Nevada Revised Statue Section 172.155 provides details on what a prosecutor has to prove in order for a defendant to be indicted by a grand jury. According to the relevant statute, a grand jury should indict if all of the evidence that has been presented establishes probable cause to both believe a crime occurred and to believe the defendant was the one who committed the crime. This standard is far lower than the reasonable doubt standard. As long as a prosecutor shows that it would be reasonable to continue prosecution, the grand jury can vote to indict.
A defendant is allowed to object and argue that the evidence the prosecutor presented wasn’t actually enough to create probable cause. However, the defendant will need to do this by applying for a writ of habeas corpus. These are rarely granted because judges will generally allow a case to proceed to a jury in a criminal trial if the grand jury has voted to indict. The jury in the criminal trial then gets to hear the facts and make a determination on whether the prosecutor has proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A grand jury is not bound to hear evidence from a defendant, according to Nevada Revised Statute Section 172.145. However, if a prosecutor is aware of evidence that could explain away the charges, the prosecutor has to present it. The grand jury is also required to order evidence to be produced if they believe other evidence could explain away the charge.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Defendants do have some rights when it comes to a grand jury, including the right to be notified when a prosecutor is seeking an indictment and the right to receive a transcript of grand jury proceedings. As soon as you discover a grand jury has been convened, you should begin to develop a strategy in case the grand jury decides to allow the prosecutor to move forward with a full criminal case against you.
LV Criminal Defense provides guidance to defendants who are facing the potential for an indictment. A grand jury is usually convened only for more serious crimes, or for crimes that have gotten a lot of media attention. The stakes are high and you need to fight aggressively when you are charged with a serious crime.
The sooner you contact a Las Vegas criminal lawyer, the sooner you can begin building an effective defense strategy aimed at reducing the chances of a conviction. Give us a call right away so we can get our experienced legal defense team started on your case.