In Nevada, there are strict rules designed to ensure that public funds are used for appropriate purposes. Those who are in a position of trust where they are given access to public money and property as part of their jobs are intended to behave ethically and scrupulously to ensure that public money is not misappropriated or misused.
If official misconduct occurs and public money or property is misappropriated or related criminal offenses are committed, those involved can face serious consequences. However, a prosecutor must prove very specific conduct in order to demonstrate that a legal violation has occurred which justifies prosecution of a defendant for his conduct.
The specific definitions of offenses that a defendant can be charged with for misappropriation of public money or related offenses are found within Chapter 204 of Title 15. Title 15 is the penal code in Nevada which defines crimes and punishments, and there are different subchapters within this penal code including Chapter 204. Chapter 204 defines crimes against the revenue and property of the state, and includes statutes addressing different kinds of thefts of public funds.
Theft of public funds or misappropriation of state revenue and property is taken very seriously under Nevada law. Harsh penalties can be imposed upon defendants who break the rules regarding state assets and those accused of wrongdoing need to ensure they are proactive in responding to serious charges that could end their career and take their freedom.
LV Criminal Defense is here to help. Our Nevada criminal defense lawyers provide skillful, compassionate representation to defendants accused of violating Chapter 204 of Title 15 as well as to defendants accused of violating other laws within the state’s penal code. We help defendants to understand the nature of the charges against them and to develop a strategy for resolving accusations as quickly and as effectively as possible to protect your reputation and to avoid or minimize potential penalties you could face.
To find out more about the ways in which our legal defense team can provide you with personalized help after you have been accused of crimes against the revenue and property of the state of Nevada, give us a call today.
Chapter 204 of Nevada code, which defines crimes against the revenue and property of the state, contains Nevada Revised Statute Section 204.010 through Nevada Revised Statute Section 204.080. These statutes address a variety of different kinds of unlawful conduct including:
• Unlawful use of public money in an amount less than $250
• Unlawful use of public money in an amount valued at $250 or more.
• Misappropriation of accounts by a public officer
• Falsification of accounts by a public officer
• Refusal to pay over
• Misappropriation by treasurer
• Prohibited compensation of the clerk or the secretary of commission connected with the state government
• Private use of state motor vehicle
Within each of these statutes, specific offenses are defined. For example, N.R.S. 204.010 defines the offense of unlawful use of public money to include any public officer using any money for his or her own purposes or for purposes other than those authorized by law. The statute applies to public officers, to those who have money in their possession or control for any reason that belongs to state or local governments, and to those who have money entrusted to them for safe keeping or for transmission to an official entrusted to receive the funds.
If a defendant violates N.R.S. 204.010 and the amount of public money involved is less than $250, the defendant can be charged with a misdemeanor offense. However, if public money is improperly used for personal purposes or for other purposes other than authorized by law by any individual entrusted to keep, transmit, or use the funds, and the amount in question is $250 or more, then the offense is a Category D felony under N.R.S. 204.020. In addition to misdemeanor or felony charges, anyone who unlawfully uses public funds in violation of N.R.S. 204.010 or in violation of N.R.S. 204.020 can also be required to make restitution of the misspent funds.
Misappropriation by treasurer, on the other hand, is a separate offense defined within N.R.S. 204.050. This offense specifically prohibits a state, county, city, or town treasurer from willfully misappropriating any money, funds, or securities that the treasurer has received or that have been deposited with the treasurer. It also prohibits other malfeasance, willful misconduct, or neglect of duty by a treasurer.
While the offense is different than those in N.R.S. 204.010 and 204.020, the same dichotomy exists between crimes involving less than $250 or crimes involving more than $250. If the treasurer misappropriates any funds valued at $250 or more, he or she can be charged with a Category D felony. However, if the treasurer misappropriates funds valued at less than $250, the defendant can be charged with a misdemeanor offense.
A Vegas criminal defense attorney can provide invaluable assistance if you have been accused of any crimes against the revenue and property of the state. Whether you are facing misdemeanor charges or felony charges, LV Criminal Defense knows the law inside and out and can provide the representation that you are looking for as you fight serious charges.
You need to respond strategically when accused of unlawfully committing a crime against the revenue and property of the state, developing an appropriate response to charges based on the nature of the crime and the strength of the evidence against you. LV Criminal Defense assists you in taking steps to determine if you should plea bargain to try to reduce charges or penalties or if you should fight for acquittal in court. To find out more about how our firm can help you, give us a call today.