Criminal Division

Criminal cases prosecuted by the Storey County District Attorney or the Office of the Attorney General, whether felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor, commence with the filing of a complaint in the Virginia Township Justice Court. A complaint is the document that sets out the charges that the prosecutor is alleging against you.

If you are trying to contact someone in the Storey County Jail, please call 775-847-0929.

Arraignments in Misdemeanor Cases
It's very important to show up to Court on time.  Failure to appear at your arraignment or other hearings may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.  Our Court and offices are located on the second floor of the courthouse at 26 South B Street in Virginia City. That's one block up the hill from our main street in town.  We have free parking on the south side of the courthouse.  You may enter through the wheelchair-accessible side entrance on the south, or through the front doors of the building.  An elevator and stairs are located in the main lobby.  Check in with one of our friendly clerks at the Justice Court office.

Misdemeanor (includes traffic citations) arraignments are usually held on Wednesdays.  At an arraignment, you will be advised of your constitutional rights. The citation or complaint will be read.  The different ways to plead will be explained to you. The Court will appoint an attorney if certain qualifications are met.  Bail conditions and general procedural questions will be explained. If appropriate, future court dates will be scheduled.

If you plead not guilty in a misdemeanor case, a pre-trial conference may be set with the Storey County District Attorney for a later date. You may represent yourself or consult with an attorney.  An attorney will be very valuable in evaluating the facts of your case, applying the law, presenting your evidence, and challenging the State's evidence.  If you hire an attorney, he/she will contact the Court and file documents for you. If you choose to represent yourself, you may want to refer to our helpful guide, "Representing Yourself in Court."  We have more helpful forms and instructions on our "Forms" page. 

First Appearances in Felony and Gross Misdemeanor Cases

The primary purpose of an Initial Appearance on a felony or gross misdemeanor case is to ensure that you know and understand the charges that are alleged against you.  At this hearing, there will be no determination made about your guilt or innocence of the alleged violation, but only that you understand the charges against you.  In addition, the purpose of the hearing is to determine whether bail should be set in your case, or if it has already been set, if it should be raised, lowered, or if you should be released on your own recognizance with your personal promise to appear for future proceedings, or whether you should be released in the custody of a responsible person.  Our Court handles the preliminary procedures on gross misdemeanors and felony cases.  If the case proceeds beyond that point, you will appear in District Court.

The Bench Trial
You have the right to a trial within 60 days of your arraignment date.  If the matter remains unresolved, it will be set for a bench trial.  Trials on misdemeanor cases are "bench" trials which means that there is no jury.  The judge will decide the case.  One of our clerks will be happy to familiarize you with our courtroom before your trial begins.

Fine Payments
The payment is due on the day it is assessed. Cash, cashier's check, money order, VISA, MasterCard, or a debit card with a VISA or MasterCard logo are accepted. The judge may also allow payment plans.