Postponing a Court Date  in Nevada: Rules & Procedures

If you are arrested or receive a citation for criminal behavior, you will probably receive a court date for your first appearance. For minor infractions like speeding tickets or drunk in public citations, paying the fine may be an option.

You can show up to the court date, plead guilty and pay the fine and move on.

If the case is serious enough to possibly result in jail time upon conviction, you should consider hiring a lawyer. Once you have hired a good defense team, your lawyers will need to investigate your case.

At the same time the prosecution is also building a case against you.

Even though the constitution states that we have the right to a speedy trial, in reality, most criminal cases take significant time to make their way through the court system. Court appearances are postponed on numerous occasions for many reasons.

Postponements of court cases can occur due to requests from the court, prosecution, or defense at any time and for various reasons. These delays can cause the case to remain in the court system for an extended period.

There are pros and cons of having a criminal case postponed for everyone involved.

As The Defendant, you should know why the postponements are happening and what those postponements can mean for you. If you have been charged with a crime you will need time to prepare a defense and that can take time. A defense attorney will file motions to convince the court that a postponement is necessary to prepare your defense.

What Is the Nevada Law About Court Postponements

NRS 174.511 states, The state has the right to demand a trial against a defendant move forward within 60 days from the time the defendant has been arraigned on charges. However, postponement is possible according to the rules of the statute if either the court docket is too full to accommodate the trial or if the 60 days wouldn’t give the defendant sufficient time to prepare a defense.

There are also other rules for the timeline of criminal cases as well. NRS 174.515, for example, addresses when the court can grant a continuance or postpone proceedings when an action has been called for trial or any time before.

The statute makes clear that the court may grant a continuance or postponement if either party requests a delay and shows cause.

What Happens if I’m Arrested for a Crime in Nevada

If you are arrested you will likely be taken to the Clark County Detention Center or The Las Vegas City Jail. If this happens you will most likely be able to post bail if you have the money to do so.

If not, you will be arraigned and formally charged with the crime within 72 hours of arrest.

The charges will be determined and a future court date will be set by the court.

As a side note, if you or your lawyer fails to show up for your arraignment hearing, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest for failing to appear.

Postponement of a Court Date—How Does It Work

Since Nevada has the 60-day rule for trial, getting a postponement requires cause by either the defense or the prosecution. The lawyers for the prosecution or the defense must file motions with the court to have the case postponed.

The causes can be anything from the defense requesting discovery from the prosecution or a witness that can’t attend court on the scheduled day.

The court date you are actually charged with a crime, your defense team will request discovery for your case. Discovery is the defense requesting all the information the prosecution has as evidence in your case. The defense has the right to this information to mount a defense against the evidence the prosecution has.

Once the defense receives the discovery evidence from the prosecution, the defense will do an investigation of your case and gather their own evidence to refute the prosecution’s case.

During this time, there may be several postponements of trial.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor or a lesser crime, your attorney can arrange the arraignment for you. If you are charged with a felony or a serious crime like a crime against another person you will be required to attend the arraignment.

During the arraignment you will need to enter a plea, in most cases that plea will be not guilty and the case will be sat for trial.

What Happens if I Get a Citation Instead of Being Arrested

If you are issued a citation for a minor misdemeanor or a traffic violation, you may choose to just pay the fine within 90 days of the citation. If you choose to attend the court date and try to get the charges reduced or dismissed. you can request a one time continuance on your arraignment date.

You will be given a maximum of 30 days extension from the original court date. This rule applies to all cases except for when the defendant is being charged with a DUI or Domestic Battery Offense.

Failure to Appear at Court

There are many times during the life of a criminal or civil case where the case will be postponed by either the defense or the prosecution with cause or a reason to ask for a continuance through the court.But what happens if you fail to appear for your court date?

In some cases, you may not have to attend some court appearances if your attorney attends them for you. However, if you are required to appear for a court date and fail to do so, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest for failure to appear.

If 30 days pass and you’re still missing, you will face additional criminal charges called Failure To Appear (FTA).

Defendants often face secondary charges, like failure to appear, in addition to their original charges. Such instances may result in a no-bail warrant being issued, exacerbating an already challenging situation.

The penalties will depend on the severity of the original charges against the defendant.

It is always best to show up for all court appearances. Once you hire a good defense team the lawyer will attend certain court appearances for you or notify you when you need to appear.

Facing Criminal Charges?

If you have been arrested or received a criminal citation, The Defenders can provide the defense you need. We specialize in defending clients who have been charged with crimes such as DUIs, felonies, misdemeanors, domestic violence, sex crimes, murder, drug possession, white collar crimes, and many other criminal cases.

What you should know if you’re charged with a crime:

  • Time is critical. You need to hire a lawyer now before the situation gets worse.
  • The choice of the law firm you make now can affect the outcome of your case and make a lifetime of difference.
  • You need to work with a defense team that has a history in Nevada based law, who knows the ins and outs of the local court system and laws.

With proven results for our clients, The Defenders is that firm. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation.

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