Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys
Dedicated To Your Defense
Facing criminal charges of any kind, no matter how minor, can negatively impact your future. You will generally not be able to effectively mount your own defense. When you are arrested or charged with any type of crime, you should avoid making any statements or talking to police until you have spoken with legal representation.
Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers at Pitaro & Fumo, Chtd. can fight for you in cases involving state and federal criminal charges. We have many decades of combined legal experience and are well-respected in courtrooms throughout Nevada. When you hire our firm, you put a team of skilled litigators on your side that will work to provide you with the best possible legal representation.
What To Do After Being Arrested in Nevada
Being pulled over or confronted by law enforcement can be intimidating and frightening, even if you know that you have done nothing wrong. It is important that you try and keep a cool head in encounters with law enforcement and avoid doing anything that could be perceived as hostile or threatening.
Remember that you are under no obligation to answer a law enforcement officer’s questions, even in routine matters. You cannot be lawfully arrested for refusing to speak with law enforcement. In Nevada, you only have to provide your full name if asked. Anything you say can and will be used against you, and it possible that officers will distort or deliberately misinterpret your statements as part of an official report.
Law enforcement must have probable cause in order to arrest you in Nevada. This does not mean that they will necessarily honor your rights during a traffic stop or when making an arrest. If you believe that your rights have been violated during an arrest, you should avoid resisting and take careful note of what happened.
After being arrested, you will likely need to proactively exercise your legal right to remain silent. Law enforcement may or may not read you your Miranda rights. If they do, you must verbally confirm you are exercising your right to remain silent. No matter what law enforcement tells you, the only other thing you should say is that you want to speak with your legal representation.
If you have not already done so, now is the time to contact our firm. We will immediately get in touch with you, ensure that your rights are protected, and begin developing an effective legal strategy for your case.
You will be processed and booked after being taken into custody. For many types of infractions, a bail amount will be set. If you have the necessary funds, you can post bail and be released ahead of a court appearance. Bail may not be set for more serious crimes.
Bail will sometimes be set at an outrageously high amount that no one should reasonably be expected to pay. At your bail hearing, we can work to reduce your bail or eliminate it entirely.
We are also often able to secure own recognizance (OR) releases in lieu of bail for our clients. An OR release means that you will not have to pay anything. Instead, you must formally promise that you will continue to make scheduled appearances in court until your case has been resolved.
Cases We Handle
No matter what charges you face, we are here to help. We are extremely familiar with both the Nevada and federal court systems and can defend you against a wide variety of charges.
Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys can represent you in cases involving:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI). This serious offense can be charged in any situation where a driver is in “actual physical control” of their vehicle while unsafely under the influence of drugs or alcohol, even if they are not actively driving. First and second offenses can result in jail time, fines, temporary license revocations, and mandatory installations of ignition interlock devices. Third and subsequent offenses can lead to up to 6 years in prison plus thousands in fines. We can aggressively fight DUI charges, even if a blood or breathalyzer test found you to be over the legal limit.
- Battery Domestic Violence. “Battery domestic violence” is distinct from “battery” in that the violent, hostile, or unwanted contact is between two parties that are in a domestic relationship. This means that battery domestic violence can be charged in instances involving married couples, couples in an exclusive or nonexclusive relationship, and many types of close family members. The offense can also be charged in situations where an alleged victim feels no pain so long as there is “unwanted” contact involved. First and second offenses are charged as misdemeanors and can lead to up to 6 months in jail, hundreds of dollars in fines, mandatory community service, and mandatory counseling. Third and subsequent offenses are charged as Class B felonies and can result in up to 6 years in prison. Aggravating factors, including substantial bodily injury, the use of a deadly weapon, strangulation, or an alleged victim’s pregnancy, can all dramatically enhance the maximum sentences for a conviction. We can help you explore numerous defense strategies for battery domestic violence, including arguing self-defense and accidental contact. We can also fight for you in instances where your accuser has fabricated allegations and resorted to self-inflicted injuries to support their falsehood.
