Arraignments

The Elko Justice/Municipal Court regularly arraigns defendants on the criminal complaints filed against them.

In the Elko Justice Court, criminal complaints are filed by either the Elko County District Attorney or the Nevada Attorney General.

In the Elko Municipal Court, criminal complaints are filed by the Elko City Attorney.

Regular Arraignment Days and Times - The Elko Justice/Municipal Court conducts arraignments on the following schedule:

 

Mondays at 8:30 AM

 

Who is Arraigned?

Defendants who have been arrested and released on or without bail must appear in court for arraignment on the appearance date and time given by the releasing facility, unless a Nevada-licensed lawyer in good standing has filed a “Notice of Appearance” on the defendant’s behalf prior to the arraignment date.

Defendants who have been summonsed must appear in court for arraignment on the appearance date and time given in the summons, unless a Nevada-licensed lawyer in good standing has filed a “Notice of Appearance” on the defendant’s behalf prior to the arraignment date.

If a defendant has a lawyer who has filed a “Notice of Appearance” on the defendant’s behalf prior to the arraignment date, the Court’s calendar clerk will set the defendant’s future court appearances in consultation with the defense lawyer and the prosecutor. This procedure dispenses with the need to arraign represented defendants in the Elko Justice/Municipal Court, and is followed as a courtesy to defense lawyers.

What Happens if the Defendant Fails to Appear for Arraignment?

If a criminal defendant fails to appear for his/her arraignment on time, and a “Notice of Appearance” is not in his/her court file, the judge may and often will:

• Send Out a Cash-Only “Bench Warrant” for the Defendant’s Arrest
• Send Bail Bond Company Notice to Forfeit Any Posted Bail Bond
• Order Any Posted Cash Bail to be Forfeited to the Court

Jail Arraignments

The Court regularly conducts arraignments for incarcerated criminal defendants at the courtroom attached to the Elko County Jail during judicial days as time allows.

Misdemeanor Arraignment Procedure

At a misdemeanor arraignment, the judge has jurisdiction to accept a plea to each charge a defendant is facing.

Generally, the judge has no authority to dismiss a misdemeanor charge against a defendant at arraignment. It is up to the appropriate prosecutor to bring and dismiss charges.

At every misdemeanor arraignment, the judge will explain the following things to each defendant.

• Defendant’s Rights
• Maximum Penalties for Every Misdemeanor Charge in Complaint
• Any Minimum Penalties for Misdemeanor Charge(s) in Complaint
• Plea Options Available to Defendant

Misdemeanor Defendant’s Rights in Justice/Municipal Court

• Right to Bail

Under Nevada law, every misdemeanor defendant has the right to bail. If any bail has been set for your case, the judge will tell you what that bail is at your arraignment. In almost all cases, bail for each misdemeanor charge on which a defendant is arrested is set according to a revised bail schedule.

• Right to Lawyer, Either Appointed or Retained

Let the judge know at arraignment if you intend to retain your own lawyer for your case. The judge will then continue your arraignment (move it to a later date) to allow you time to retain a lawyer. Subject to ethical rules for lawyers, you can be represented by any licensed Nevada lawyer in good standing.

Let the judge know at arraignment if you intend to represent yourself for your case. The judge will then have you complete and sign a “Waiver of Right to be Represented by a Lawyer” form if you could be sentenced to jail if convicted of any charge. If the judge finds that you are “knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily” giving up the right to be represented by a lawyer, he will let you represent yourself.

Let the judge know at arraignment if you intend to ask for an appointed lawyer. The judge will then have you complete and sign a “Petition for Appointment of a Lawyer” form. If the judge finds that you are unable to afford a lawyer, and you may be sentenced to jail if convicted of any charge, he will appoint a lawyer to represent you. The Court can order reimbursement for the use of an appointed lawyer. Whether and in what amount reimbursement is ordered depends upon the income and assets you have, as well as your ability to pay reimbursement.

• Right to Speedy, Public Trial Within Sixty Days of Arraignment

• Right to Require Prosecutor to Prove Charge(s) Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Before a criminal defendant can be found guilty of any charge, the prosecutor must prove him/her guilty of that charge beyond a reasonable doubt at a public trial.

• Right to Remain Silent

If a criminal defendant remains silent about his charge(s), that fact cannot and will not be used against him in any way in court.

• Right to Testify in Own Defense

Every criminal defendant has the right to tell his/her side of the case under oath from the witness stand in court. The decision to be silent or testify is the defendant’s decision to make after consulting with his/her lawyer, if any.

• Right to Confront and Cross-Examine Prosecutor’s Witnesses

Every criminal defendant has the right to ask prosecution witnesses questions while they are on the witness stand in court. Subject to rules of evidence and the law, the prosecution witnesses have to answer the defendant’s questions under oath.

• Right to Subpoena Witnesses in Defense Case

Every criminal defendant has the right to subpoena witnesses to testify in his/her case subject to the law. A subpoena is simply a court order requiring a witness to give testimony in or bring designated physical evidence and/or documents to court on the date and time designated in the subpoena.

• Right to Appeal Conviction of Any Charge

The appeals court for the Elko Justice/Municipal Court is the Fourth Judicial District Court. The Fourth Judicial District Court is also located in the Elko County Courthouse. A criminal defendant has only ten calendar days from the date of a finding of guilt to appeal a conviction in a misdemeanor case.

Plea Options in Misdemeanor Cases

“Not Guilty”

If a criminal defendant wants to exercise his/her right to a speedy, public trial, and require the prosecutor to try proving him/her guilty of a charge beyond a reasonable doubt, he/she must either refuse to enter a plea or plead “not guilty” to that charge.

In a typical case, if a criminal defendant does either of these things, the case will be set for trial within sixty days of the plea.

