The Clark County District Attorney’s office can initiate a criminal case in one of two (“2”) ways: (1) by filing a criminal complaint (which is the method in the vast majority of cases) or (2) by doing a presentment before a Grand Jury and obtaining an indictment, or “true bill,” from the grand jurors. Once the case has been filed, the D.A. can notify the charged Defendant in one of two ways.
The first way that the prosecutor may notify a defendant of a charge against him or her is by issuing the party a summons and thereby informing the Defendant when he or she needs to make their first court appearance (commonly called an “arraignment”). Alternatively, the prosecution can ask a judge to swear out an arrest warrant after submitting an affidavit in support of the same. In this second charging scenario, the client is not asked to appear, nor are they given the option to voluntarily show up in court. Instead, the police will arrest the Defendant and he will be jailed into the time set for the initial appearance, at which time he will be brought into court in shackles.
At Yampolsky & Margolis Criminal Defense Las Vegas, we know we need to act fast once we learn that there is an arrest warrant for one of pour clients. First, we immediately prepare a Motion to Quash and an Order Shortening Time (quash means to have the court rescind the warrant so our client does not get arrested), trying to avoid our client enduring the indignity of being arrested, cuffed, and placed into the back of a police cruiser. The procedure requires that we prepare a motion to quash the warrant and seek a reasonable bail setting (i.e., an amount of client and his or her family can afford) or an Own Recognizance Release (hereinafter an “O.R.” whereupon a Defendant awaiting trial is released from custody by virtue of their status in the community and the high unlikelihood of their foregoing failure to appear or additional criminal conduct. Defendant’s own recognizance i. e. they should not be required to post bail.) and file it with the court.
Our firm recently had two cases, in which we represented out of town Defendants and the District Attorney’s office swore out an arrest warrant in each case despite our having made contact prior to the filing of the action. They were both child sex cases, and while this is not uncommon in serious cases, professional courtesy should still mean something, right? I argued vigorously that the arrest warrant was uncalled for and punitive, pointing out that my firm was retained for all stages for the proceedings, that in either case my client had a nonexistent prior criminal record, had dutifully appeared at the time set for the Motion to Quash, and so forth.
Bail determinations are governed by relevant statutes and existing Caselaw. In Nevada, there are several factors courts must review in making a custodial decision pending trial, including but not limited to an individual’s ties to the community, financial stability or instability, prior criminal record, likeliness to become a flight risk, dangerousness if not detained, employment status, residential status, and dependents they support.
In the one of the two aforementioned cases, my client was over 40 years old ex-military, had a clean prior criminal record, had recently received his college degree and was working for Kaiser Permanente, a large, California-based HMO. His lack of prior criminality, support from his other children who were aware of these child sex charges and thought they were baseless, and his long ties to Southern Nevada previously were all relevant considerations for the judge in determining whether (or not) to order my client detained.
The District Attorney said that since he now lived in San Diego, he was so close to the Mexican Border he was a risk to flee the country. Sensing this was a rather weak attack by the State, I offered to surrender my client’s passport to the Court, alleviating that so-called risk and taking the sting out of the prosecutor’s argument. The State struggled to meaningfully and effectively respond.
The District Attorney made a rather puzzling argument, essentially stating that while you needed a passport to enter the United States of America, you need not possess and present the same in order to leave. The prosecutor proceeded to ask for ONE MILLION DOLLARS BAIL. I was taken aback and argued vociferously that such an exorbitant bail was not necessary and pointed out that my client traveled back from San Diego precisely to answer and refute the pending charges, and had hired me for all stages of the proceedings. The judge directed the client to surrender his passport to me and released him without bail. The District Attorney was pissed. Oh well, not my job to make them happy, it’s my job to zealously represent my clients, which I did. Justice was done.
If you have an active warrant, you need to call us immediately! We have the knowledge and expertise on How to Quash an Arrest Warrant in the Las Vegas courts, without you going to jail! Call us today at (702) 385-9777, send us a message on our contact form here, or simply stop by our office to schedule a free consultation to quash your Las Vegas arrest warrant.
Yampolsky & Margolis Criminal Defense Las Vegas
625 S 6th St, Las Vegas, NV 89101