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Nevada Warrant Records

What is a Warrant in Nevada?

A warrant in Nevada is a legal document that instructs law enforcement agencies to make an arrest, conduct a search or seizure, or take other actions to ensure that justice is served. If these actions are carried out without a warrant, they may violate constitutional rights. As a result, warrants are delicate and essential tools in the state justice system that must be obtained and executed within the confines of the law.

The procedures for issuing warrants in Nevada are addressed in Title 14, Chapter 173 of the Nevada Code. In Nevada, in addition to issuing a warrant for an individual's arrest and detention, a summons may be issued to order a person to appear in court at a specific date and time.

Nevada judges can issue three types of warrants: arrest warrants, bench warrants, and search warrants. But first, the requesting official must persuade an impartial judge or magistrate with a written affidavit that probable cause exists. This affidavit must contain enough information and details to establish credible grounds for an arrest or search.

How to Find Out if You Have a Warrant in Nevada?

The best way to find an outstanding warrant in Nevada is to conduct a warrant search through public or private sources. Unless a warrant is issued under seal, most people are notified if they have a warrant in their name. A warrant may be issued under seal (without the subject's knowledge) to prevent them from fleeing or burying evidence.

There is no central database for outstanding warrants in Nevada. Therefore, contacting a local law enforcement agency is the quickest way to find pending warrants. It is as easy as going to a local police station and asking if there is a warrant out for a specific person. The drawback is that if there is a warrant in the inquirer's name, the person may be apprehended or detained right away.

In some of Nevada's largest cities, local law enforcement agencies have online databases and warrant search directories where people can search for warrants by entering their full names and social security numbers. A typical example is the City of Las Vegas Warrant Search directory.

Local courts can also provide information on outstanding warrants. Inquirers can ask about their current warrant status by contacting or visiting these courts. Individuals who choose to visit a court in person should be aware that warrant searches require photo identification.

Active warrants in Nevada can also be discovered through background checks. Several privately-owned online public record databases make it easy to locate outstanding warrants for small fees.

Records of warrants issued or executed in various jurisdictions are also maintained and by third-party websites. While third-party sites make accessing these records substantially easier, the information available on the sites may vary since they are not government run sources. To obtain warrant records from a third-party site, the requesting party may be required to provide:

  • The personal information of the alleged suspect
  • Information regarding the issuing officer
  • The location where the warrant was issued.

How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in Nevada?

In Nevada, some warrants remain active indefinitely, and some expire. For example, arrest and bench warrants do not have a time limit and can be executed at any time by the court or the arresting agency. Meanwhile, search warrants have an expiration date.

A search warrant will usually state the date and time it was issued, as well as the period within which it must be executed. After the period specified in the document, the warrant is no longer valid.

To find active Nevada warrants, individuals can conduct warrant searches regularly.

What is a Nevada Search Warrant?

A Nevada search warrant in Nevada enables the police to search a resident's property legally. (Homes, automobiles, offices, and other real and personal properties.) These searches are often conducted to acquire evidence of a crime.

Because the Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unwarranted searches by law enforcement, search warrants are mandatory. To obtain this warrant, the police must have "probable cause," a reason to believe their search would uncover evidence linking the warrant's subject to a crime. Otherwise, the search will be unlawful.

Specific legal procedures govern the application and execution of a search warrant in Nevada. If a discrepancy occurs in the process, the court may suppress the evidence discovered by the police while executing the warrant. An "Application for a Search and Seizure Warrant" is usually the first step in the procedure. The application must include a statement of probable cause to justify the search warrant. It must then be presented to the court for approval. The judge will only sign the warrant if the law enforcement officials produce sufficient evidence that the property is linked to criminal conduct.

Although it has been established that a search warrant is required before law enforcement can conduct searches and seizures, it is crucial to remember that there are instances where a search warrant will not be required to search a person or property in Nevada. Some include:

  • When the civilian agrees to the search. Here, the police can only search the places that the individual has permitted them to search without a search warrant.
  • When the property owner has been arrested, the police may search the individual and their immediate surroundings to ensure that no weapons are concealed.
  • When a person is detained, the police may conduct an inventory search of their belongings.
  • When the police are pursuing a suspected criminal, they may pursue the suspect into a private residence and conduct a search.
  • If the police believe that a subject is concealing a weapon, they may conduct a pat-down of the individual's body outside of their clothing. This is referred to as a "Terry Frisk."

Valid search warrants must specify the property to be searched and the exact items to be seized. A search warrant is only lawful for the specific locations and items stated in the document. The police may, on rare occasions, extend the search outside the warrant's specified locations. For instance, when the police think that evidence is being destroyed in another section of the property or that people are hiding within the premises to ambush them. In that case, the search may be extended beyond the specified areas.

