In the United States, everyone is entitled to due process before facing a penalty under the law. This means you cannot be deprived of your life, your liberty or your property until there are appropriate legal proceedings. You must be presumed innocent during those proceedings and can only be convicted of an offense if a prosecutor demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a criminal act. Usually, there are multiple elements of a criminal act that prosecutors must prove, and usually, it is a jury of your peers who must be convinced you violated the law.
As a defendant, you are entitled to raise affirmative defenses, which means that you’re entitled to justify your behavior and demonstrate that even if you met the elements of a particular crime, your actions were justified under the circumstances. Self-defense is a good example: even if your actions met the legal definition of assault, you could avoid an assault conviction by proving self-defense. You’re also entitled to try to introduce doubt in a prosecutor’s case by doing things like questioning witnesses who are testifying against you. The goal that you should have when you’re faced with criminal charges is to avoid conviction through the development of an effective trial strategy that could include fostering doubt or fighting by proving your actions were appropriate.
The problem is, navigating the criminal justice system as a defendant is extraordinarily complex. There is a vast array of highly-technical rules and regulations on everything from how to present evidence to what evidence can be submitted to how to ask the court to do things like subpoena witnesses or give instructions to a jury. It is difficult or impossible for defendants to prevail in the complicated criminal justice system unless they have a knowledgeable legal advocate on their side.
Because of the importance of being represented by Vegas defense lawyers, defendants accused of a crime actually have a legal right to a lawyer. Those who cannot afford to pay a private attorney are entitled to have a public defender representing them. Chapter 180 of the Nevada Code of criminal procedure is the relevant chapter of Nevada law that explains how the office of public defenders work and that explains the logistics of the operation of a public defender office.
While having a lawyer representing you is key, you may not want to rely on public defenders, who are often over-worked and who typically have minimal time to give to cases. If you can hire an experienced Nevada criminal lawyer who is able to give your case the full attention that it deserves and who has ample experience defending individuals accused of similar offenses to those you’re facing, you can maximize your chances of a successful outcome in your case. LV Criminal Defense is here to help you to fight against charges, so give us a call today to talk with Vegas defense attorneys who you can count on.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
The state of Nevada has established rules and requirements for public defenders in Chapter 180 of Title 14. The relevant laws throughout this Chapter of the Nevada code create the office of state public defenders, dictate who the state public defender is allowed to employ, set the location for the Office of the State Public Defender in Carson City, Nevada, and give authority to the State Public Defender to contract with licensed attorneys to provide required services to defendants if the office is not able to provide the mandated services.
In Nevada Revised Statute section 180.060, the Nevada code also establishes exactly what the duties and obligations of state public defenders are. According to N.R.S. 180.060, the state public defender must represent indigent persons without charge when designated to do so. The state public defender is allowed to interview an indigent person who has been charged and confined before the public defender is designated to serve as the legal representative for the defendant.
When a state public defender is designated as counsel for an indigent defendant, the state public defender is expected to counsel and defend his client at every step of the criminal proceedings. This includes representing and defending him at a hearing in which parole or probation may be revoked. The state public defender is also expected to appeal a conviction for an indigent defendant when it is in the interest of justice to do so.
The state public defender must submit periodic reports to the governor, as required by N.R.S. 180.080. These reports should detail cases pending, cases closed, the total number of defendants represented, and details about the nature of the crimes that the defendants were accused of. The office of the state public defender is allowed to collect money from counties for providing services, but the collected amounts cannot exceed the amount authorized by the legislator. Indigent defendants cannot be charged for the services that a state public defender provides.
You should not try to represent yourself in a criminal case. If you cannot afford an attorney, a public defender will be your advocate to help you to ensure you have at least a fair chance of emerging unscathed from your involvement with the criminal justice system. Your best option, if you can, though, is to hire a private Las Vegas defense attorney who you can count on to give your case the focused attention it deserves.
LV Criminal Defense is trusted by clients throughout Nevada who are facing all different kinds of criminal charges. We work hard to make sure we represent you with the knowledgeable advocacy that you deserve and we will fight for your rights throughout the entirety of your case. Give us a call today to find out more about how our legal team can help you and get started working with our Vegas defense attorneys who can assist you in building your strongest possible defense.