Government officials have a tremendous amount of power to shape policies that affect people’s lives every day. As a result, there are special rules to prohibit certain types of conduct, such as bribing public officers or obstructing public officers. There are also rules that apply to government officials in order to prevent both elected officials and bureaucrats from behaving in ways that run counter to the public interest.
Many of these rules and regulations are found in Chapter 197 of the Nevada code. This is the chapter of the Nevada code that prohibits and defines crimes by and against the executive power of the state. If you are accused of violating any of the rules that are found within this Chapter, you could face harsh penalties that impact your ability to work in public office, that affect your reputation, and that could even wind up with you serving time in jail and paying large fines.
LV Criminal Defense can help you to fight the serious charges that you face if you are accused of breaking the law while working in public office or if you are otherwise accused of an offense against the executive power of the state. Our legal team has the knowledge and experience you need to vigorously defend yourself or to respond in the best way possible to criminal charges so you can reduce the chances of facing a harsh penalty. Give us a call to find out more about how our legal team can help you to fight for your rights.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Chapter 197 defines numerous criminal offenses that are related to the unlawful abuse of executive power or related to prohibited conduct in relation to public officials. The behaviors that are considered to be criminal under Chapter 197 include:
There is also a category of offenses that deals with other violations committed by public officers. Nevada Revised Statute 197.220 explains these other miscellaneous violations committed by officers, which include willfully violating any provisions of the law which govern official conduct. If an official willfully violates a law which relates to that official’s conduct while in office, the official can be considered in violation of N.R.S. 197.220. Violating this law is a misdemeanor, if the violation is one which is not otherwise prohibited in a different section of Chapter 197.
Many of the laws that are found within Chapter 197 aim to punish both of the participants in crimes against the executive power of the estate. The laws aim to punish public officials who are corrupted or acting improperly, along with those who corrupted them.
For example, when a public official is offered a bribe, the person who offers the bribe to the official can be charged with a category C felony under N.R.S. 197.020 if the bribe is an attempt to influence the public official’s exercise of his or her government power and government functions. If a public officer receives a bribe, he can also be charged with a category C felony under N.R.S. 197.040. Likewise, falsely presenting a claim to a public officer is punishable under N.R.S. 197.160 while falsely paying a claim would be punishable under N.R.S. 197.150.
The rules impose harsh penalties upon all parties involved in corrupt conduct because the goal is to ensure that government officials always carry out their duties without being influenced by bribery or other unlawful attempts to sway their behavior away from making decisions based solely based on the public good.
If you are accused of any conduct that violates the provisions of Chapter 197, you need to make sure you take swift action to defend yourself against serious charges. Many criminal offenses related to corrupt exercise of state power are felony offenses and felony convictions can carry harsh penalties including long terms of imprisonment and a felony record that can affect every aspect of your life going forward.
Cases involving public corruption tend to hinge on highly technical definitions and speculative questions like what exactly is considered to be a bribe and what a public official’s motivations were in the actions that the official took. It is imperative that an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer who has handled similar cases in the past be consulted for help.
LV Criminal Defense has represented many public officials, as well as represented many defendants accused of interfering in various ways with the conduct of public officials. We understand Chapter 197 of the Nevada code inside-and-out and we have the legal knowledge and skill necessary to help you fight to get charges dropped or fight to get acquitted on all charges. We can also provide representation if you wish to negotiate a plea deal in order to lessen the severity of charges or potential penalties that you could face for committing a crime against the executive power of the estate.
To find out more about how a Vegas criminal lawyer can help you to fight serious charges connected with public corruption or official misconduct, give us a call today.