Vegas Attorney Explains Wrongful Exercise of Official Powers

Official PowersWhen you are vested with authority as a public official, you must ensure that you fulfill the duties of your office but that you do not overstep your bounds or behave improperly. There are many types of behavior that are considered to be improper for public officials. In many cases, if a public official acts wrongfully and abuses his power or steps outside the bounds of what he is permitted to do, that public official could actually be charged with a criminal offense.

If you are charged with a crime as a result of your role as a public official, you need to take swift action. You should contact LV Criminal Defense to discuss what your options are for responding to serious charges that you face. Our legal team will work closely with you to understand the evidence the prosecutor has against you, to identify ways to introduce doubt about whether you committed the crime, and to help you to raise defenses to try to avoid being convicted. We can also provide you with assistance in negotiating a plea deal if you don’t want to take your case to trial.

When you work as a public official, your reputation is everything. Being accused of any type of abuse of your power could cause you to lose your position and could end your career. You are also at risk of being found guilty of a criminal offense for which you could be imprisoned. You need to take any investigation into your conduct seriously, and you should contact our legal team to find out about the assistance we can provide you in fighting serious charges. Give us a call today to find out how a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can help you to fight claims that you abused your official powers.

Nevada Laws on the Wrongful Exercise of Official Power

Chapter 197 of Nevada’s criminal code details many different types of offenses that you could be charged with for the wrongful exercise of your power as a public official. For example, under this chapter of Nevada’s code, you could be charged with a crime for knowingly approving fraudulent claims; for bribery; or for extortion. You could also be charged with other wrongful abuse of your position under Nevada Revised Statute section 197.180.

N.R.S. 197.180 defines the offense of wrongful exercise of official power in Nevada. It is a broad, general offense that applies when you have abused your power but the specific abuse of power you are accused of committing does not fit into another category of offense, such as extortion.

Under N.R.S. 197.180, you could be convicted of wrongful exercise of official power if you willfully take it upon yourself to exercise any power that you are not lawfully authorized to. If you exercise or officiate in an office or a place that you do not have the legal authority to exercise power or to officiate in, you could be charged with a crime under N.R.S. 197.180.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


If you are convicted of violating N.R.S. 197.180, you will be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor. A gross misdemeanor offense is more serious than a simple misdemeanor, although not as serious as a felony offense. You could be sentenced to incarceration and could be forced to pay a substantial fine, among other consequences of being found guilty.

Contact a Las Vegas Defense Attorney

LV Criminal Defense will work closely with you to fight charges if you are accused of any type of wrongful exercise of official power or if you are accused of any abuse of public office. To find out more about how our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers can help you, give us a call today.