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The Rules for Nevada Criminal Trials Explained by a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer

TrialOne of the hallmarks of the United States justice system is the right of every defendant to due process and the right of every defendant to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

A defendant in the United States who has been accused of wrongdoing cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness without due process. As the Constitution guarantees, this due process generally takes the form of a trial by a jury of one’s peers.

While defendants are entitled to a fair trial, actually getting a fair trial generally requires the help of a trusted legal professional. There are myriad rules of criminal procedure which address a huge number of technical and procedural issues during the pre-trial and trial phase. There are also rules on all aspects of a criminal trial, from how to pick juries to how evidence can be presented to what burden of proof the prosecutor must meet to secure a conviction.  It is imperative every defendant facing charges try to make the legal system work for him, which means finding an advocate who knows all the criminal procedure rules.

Most defendants who go to trial and face the potential for a criminal conviction do not know Nevada laws on trial procedure and are not going to be able to advocate for themselves as well as a professional could. Defendants facing a criminal trial have the right to be represented by a Las Vegas defense lawyer and they should not only exercise that right but should try to find the best defense attorney they can who is going to give them the strongest shot at avoiding a guilty verdict.

LV Criminal Defense is a firm trusted by many defendants facing charges in the Vegas area because of our skills, abilities, and consummate professionalism.  When you need an attorney you know you can trust, we are the firm to call.

Nevada Rules for Criminal Trials

The Nevada rules for criminal trials are found within Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 175.  These rules address a diverse array of issues and establish guidelines and requirements for the steps in the trial process. The aim is to ensure a fair trial with impartial members of the jury, although this does not always occur.

The issues which are addressed in N.R.S. Chapter 175 include:

  • The rules for a trial by jury. There are requirements set forth for how a jury must be formed; the number of jurors; the examination conducted to insure that jurors will be able to make an impartial decision; and the number of peremptory challenges the prosecutor and the defense have to remove potential jurors from the jury which is selected. The rules for jury formation and examination are found within N.R.S. 175.011 through N.R.S. 175.101 and also address the discharge of a juror who is not able to continue; as well as detail what happens if a judge becomes disabled during the course of criminal proceedings.
  • The rules for conduct during trial. R.S. 175.11 through N.R.S. 175.387 provide detailed information on how a trial will proceed. The laws set forth within these statutes establish requirements for the oath jury members must take; the order in which a trial takes place; the instructions to be given to the jury by the judge; and the admissibility and presentation of evidence including requirements for presenting expert witness testimony. Within this section on trial conduct there is also a definition provided for the presumption of innocence, which requires that a defendant be acquitted if there is reasonable doubt about whether the prosecutor has successfully proved every element of the crime.
  • The rules for the conduct of the jury. R.S. 175.391 through N.R.S. 175.471 establish guidelines for what jurors must do and for how the court must interact with jurors. For example, N.R.S. 175.401 provides details on the reminders a judge must give to a jury about to obligations; while N.R.S. 175.431 provides the rules for when juries are provided food and lodging; and N.R.S. 175.461 details circumstances under which a jury may, and may not, be discharged.
  • The rules for verdicts. The criminal procedural rules for returning a verdict; verdicts when several defendants were part of the same trial; and polling of the jury are found in N.R.S. 175. 491 through N.R.S. 175.533. These rules on verdicts also detailed when offenses must be separately stated, and what steps must be taken when a jury returns a finding of guilty but mentally ill.

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  • The rules for acquittal. Nevada law addresses what happens when a defendant is acquitted within Code Sections 175.539 through 175.543. These statutes explain the process for discharging a defendant, for providing notice to defendants about getting records sealed, and for the steps which must be taken if a defendant was acquitted by reason of insanity.
  • Special rules for certain offenses. R.S. 175.547 details what happens when a hearing must be conducted to determine if a particular offense was sexually motivated, while Code sections 175.552 through 175.556 explain the penalty hearing for first degree murder convictions.

The regulations set forth within Chapter 175 of Nevada’s law are some of the single most important because these rules and requirements will determine how your criminal case proceeds. A successful case could mean the difference between freedom and jail, and you owe it to yourself to understand the procedural process that will determine your fate.

Getting Help With a Nevada Criminal Trial from a Vegas Criminal Lawyer

The outcome of your criminal trial is going to determine if you have to go to jail, face fines or other penalties, and live with a criminal record that can affect future opportunities for the rest of your life.  It is imperative you are represented by a qualified Las Vegas defense attorney at all phases of the trial process.

LV Criminal Defense is ready to provide you with the representation you both need and deserve during a criminal trial. Not every defense attorney is experienced in providing representation in court, as some defense lawyers simply try to settle every case through plea deals. While our legal team can negotiate favorable plea agreements in appropriate situations, we are also ready and eager to go to court to help defendants try to avoid conviction altogether.

We work hard to help explore possibilities for introducing doubt or for raising effective affirmative defenses during the trial phase so a prosecutor isn’t able to secure a guilty verdict. Knowing all of the rules for criminal trials is very difficult for defendants, and you need someone who knows how to develop the most effective trial strategy possible.

When your future is at stake, LV Criminal Defense will fight hard for you. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the assistance we can offer.

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