Clearing Arrest Warrants in Nevada: Understanding the Law and Nevada Revised Statutes

Having an outstanding warrant in the state of Nevada can be a stressful and frightening situation. At Benjamin Durham Law Firm, we understand the urgency and the weight that comes with having an outstanding warrant. As a premier criminal defense law firm based in Las Vegas, we’ve seen firsthand how crucial accurate information and immediate action can be in such situations. This guide seeks to shed light on the complexities of Nevada’s warrant system, from the types of warrants issued to the ways they can be addressed. Our aim? To empower you with knowledge and provide insights into how a professional legal team can guide you through these challenging times.

Types of Warrants Issued in Nevada

There are a few main types of warrants that can be issued in Nevada:

  • Arrest warrant – This is a warrant issued by a judge that authorizes law enforcement to arrest and detain the person named in the warrant. An arrest warrant is issued if a person misses a court date or otherwise fails to comply with court orders.
  • Bench warrant – A bench warrant is usually issued when a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court hearing. Like an arrest warrant, a bench warrant allows the police to take the defendant into custody.
  • Search warrant – This allows law enforcement to search a specific location and seize evidence relevant to a criminal investigation.
  • Extradition warrant – An out-of-state fugitive warrant that orders law enforcement to arrest and deliver a person to the agency that issued the original warrant.

There are also different types of warrants depending on which court issued them, such as Las Vegas Justice Court warrants or North Las Vegas Municipal Court warrants. The most common warrants in Nevada are arrest and bench warrants.

How Arrest Warrants Work in Nevada

In Nevada, arrest warrants are issued pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 171.108. This statute states that a magistrate or judge may issue a warrant for your arrest if:

  • A criminal complaint has been filed alleging you committed a crime
  • There is probable cause to believe you committed the alleged offense
  • An indictment has been issued charging you with the commission of a crime
  • You were supposed to appear in court and didn’t show up

Once a warrant is issued, law enforcement agencies across the state will be notified and authorized to arrest you. In Nevada, a warrant gives police the power to enter and search locations where they believe you may be found.

If you are arrested on an active warrant, you will be fingerprinted, photographed, and held in jail until you can appear before a judge. At your first court appearance, the judge will address bail and appoint counsel if you cannot afford a criminal defense attorney.

It is important to note that Nevada law prohibits illegal arrest warrants and arrests without a valid warrant except in limited circumstances. If you are wrongly arrested without an active warrant, you may have grounds for a civil rights lawsuit.

Options for Addressing an Active Warrant in Nevada

Discovering that a warrant has been issued for your arrest in Nevada can be a daunting revelation. While there may seem to be various courses of action available, the most sensible and legally sound decision is to engage the expertise of a professional:

  1. Consult a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately – Before making any decisions, your first step should be to contact an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. They possess the knowledge to assess the validity of the warrant and can guide you on the best path forward.
  2. Representation in Court – Rather than navigating the legal system on your own, your attorney can represent you, ensuring your rights are protected and providing you with the best chance of a favorable outcome. They can negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf, sometimes even resolving the warrant without necessitating a court appearance.
  3. Advised Action on Bail – While it’s possible to post bail for some offenses, a criminal defense lawyer can advise you on whether this is the right move, ensuring you don’t make any missteps that could further complicate your situation.
  4. Guided Warrant Recalls – If there’s a legitimate reason you missed a court appointment or if the warrant was improperly issued, you’ll need an attorney to effectively file a motion to have it recalled.
  5. Controlled Surrender – In cases of severe allegations, an attorney may advise a coordinated surrender to law enforcement. This controlled approach, under the guidance of legal counsel, ensures your rights remain intact and can mitigate the risks associated with unexpected arrests.

Remember, an active warrant is a serious legal matter. Attempting to tackle it without professional guidance can inadvertently exacerbate the situation. Trust in the expertise of a criminal defense lawyer to chart the safest course through the complexities of the Nevada legal system.

Legal Repercussions of Arrest Warrants

Being subject to an outstanding arrest warrant in Nevada can lead to the following legal repercussions:

  • Arrest and Detention: Police may arrest you at any time if you have an open warrant. You can be held in jail until you are brought before a judge.
  • Prosecution for Failure to Appear: If the warrant was for missing court, you may face a separate criminal charge for failure to appear under NRS 199.335. This is a misdemeanor offense.
  • Bail/Bond Revoked: If you were out on bail or bond on the underlying case, the court will revoke the bond, and you may be held without bail when arrested.
  • Probation Violation: Missed court dates and arrest warrants constitute a probation violation if you are on probation. You face probation revocation and potentially new charges.
  • New Criminal Record: The warrant arrest will appear on your criminal history record and can affect future employment, housing, and other consequences.
  • Impacts Other Active Cases: Any other open criminal cases you have may be impacted by the warrant, including bail revocation and additional penalties.
  • Ineligibility for Record Sealing: Outstanding warrants and failure to appear charges make you ineligible to seal records on other Nevada cases until resolved.

Warrants in Las Vegas and Clark County

Bench warrants and arrest warrants in the Las Vegas area are issued by justice courts and municipal courts based on jurisdiction:

  • Las Vegas Justice Court – This court issues warrants for criminal matters arising in unincorporated Clark County.
  • North Las Vegas Justice Court – Issues warrants for cases in the City of North Las Vegas.
  • North Las Vegas Municipal Court – Handles warrants for North Las Vegas traffic tickets and city code violations.
  • Las Vegas Municipal Court – Issues warrants related to misdemeanors and traffic offenses within the City of Las Vegas limits.

Clark County uses an online warrant search tool where you can check for active warrants in your name. If a warrant comes up, be proactive in addressing it with help from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas. Avoiding the situation won’t make a warrant go away.

Get a Lawyer You Can Trust for Arrest Warrants in Las Vegas

Having a warrant in Nevada can be really stressful. It means there’s a legal issue you need to handle. If you find out there’s a warrant for you, you might be unsure about what to do next. This is where a good lawyer from Las Vegas can help a lot. We know the law, we can talk to the courts, and we help fix the problem. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your situation.

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