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Attorney for Las Vegas Justice Court

For criminal and DUI cases heard at the Las Vegas Justice Court, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Gallo Law Office. The Las Vegas Justice Court conducts the initial appearance (often called “first appearance”) after the arrest in Las Vegas. Clark County has 10 other justice courts located throughout the county.

In the State of Nevada, the Justice Court has jurisdiction in both misdemeanor and felony cases. The Justice Court in Las Vegas hears cases for crimes that occurred in the city of Las Vegas.

For cases that are heard in the Las Vegas Township Justice Court, the person arrested will be taken to the Clark County Detention Center which is the jail located on Casino Center Boulevard. Regardless of whether you were arrested for a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony charges, the case will be prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.

On the other hand, for people taken to a city jail after the arrest, including the City jail on Steward and Mojave, then the case will be heard in the Las Vegas Municipal Court.

The Las Vegas Justice Court is located in the Regional Justice Center ("RJC") located in downtown Las Vegas at 200 Lewis Avenue. The Las Vegas Justice Court Clerk is located on the second floor of the RJC. Other courts located in the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas include the Las Vegas Municipal Court and Clark County District Court.

The Las Vegas Justice Court handles criminal and civil cases in eleven different departments. Each department has a different Justice Court Judge called a "Justice of the Peace." In addition to the regular departments, there are several “specialty courts” in the Justice Court of Las Vegas. Those specialty courts are for Domestic Violence and DUI / Vehicular cases.


Initial Hearings in the Las Vegas Justice Court

In the Las Vegas Justice Court there are two types of initial appearances - the 48 hour hearing and the 72 hour hearing.

For individuals who immediately post bail, then the first appearance for arraignment in the Las Vegas Justice Center occurs at the return court date. In other cases, the person is never formally arrested because the person instead receives a misdemeanor citation or a summons in lieu of an arrest warrant. If you hire an attorney prior to the return court date, the attorney can often appear on your behalf and waive your appearance so that you do not have to appear in person.

If the defendant does not immediately bail out after the arrest, then after the defendant is taken to the Clark County Detention Center, the defendant has a 48 Hour Hearing that is conducted "in camera.” An “in camera” hearing means that the judge reviews the case "in chambers.” During the “in camera” hearing the court decides whether to adjust standard bail for the charges. The court can either raise or lower the bail amount during the 48 hour hearing.

At the 72 Hour Hearing, the defendant has the first hearing that occurs in open court. This hearing is for defendants who are still being held at the Clark County Detention Center. At the 72 hour hearing, the defendant receives the criminal complaint, is arraigned on the charges, and enters a “not guilty” plea.

The court can also adjust the bail at this hearing or even release the defendant on his or her own recognizance (often called the “OR release” or “ROR”)

After the initial appearance, for cases that involve only a misdemeanor, then the case will stay in the Las Vegas Justice Court. If the case involves a felony or gross misdemeanor then the case will go up to the District Court in front of a District Court judge. Only “bench trials” occur in the Las Vegas Justice Court. Jury trials are conducted in the District Court for more serious charges.


Preliminary Hearings in Las Vegas Justice court

For cases that involves a gross misdemeanor or felony, and a plea deal is not negotiated, then a preliminary hearing will take place at the Las Vegas Justice Court. At the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will present evidence and testimony to show probable cause that the crime occurred.

The defense attorney is allowed to cross examine the state’s witnesses or present additional witnesses. If probable cause is shown, then the judge will bind the case over to the district court for additional proceedings which could include a jury trial. If the prosecutor does not present sufficient evidence, then the charges could be dismissed entirely.


The Failure to Appear Warrant from the Las Vegas Justice Court

If you fail to appear for a court date in the Las Vegas Justice Court then the judge can issue an arrest warrant from the bench (often called the “bench warrant” or a “failure to appear warrant.”) In most of these cases, the court imposes a “no bond” condition which means that after an arrest on the bench warrant the defendant cannot bond out of jail. In other cases, a higher bond amount is set on the warrant.

