Any individual trusted with money that belongs to the public must behave scrupulously with regards to ethics. This money belongs to the public and misuse of it can be considered to be a serious crime.
To protect against theft of public funds and public property, Nevada has criminalized many behaviors that involve misuse of assets that should belong to the government. There is a chapter of Nevada’s penal code, Chapter 204 of Title 15, which details the different crimes against the revenue and property of the state and which imposes penalties for these offenses. Within this chapter, there is a general law dealing with the crime of unlawful use of public money.
If you find yourself accused of a violation of Chapter 204, it’s important to work with a Vegas criminal defense attorney to determine what your best response to charges is likely to be. Your response to charges should be formulated based on an understanding of the law and the nature of evidence against you, and your attorney can help to ensure you make the most strategic choices in responding to prosecution.
LV Criminal Defense is here to provide the help and support necessary to make smart choices after an accusation of unlawful use of public money in violation of Chapter 204. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help you.
There are actually two statutes within Chapter 204 that deal with the unlawful use of public money. The first is Nevada Revised Statute section 204.010, which defines the offense of unlawful use of public money involving an amount of money under $250. The second is Nevada Revised Statute section 204.020, which defines the offense of misusing $250 or more of public funds. N.R.S. 204.020 is the more serious of the offenses.
Both N.R.S. 204.010 and N.R.S. 204.020 have similar definitions of the offense of unlawfully using public money. However, they impose different penalties for theft depending upon the amount of money that was taken from public funds.
A defendant can be charged with this crime for unlawful use of public money if the defendant is a public officer; a person who has been given possession, control or custody of public funds; or an individual who has been entrusted with public funds for safe keeping or for transmission to a treasurer or other person entitled to receive it.
For purposes of this statute, public money includes money that should belong to the state of Nevada, or money that should belong to any town, county, city, district, or municipal corporation located within the state of Nevada.
A defendant is considered to misuse public money or to use it unlawfully under N.R.S. 204.020 if the defendant uses any of the public money he has been entrusted with for his own private purposes or if he uses the provided funds for any purpose other than on a purpose specifically authorized by law.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
If a defendant is convicted of unlawful use of public money valued at $250 or more, N.R.S. 204.020 indicates that is a Category D felony offense. By contrast, N.R.S. 204.010 is a misdemeanor crime when less than $250 in public money is unlawfully utilized.
If you have been accused of a felony offense in connection with unlawful use of public money, it’s important to understand the options you have available to you for responding to accusations. LV Criminal Defense can provide you with representation and advice as you fight for your reputation and your future. Give us a call today to find out how our Vegas criminal lawyers can help you to develop an approach aimed at avoiding jail time and a felony charge on your permanent record.