Nevada judges issue arrest warrants when the police or prosecutor can show probable cause that you (the suspect to be arrested) have committed a criminal offense. Judges will also issue an arrest warrant if a grand jury issues an indictment against you.1
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys will answer the following key questions:
- 1. How do I find out if I have a warrant in Las Vegas, NV?
- 2. What are arrest warrants?
- 3. Can I be arrested without an arrest warrant in Nevada?
- 4. How do police carry out arrest warrants?
- 5. What is bail?
- 6. Can I prevent an arrest warrant from being issued?
- 7. Can I turn myself in to the court that issued the arrest warrant?
- 8. What if I have an arrest warrant in Nevada but am out of state?
- 9. How do I fight illegal arrest warrants?
- 10. Can I get an arrest record sealed in Nevada?
- Additional resources
1. How do I find out if I have a warrant in Las Vegas, NV?
A few Nevada courts permit you to search online for your warrant status. Some of these websites are:
- Las Vegas Municipal court warrant search – 100 E Clark Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101 / (702) 382-6878
- Las Vegas Justice Court – 200 Lewis Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89101 / (702) 671-3116
- Henderson Municipal Court warrant list – 243 South Water Street Henderson, NV 89015 / (702) 267-3300
- Henderson Justice Court warrant list – 243 South Water Street Henderson, NV 89015 / (702) 455-7980
- North Las Vegas Municipal Court warrant search – 2332 Las Vegas Blvd N #100, North Las Vegas, NV 89030 / (702) 633-1130
- North Las Vegas Justice Court – 2428 N Martin L King Blvd # A, North Las Vegas, NV 89032 / (702) 455-7801
Note that active warrants never expire until you are apprehended, you turn yourself in, or the judge agrees with your (or your attorney’s) request to recall the warrant. Warrants can remain active indefinitely.
As criminal defense attorneys, we can check on your behalf whether you have an active arrest warrant.
2. What are arrest warrants?
Arrest warrants allow police to place you under arrest in Nevada if there is probable cause to believe you broke the law. Like it sounds, “probable cause” means there is a reasonable belief
- that criminal activity has taken place, and
- that you committed it.2
Arrest warrants have to include enough detail to justify why law enforcement has probable cause to arrest you. It should reveal which specific crimes you are suspected of and, in some cases, bail amounts.
Note that arrest warrants are different from search warrants and bench warrants:
|Type of Warrant||Purpose||Issued By||Based On|
|Arrest Warrant||To arrest a person suspected of committing a crime.||Judge or Magistrate||Probable cause to believe someone committed a crime|
|Search Warrant||To search a specific location for specific evidence of a crime.||Judge or Magistrate||Probable cause to believe evidence is present|
|Bench Warrant||To arrest someone who failed to appear in court or comply with court orders.||Judge||Failure to appear in court or follow court orders|
3. Can I be arrested without an arrest warrant in Nevada?
If you allegedly committed a misdemeanor, warrantless arrests are legal as long as the police witnessed the crime. If the police have reasonable cause to believe you committed a gross misdemeanor or felony, the police may make a warrantless arrest without having witnessed the crime.3
4. How do police carry out arrest warrants?
Arrests may happen anywhere, though you do not have to let police in your home if there is no warrant out for your arrest.
If you resist arrest, the arresting officer may use “necessary force” to carry out the arrest, including violence.
Then once the arrest takes place, you must be brought before a judge within 72 hours.4
5. What is bail?
After you get arrested and booked, the court may release you if you pay the specified bail amount or post bond through a bail bondsman. Bail money gets returned to you once the case concludes as long as you do not miss any court appearances.
In the most serious cases, the judge may refuse to set bail at all in order to keep you in custody throughout the duration of the case. In cases that are more minor, the judge may decide to release you on your own recognizance (O.R.) without having to pay at all.
Note that defense attorneys can always request bail hearings to request that the judge lower bail or grant O.R. release.5
6. Can I prevent an arrest warrant from being issued?
It depends. A pre-file investigation may be enough to stop a warrant from issuing. If not, a defense attorney may be able to prevent you from going to jail while the case proceeds.
7. Can I turn myself in to the court that issued the arrest warrant?
Yes, but you should not turn yourself in without first retaining counsel to fight for you to get O.R. release or an affordable bail. If you go to court by yourself without legal representation by your side, it is very likely that the judge will turn a deaf ear to your excuses and order you to jail.
(Note that if you have a bench warrant rather than an arrest warrant, we can usually get the warrant “quashed” without you having to appear in court at all. Then once the warrant gets “quashed,” the underlying criminal charge would proceed as if the bench warrant never happened.)
8. What if I have an arrest warrant in Nevada but am out of state?
If you are caught in another state or most countries with an active Nevada warrant, you may be extradited to Nevada to face charges.
You are entitled to a hearing protesting the extradition order. Any jail time you serve in another state awaiting extradition will be credited towards your final sentence.
Extradition is a complicated process with different rules for each jurisdiction. You should hire counsel in both Nevada and the state or country where you are arrested in order to safeguard your rights and expedite the extradition process.6
9. How do I fight illegal arrest warrants?
Three strategies our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys use to challenge arrest warrants in Nevada are
- to show the warrant was issued without probable cause or in breach of proper judicial procedure,
- to show the police committed misconduct in the case such as by finding evidence through an unlawful search, or
- to file a writ of habeas corpus arguing to the court that your incarceration is illegal.7
10. Can I get an arrest record sealed in Nevada?
If the case gets dismissed without any conviction, you can petition the court to seal the arrest records right away.
Though if you get convicted, there is a one to ten (1 – 10) year waiting period to get a record seal depending on the case. Some convictions are unsealable.8
For more information, refer to the following:
- National Crime Information Center – The FBI’s centralized database for accessing criminal justice information, including warrants.
- SearchQuarry.com – Public record provider with warrant searches by name, city or county.
- Vinelink.com – Free site to search for outstanding warrants and criminal records in participating states.
- PeopleFinders.com – Public records site providing warrant searches among other lookup services for a fee.
- CriminalWatchdog.com – Subscription service for continuous monitoring of criminal records and warrants.
- NRS 171.100. NRS 172.285.
- NRS 171.106; Woerner v. Justice Court of Reno Tp. ex rel. County of Washoe, (2000) 116 Nev. 518, 1 P.3d 377. Gordon v. State, (1967) 83 Nev. 177. Beck v. State of Ohio, (1964) 379 U.S. 89.”); Schnepp v. State, (1966) 82 Nev. 257. Nelson v. City of Las Vegas, (1983) 99 Nev. 548; NRS 171.108; NRS 179.380. See also Veil v. Bennett (2015) 131 Nev. 179.
- NRS 171.124; NRS 453.271.
- NRS 171.178. Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. NRS 171.122. Ford v. State, (2006) 122 Nev. 796. Dumaine v. State, (1987) 103 Nev. 121.
- NRS 179.209.
- Nieto v. State, (2003) 119 Nev. 229. NRS 179.223.
- An example of an illegal arrest warrant is one that issues after the same matter had already been filed and dismissed: NRS 174.085. Graves v. State, (1996) 112 Nev. 118. United States v. Crews, 445 U.S. 463, 474 (1980). See also Torres v. State (2018) 426 P.3d 604. Powell v. State, (1997) 113 Nev. 41. NRS 34. Watson v. Sheriff, Lyon County (1977) 93 Nev. 403.
- NRS 179.255. NRS 179.245.