court at a stated time and location.

N.R.S. 173.165 and N.R.S. 173.175 both deal with bail, with the former addressing the rules for what happens when a defendant is arrested on a bailable offense while in another county and the later addressing when a defendant can be taken into custody unless bail is paid.

Finally, N.R.S. 173.195 sets rules for the execution of a warrant or the service of a summons, and N.R.S. 173.205 sets the rules for the return of a warrant and a summons or the reissuance of a warrant or summons that went unexpected or unserved.

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What Happens if You Receive a Warrant or a Summons?

If you receive a warrant or a summons, you need to be prepared with an aggressive response to the criminal charges that you face. You should carefully review the information provided to you to find out what criminal acts you have been accused of committing and what charges you are facing. You will need to discover what a prosecutor must prove in order for you to be convicted of a particular criminal charge.  You don’t have to actually prove you are innocent- all you have to do is introduce reasonable doubt into any element of the prosecutor’s case against you to avoid being convicted of a criminal offense.

Determining how to plead, making a compelling argument to avoid a high bail amount, and beginning to prepare a response to a criminal trial can be very complicated. You want to start right away in protecting your rights when you have been arrested on a warrant or when you have been served a summons. This means getting a legal advocate on your side immediately.

How a Las Vegas Defense Attorney Can Help 

At LV Criminal Defense, we understand the rules for issuing and executing warrants and we will make sure that all of the proper protocols and processes were followed when peace officers executed the warrant or served you with the summons. We’ll begin helping you to prepare a response to your charges as well, which could include negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor on your behalf or getting ready to go to court to fight against a conviction. 

Our legal team has helped many clients who have been served or arrested and we know how to conduct investigations, undermine evidence, and help defendants to avoid a guilty verdict. Give us a call as soon as possible so we can get started now on your defense strategy.

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