Defendants in criminal trials are protected by state and federal rules ensuring due process. Due process means every defendant is entitled to appropriate legal proceedings before being deprived of property, liberty, or life. To make sure defendant’s rights are protected, prosecutors meet their burden of proof, and criminal cases proceed fairly, objectively, and impartially, the federal government and every state in the country have established laws setting procedural rules in criminal cases.
In Nevada, the laws regulating all aspects of procedure in criminal case are found in Title 14 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Within Title 14, Chapter 169 sets forth preliminary provisions applicable to all other chapters in the procedural code. This Chapter also defines many of the terms used, so defendants and prosecutors are on the same page about their rights and obligations during criminal proceedings.
At LV Criminal Defense, our experienced legal team is familiar with every definition and every preliminary provision found in Chapter 169. We know what the terms mean, why they matter, and how these definitions can affect the development of a trial strategy. Interpreting and understanding legal language is difficult, and you need a lawyer who will help you to make sure you don’t jeopardize the outcome of your case on a mistake or a technicality. To get a top-notch Las Vegas criminal defense attorney on your side, give us a call now so we can help you.
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 169 makes clear that the procedural rules set forth in Title 14 apply to all court proceedings in the state of Nevada and to all criminal proceedings that come before a magistrate judge. If a defendant is charged with a federal crime and tried in federal court, different rules of criminal procedure will apply. Likewise, if a defendant is charged with a crime and faces trial in a different state, that jurisdiction will have its own rules of criminal procedure.
Chapter 169 also explains that the purpose of Nevada’s rules of criminal procedure are to “provide for the just determination of every criminal procedure.” The goals are to achieve a fair process, a simple process, and a process free of unnecessary expenses and delays.
Unfortunately, because there are so many rules and the process is complicated by nature, many defendants find that the rules of criminal procedure do not exactly guarantee simplicity. The difficulty in learning and understanding all of the rules is why having a lawyer is so important, and why defendants are entitled to a lawyer to ensure they get due process.
In addition to establishing the scope and explaining the purpose of Nevada’s criminal procedure rules, N.R.S. Chapter 169 also defines some of the key terms used within those rules. The terms that are defined include criminal action, defendant, district attorney, law, peace officer, public officer,state and trial, among others.
Establishing formal definitions is important, because words may have differing meanings depending upon their context. When a defendant’s rights hang in the balance and the question of whether a crime has been committed is dependent upon the definition of a word, it is essential there is no confusion over word meaning.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
In some cases, for example, defendants can face criminal charges for things like lying to a public officer or failing to provide information lawfully requested by a peace officer or public officer. In order for these laws to be fair, there must be one clear and established definition of who is a public or peace officer.
Unfortunately, even when laws aim to make definitions clear, words are still subject to interpretation. Thousands of pages of legal opinion in Nevada and nationwide have been devoted to understanding and establishing the meaning of words within statutes and constitutions. An attorney can help you to explore past laws and precedent that could affect the way words are interpreted in your case, as interpretation can sometimes mean the difference between freedom and conviction.
Don’t try to navigate the complex criminal procedural rules in Nevada on your own. Contact an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer at LV Criminal Defense so you can get help from a lawyer who has dedicated his career to fighting for defendants and trying to get the law on their side. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how our legal team can help you.
The criminal process in Nevada involves many “characters” and personalities, as well as written rules and unwritten procedures. A conviction can result in a loss of freedom due to jail time and loss of rights to custody of children, immigration status, to carry a weapon, to vote, or the right to work in certain industries. For sex crimes, you may be required to register as a sex offender which can be devastating to your future.
Due to the complexity of the system and the potential loss of significant rights, your best bet is to retain LV Criminal Defense – a group of highly qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyers who can defend you if you have been arrested.