A Vegas Defense Lawyer Explains Rules for Issuing Warrants or Summonses

If a warrant is issued for your arrest, you can be taken into custody by a peace officer and held in custody until you have paid bail money. If you are arrested for a non-bailable offense or if you cannot pay bail, a warrant could result in you being taken into custody until your case is ultimately resolved.  If you are issued a summons, rather than arrested, you’ll have to appear in court as required by the summons or else a warrant could be issued for your arrest.

Being called to court or taken into custody is a frightening experience. You need to be prepared to respond appropriately when a warrant or summons is issued for you.  The smartest option when determining what to do after a warrant or summons is issued is to get legal advice from a criminal defense law firm with experience. LV Criminal Defense is focused on providing assertive and knowledgeable legal representation to criminal defendants in Las Vegas and in surrounding areas. If you’ve been arrested or summoned to court, contact us now so we can help you to understand the charges, decide how to respond, and begin develop a strategy aimed at minimizing penalties or avoiding penalties altogether.

Rules for Issuance of a Warrant or Summons

There are strict rules for when and how a warrant or a summons can be issued, since you cannot just be compelled to come into court or taken into police custody for no reason.

N.R.S. 173.145 provides details on the requirements for the issuance of either a warrant or a summons.  A warrant or summons can be issued by the court or by a clerk after a defendant is named in an indictment or information.  Either an indictment or information are the first pleadings by prosecuting attorneys to the courts. Indictments come after grand jury proceedings when the grand jury decides the prosecutor has shown sufficient cause to move forward with prosecution. An information is presented to the court when a probable cause determination has been made in a preliminary hearing.  This means a warrant shouldn’t be issued for you unless a hearing or grand jury proceeding has first taken place to ensure there is actually a valid reason to believe there may be a case against you.

The court issues a warrant, upon the request of either a District Attorney or an Attorney General acting pursuant to a specific statute.  The clerk issues a summons, as an alternative to a warrant, upon the request of the DA, the attorney general, or upon the court’s direction.  Clerks can issue more than one warrant or more than one summons for the same defendant upon the court’s direction or upon request.

Once a warrant or a summons is issued by a clerk or by the court, the clerk should deliver it to someone with authority to serve the summons or execute the warrant. Usually, it is delivered to a peace officer who then executes it or serves the summons according to Nevada criminal procedure rules.  If a defendant is summoned to appear in court and does not come to court at the time and place required, a warrant will be issued for the defendant’s arrest.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


Getting Help After a Warrant or Summons is Issued

When the court or clerk issues a warrant or a summons against you, this is a troubling step in the process that could lead to conviction for a crime if you do not respond in a smart and strategic way. You need to be ready to argue for bail, to decide how you want to respond to charges, and to begin looking for options that will help you to avoid a guilty verdict or lessen the penalties a conviction could bring.

LV Criminal Defense represents clients accused of infractions, misdemeanor offenses, and felony crimes. No matter how serious the charges, we’ll work hard to keep you out of custody pending trial and to get you the best outcome possible to your case. Give us a call now so we can get started.