“Guilty”

If a criminal defendant pleads “guilty” to a misdemeanor charge, s/he is telling the judge that s/he agrees with what the prosecutor claims s/he did wrong in the charge.

The judge will not accept a guilty plea unless he finds that it has been made “knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily,” with full knowledge of the defendant’s constitutional rights and the maximum and any minimum penalties for the charge.

“No Contest” (Nolo Contendere)

If a criminal defendant pleads “no contest” to a misdemeanor charge, s/he is telling the judge that he/she is not going to fight the charge because s/he believes the prosecutor has enough evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

The judge will not accept a no contest plea unless he finds that it has been made “knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily,” with full knowledge of the defendant’s constitutional rights and the maximum and any minimum penalties for the charge.

Sentencing Hearings in Misdemeanor Cases

If a defendant pleads either “guilty” or “no contest” to a charge, the defendant is sentenced immediately in most cases if the judge accepts the plea.

If a defendant is found guilty of a charge following a misdemeanor trial, the defendant is sentenced immediately in most cases.

At a sentencing hearing, the defendant is entitled to make a statement and provide “mitigating” testimony and evidence to the court before the judge pronounces the sentence; however, the defendant is not required to do any of these things.

At a sentencing hearing, the prosecutor is entitled to make a statement and provide “victim impact” testimony and evidence as provided by law.

The Elko Justice/Municipal Court gives notice of arraignment and sentencing hearings to prosecutors’ offices. If the prosecutor does not appear for an arraignment and/or sentencing hearing, the hearing will proceed without the prosecutor present.

The judge will order restitution, if that is appropriate, at misdemeanor sentencing hearings.

The judge will impose other terms of sentence as allowed by law. The sentence may include terms up to and including maximum terms allowed by law. The sentence must include any minimum penalties as required by law as well.

Felony & Gross Misdemeanor Arraignment Procedure

At a felony or gross misdemeanor arraignment, the judge has no authority to accept a plea to any charge the defendant is facing.

Generally, the judge has no authority to dismiss a felony or gross misdemeanor charge against a defendant at arraignment. It is up to a prosecutor to bring and dismiss charges.

At every felony and gross misdemeanor arraignment, the judge will explain the defendant’s rights to him/her.

Felony and Gross Misdemeanor Defendant’s Rights

• Right to Bail

Under Nevada law, every felony and gross misdemeanor defendant has the right to bail, unless he or she is facing a charge of First Degree Murder. If any bail has been set for your case, the judge will tell you what that bail is at your arraignment. In almost all cases, bail for each felony and gross misdemeanor charge on which a defendant is arrested is set according to a revised bail schedule.

• Right to Lawyer, Either Appointed or Retained

Let the judge know at arraignment if you intend to retain your own lawyer for your case. The judge will then continue your arraignment (move it to a later date) to allow you time to retain a lawyer. Subject to ethical rules for lawyers, you can be represented by any licensed Nevada lawyer in good standing.

Let the judge know at arraignment if you intend to represent yourself for your case. The judge will then have you complete and sign a “Waiver of Right to be Represented by a Lawyer” form. If the judge finds that you are “knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily” giving up the right to be represented by a lawyer, he will let you represent yourself.

Let the judge know at arraignment if you intend to ask for an appointed lawyer. The judge will then have you complete and sign a “Petition for Appointment of a Lawyer” form. If the judge finds that you are unable to afford a lawyer, he will appoint a lawyer to represent you. The Court can order reimbursement for the use of an appointed lawyer. Whether and in what amount reimbursement is ordered depends upon the income and assets you have, as well as your ability to pay reimbursement.

• Right to Preliminary Hearing Within Fifteen Days of Arraignment

The judge has the authority to set a preliminary hearing beyond fifteen days of arraignment if the Elko Justice/Municipal Court calendar is too full to hold the preliminary hearing within that time period.

• Right to Require Prosecutor to Prove Charge(s) Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Before a criminal defendant can be found guilty of any charge, the prosecutor must prove him/her guilty of that charge beyond a reasonable doubt at a public trial.

• Right to Remain Silent

If a criminal defendant remains silent about his charge(s), that fact cannot and will not be used against him in any way in court.

• Right to Testify in Own Defense

Every criminal defendant has the right to tell his/her side of the case under oath from the witness stand in court. The decision to be silent or testify is the defendant’s decision to make after consulting with his/her lawyer, if any.

• Right to Confront and Cross-Examine Prosecutor’s Witnesses

Every criminal defendant has the right to ask prosecution witnesses questions while they are on the witness stand in court. Subject to rules of evidence and the law, the prosecution witnesses have to answer the defendant’s questions under oath.

• Right to Subpoena Witnesses in Defense Case

Every criminal defendant has the right to subpoena witnesses to testify in his/her case subject to the law. A subpoena is simply a court order requiring a witness to give testimony in or bring designated physical evidence and/or documents to court on the date and time designated in the subpoena.

• Right to Appeal Conviction of Any Charge

The appeals court for any person convicted of a charge in the Fourth Judicial District Court is the Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City, Nevada.

 

Carlin Justice Court & Municipal Court

  • 775-754-6321
  • 775-754-6893

Elko Justice Court & Municipal Court

  • (775) 738-8403
  • (775) 738-8416

Wells Justice Court & Municipal Court

  • (775) 752-3726
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Eastline Justice Court & West Wendover Municipal Court

  • (775) 664-2305
  • (775) 664-2979

District Court Dept. I

  • (775) 753-4601
  • (775) 753-4611

District Court Dept. II

  • (775) 753-4602
  • (775) 753-4611

Family Court

  • (775) 738-1551
  • (775) 738-5060

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