In the state of Nevada, a defendants who is charged with a crime needs to understand how the rules of criminal procedure work to guarantee him due process of the law. There are complex legal rules applicable to every part of criminal proceedings, from when and how a defendant can be arrested to what happens when a defendant is convicted and his sentence must be executed or carried out.
One set of rules in Nevada specifically applies to arrest of judgement, or circumstances in which the court can postpone or stay a court decision. If you are accused of a crime and you believe that the court presiding over your case does not have jurisdiction or that the indictment or information do not actually provide information sufficient to charge you with a criminal offense, you need to speak with an experienced Las Vegas attorney as soon as possible.
LV Criminal Defense can provide you with assistance in dealing with arrest of judgement so we can help you to try to get your life back after serious accusations are made against you. Give us a call so we can help you to understand whether arrest of judgement may be appropriate in your situation and to find out what your options are for arguing for arrest of judgement.
Nevada Revised Statute 176.525 provides details on when a court will arrest judgement, or stop or delay the enforcement of a judgement. The court is required to arrest judgement if the indictment or the information which was used to initiate criminal proceedings against a defendant did not actually support a charge of a criminal offense. An indictment or information is submitted to the court to initiate proceedings against a defendant; if it doesn’t provide the necessary details and legal supporting information to show a crime was committed, then arrest of judgement is appropriate.
The court is also required to arrest judgement if the court did not have jurisdiction over the particular charge. Jurisdiction refers to the right of the court to preside over a case and issue binding rulings on the parties to the case. State courts have jurisdiction over state crimes, in general, but the cases have to be filed in the right court. If an indictment or information is filed in a court and that particular court does not have the legal authority under Nevada law to preside over a criminal case based on the details in the indictment or information, arrest of judgement is appropriate.
A motion in arrest of judgment has to be made within seven days after a determination is made on guilt, unless the court sets a different time limit within this seven day period.
N.R.S. 176.535 explains what happens when the court arrests judgement. If the defendant moves to arrest judgement and the court grants the motion, the effect of arresting the judgement is that the defendant is put back into the same position he was in before the information or complaint was filed with the court or before the indictment was found. In other words, arresting the judgement involves undoing all of the consequences which the defendant endured as a result of the criminal charges being brought against him in court.
The long-term effects of arresting a judgement, however, can vary depending upon the circumstances. N.R.S. 176.545 explains what happens after allowance of arrest of judgement. If there was reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant was guilty which emerged during the trial, and a new indictment, complaint, or information can be prepared and filed which could result in conviction of the defendant, then the court may require that the defendant be recommitted to law enforcement officers in the appropriate county which has jurisdiction over the offense. The court could also require that the defendant be admitted to bail under a new proceeding to answer the indictment, information, or complaint.
If the evidence in the trial shows that the defendant is guilty of any other offenses, separate from the ones in the original faulty indictment, information, or complaint, the defendant can be held based on the other evidence. The proceedings for which judgement was arrested by the court will not bar the new proceedings on the offenses which evidence suggested that the defendant was guilty of, whether the evidence showed the defendant was guilty of the same offenses in the initial indictment or guilty of new offenses.
If there is no evidence which appears as if it is sufficient to bring any criminal charges against the defendant, then the defendant should be discharged if he is in custody. If the defendant had paid bail, the money should be refunded and the bail be exonerated.
In these circumstances where there was insufficient evidence to support any criminal charges against the defendant and when the court arrests judgement, the arrest of judgement will operate as if it was an acquittal on the charges which were listed in the indictment, complaint, or information. In other words, it will be just as if the defendant had been found not guilty of the particular charges which had led to the criminal proceedings. Double jeopardy will attach, and the defendant in these circumstances will not be able to be tried again for the same offense for which he had been put on trial.
Arrest of judgement can be a good thing for a defendant, because it can be treated like an acquittal under certain circumstances or it can prevent a judgement from standing. Defendants need to know how arrest of judgement works, when it may be appropriate under their particular circumstances, and what they can do to try to get the court to arrest judgement.
LV Criminal Defense understands the rules for arrest of judgement and we can provide invaluable guidance. Give us a call today to speak with a Las Vegas defense lawyer in order to find out more about arrest of judgement.