Most people do not know much about the details of the criminal process. When a person is arrested, it can be his or her very first encounter with the criminal justice system, and the experience may be very frightening. If you’ve been arrested and this is your first offense, you may not know what to do next. Fortunately, the answer is very simple: Call an attorney.
Your attorney will be able to identify every option you might have, and can help guide you through this difficult time. Jeffrey Jaeger is a Las Vegas first time offender lawyer who literally wrote the book on Nevada evidence, as co-author of the Westlaw's Courtroom Handbook of Nevada Evidence. The book used by lawyers and judges across the state. He can put his knowledge to work for you.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jaeger represents first time offenders throughout Clark County, including Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas.
There are hundreds of crimes in the Nevada Revised Statutes. Some of them are much more common for first offenders. Often, these are misdemeanors. They can include:
If you are a first-time offender, you may consider what led to the arrest and conclude the situation is hopeless, that hiring a lawyer would be a waste of money, and that a better option would be simply asking the prosecutor or the judge for leniency. This is a mistake.
First, it is wrong to assume your case is hopeless. There are many constitutional protections a person has that require careful procedures by police when gathering evidence, making a stop, making an arrest, questioning the suspect, and other steps in the investigative process. Any misstep can lead to charges being dismissed.
Second, there are options besides just pleading “guilty,” and your attorney can identify and obtain them. One of the most common is “deferred adjudication.” In a deferred adjudication, the conviction is not entered and the defendant agrees to certain conditions. Usually, these conditions involve probation, paying a fine, not committing any new crimes over a certain period of time, possibly submitting to drug or alcohol testing, drug and alcohol counseling, and community service. If the defendant meets these conditions over the determined period of time, charges can be dismissed.
Deferred adjudication deals are struck between the defense attorney and the prosecutor, and approved by the judge. However, if a person is not represented by an attorney, the prosecutor may have little incentive to work out the deal. Additionally, the defense attorney will be familiar with the prosecutors and others at the courthouse, and will best understand how to make these deals.
If you had a clear record before this arrest, you want it to stay that way. Even if you were not convicted, you should have all records sealed. Records are created when you are arrested, booked, cited, and go through any sort of court process. Those records show up in background searches.
Eligibility for sealing depends on a variety of factors, including the offense of which you were accused of committing. Depending on the outcome, the time after resolution could also affect the record sealing process.
If you face your first criminal offense in Las Vegas, Henderson, or anywhere in Clark County, Nevada, act today to avoid the worst consequences. Jeffrey Jaeger understands the criminal court process and can represent you to keep your record clear. Call The Law Offices of Jeffrey Jaeger today at (702) 816-3888 to set up a free consultation.
Stay up-to-date on the latest legal news in the Silver State. Las Vegas attorney Jeffrey Jaeger discusses important developments in Nevada Appellate Courts.