NRS 207.285 – Penalties Associated with the False Reporting of a Crime

False Reporting of a CrimeAccording to NRS 207.285, it is against the law to falsely report a crime to authorities. Investigating crimes takes significant public resources. Law enforcement therefore take false reports of crime very seriously, and the State of Nevada has chosen to criminalize this act in an effort to deter people from falsely reporting crimes.

Falsely reporting unlawful behavior as a crime under NRS 207.285

In Nevada, any person who deliberately reports to a law enforcement officer or Department of Public Safety that a felony or misdemeanor has been committed that results in a police investigation has committed the crime of falsely reporting criminal acts.

There are two key provisions to consider here. Firstly, this crime extends to any crime reported, whether it be a felony or misdemeanor. Some similar crimes, only apply to felony crimes, but this statute applies to both. Secondly, a police investigation must be opened into the crime in order for the crime to have occurred.

Defenses to a charge of falsely reporting unlawful behavior under NRS 207.285

If you or a loved one have been charged with allegedly violating NRS 207.285, it is important to remember that the burden is proof is upon the State of Nevada to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed the crime. Most crimes have defenses that can be raised to refute the state’s argument. An experienced attorney may raise the following defenses against a charge of falsely reporting unlawful behavior:

  • The State of Nevada must show that you were one who actually reported the crime. If the crime, for example, is reported anonymously, they must show that you made the anonymous report. It may be that a crime was falsely reported, but it may have been someone else who reported it other than you. In most cases, this will probably require the state of Nevada to show that you were the one who made the phone call and not, say, someone else in your home or someone else using your cellphone.
  • In order for a person to be convicted of falsely reporting unlawful behavior it must be proven they knew for a fact there was no unlawful behavior occurring. If the person reporting the unlawful behavior honestly believes that suspicious behavior is occurring, the charge for false reporting will not stand.
  • In order for a person to be convicted of falsely reporting unlawful crimes, law enforcement must open some sort of investigation in the reported crime. If the crime is falsely reported but no investigation is opened, the criminal charge will not stand, even if the person who reported the crime knew it was false.

Potential Penalty for falsely reporting unlawful behavior under NRS 207.285

The crime of falsely reporting unlawful behavior is a misdemeanor crime. As such, if convicted, a person can face:

  • Up $1000 fine
  • Up to Six (6) months in a county jail
  • Both

Speak to an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with falsely reporting a crime, contact LV Criminal Defense today to schedule a free consultation. Even a misdemeanor can have negative effects on your life. For example, you must disclose a misdemeanor on job applications. Our attorneys have experience in criminal law issues and can negotiate a deal with the prosecutor, and even potentially have the case against you dismissed. If your case goes to trial, our attorneys can provide a zealous and competent legal defense for you.

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