What Can Make a Nevada Search Warrant Invalid?

If an error was made while obtaining or executing a search warrant in Nevada, the court might rule that the search warrant is unlawful, and all evidence obtained as a result becomes inadmissible in court. Thus, when a defendant suspects that a search warrant was issued, obtained, or executed in error, they may file a motion to suppress the evidence. This motion claims that the search was improper and urges the judge to exclude any evidence discovered due to the illegal search or dismiss the case entirely.

Defendants may dispute a warrant's legitimacy on the following grounds:

  • The validity of the application or affidavit used to obtain a search warrant: The defendant must show that the affiant knowingly and intentionally lied in the warrant affidavit to demonstrate probable cause.
  • The impartiality of the issuing magistrate or judge: The warrant will be declared illegal if the issuing judge is not impartial or neutral.
  • Exceeding the specificity and scope of the warrant: If the warrant was acquired legitimately and the police went past the scope of the warrant by examining places not explicitly mentioned in the warrant, any evidence discovered in those areas would be inadmissible in court.

What is an Arrest Warrant in Nevada?

Arrest warrants are court orders issued by Nevada judges to give the police the authority to apprehend, detain, and bring people to court to face criminal charges. Judges issue these warrants if the requesting law enforcement entity, such as the police or the district attorney, can establish probable cause that the suspect committed an illegal act. Besides this, court judges may also issue an arrest warrant if a grand jury indicts someone. In general, these warrants are required for criminal offenses performed outside of the presence of the police. If a law enforcement officer observes a criminal act, the law allows them to arrest the offender right away without a warrant.

Chapter 179 of Nevada's legislature contains rules governing the format of arrest warrants in Nevada. According to these rules, law enforcement officers may submit the request for an arrest warrant in three ways:

  • By filing a complaint: The complaint is a document that outlines the specifics of an alleged offense and the reasons why the requesting agency believes the subject committed it.
  • By presenting the judge with a citation: A citation mimics a criminal complaint in style. However, while the criminal complaint is filed and submitted by the district attorney after an alleged crime has occurred, a citation is filled out at the crime scene by one of the responding officers. Filing a citation instead of a complaint indicates that the offense is a misdemeanor, most likely a minor one, because the officer chose not to arrest the person.
  • By filling out an affidavit: This is a written statement that is typically submitted by one of the officers investigating a suspected crime. It comprises the information acquired by the police, such as evidence, witness testimony and statements, and a narrative of the investigation. Before being presented to the court, the affidavit must be notarized. This ensures that the investigating officer's statement is true and that the individual is speaking under penalty of perjury. If the statement is false, the officer may face criminal prosecution.

Regardless of how the request is made, the court will examine the filed document to ensure "probable cause" exists. If it does, a warrant for the suspect's arrest will be issued. State laws specify that valid warrants must include the following:

  • The name, title, and signature of the issuing judge.
  • The alleged offender's name or a clear description by which the individual can be recognized (if the name is unknown).
  • The issuing date.
  • Name of the county, city, or municipality where it was issued.
  • The alleged criminal offense.
  • An order for the culprit to be apprehended and brought to the nearest court.
  • If applicable, the amount of bail or bond.

Following the issuance of an arrest warrant, law enforcement officers can execute the warrant and arrest the subject. An arrest warrant may, however, come with some time and location restrictions. For instance, if someone is charged with a felony or gross misdemeanor, they can be arrested at any time in Nevada. If the individual is charged with a misdemeanor, they can only be arrested between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. unless the arrest warrant specifies otherwise.

Additionally, if the alleged act is a "petty misdemeanor," a relatively trivial offense, the district attorney may seek a summons instead of an arrest warrant for the accused. A summons is a court order for the offender to appear in court to answer the charges. If the summons is not obeyed, the judge will issue a bench warrant for the individual.

It is critical to understand how an arrest warrant is issued, what information it contains, and how it is implemented to protect one's rights. A defense attorney might contest the validity of an arrest if there are problems in these areas. If there is police misconduct in obtaining or executing the warrant, the attorney may get the charges dropped.

What is a Child Support Arrest Warrant in Nevada?

Child support arrest warrants are used by the courts to enforce child support payments. In Nevada, a custodial parent can pursue an unpaid child support obligation in court. Because a child support order is a court order, the court can hold a defaulting parent in contempt for disobeying it. Contempt of court is a serious legal offense that can result in fines, imprisonment, or other consequences.

