Nevada defendants are entitled to due process when facing criminal charges. Before their cases are scheduled for a trial in a Nevada District Court, a Justice of the Peace in a Justice Court will generally determine if there is sufficient evidence in both felony cases and gross misdemeanor cases. The Supreme Court of Nevada explains that there are a total of 65 different Justices of the Peace who preside over cases at 40 different Justice Courts, each of which is located in a different county within the State of Nevada.
Las Vegas criminal lawyers should be consulted to represent defendants who are faced with felony or gross misdemeanor charges and whose cases will go before the Justice Court to determine if there are grounds to proceed to a criminal trial. LV Criminal Defense knows how Justice Courts work, we understand the rules applicable to their operations, and we provide defendants with appropriate advice on how to protect their interests and maximize their chances of favorable outcomes throughout the entirety of their criminal proceedings.
Another key service that Vegas defense lawyers can offer to clients is assistance with appealing decisions made within Justice Courts in Nevada. Appeals are possible, but there are strict time limits and other specific requirements that must be followed in order to appeal a decision that has been made by a Justice of the Peace. If you want to try to appeal a decision made in Justice Court, you should not hesitate to reach out to LV Criminal Defense as soon as the decision has been made.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Chapter 189 of Nevada’s Revised Statutes is the section of Nevada law which details how Justice Courts operate and what the rules and requirements are for Justice Courts in the state. There are different provisions within Chapter 189 addressing procedure in Justice Courts, as well as addressing appeals to district courts.
The section of Nevada law related to Appeals to District Court is divided up into two categories: one for appeals by defendants and one for appeals by the state. It is important for the defendant to understand both the rules for when he may appeal as well as the rules for when the state can appeal, because if the state’s appeal is successful, it could become harder for the defendant to get a case dismissed.
The state is allowed to appeal in only a limited number of situations. N.R.S. 189.120 indicates that the state of Nevada can appeal a decision that has been made in Justice Court when the Justice Court granted a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence.
A defendant can file a motion to suppress evidence when the defendant believes the prosecutor should not be permitted to present evidence as part of the prosecutor’s effots to secure a conviction. When a court grants a motion to suppress, the evidence that the Prosecutor is trying to present cannot be considered by the Justice of the Peace or by other decision-makers in criminal trials, such as a jury or a judge in a bench trial.
Typically, a motion to suppress evidence is granted if the defendant has convinced the court there were problems with the collection of the evidence, such as an unlawful search in violation of the U.S. Constitution. If a motion to suppress evidence is granted, it becomes harder for a prosecutor to make a case against a defendant because at least some of the evidence the prosecutor was planning to use will now be prohibited from being considered in determining if the defendant broke the law.
If a defendant’s motion to suppress is granted by the Justice Court, then the state can appeal within two days of the court granting the motion to suppress if the court entered the order during a criminal trial or during a preliminary examination. If the court has granted a defendant’s motion to suppress either before a trial or before a preliminary examination, then the state has five days to appeal the court’s decision on the motion to suppress.
If the state perfects the appeal, then further proceedings will be halted until a final determination is made on the appeal, if the state perfected the appeal after the preliminary examination or after the trial commenced. If the state perfects an appeal prior to the trial or prior to the preliminary examination, then the clock is stopped and the time limit for bringing the defendant to trial on charges is suspended until a final decision on the appeal has been made.
If the state is successful on getting the motion to suppress overturned, the state may be allowed to present the evidence after all – thus making it more difficult for the defendant to prevail because the defendant now has to contend with evidence against him that would otherwise not have been admitted.
N.R.S. 189.010 through N.R.S. 189.070 detail the rules and requirements for when a defendant wants to appeal the decision made by the Justice Court. According to relevant code sections within 189.010 through 189.070,, appeals have to be made within 10 days of an unfavorable decision and the defendant must provide notice of intent to appeal. Transcripts and other documentation from the Justice Court proceedings will be sent to the District Court to consider the appeal.
The District Court can dismiss the complaint upon appeal for the same basic reasons why the Justice Court could have dismissed the complaint. As N.R.S. 189.070 explains, grounds for dismissal of a complaint against a defendant can include the Justice of the Peace not having jurisdiction; more than one offense being charged in each count of the complaint; or insufficient facts to prove a public offense occurred.
LV Criminal Defense can provide representation if you need to make an appeal to the district court, and can represent you if the state has appealed after your motion to suppress evidence was granted. Give us a call today to find out more about how a Nevada defense attorney can help you with any legal matters you are involved in within Justice Courts.