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Welcome to Vegas Lawyer. This site is for people who were hurt in Nevada. Contact us for a free consultation. You may want to read the Las Vegas Personal Injury Law introduction on our home page. Also, you can get an overview of other claims like Wrongful Death, Auto Accidents, Slip & Fall, and Products Liability before you explore the Article below.

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Victim Rights And Restitution

What are my rights as a victim?

The law provides many rights to those who are victimized by the criminal acts of others.

What is a criminal complaint?

A criminal complaint is a statement of facts about an alleged crime which, when filed in court, formally charges a person. These facts are first submitted by local law enforcement agencies. If the evidence submitted is deemed sufficient, a criminal complaint is filed.

What is a warrant of arrest?

A warrant of arrest is an order signed by a judge authorizing the police to arrest a person believed to have committed a crime.

What happens to the accused?

The person accused is called the defendant. He will make his first appearance before a judge shortly after his arrest or after the criminal complaint is filed. This is called an arraignment. Your appearance at the arraignment is not required.

The next stage is the preliminary hearing. If the defendant is in custody, he may insist on a preliminary hearing within 15 days. The state presents some evidence at the preliminary hearing to establish probable cause for the charge against the defendant.

What compensation is available to victims of crimes?

Victims of violent crime, including DUI's or their survivors, may be eligible for state compensation to cover medical expenses, psychological counseling, loss of earnings, or funeral expenses which are incurred as a result of their victimization. If you are a resident of Nevada, the crime occurred within the last 12 months, and you feel that you qualify for such assistance, please contact the Clark County Victim-Witness Assistance Center or:

    Victims of Violent Crime Program
    555 East Washington Ave., Suite 3200
    Las Vegas, NV 89101
    (702) 486-2740

What if someone threatens me to drop the charges or to not testify?

Such a person is obstructing justice and committing a crime, whether the harassment occurs before the crime is reported, or during the prosecution of the case. Contact the law enforcement officer in charge of the case immediately. A judge may issue a warrant against the person threatening you. He may also revoke the defendant's bail.

What if the defense attorney contacts me about the case?

You may discuss the case with the defense attorney if you wish, but you should report the contact to the Deputy District Attorney in charge of the case.

What should I do when I receive my subpoena ?

Witnesses are notified by subpoena when and where to appear. On the evening before the scheduled court appearance, you should call the telephone number printed on the subpoena. You will then hear a recording which includes the status of your case. This may save you an unnecessary trip to the courthouse.

What is a preliminary hearing ?

It is a scheduled courtroom event with testimony under oath, where the judge, the defendant, the defendant's attorney, the prosecutor from the District Attorney's Office and any victim or witness subpoenaed is present. The purpose of the hearing is to establish that a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed it.

The prosecutor has the burden of proof. If probable cause is shown, The judge will rule that the defendant shall go to trial in District Court.

What do I do at a preliminary hearing?

If you are subpoenaed to appear at a preliminary hearing, The Deputy District Attorney may want you to sit in the witness chair and answer questions about who you are and what you know about the case. Give your answers as truthfully as you can. The judge is there to assist you if you do not understand a question and to see that you are treated respectfully.

May I watch the preliminary hearing?

Witnesses may watch the proceedings unless excluded from doing this by the court. In any event, witnesses should not discuss their testimony among themselves.

Victim's of sexual assault are guaranteed the right to have an attendant of their choice in court to provide support at both the preliminary hearing and trial. However, this support person must not be a witness in the case.

How does a case get dismissed?

If the judge decides that probable cause has not been proven, the court will dismiss the case. This means that all legal action has come to an end, and the defendant is released. This can also happen if you or another witness fails to appear.

What happens in a trial?

In a trial, the prosecutor presents the case for the state, attempting to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did commit the crime as charged. The defendant may present his side through the use of an attorney. It is the defendant's choice whether the a judge or a twelve (12) person jury will decide the verdict.

What do I do at the trial?

As a witness for the state, you have an important part in the trial. You may be questioned by the deputy prosecutor about who you are and what you know about the case. The defendant's attorney may cross-examine you. You may feel during the questioning that your personal motives are doubted, but the process of cross-examination is not meant as a personal attack against you. It is to ensure that all sides of the case are told, and to establish the truth. if you are concerned about what will happen, contact the Victim-Witness Assistance Center.

This information came from a
Clark County online article.

*** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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DEMPSEY, ROBERTS & SMITH, LTD.
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