After a grand jury hands down an indictment or a preliminary hearing reveals enough information to move forward with a case, the prosecutor can move forward with criminal proceedings. The indictment or information is the prosecutor’s first pleading submitted to the court. The prosecutor can subsequently ask the court to issue a warrant for your arrest or can ask for the clerk to prepare a summons that you will be served with. The warrant would require you to be taken into police custody while the summons would require you to appear in court on a designated date at a certain time. If you didn’t go to court in response to the summons when required to attend, then a warrant would be issued for your arrest.
You need to understand what happens when a warrant or summons is issued and how to respond if you are taken into custody or served and told to appear in court. There are strict rules for warrants and for summonses and a Las Vegas criminal attorney can provide you with the details you need to make sure the requirements were followed. LV Criminal Defense will be there for you to respond to your warrant or summons and will help you to determine how best to handle the criminal accusations against you with the goal of avoiding a conviction or reducing the penalties conviction can bring.
When a warrant or a summons is issued by the court or by the clerk, Nevada law requires that the clerk deliver the warrant or summons to someone with the authority to serve the summons or to execute the warrant. Typically, this means that the warrants or summons is delivered to a peace officer.
Nevada Revised Statute section 173.195 provides more details on exactly how a warrant is supposed to be executed by a peace officer or other individual with authority. This statute also addresses how a summons is to be served.
According to N.R.S. 173.195, the warrant should be executed or the summons should be served in accordance with instructions found in other rules of Nevada criminal procedure including the requirements set forth in N.R.S. 171.144, N.R.S. 171.118, and N.R.S. 171.122.
N.R.S. 171.144 specifies who can execute a warrant or serve a summons. Peace officers are given the exclusive authority by this statute to execute a warrant, whereas a summons can be served by any person who has been authorized to serve a summons in a civil case. In order words, any professional process serve with the authority to serve a summons in a civil case can also serve a summons in a criminal case to alert the defendant of an obligation to appear in court.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
N.R.S. 171.118 sets the geographic rules for executing a warrant or serving someone with a summons. Peace officers and authorized process servers can execute the warrant or serve someone with process anywhere within the jurisdiction of the state of Nevada.
Finally, N.R.S. 171.122 details the rules for the manner in which a warrant is executed or a summons is served. Warrants typically have to be executed by actually arresting the defendant although there are limited circumstances where a peace officer has the authority to issue a citation instead of making an arrest. The officer must inform the defendant of the warrant and of intent to make an arrest and a defendant is not permitted to flee or forcibly resist arrest. If a defendant flees or resists, the officer is permitted to use all necessary means to affect an arrest.
A summons, on the other hand, must be served by delivering a copy of it to the defendant personally or by leaving it at the defendant’s home with someone who is at last 16 years-old. A summons could also be served by mailing it to the last known address for the defendant at least five days before the date the defendant is to appear in court.
If you are served a summons or are arrested because of an arrest warrant, act quickly to get legal help so you can respond to the accusations that you now must defend yourself against. LV Criminal Defense is here to help you make sure rules for warrants and summonses were followed and to assist you in developing and employing a sound legal strategy during your criminal proceedings. Call today to learn more.