From enjoying the nightlife in Las Vegas to gambling in Reno or vacationing in Lake Tahoe, Nevada has plenty of fun activities to offer its visitors. Unfortunately, some tourists end up being arrested for criminal offenses, which means there is a significant possibility of having to travel back and forth from their home state or country back to Nevada.
If you are a visitor in Reno or Nevada in general and are currently facing criminal charges, it is in your best interest to obtain a local criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and freedom. A local lawyer can evaluate your case, determine all available legal options, inform you of the penalties upon conviction, and help you obtain the best possible outcome.
Furthermore, and perhaps the most important reason to obtain local counsel, you DO NOT have to show up for your court dates in Nevada if you are represented by a local lawyer. If you were arrested and bailed out of jail, your bail bondsman informed you that you are required to attend every court hearing to avoid bondsman fees, a bench warrant, and incarceration. The bondsman is also supposed to tell you that an attorney can appear on your behalf on most court hearings.
The initial court hearing--known as arraignment--is when the defendant pleads “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest” to the alleged criminal charges. From there another court hearing is scheduled, which either consists of plea deal negotiations or a trial date if both parties cannot reach a plea bargain.
This first hearing is often brief and not the best opportunity to argue your case. It is wise to save time and money by staying at home, while a local lawyer appears for you at your initial court appearance. The best case scenario is that you never have to return to Nevada at all for any subsequent hearings.
Keep in mind, this often applies to misdemeanor criminal charges such as DUI, public intoxication, simple battery, destruction of property, or trespassing. Fortunately, this also applies to felony charges as well, including drug possession and casino-related crimes.