Vegas Defense Lawyers Explain Justice Courts

In the state of Nevada, defendants accused of crimes are entitled to due process before any penalties are imposed upon them for alleged wrongdoing. Defendants are considered innocent until they have been proven guilty of a criminal offense, and they are entitled to a trial if they are to be charged with a crime and imprisoned or sentenced to any type of consequences.

There are different courts within the state of Nevada that preside over different legal matters. For example, there are courts called Justice Courts. Chapter 189 of Nevada’s code of criminal procedure sets forth the rules for Justice Courts, which means defendants who have been accused of wrongdoing need to understand the provisions of this chapter of Nevada’s law.

LV Criminal Defense is here and ready to help. Our Vegas defense lawyers have represented many defendants in all different criminal and civil courts in the state of Nevada. Our courtroom experience is unparalleled, and our Las Vegas defense attorneys will be there to provide the representation that defendants need and deserve in any courtroom where they are facing charges.

We know how to advocate for our clients, to maximize the chances of acquittals, to make strong legal arguments on appeals, to be persuasive during sentencing proceedings, and to employ the appropriate legal strategies in all situations that will affect the outcome of your criminal case.

To find out more about how Las Vegas criminal lawyers can assist you in cases before the Justice Courts in the state of Nevada, give us a call as soon as possible. Our legal team will explain how justice courts work and will begin putting together a sound legal strategy for your case.

What are Justice Courts?

According to the Supreme Court of Nevada, Justice Courts are considered to be courts of “limited jurisdiction.” While courts of general jurisdiction can provide over a wide variety of cases related to many different legal issues, courts of limited jurisdiction have the legal authority to hear only very specific types of cases.

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Justice Courts are vested with the responsibility of determining whether or not there is enough evidence in a preliminary criminal case for the case to be tried in District Court. When a prosecutor wishes to bring felony charges or to bring misdemeanor charges against a defendant, a Justice Court will determine if there is sufficient evidence at that point in the case for the legal proceedings against the defendant to move forward. If the Justice Court believes the evidence suggests it is possible for a prosecutor to make a case, then the actual criminal proceedings will happen in District Court as the next step in the process.

Justice Courts also have the authority to preside over certain cases without just reviewing preliminary evidence and sending the cases off to other court rooms. Justice Courts can preside over non-traffic misdemeanor cases, as well as traffic cases, cases involving temporary protective orders (restraining orders) and summary eviction cases.

There are a total of 65 Justices of the Peace spread across 40 different Justice Courts located within the State of Nevada. These Justice Courts are located in different townships and preside over the cases that arise within the township the court services.

Chapter 189: Rules for Justice Courts in Nevada

Nevada laws on Justice Courts are found in Chapter 189, which is part of Title 14 of the Nevada code. Title 14 is the section of Nevada’s code that details procedure in criminal justice.

Nevada Revised Statutes sections 189.005 through 189.120 all are within the Justice Courts Chapter (Chapter 189) of Title 14. The different statutes within Chapter 189 set many different rules and requirements for the Justice Courts including:

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  • N.R.S. 189.005, which makes clear that the prevailing rules in Chapter 189 will determine procedure in Justice Courts unless there are conflicting superseding laws.
  • N.R.S. 189.007, which establishes the grounds for dismissal of complaints. A Justice Court can dismiss a complaint if the Justice of the Peace is lacking in jurisdiction over the particular offense the defendant has been accused of. If the facts as presented do not constitute a public offense – aka the facts don’t show any evidence that a crime may have been committed – then the complaint can be dismissed. Finally, if more than one offense is charged in any particular count of the complaint against the defendant, then the Justice Court could dismiss the case.

There are also provisions within Chapter 189 that allow defendants to appeal and that explain what will happen when a defendant appeals a decision that has been made within the Justice Court. For example:

  • N.R.S. 189.010 indicates that when a Justice of the Peace makes a decision on a case involving a defendant in a criminal action, the defendant can appeal the final judgment made by the Justice of the Peace. The defendant can appeal to the District Court, but must do so within 10 days of the time when the Justice of the Peace rendered judgment.
  • N.R.S. 189.020 requires a party who wishes to file an appeal to file a notice of intent to appeal and must serve the district attorney with notice.
  • N.R.S. 189.030 explains how the transmission of transcripts from the Justice Court must be transmitted to the District Court and N.R.S. 189.035 explains what happens when the Justice Court transcript is defective.
  • N.R.S. 189.065 explains the grounds for appeal and the ways in which the judgement of the Justice of the Peace is enforced.
  • N.R.S. 189.065 explains when a dismissal can occur due to a failure to set an appeal for hearing or to re-set an appeal for hearing.
  • N.R.S. 189.070 explains the grounds for dismissing the complaint made upon an appeal.
  • N.R.S. 189.120 details the rules for when the state can appeal if the defendant is successful in his motion to suppress evidence, or keep it from being presented.

LV Criminal Defense can represent you when your case comes before the Justice Court and can help you to make an appeal, if necessary.

Getting Help From Las Vegas Criminal Lawyers

Nevada defense attorneys with experience in Justice Courts can provide the advice that clients need as they navigate the complexities of the legal system. Your future hangs in the balance when you are facing charges and must come before the Justice Courts. Defense lawyers at LV Criminal Defense have the skill, compassion and legal knowledge to give you the best chance of a successful outcome in a criminal case.

To learn more about what criminal lawyers in Las Vegas can do to help you after you have been charged, give us a call today.