- Federal Crimes. When a criminal offense crosses state lines, involves federal property or agents, or represents some threat to U.S. national security, the federal government may get involved and pursue federal charges. Common federal offenses include numerous types of fraud, including wire fraud, tax fraud, banking fraud, and securities fraud, as well as numerous other types of serious crimes, such as kidnapping, racketeering, and interstate drug offenses. Federal charges will be adjudicated in federal courts, which operate separately from Nevada state courts. Our litigators are familiar with the federal court system and can defend you in cases involving these serious charges. We can also assist you with federal appeals and writs of habeas corpus.
- Traffic and Speeding Tickets. No one enjoys getting a costly speeding ticket during a traffic stop, but you might be tempted to pay the fine and move on. This can prove to be a damaging mistake: When you receive a ticket, you are being accused of a traffic-related crime. By paying the associated fine, you are admitting guilt and gain demerit points on your Nevada driver’s license. If you accumulate too many points in too short a time, you can temporarily or permanently lose your ability to drive. Our firm knows how to efficiently fight traffic and speeding tickets and can work to protect your driving record.
- Racketeering (RICO). “RICO” refers to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a 1970 federal law meant to help combat organized crime. Today, RICO charges can be pursued against any organized criminal enterprise, including gangs and businesses engaging in repeated unlawful conduct. Underlying crimes that fall under racketeering include embezzlement, bribery, extortion, loan sharking, drug trafficking, and money laundering. Racketeering is a federal offense that will be prosecuted in the federal court system, and a conviction can result in up to 20 years in federal prison plus the relinquishing of any illegally obtained funds and assets. Obtaining a conviction in a RICO case involves proving that there was a concerted pattern of organized criminal activity. We are familiar with how to defend against these complex types of allegations and can work to get your charges reduced or eliminated.
- Sexual Assault. Sex crimes are among the most serious charges that you can face in the state of Nevada. Having sex with someone without their consent can lead to a life sentence in prison. Statutory seduction or rape, gross lewdness, indecent exposure, and sexual acts in public are also aggressively prosecuted and can result in significant fines and prison sentences. Individuals convicted of one or more sex crimes are also generally required to register as sex offenders, meaning that their information and criminal record will be publicly available in state and federal databases. Registered sex offenders typically have tremendous difficulty securing housing, employment, and loans. Our team can work to help you avoid these consequences.
- Arson. Arson refers to the act of intentionally setting fire to a structure or piece of property. In Nevada, arson crimes are classified under four categories of increasing severity. First-degree arson involves “willfully and maliciously” setting fire to someone else’s home, and a conviction can result in up to 15 years in prison plus as much as $15,000 in fines. Second-degree arson is charged when someone sets fire to an abandoned building, while third-degree arson involves setting fire to the unoccupied property of someone else or some form of vegetation. Fourth-degree arson is the least serious offense category and is charged when someone plans or attempts to start an unlawful fire. To obtain a conviction, a prosecutor must establish that the accused “willfully and maliciously” started or intended to start a fire, which can be a tall order. We can mount an effective defense that casts sufficient doubt on the allegations.
- Drug Offenses. Drug crimes in Nevada range from simple possession to trafficking to manufacturing. All offenses involving controlled substances are aggressively prosecuted in the state and carry stiff penalties if convicted. The severity of these penalties will partially depend on what illegal drugs were involved in the crime, but even simple possession of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV controlled substance can trigger felony charges. Fortunately, relief can often be sought for first-time offenders. Our team can aggressively defend you against all types of drug charges and help you explore your options.
- Robbery. Under Nevada state law, robbery is defined as any taking of property through the use of force, violence, or fear of violence. Robbery charges can be enhanced if a deadly weapon was involved. A conviction in a robbery without a deadly weapon can result in up to 15 years in state prison. The presence of a deadly weapon automatically adds anywhere from 1 to 15 years in addition to the base sentence. Even attempted robbery is charged as a felony and can lead to up to 10 years in prison. Many accused of robbery are misidentified by understandably stressed and overwhelmed witnesses. In other cases, an effective defense can reduce or eliminate the charges. We will work closely with you to determine what strategy will be most effective for your situation.
Having any type of criminal record can limit your ability to obtain housing, employment, loans. Many types of minor convictions can potentially be sealed after a certain amount of time has passed. Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers at Pitaro & Fumo, Chtd. are familiar with the processes involved and can work to seal your criminal record so that past convictions do not appear in background checks.