Las Vegas Criminal Lawyer Provides Details on The Post-Arrest Process of Appearing Before Magistrate in Nevada NRS 171.178

False Reporting of a CrimeIn the criminal justice system in Nevada, peace officers cannot just take you into custody and detain you for extended periods of time- even if there is a warrant for your arrest or even if an officer believes they have seen you commit a crime. Once you have been detained by an officer, you must be taken before a magistrate in a timely manner. Nevada Revised State 171.178 explains your right to be taken before a magistrate.

At LV Criminal Defense, we believe strongly that no defendant should be forced to spend time in jail before he has been proved guilty of a criminal offense. We know that defendants are entitled to due process by the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees they will not be deprived of liberty before they have had a chance to defend themselves. We work hard to protect your right to due process by ensuring you get your hearing before a magistrate quickly after your arrest, and by helping you to make a persuasive argument for bail so you can be released pending trial.  Give us a call as soon as possible so we can help you after you have been taken into custody by a peace officer.

Your Right to Appear Before a Magistrate After Being Taken Into Custody

N.R.S. 171.178 makes clear that a defendant who has been arrested, either with or without an arrest warrant, must be taken before a magistrate. This must occur without unnecessary delay. When possible, you should be taken before the magistrate who issued your arrest warrant if a peace officer took you into custody on the basis of a warrant.

If there is no warrant for your arrest but you were taken into custody because a peace officer suspects you violated the law, you must be taken before any magistrate who is located near to you who has the authority to commit a person charged with a violation of state criminal law. If a peace officer arrested you and there was no warrant out for your arrest, a complaint must be filed forthwith when you have been brought before a magistrate after being taken into custody.

If you are not brought before a magistrate within 72 hours of time following your arrest, excluding days when there is no court in session, then the prosecutor will be asked by the magistrate to explain the specific circumstances that resulted in your delayed appearance. If the prosecutor does not have a satisfactory explanation and the magistrate believes that there were unnecessary delays in bringing you to court, you may be released from custody.

In some situations, it is possible that you will be able to be released on bail even before appearing before a magistrate. If this is possible based on the circumstances of your detainment by a police officer, you must be admitted to bail with the least possible delay.  When you have been released, you will still be required to deal with pending criminal charges. You will be required to appear before a magistrate at the earliest convenient time.

Top Rated Criminal Lawyer

Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


If the peace officer believes there are not sufficient grounds for a criminal complaint against you after you have been subject to arrest, you must be released immediately from custody. When you are released, any records must note that you were detained but not arrested- and must include a record of the release.

A Las Vegas Defense Attorney Can Help After You Are Detained

Defendants detained in Nevada have the right to make a completed telephone call to a lawyer as soon as practical after being taken into custody. You should contact LV Criminal Defense to get help from a Las Vegas lawyer with ensuring you appear before a magistrate promptly and that you are prepared for your appearance.

Call today to schedule a consultation so we can help you to try to argue for bail, get released, and begin building a legal strategy aimed at keeping you out of prison for good.