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Trial Defined

Chapter 169 Trial Defined By a Las Vegas Defense Lawyer in Nevada NRS 169.195

Trial DefinedThe Fifth Amendment and the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution promise that no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law. In Section 8 of the Nevada Constitution outlining the rights of the accused in criminal proceedings, the state also guarantees due process before deprivation of rights. The right of due process means that defendants accused of criminal acts are entitled to a speedy and public trial.

While almost everyone has seen fictional and even real trials on television, too many defendants accused of serious crimes are not sure what a trial really entails or whether going to trial is the right choice for them. Leading criminal attorneys at LV Criminal Defense understand trial procedure in Nevada and on the federal level, and our experienced attorneys can provide assistance to clients with all aspects of trial prep and presenting their case to a judge or a jury. Whether you need help determining if a trial will give you the best chance of a favorable outcome, or whether you want an aggressive and passionate advocate to fight for you during trial, we are the Las Vegas defense firm to call.

Trial Defined in Nevada Revised Statute 169.195

A trial is defined in Nevada Revised Statute Section 169.195. Under state law:

  • A trial by jury begins when a jury is empaneled and ends when the jury returns a verdict.
  • A bench trial (trial in which the judge makes a decision) begins when an opening statement is made or when the first witness has been sworn in, and ends when the closing arguments are made or the case has been submitted to the court for consideration.

When a court proceeding is held to determine sentencing after a guilty plea, this court proceeding is not considered a trial. This is true even if the defendant has pled guilty but mentally ill. These proceedings in which a court considers degree of criminal culpability and assigns a punishment are not classified as part of a trial.

Should Your Case Go to Trial in Nevada

When you are charged with a criminal act in Nevada, you will need to decide if your case should go to trial or if you want to plead guilty to avoid a trial.

Some defendants make the choice to plead guilty even if they are innocent, because they are afraid the evidence against them will be enough to secure a conviction. Other defendants who know they committed the crime will still opt to plead not guilty and to take their case to trial because they believe they can raise affirmative defenses or undermine the prosecutor’s case. If you believe you can introduce reasonable doubt and make it impossible for a prosecutor to prove every element of a criminal case, going to trial may provide the best outcome.

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Because guilt or innocence should not be the primary deciding factor in assessing whether a case should go to trial, defendants should speak with a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. At LV Criminal Defense, our legal team can carefully assess the facts of the case, the strength of evidence against you, counterarguments and affirmative defenses available, and all other relevant factors. We can provide advice on whether going to trial is the right legal strategy or whether you may end up with a better outcome by allowing your attorney to arrange a plea deal on your behalf with a prosecutor.

If your case does proceed to trial and the judge or jury declares you not guilty, both state and federal law prohibit double jeopardy. This means you cannot be tried for the same crime twice.

Getting Help from a Las Vegas Criminal Trial Lawyer

Not all criminal defense attorneys are comfortable going to trial or have the experience necessary to successfully mount a defense in a Nevada or federal criminal trial. At LV Criminal Defense, we have represented clients in bench trials and jury trials for crimes ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies with decades-long prison sentences as a possible outcome. To learn more about the trial services we provide and about the dedicated and skillful legal advocacy we can offer throughout the criminal trial process, give us a call today.

More Information

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.

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