Best Nevada Criminal Lawyers
Finding the Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Nevada
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in Nevada, having a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is crucial. The stakes are high and you need someone who knows the complexities of Nevada criminal law and can build the strongest possible defense for your unique situation.
I’ve researched some of the top criminal lawyers in Nevada to give you a starting point. I looked for attorneys with extensive experience, proven track records, and a commitment to personalized and aggressive representation. Of course, every case is different, so make sure to do your own research to find the very best lawyer for you.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyer
Here are some key factors I recommend keeping in mind as you evaluate criminal lawyers in Nevada:
- Experience with your specific type of criminal charge – You’ll want a lawyer who regularly deals with cases similar to yours and knows all the relevant laws and defense strategies inside-out.
- Track record of positive case results – Look for attorneys who have a proven history of achieving charge reductions, case dismissals, acquittals, and other favorable outcomes for their clients.
- Strong negotiation skills – Many criminal cases are resolved through plea bargains, so choose a lawyer who can negotiate effectively with prosecutors.
- Trial experience – If your case does go to trial, your attorney should have extensive litigation experience and success trying cases in front of juries.
- Clear communication – Your lawyer should clearly explain your options, keep you updated on your case, and make sure you understand each step of the legal process.
- Rapport and trust – You need an attorney you feel comfortable with and who will fight tirelessly on your behalf.
Top Criminal Defense Law Firms in Nevada
1. Spartacus Law Firm
Spartacus Law Firm provides criminal defense for clients in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Their attorneys have experience with traffic violations like DUIs, felonies like domestic violence and murder, drug crimes, sex offenses, theft, and more. They are known for their aggressive representation and track record of positive case results.
2. Law Office of John G. Watkins
Attorney John G. Watkins has over 25 years defending clients charged with state and federal crimes. He handles everything from white collar financial crimes to drug trafficking, gang violence, sex offenses, and homicide. Watkins is a seasoned trial lawyer who has won over 150 jury trials.
3. The Law Offices of John W. Ames, Ltd.
John W. Ames is known as one of the toughest criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas. He represents clients facing serious felony charges and has extensive trial experience. Ames is passionate about criminal justice reform and stands up aggressively for his clients’ rights.
5 Key Questions to Ask Prospective Criminal Defense Lawyers
Once you’ve identified some top criminal attorneys in your area, be sure to ask these key questions during your initial consultation:
- How much experience do you have with my specific criminal charge?
- What will your legal fee structure be and what can I expect to pay?
- What defense strategies do you think would be most effective in my case?
- If I can’t afford legal fees, what are my options for legal financial assistance?
- Will you be the lead attorney handling my case or will other associates work on it?
Understanding the Criminal Justice Process in Nevada
If you are under investigation or facing criminal charges, having a basic grasp of how Nevada’s criminal justice system works will help you make informed decisions about legal representation and possible defense strategies. Here’s a quick overview:
Key Steps in the Criminal Justice Process
- Arrest: Police arrest suspects based on probable cause. Suspects are read their Miranda rights.
- Booking & Charging: Suspects are fingerprinted, photographed, and formally charged with a specific crime.
- Initial Appearance: An initial court hearing takes place usually within 72 hours of arrest. Bail terms may be set at this point.
- Preliminary Hearing: Prosecutors must show probable cause that the defendant committed the crime in order to move the case forward to the trial phase.
- Grand Jury: For serious felony cases, prosecutors present evidence to a grand jury who decides if charges should be filed.
- Plea Bargaining: Many cases end through plea bargain agreements between prosecutors and defense attorneys.
- Trial: If no plea bargain is reached, the case will go to a bench trial or jury trial where guilt is determined.
- Sentencing: If found guilty, the judge determines penalties based on Nevada sentencing guidelines.
Types of Crimes & Penalties in Nevada
Nevada divides crimes into three major categories:
- Infractions: Minor offenses punishable by fines; speeding tickets are an example
- Misdemeanors: More serious crimes with maximum jail term of 6 months
- Felonies: Most serious crimes with longer jail terms; murder is a felony
Within these classifications are many specific violent crimes, sex crimes, drug crimes, property crimes, weapons charges, and white collar crimes. The exact penalties for a conviction depend on the severity of the charges and the person’s criminal history.