Elk Grove, CA asked in Criminal Law for Nevada

Q: How can a municipal court in Nevada take away your right to a jury trial when charged with a misdemeanor?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Malcolm P. LaVergne
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  • Licensed in Nevada

A: It's complicated, but basically you don't have a right to a jury trial on misdemeanor cases where the prosecutor is not seeking more than 180 days in jail. The Supreme Court of Nevada has ruled on this issue, to the dismay of criminal defense attorneys. If you are facing more than one misdemeanor charge, it could appear that you could seek a jury trial because you technically could serve in excess of 180-days if the judge would sentence you consecutively on each count. The prosecutors, however, could probably get around this by telling the judge that they would not seek any jail time beyond 180 days. Bottom line, misdemeanor cases in Nevada are routinely and virtually always tried by a judge, not a jury. Malcolm.

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