Steps of a Court Proceeding in Las Vegas, Nevada
Getting arrested can put anyone in a tight spot; Being clueless on how a proper legal standard procedure works can be very tricky. It is, then, the job of a well-abled and well-experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer to aid the client on ending the matter as effective and fast as possible.
1) The Arrest
“The use of legal authority to deprive someone of his or her freedom of movement. Under U.S. law, placing someone under arrest triggers certain legal requirements, such as the requirement that the person be given the Miranda warning (a warning given by the police enforcer to the accused; without the Miranda warning, all the statements prior to the court may be considered inadmissible).
After saying the Miranda Warning, the police officer may arrest the accused. If the arrest has a “probable cause,” the enforcing officer may ask the judge for a warrant of arrest, or vice versa. Depending on the class of crime committed, the court may see fit on what action needs to be done. Misdemeanor is the mildest between the two. It is a crime punishable in 12 months, maximum, and/or with community service, probation, fines, and imprisonment for less than a year. Misdemeanor crimes enter the stage called “pre-trial” where both the defense and prosecution must present all the gathered evidence and to negotiate a bargain. If all parties agree, the judge jumps into the sentencing stage. Felony is a crime category severely punishable than misdemeanor. The seriousness of the crime can lead to imprisonment for more than year or by death.
An arrest, however, without a warrant can only hold the accused for a period of time to follow necessary protocol like fingerprinting or background-checking if the accused has any pending cases, etc. Enforcers cannot hold the accused longer after the protocol without an “arraignment”—the first appearance of the defendant to hear the charges of the prosecution and to submit his/her plea.
2) The Bail
If arrested, the court may grant the accused a bail except on serious crimes. Most courts accept bails on cash or bonds. The cash or bond generally serves as a conditional release from custody given that the accused will return for further proceedings. The accused will have their money back at the end of the case regardless of its result—whether convicted or not. If, however, the accused fails to present him/herself on an a preceding, the law allows the court to keep the money.
3) The Trial
Trials begin with the selection of a jury picked by both parties. At the beginning, the prosecution, followed by the defense, makes an opening statement to the judge and jury. This will provide the jury a brief profile about the case, but in some cases, the judge briefs the jury before the trial starts. As the trial commences, prosecution and the defense will try to convince the jury concerning the conviction or innocence of the defendant through cross-examinations of evidences and rebuttals.
4) The Sentencing
After the trial, the jury will reexamine the facts to agree on a certain verdict. Regardless of the decision, the judge may present the defendant’s sentence on the same day or sill set for another day.
For more information about Court Proceedings in Las Vegas, Contact Attorney Ross Goodman.