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What Do You Do if You Are On Trial For a Crime in Nevada?

When an individual is charged with a crime in Nevada, they are advised to seek legal counsel or request a state-appointed attorney where they cannot afford one. The attorney can guide the alleged offender through the judicial proceedings established by the Nevada Judiciary.

According to Nevada Revised Statute 175.011, any defendant facing a sentence of more than six months is entitled to a trial by jury, except they opt to waive this right. During the pretrial, the alleged offender must either plead guilty or not guilty. Guilty pleas lead to instant sentencing. A defendant who pleads not guilty to the charge of a capital offense must undergo a jury trial. The court sets bail/release conditions as early as at the initial appearance.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What Percentage of Criminal Cases Go to Trial in Nevada?

According to the 2019 annual report, criminal cases filed in Nevada 130,002 across the three trial courts in Nevada; district, justice, and municipal courts. The criminal litigations include non-traffic misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, felonies, and criminal appeals. In Nevada, approximately 96% of all criminal fillings lead to criminal dispositions after undergoing varying trial stages.

When does a Criminal Defendant Have the Right to a Trial?

In Nevada, only competent defendants, as defined by Nevada AB 377 (2017), are capable of rational thought, understand court proceedings’ nature/purpose, and know the kind of charges faced may stand trial. A trial can only begin within 72 hours of arrest when there is probable cause. Also, following the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, offenders involved in criminal prosecutions have the right to a speedy trial.

What are the Stages of a Criminal Trial in Nevada?

According to the Nevada Criminal Rule of Practice, the various steps of a Nevada bench/jury trial are:

  • Initial appearance and arraignment
  • Pleas of guilty
  • Release and detention
  • Discovery
  • Pretrial motions
  • Jury instructions and exhibits
  • Sentence (depending on the verdict reached)
  • Appeal

How Long Does it Take For a Case to Go to Trial in Nevada?

In Nevada, the time taken for a criminal case to go to trial is proportional to the severity of the offense. However, on average, court proceedings can take place within 60 days. Various circumstances may delay a case from moving into the trial phase, such as if the accused person has a pending court action.

What Happens When a Court Case Goes to Trial in Nevada?

A criminal trial in Nevada can be a lengthy and broad process, even if the offense is minor. There are different processes to be duly followed in and out of court before a case can be closed, aligned with the Nevada Criminal Rule of Practice. The arraignment is usually the first appearance the defendant makes in court. Depending on the offense and type of case, the arraignment will either be in a Nevada justice court or a municipal court. When the arraignment starts, the prosecution tables the defendant with a complaint listing the crimes allegedly committed. After presenting the evidence, the accused person can plead not guilty or guilty.

If a defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty to a crime during the trial, the judge must impose a sentence. In the case of a minor offense, sentencing may take place immediately. For felonies and misdemeanors, the judge may set a date for sentencing several weeks ahead to provide both sides ample time for preparation. The judge may hand down sentences that may include incarceration, fines, probation, rehabilitation programs, community service, and other court orders.

In a justice court, a jury can only be tried if the defendant writes to the court 30 days to the trial’s beginning. Bench trials tend to be less costly and shorter than jury trials because there is no lengthy jury selection process.

Can You Be Put on Trial Twice for the Same Crime in Nevada?

No. According to Article 1, Section 8 of the Declaration of Rights in the Nevada state constitution, no person shall be put in jeopardy twice for the same offense or forced to be a witness against themselves in any criminal case. The section also makes provisions for the rights of accused individuals in criminal prosecutions.

How Do I Lookup a Criminal Court Case in Nevada?

All criminal cases are initially heard either in a municipal court or a justice court, depending on the nature of the offense and where the crime allegedly took place. Individuals who wish to review criminal court cases can pay a visit to the court that heard the case. Looking up a court case on a third party website usually requires information-seekers to provide the details needed to facilitate the record search.

How to Access Electronic Court Records in Nevada

Nevada’s supreme court provides a service portal that maintains electronic records of all cases filed in court. The case files are searchable by party name and case dockets. In the case dockets, information-seekers must enter the five-digit case number and select search. Also, parties may search by a caption or provide the appellant name/company name. Docket entries are displayed according to cases filed, with the recent document found at the end of the list. Confidential records cannot be accessed online.

How Do I Remove Public Court Records in Nevada?

Nevada’s Rules regarding sealing and redacting court records permit courts to be sealed following the request of eligible persons. Sealing criminal records enhances employment chances and educational and housing prospects of the subject of the record. However, removing a case record after it has been closed could take a long time, depending on the severity of the crime.

Sealing a court record in Nevada involves filing a motion at the court where the trial took place. Once a petition has been filed, the case document becomes inaccessible by the public until the court decides whether or not to seal the record. The court may also choose to conduct a hearing. Only a part of a case file can be redacted per the state statutes. Total sealing is not permitted. If the court decides to seal the record, the petitioner will receive a copy of the order.

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