In the state of Nevada, a statute of limitations applies to most criminal actions. The statute of limitations creates a deadline or a time limit for prosecutors to make a case. If the prosecutor does not commence criminal proceedings by the time the clock runs out, a case can no longer be made for the crime. The clock begins to run when the offense is committed, and time runs out based on Nevada rules for the specific offense type.
There are, however, some special situations where a prosecutor has a longer period of time to start a case. Nevada Revised Statute 171.095 sets forth several of the situations in which an exception to the standard statute of limitations applies. Defendants need to ensure they understand these exceptions to standard rules, because the exceptions could mean they end up facing charges when otherwise it would be too late.
At LV Criminal Defense, our Las Vegas defense attorneys have represented clients facing misdemeanor and felony charges. We have a detailed understanding of time limits and other procedural rules that apply to criminal cases, and we work hard to make sure defendants explore all possible options for getting their case dismissed. Call now if you need assistance when faced with prosecution for any crime.
N.R.S. 171.095 establishes the rules for two situations in which special rules apply to change the standard statute of limitations for certain criminal offenses.
The first situation occurs when a defendant has been accused of a felony, a gross misdemeanor, or a misdemeanor that was committed in a secret manner. When a crime was committed in a secret manner, such that victims may have been unaware of the wrongful acts, the statute of limitations will not begin running until the offense is discovered. For felony robbery, for example, the statute of limitations is normally four years under N.R.S. 171.085 and the clock begins to run when the robbery is committed. However, if the offense is committed in a secret manner, the clock on the four-year period does not begin to run until after the robbery has been discovered.
The second situation occurs when a child is sexually assaulted. The typical deadline for commencing a case based on sexual assault is four years under N.R.S. 171.085, unless the crime is reported to the police. If the crime is reported within four years of the time it occurred, there is no statute of limitations and prosecutors can bring charges at any time.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Many children, however, do not speak up about the assault or do not remember it occurred in time to file a report within four years. N.R.S. 171.095 protects these children by giving the prosecutor until a child turns 21 to bring charges. If the child does not become aware of the assault by age 21, the prosecutor can commence a case against a defendant up until the time the child victim turns 28.
These special rules for child sexual assaults and for secret crimes significantly extend the time period a prosecutor has to pursue a case against a defendant for alleged wrongdoing.
When you are charged with a crime, getting the case dismissed due to a missed time deadline can be a great outcome, since you won’t have to go to trial and risk penalties. LV Criminal Defense can argue for dismissal and can dispute a prosecutor’s claim that the crime was committed in secret.
If your case does move forward, we can provide representation- even if the crime occurred a long time ago. We’ll help conduct a detailed investigation and put together a strong legal strategy so you can minimize the chances of conviction or reduce the possible consequences associated with your alleged crimes.
Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.