Nevada has many different laws in place that are intended to protect children from being harmed in any way. Many of the laws related to prohibited conduct in connection with children are found in Title 15 of Nevada’s Code, which deals with crimes and punishments.
Within Title 15, different kinds of crimes are divided up into different chapters and, in each chapter, there are specific subcategories related to a particular type of offense. For example, Chapter 201 details crimes against public decency and crimes against good morals.
Within this subcategory, the laws aimed at protecting children are focused, in part, on whether children receive proper support. For example, it is made unlawful for a parent who is subject to a court order to fail to pay the court-mandated required amount of support money to their spouse or child.
Because there are very strict laws in place in Nevada aimed at trying to ensure that children are supported by both of their parents, there are also laws in place designed to ensure that DNA testing is not tampered with so an accurate determination can be made regarding who the father of a child is. These laws, found within Chapter 201, prohibit the crime of paternity fraud.
If you have been accused of paternity fraud, it is imperative that you get proper legal help to ensure that you respond in an appropriate and effective way to fight the charges against you. LV Criminal Defense is here to help. Our legal team will work closely with you to develop the best legal strategy for your particular situation so you can maximize the chances of avoiding a guilty verdict or so you can reduce the possible penalties that you could face. To find out more about how a Las Vegas defense attorney at our firm can help you, give us a call today.
The crime of paternity fraud is defined in Nevada Revised Statute section 201.085. According to the relevant law, paternity fraud occurs when a defendant who was ordered by the court to take a paternity test or a defendant who agreed to take a paternity test for purposes of determining if a child belonged to him takes steps to try to defraud the test for purposes of preventing a determination that he is the father of the child.
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A defendant can also be convicted under the laws in the state of Nevada for knowingly aiding and abetting any other person in the process of defrauding a paternity test that is being conducted to determine if that individual is the father of a child.
Knowingly assisting, aiding and abetting, soliciting, or conspiring with another person to cause a paternity test to render inaccurate results is illegal and any person who participates in a scheme to attempt to ensure that a paternity test produces inaccurate results can be charged under Nevada Revised Statute section 201.085.
The relevant statute makes clear that this offense is a gross misdemeanor offense. Punishment of gross misdemeanors in Nevada is set by Nevada Law section 193.140. The relevant statute setting forth the penalties for a gross misdemeanor offense stipulates that a defendant who has been convicted of a gross misdemeanor could be punished by imprisonment of up to 364 days in county jail. The defendant could also be fined up to $2,000 for conviction of a gross misdemeanor offense.
If a man is found to be the father of a child after DNA testing takes place, a court order will likely be entered requiring him to provide support for the child. If he fails to provide child support as required by law, he could be tried for another criminal offense: the crime of nonsupport of a spouse, former spouse, or child.
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The laws requiring the support of children are also found within Chapter 201. According to the relevant law, knowingly failing to provide support for a child is a misdemeanor offense unless the defendant owes more than $10,000 in back child support to the custodial parent under the terms of a court order or unless the defendant is a repeat offender and owes $5,000 or more in court-ordered support after previously having being convicted of the offense of failure to pay required child support.
If the defendant owes more than $10,000 or owes more than $5,000 but has prior convictions for a failure to support a child, ex-spouse or current spouse, the defendant could be charged with a Category C felony. A felony conviction is much more serious than a conviction for a gross misdemeanor offense.
A Las Vegas defense lawyer at LV Criminal Defense can provide representation to any defendant who has been accused of violating any of the provisions of Nevada’s laws, including the laws found in Chapter 201 detailing crimes against decency or public morality.
If you have been accused of paternity fraud or if you have been accused of a failure to provide support for a child, it is important that you understand your legal rights and that you develop a smart strategy with the goal of reducing or avoiding serious penalties. You should reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you make the smartest possible choices for determining how to plead and determining what evidence to present in court if trying for an acquittal.
LV Criminal Defense is here to help. We will advise you on the options available to you given the nature of the evidence against you and we will work with you to fight for an acquittal or to negotiate the most favorable possible plea deal in connection with paternity fraud charges. Just give us a call as soon as possible if you have been accused of violating the law so our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team can begin working immediately on your case.