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Temporary Detention by Peace Officer of Person Suspected of Criminal Behavior

A Las Vegas Defense Lawyer analyze When Police Can Detain You in Nevada NRS 171.123

Temporary Detention by Peace OfficerBeing detained by the police is one of the most frightening things you can experience. Because everyone in the United States is entitled to due process before deprivation of liberty, there are strict limits on when police can detain you and how long you can be detained for before you must be arrested, arraigned and given the opportunity to argue for bail.

Defendants need to know their rights, and need to insist on speaking with a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer as soon as they have been detained or if they are taken into custody. An attorney will help to ensure police do not detain you longer than permitted, and will be there for you to help if your detainment turns into an arrest, an arraignment and formal criminal charges. Nick Wooldridge will work hard to help you get free as fast as possible, and to build effective defenses so you can maximize your chances of staying free. Call today to learn more.

Temporary Detention Based on Suspected Criminal Behavior

Nevada Revised Statute Section 171.123 provides information on when a peace officer (a sheriff, a police officer, or another member of law enforcement) can detain you. Under the relevant law, you may be detained:

  • If a law enforcement officer encounters you under circumstances that suggest you have committed a crime, are in the process of committing a crime, or about to commit a crime.
  • If a law enforcement officer encounters you under conditions that suggest you have violated, or are violating, the terms and conditions of your parole or probation.
  • In order for an officer to ascertain your identity and to resolve suspicious circumstances related to your presence abroad. Under these circumstances, you are only required to identify yourself and you may not be compelled to answer any other police questions.

N.R.S. 171.123 also makes clear that you may not be detained for any longer than necessary to fulfill the purposes of the law, and that you should never be detained for more than 60 minutes. Law enforcement officers may detain you only in the place where the alleged suspicious or criminal conduct occurred, or in the immediate vicinity of that place, unless you are arrested.  This means police may not take you anywhere to question you or force you to go anywhere to discern whether a crime has been committed.

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Your Rights When You are in Custody

When you are in police custody, you are entitled to be read your rights and you are entitled to exercise those rights. This means you can plead the fifth, stay silent, and demand a lawyer- among other things.

When you are detained or when you have an encounter with police, it is important to determine if you actually were in custody or if you were free to leave at any time. The answer to this question can determine whether law enforcement officers were required to read you the Miranda warning or whether law enforcement officers acted appropriately in their conduct towards you.

How a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Determining whether a detention was lawful, and whether any evidence obtained during that detention can be used against you, is a complicated process. You should be sure to speak with an attorney for assistance understanding how the laws of criminal procedure protect you and for help raising defenses or seeking to get charges dropped.

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