Las Vegas, aka Sin City, is one of the most traveled destinations in the world. If you, like the other 40 million tourists who visit each year, just want to relax and enjoy the casinos, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife the city offers, then Vegas can be a great destination place. But what happens if you are charged with a crime here?
If you have been arrested and charged with either a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense, then you need to know how this charge can impact your ability to travel or return to your home state. Much of it depends on the crimes of which you are accused, the terms of your bail bond agreement, and the pleasure of the adjudicating judge.
Can You Travel with a Pending Court Case in Nevada?
If your case is pending or waiting for a court date, you may wonder if you’re still allowed to travel. Maybe you have a trip already planned, maybe you need to travel to be with family, or maybe you are just visiting the Las Vegas Valley and need to travel home. Your defense attorney is the best person to advise you on specifics. In most cases, traveling out of state, much less out of the country, would be dependent upon terms of the bail bond arrangement and whether you have a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Traveling with a Misdemeanor Charge
Misdemeanor offenses are considered a lesser charge than a felony. Common offenses out-of-state travelers may get charged with include:
- Traffic tickets
- A first or second DUI with no injuries
- A first or second domestic battery with no injuries, weapon, or strangulation
Unless a presiding judge orders for you to stay in the state, you should be able to travel out of state while your case is pending. If in doubt, contact the bail bond company and explain your desire to return to your home state. Usually, if you either appear personally or hire a local attorney to appear for you during the initial arraignment, you will have no issues with traveling.
Traveling with a Felony Charge
Felony charges are much more serious than a misdemeanor charge. Nevada classifies felonies as follows:
- Category A Felony: first- or second-degree murder
- Category B Felony: Home invasion, robbery, or reckless driving with injury
- Category C Felony: Violating a protection order or internet stalking
- Category D Felony: Unpaid casino tokens, forgery, or involuntary manslaughter
- Category E Felony: First or second offense of marijuana possession with more than 1 ounce
As to whether you can travel out of state with a pending felony charge depends on the type of felony. For category A or B felonies, you would most likely be required to stay within the jurisdiction area. If you have paid your bail, it would be a good idea to seek the advice of your criminal defense attorney. He or she can file a motion with the court to request special permission for you to leave the area.
What Happens if You’re Arrested in Las Vegas But Live Out-Of-State?
If you are arrested in the Las Vegas area but aren’t a local, you will be allowed to post bail unless you have been charged with first-degree murder or kidnapping. Sometimes, you may not have to post any bail. This depends upon prior criminal history and the nature of your charge. You could be released on your own recognizance, without having to pay any bail.
There are specific procedures you will be required to enact if you do not wish to appear in-person or if you’d like to see if an out-of-state attorney can handle your case in Las Vegas.
Do You Have to Return to Nevada for Your Proceedings?
For lesser felonies or misdemeanors, you can file what is known as a Sargent Waiver, which is a notice of non-appearance. If you have lesser misdemeanors, you can send dispositions through the mail by including a written and notarized authorization. This will allow your attorney to enter a plea on your behalf.
If there are no conditions of release that require you to stay in the local jurisdiction, then you can communicate with the bail bond company electronically.
Can You Use an Out-Of-State Lawyer for a Case in Nevada?
If you have an out-of-state attorney with a Nevada law license, then there is a chance you can use that attorney to handle your case. However, it is not advisable to do that. It’s in your best interest to hire a local defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the local court system.
Choose John F. Marchiano Law to Defend You
If you find yourself or a loved one facing criminal misdemeanor or felony charges in Henderson or Las Vegas, Nevada, you should hire a defense attorney who has the experience to passionately defend your case. Your attorney can make the difference in how successful your case is or isn’t. With more than 35 years of criminal law representation, John F. Marchiano has the experience to provide you with a successful defense strategy. Contact our office today and get peace of mind.