What are Your Rights After An Arrest? A NV Defense Lawyer descibes in Nevada NRS 171.186

After being arrested and taken into custody by a peace officer in Nevada, you have many legal rights within the criminal justice system. One of the rights you have is a preliminary examination. During this preliminary examination, witnesses may provide testimony and certain other information may be presented to the court. If the magistrate determines there is probable cause to believe a criminal offense has been committed, the case will proceed to the district court where you will need to defend yourself. If there is no probable cause to move forward presented during the preliminary examination, the magistrate will discharge you.

Unless you waive the preliminary examination, it generally must take place within 15 days- although you have the right to ask for an extension. You must be provided with sufficient time to meet with an attorney before the preliminary examination. You should ensure you get appropriate legal help. LV Criminal Defense can provide you with advice on what to do before a preliminary examination, and can help you prepare to present evidence and undermine the prosecutor’s case so you can try to get the magistrate to throw out the charges. Call a Vegas defense attorney as soon as possible following your arrest so we can begin building your defense strategy.

Rights of Defendants Before a Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination is very important because it gives you the opportunity to try to get the criminal charges against you dismissed before you must proceed to a full trial. It is imperative that you understand exactly what your rights are in regards to this examination and that you make informed choices in the time leading up to it so you do not jeopardize your case.

Nevada Revised Statute 171.186 sets forth the rights of defendants before a preliminary examination. According to the relevant statute:

  • You have the right to know what charges you face. The magistrate must inform you of all criminal complaints against you and all affidavits filed in support of the complaint.
  • You have the right to retain counsel, or to request that a lawyer be assigned to you if you are not able to get a lawyer on your own. Whenever possible, you should find your own attorney with experience handling the specific types of charges that you are facing. This ensure you have a Las Vegas defense lawyer with knowledge of how to build an effective defense to your specific charges.
  • You have the right to be informed that you are not required to make a statement. You also have the right to be informed that any statement which you do make is going to be used against you.
  • You have the right to be informed that you are entitled to a preliminary examination, and you are entitled to reasonable time to consult with counsel before the examination.
  • You have the right to be admitted to bail for most offenses, so you should be given the opportunity to post bond to be released from custody pending your case. The magistrate can set bail based on a variety of factors.

Your attorney can argue that you should be released on your own recognizance, which would mean not having to post bond, or that the amount of bail should be set low. Your attorney can also help you to understand charges that are being brought against you so you can begin determining what legal approach to take in response to the accusations you face.

Contact a Las Vegas Defense Attorney for Help

Before you go before a magistrate after your arrest, it is in your best interests to consult with an attorney so you are prepared and ready to make informed choices throughout every court proceeding.

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


Call LV Criminal Defense as soon as you can when you are taken into police custody. You have the right to make a call to a lawyer, and our experienced Las Vegas defense attorneys are here and ready to help.  Contact us now to learn more.