NRS 207.176 – Overview of the Ability to Issue Injunctions for False or Misleading Advertising

It is illegal in Nevada to disseminate or distribute false or misleading advertising under NRS 207.171. Being sued and/or convicted of false or misleading advertising have both civil and criminal consequences. The Attorney General or any district attorney in Nevada is also authorized to take preemptive steps against false advertising under NRS 207.176.

NRS 207.176 allows the Attorney General or any district attorney in Nevada to file an injunction to stop a violation of the false or misleading advertising law. Generally, the state cannot file an injunction on its own behalf. An injunction is generally filed by a private party against another party. However, because Nevada has a strong public interest in protecting consumers from allegedly deceptive business practices, the Attorney General and any district attorney in Nevada have been empowered by the state legislature to file an injunction against a case of false or misleading advertising unilaterally.

An injunction is an order by a Court that restrains one party from beginning to do, or continuing to do something.  Injunctions are not a final ruling by the Court, but rather, injunctions can be granted prior to, or during trial in order to stop potential harm to one of the parties before a final decision is reached on the merits of the case.

Using the injunction for false of misleading advertising as an example, the steps to an injunction are:

  • The allegedly false or misleading statement is written. It should be noted that the statement does not necessarily need to be distributed yet, though that would be helpful to the state of Nevada’s argument.
  • Attorney General or any district attorney becomes aware of allegedly false statement and files an injunction to either stop the advertisement from being distributed in the first place, or to end the ongoing distribution of the advertisement.
  • A judge will hold a hearing where both the state of Nevada and the creator of the alleged false advertisement can argue their case as to whether the injunction should be granted.
  • The judge will make a ruling on the injunction, and it will likely remain in force until a final ruling is issued as to whether the advertisement is actually a false or misleading advertisement.

There are number of factors that a judge will take into consideration when determining whether to grant an injunction. Some of the factors include:

  • Irreparable harm. Injunctions are generally meant to stop an irreparable harm that could occur if the action in question proceeds. The more permanent or harmful an action, the more likely a judge will grant an injunction.
  • Success on the merits. An injunction is not a final decision, but the chances that the party asking for an injunction will succeed plays a role in whether a judge will grant an injunction.
  • Public Interest. The judge will factor into their decision whether granting the injunction is to the benefit of the public.


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Penalty for Violating an Injunction

If a judge ultimately decides to grant an injunction to stop the distribution of the advertisement, and the distributor ignores the injunction it is a gross misdemeanor, and result in any of the following:

  • A fine up to $2,000
  • Up to 364 days in County jail
  • Both

Speak to a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Today So They Can Go To Work for You

Hiring a skilled and experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer is extremely important if you have been charged under NRS 207.176. Once hired, an attorney can go to work right away on your behalf. If a request for an injunction is brought against you in a lawsuit, you are granted the right to hearing and for the judge to hear your argument. Our attorneys are experienced with civil trial matters and can help to provide you with the best legal argument available to protect you from a burdensome injunction.