Criminal Law in Nevada
If you're researching Nevada criminal defense attorneys, you likely need help and you need it fast. Unless you already have a good relationship with a criminal defense attorney, do an Internet search with the terms "Nevada" and "criminal defense attorney".
Analyze the results to make sure the lawyers focus their practice on criminal law.
- Then contact the law offices for a free consultation.
- Ask all of your questions.
- Choose the attorney you want to work with.
If you'd like more information on Nevada criminal law and punishments and the like, this article was written for you.
In this article, we'll discuss:
- Nevada criminal laws;
- What you need to know about criminal defense in Nevada; and
- How to work with your Nevada criminal defense attorney.
Nevada Criminal Laws
Nevada criminal laws are found in the Nevada Revised Statutes, Title 15. There are many crimes listed such as identity theft,drunk driving, credit card fraud, assault, robbery, burglary, drug possession, computer crimes, receiving stolen property, manslaughter, rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, child neglect, and weapon offenses.
Your criminal defense lawyer will fully explain the crime that you've been charged with and possible defenses. You need to take an active role in your own defense.
You may be innocent because you didn't do "it", all the elements of the crime can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, or because you have an affirmative defense.
Statute of Limitations
Criminal charges must be brought within a certain period of time or they can never be brought. If the statute of limitations has passed in a case, charges cannot be brought.
For example, in Nevada, the statute of limitations for:
- Arson is 4 years (Nev. Rev. Stat. В§ 171.085(1)).
- Theft if 4 years (Nev. Rev. Stat. В§ 171.085(1)).
- Rape is unlimited or 4 years, depending upon the facts of the case (Nev. Rev. Stat. В§В§171.083 or 171.085(1)).
Although a prosecutor statute of limitations mistake isn't likely, one of the first things your defense attorney will check is whether the statute of limitations has passed in your case.
If criminal laws are broken and you are convicted, probation, jail time, fines, restitution, education, counseling, driver's license suspension, and even death may be ordered.
While Nevada judges have discretion to increase or decrease a sentence within a range, Nevada does have sentencing guidelines. The totality of the circumstances of the crime is considered.
- Sentences will be increased if there are aggravating circumstances.
- Sentences will be increased if there are mitigating circumstances.
In Nevada, sentencing guidelines call for:
- Misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in jail and fines up to $2,000.
- Felonies are punishable by up to life in jail and fines up to $10,000.
In addition, Nevada does have the death penalty.
What You Need to Know About Criminal Defense
- You need a criminal defense attorney, even if you know you are completely innocent.
- The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better.
- If you have been arrested, meaning that police do not allow you to leave the police station or wherever you are, you need a lawyer.
- You need to be completely honest and open with your attorney. Even if you think something will make you look bad, disclose it.
- Do not make a statement to police, other than to ask for an attorney. Your words can be used against you.
How to Work with a Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyer
Yes, you absolutely should hire a criminal defense attorney, but that doesn't mean you can just sit back and take no further action. You are important to your own defense and you can help to shape your future.
The attorney you hire, who knows your specific situation, may give you additional instructions, but, in general, this is what every criminal defendant needs to do:
- Remember anything you say to your criminal defense attorney will be held in confidence.
- Answer the questions your lawyer asks of you, politely and completely.
- Tell your defense attorney exactly what happened. Disclose all.
- Return all phone calls from the law firm promptly.
- Provide all requested information to the law firm in a timely manner.
- Stay in contact with your attorney.
- Make sure the criminal defense law office always has your current address and phone number.
- Remember your criminal defense attorney is always working in your best interests, even if he or she asks difficult questions or is polite and cooperative with the police and prosecutors.
If you have been questioned in or arrested for a crime in Nevada, get good legal help, immediately. Whether innocent or guilty, you need and deserve individualized advice, aggressive representation, and an effective defense strategy.