What does Criminal Defense mean?
If you are charged for committing a prohibited act under the criminal code of Nevada, the government entity (also called “the state”) who brought the charge becomes the plaintiff, and you become the defendant. “The state” is represented by a prosecutor, who will attempt to obtain a verdict for the highest charges available under state law. The state in a criminal case may be a local jurisdiction, such as a city or town, but is referred to as “the state” as a division of the government.
Under the U.S. Constitution, you are guaranteed the right to an attorney to represent you in the criminal court where your case will be heard. As the defendant in the case, your attorney is also known as a Criminal Defense attorney, because their job is to legally defend you against the state’s charges. The state is required to prove all of its allegations “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In most serious criminal matters you have a right to have your case decided by a jury.
There are many factors which enter into what a criminal defense entails. The following represent some common factors which can determine the success of your case, but the lawyers of The Defenders understand these and all other factors which will provide a strong and aggressive defense to your criminal charges.
In the State of Nevada, the written laws of the state are contained in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS). The NRS lays out the law of the State of Nevada in sections and cover everything from how the government of the state, counties and cities are structured, designation of state officers, how various departments of the state operate, traffic laws, civil laws, and criminal laws among many others.
Any charge made against a person in the state is governed by a law contained in the NRS, including punishments upon conviction of charges, which include costs, fees, jail or prison time, participation in rehabilitation programs, probation and parole and when or if they apply, among many others.
The NRS is the product of the State Legislature who draft the laws and amend or update them from time to time as needed. In any criminal defense a detailed working knowledge of statute law and its correct application is necessary. While a layman is not expected to know every jot and tittle of statute law, attorneys work to understand and apply the law in order to protect the rights of their clients. A criminal defense attorney will also know under what circumstances it is appropriate to accept a plea bargain.
While statute law is the written law of Nevada, judicial review of laws through appeals can also result in either the change or striking down of laws. The Nevada Supreme Court is the court of highest authority in the state and can find statutes to be unconstitutional under the Constitution of the State of Nevada. For example, the Nevada Supreme Court recently found, due to changes in State Law, that jury trials are now available to those charged with Domestic Violence.
A proper knowledge and application of case law in a criminal proceeding can be crucial to the successful defense of a person charges under the statutes. Knowing how and when it is appropriate to appeal a verdict.
Rules of Criminal Procedure
Nevada Criminal Courts, like all other criminal courts throughout the United States, are governed by Rules of Criminal Procedure. Since you are compelled to participate if charged in a criminal proceeding, and since the state has the power to deprive you of life, liberty, and property, the stakes in a criminal proceeding are very high.
The rules of criminal procedure govern almost all aspects of criminal proceeding. As your case proceeds from investigation, indictment, arrest, and trial, violation of these rules may subject you to additional charges, may provide additional incriminating evidence and could result in additional penalties under the law. From how to address the court and opposing council, how to ask questions of witnesses, how to handle and introduce evidence, among many other aspects of a case are governed by these rules.
The Rules of Criminal Procedure in Nevada are found in the Nevada Revised Statutes Title 14. However procedural rules can also be found in many statutes which augment and are also part of the procedural rules for a criminal case.
Most non lawyers are not equipped to know or understand the Rules of Criminal Procedure. They are complex and found throughout the statutes. However, a misunderstanding or misapplication of the rules can have serious consequences to the outcome of your case. This is why you should have a lawyer represent you in any court of law, to protect your rights as your case goes forward and to ensure that all parties in the case follow these rules.
The Defenders provides Criminal Defense
To answer the original question, “What does Criminal Defense mean?” It means knowing and applying statute law, case law, and the rules of criminal procedure, among many other factors, to ensure that the rights of a defendant are preserved under the law. The lawyers of The Defenders have received the required training, have shown proficiency to the State Bar to be accepted as lawyers and have the experience with the courts in Nevada to be able to provide a strong and aggressive defense for you if you are charged with a criminal violation. If you have been charged with a criminal violation in Nevada, call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.