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Investigation of Suspected Criminal Activity - Detention and Identification of Suspects

Nevada Defense Attorney descibes Investigation Process in Nevada Under Chapter171

Local law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Nevada are charged with keeping the peace, responding to reports of criminal activities, and conducting investigations.  There are a number of law enforcement agencies that have different tasks and different jurisdictions,  including the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the Clark County Constable, and the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. Federal law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) ,these  two may also operate within the borders of Nevada.

All of these law enforcement agencies are subject to strict rules and regulations when it comes to the investigation of criminal acts, the detention of suspects, and the collection of evidence.  Suspects have many protections guaranteed by the United States Constitution, the Nevada Constitution, and the Nevada rules of criminal procedure.  When any of the rights of a suspect are violated, this can result in evidence obtained against the suspect being suppressed- which means that prosecutors may not make use of the evidence in court to secure a conviction.

At LV Criminal Defense, our experienced attorneys know the Nevada rules of criminal procedure related to the investigation of suspected criminal activity. We will carefully review all of the circumstances of investigations, interrogations, searches conducted, and arrests. Our goal is to help prevent the prosecutor from making a successful case against you, and we’ve provided assistance to many clients in getting state or federal charges dropped or in getting a not guilty verdict. Call us today to learn more.

Nevada Laws on Investigation of Suspected Criminal Activity

Within the Nevada Code of Criminal Procedure, there are multiple code sections specifically related to the process that law enforcement officials must follow when conducting an investigation of criminal activity, or when detaining or identifying suspects. The relevant laws that are related to the investigation  process and the arrest process are found in Nevada Revised Statutes Sections 171.1223 through 171.1237.   These code sections address:

  • Situations where a peace officer has limited jurisdiction over a particular case type. Under NRS 171.1223 , if a country has a population of 100,000 or more and a peace officer witnesses the attempt or commission of a Category A felony, the officer should generally notify the primary law enforcement agency in the city or county. The appropriate law enforcement agency must be notified so the investigation can be conducted by proper authorities.
  • Information a law enforcement officer must provide to a potential victim when domestic violence crimes are suspected. NRS 171.1225 makes clear that the officer must provide his name, details about the ability of abuse victims to seek a protection order, and other details on services and supports that are available to potential abuse victims.
  • A requirement that police officers must submit a written report whenever there are suspected acts of domestic violence. Information from reports may be aggregated and sent to a Central Repository. NRS 171.127 also provides details on what the contents of a report on suspected domestic violence crimes must incorporate.
  • The investigation of alleged sexual offenses. NRS 171.1228 outlines specific requirements and limitations for investigating these types of crimes, including stipulating that victims are not required to submit to a polygraph.

The relevant code sections also address fingerprinting of people who are detained or cited; rules for temporarily detaining a suspect; details on the arrest process when probable cause for arrest is present; and rules and limitations for a search that a law enforcement officer may conduct to determine if a defendant who is detained (or who is about to be detained) has any dangerous weapons.

 The goal of these code sections is to make sure that law enforcement and prosecutors respect the rights of defendants, and to ensure that defendants get due process before deprivation of property, life, or liberty.

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What Should You Do If You Are Under Investigation?

Anything that you say during formal or informal questioning could be used to further an investigation, or could be used by law enforcement officials as evidence that you are providing inconsistent information.  Sometimes, questions that seem innocent may actually not be so benign- so never assume that you are safe to talk to police without a criminal lawyer in Las Vegas.

Whenever you are under investigation, you need to assert your right to an attorney immediately. Do not answer police questions without having a lawyer present.  If you suspect the police may consider you as a suspect- even if they have not indicated you are officially under investigation- you need to call a criminal defense attorney.

You also need to understand your rights throughout the investigation process. If police wish to execute a search warrant, or if they wish to arrest you, you have the right to see the search warrant or arrest warrant.  You  also have the right to remain silent at all times, and the right not to make any statements that could incriminate you.

Determining exactly how to behave when you are under investigation can be a very complicated prospect. At LV Criminal Defense, we know every rule of criminal procedure in the Nevada state code. We will work very hard to help ensure that your rights are respected and that police and prosecutors will be unable to build a successful case against you.

How Can a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You?

Whether you are in the midst of an investigation and need help avoiding incriminating yourself or whether you have already been arrested and are hoping to get evidence suppressed or hoping to raise doubts about the prosecutor’s case against you, you need to ensure you understand Nevada law. Don’t try to handle your case alone with so much at stake- contact LV Criminal Defense now to get help from a Las Vegas defense attorney with the experience and commitment you need and deserve.

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