If you missed court and a bench warrant was issued after the failure to appear, you can retain a private criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas to file a motion to “quash the bench warrant” or to “set aside or recall the warrant.” Getting the bench warrant issued by the judge in the Las Vegas Justice Court set aside will help you avoid the creation of another arrest record and mug shot.

If you are picked up on the warrant before you are able to get it quashed or set aside, then you will be taken into custody and then taken in from of the court on a bench warrant return hearing.


Motion Hearings in the Las Vegas Justice Court

For misdemeanor cases held at the Las Vegas Justice Court, the criminal defense attorney will often file pre-trial motions. After the motion is filed, the criminal defense attorney will also have the issue scheduled for a specific hearing date. Motions can include any of the following:

  1. motion to consolidate cases;
  2. motion to exonerate bond;
  3. motion to remand the defendant into custody after a violation of a bond or bail condition (such as a new arrest);
  4. motion to reduce bail; 5. motion to file an amended criminal complaint;
  5. motion to quash a bench warrant after a failure to appear;
  6. motion to suppress or exclude evidence;
  7. motion to dismiss charges.

It is important to retain an attorney at the early stages of the case because after you are arrested or receive a citation, the arresting officer sends information to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office then reviews the case to decide if the charges will be prosecuted or not. The District Attorney also decides what types of charges should be filed, if any.

After you bail out of jail, the clerk will give you an "out-of-custody" court date. During that time before the next court date, the prosecutor with the Clark County District Attorney’s office will decide whether to file charges and which charges should be filed.


Additional Resources

Las Vegas Justice Court - The Criminal Division of Las Vegas Justice Court handles gross misdemeanor and felony cases from arraignment and preliminary hearings prior to being bound over to District Court. The criminal division also handles misdemeanor cases from arraignment through trial. The clerk's office of the criminal division is open on Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Clerk's Office Criminal Division of the Las Vegas Justice Court Regional Justice Center
200 Lewis Avenue, 2nd Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89101

Record Inquiry for the Las Vegas Township Justice Court - Visit the website for the Las Vegas Township Justice Court to conduct a record inquiry. Both civil and criminal cases are available on this cite. Find case records including criminal records, and the court calendar. You can also use the data base to view and pay traffic citations online. Traffic citations are updated within 4 weeks of the hearing date.

Criminal Division of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office - District Attorney Steven Wolfson was elected as Clark County’s top prosecutor. The Clark County District Attorneys office is the largest and busiest law firm in the State of Nevada with more than 700 employees including 160 attorneys. Each year, the District Attorney’s Office for Clark County handles more than 55,000 cases. District Attorney Steven Wolfson is also the Past President of the Nevada District Attorney’s Association. Specialty litigation teams in the criminal division include the support services unit, the major violators unit, the financial integrity unit, the special victims unit, and the criminal appeals unit.

Viewing and Searching Records of the Clark County Courts - Visit the website of the Clark County Courts to view and search records of the Eighth Judicial District Court. The Clerk of Court in Clark County maintains court records online from 199o until the present date. For records created between 1909 and 1990, a person must submit a request in person or through the mail for the records. The civil / criminal court counter is located on the third floor of the Regional Justice Center (RJC) at 200 Lewis Avenue in downtown Las Vegas, NV. Sealed Civil and Criminal cases require a court order to obtain documents or information.


Finding an Attorney for the Las Vegas Justice Court

If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony offense in Las Vegas or the surrounding areas of Clark County, Nevada, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Gallo Law Office. James C. Gallo is focused exclusively on criminal defense of cases in and around Las Vegas and throughout all of Clark County including North Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.

Call to find out more about the procedures used in the Justice Courts throughout Clark County, NV, including the Las Vegas Township Justice Court, the Henderson Justice Court and the North Las Vegas Justice Court.

Article last updated on Saturday, June 20, 2015.