Generally, an owed parent can sue the defaulting parent for contempt of court and have the defaulting parent served. The court may release a warrant for the obligor parent's arrest if they fail to appear in court after being summoned to answer the allegations. Jail time may be included depending on the severity of the offense.

Other than this, it is a crime in Nevada to fail to pay child support for an extended length of time. For defaults less than $10,000 (misdemeanors), the penalty is up to 6 months in jail. Defaults of $10,000 or more (felonies) come with a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

What is a Nevada Bench Warrant?

When a person breaches a court rule, a Nevada bench warrant will be issued by the judge for the person's arrest. Breaching a court rule is known as "contempt of court." A judge may find someone in contempt for the following reasons:

  • Missing a court hearing.
  • Failing to obey the terms of a sentence. (For example, failure to pay fines or perform community service.)
  • Failing to testify to a grand jury after being subpoenaed.
  • Failing to show up for jury duty.
  • Non-compliance with other court directives.

When someone is in contempt of court, a judge or magistrate can issue a bench warrant for their arrest. This form of warrant is similar to an arrest warrant in that it allows law enforcement to arrest and detain a person. However, unlike an arrest warrant, a bench warrant is issued at the discretion of a judge.

Bench warrants, though issued mostly in civil proceedings, can be quite troublesome. If the underlying offense for which the person was charged is minor, law enforcement is unlikely to seek the individual out because of the warrant. However, the warrant will stay in effect until the subject is arrested or a judge annuls the order. Therefore, the subject of a bench warrant may be arrested at any time and anywhere they encounter state or local law enforcement agents, regardless of the seriousness of the underlying accusations. The warrant also gives the DMV the authority to suspend a driver's license.

As a result, individuals can contact an attorney for assistance in resolving bench warrants. A lawyer can look through court records to see why the bench warrant was issued and quash it so that the individual does not face an arrest. Bench warrants may be resolved in any of the following ways:

  • Paying the full bail amount and receiving a future court date.
  • Filing a motion to recall the warrant.

In Nevada, What is Failure to Appear?

Absence from a court hearing is known as "failure to appear." In Nevada, it is unlawful to skip a mandatory court appearance—doing so can cause a judge to order the police to arrest the absent individual. After the warrant is issued, if the individual refuses to surrender or attempts to have the warrant dismissed after 30 days, the district attorney may file an extra charge of "failure to appear" against the party.

Also, suppose the court finds that someone intentionally missed a court appearance to evade prosecution. In that case, the person will be charged with a failure to appear, a class D felony in Nevada. Regardless of how trivial the underlying offense was, a "failure to appear" can result in 1 to 4 years in Nevada state prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

However, suppose the defendant did not leave Nevada to avoid prosecution. In that case, the penalty for "failure to appear" is determined by the gravity of the underlying crime for which the individual is being prosecuted. If the underlying offense is a misdemeanor, the sentence could include up to six months in county jail or a fine not exceeding $1,000. If the offender fails to appear in court for a gross misdemeanor charge, the individual will incur up to a year in jail or $2,000 in fines.

How Long Do You Have to Stay in Jail for a Warrant For Missing Court in Nevada?

If a defendant misses court in Nevada and a bench warrant is issued for their arrest, the police will likely detain the individual in jail until the case is brought before the judge again. This could take days or even weeks. If the person is not detained but refuses to comply with the warrant by surrendering to law enforcement or attempting to quash the warrant, the person will be charged with 'failure to appear.' This further complicates the case because this charge is considered a crime in Nevada.

In Nevada, What is Failure to Pay?

Failure to pay a court fine in Nevada, such as a fine or support payment, is seen as a violation of the court's authority. As such, a person can be prosecuted for skipping a single payment. Depending on the severity of the case, fines or imprisonment may be imposed. The court could also issue a warrant for one's arrest and detention.

What is a No-Knock Warrant in Nevada?

No-knock warrants are a form of search warrant that allows officers to enter and examine a home without disclosing their presence or intentions.

No-knock warrants are unpopular because they directly contradict federal rules requiring officers to observe the knock-and-announce standard when serving a search warrant. The standard is to announce themselves and their purpose and wait a reasonable amount of time before entering the property. However, the United States Supreme Court upheld the use of no-knock warrants in 2003, declaring that in certain situations, the obligation to knock and announce before entering could cause issues, such as the destruction of evidence.

Although no-knock warrants are permissible in Nevada, Senate Bill 50 bans judges from granting no-knock search warrants unless under specific conditions, such as:

  • To ensure the safety of the peace officer executing the warrant or any other person.
  • To keep evidence from being destroyed.

The warrant may also be issued when the subject's criminal past reveals a tendency for violence.