Nevada takes theft crimes very seriously. If you’ve been charged with theft, you could face thousands of dollars in fines and potentially years in prison. You have rights after arrest, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer from De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration can help protect them. Contact our firm today to speak with a lawyer and learn how we can help you after being charged with theft.
What Is Theft in Nevada?
Nevada defines theft as intentionally taking someone else’s property without the intention of returning it. That is, the person accused of theft intended to deprive the rightful owner of their property without that person’s consent.
We defend clients who have been charged with even the most serious theft charges. These are some of the most common types of theft charge cases we represent:
Nevada statutes NRS 205.2175 – NRS 205.2707 cover the definitions of larceny in the state, including degrees of this crime against property and the penalties if someone is convicted of any of them. Petit larceny occurs when someone commits theft of the personal property of another valued at less than $1,200, while grand larceny is the theft of another’s property valued at more than $1,200.
Nevada also classifies the theft of a firearm, vehicles, and scrap metal separately from theft of other property.
Nevada statutes NRS 205.300 – NRS 205.312 cover the definition of embezzlement and the penalties if someone is convicted. Embezzlement, a “white collar crime,” occurs when someone who is entrusted with money, goods, or property by their employer, a company, or another person instead takes that property for themselves.
Embezzlement differs from larceny in that the person who commits embezzlement is placed in a position of trust by the property owner, such as their employer.
- Issuing fake stock or bond certificates
- Unauthorized recording of a movie in a theater
- Issuing a check or draft without sufficient funds
- Producing forged bills
- Counterfeiting a design or trademark
- Counterfeiting silver, gold, or other bullion
Different types of counterfeiting and forgery carry different penalties, both misdemeanor and felony.
Casino markers are a form of loan casinos issue gamblers. The casino checks your bank account and determines whether you can be approved for the marker so you can keep playing. However, occasionally, a casino may approve additional markers once players go through the first one, and someone caught up in the excitement can easily get in over their head.
If you lose, you can pay the marker upfront or opt for the casino to take the money owed from the bank account you used to guarantee the marker. However, if you don’t have the funds to cover the marker and can’t pay the casino back in the timeframe it gives you (usually 30 days), it can take legal action to recover the funds. The casino will send you a certified letter stating you had insufficient funds to cover the debt. They will offer you ten days to repay the debt. If you don’t, the casino can press charges that fall in the “forgery” category, as if you had a bounced check. Forgery is a Class D felony in Nevada.
Shoplifting, or retail theft, is covered under NRS 205.240 and NRS 205.220. You could be charged with burglary, in addition to the petit or grand larceny charge, if the prosecutor can prove that you intended to shoplift before entering the establishment. Burglary is a felony in Nevada.
Penalties for Theft in Las Vegas
If convicted of theft, your penalties could include:
- Prison time of 1-20 years and fines up to $15,000 for a felony charge
- Restitution, a sentence of up to 364 days in jail, and a fine of $2,000 for a gross misdemeanor charge
The degree of felony charge you may receive depends on the value of the stolen property. So, someone convicted of theft of property valued more than $100,000 will get the stiffest penalty, while someone convicted of petit larceny would have a much less serious penalty.
How Can a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?
You have civil rights, even after you’re arrested. Those rights include the right not to answer questions from the police without a lawyer present to represent you. An attorney can sit with you in police questioning and help you avoid self-incrimination. Calling a lawyer immediately can help you avoid serious trouble.
Your lawyer can also craft a defense based on your situation. For example, you could have been the victim of an unlawful search, so anything the police found in that search could be inadmissible in court. Or, maybe you were misidentified as a shoplifter by a store clerk. By showing you had an alibi, your attorney could help establish that you were not the person in the store. Your defense will be based on the facts of your situation.
Your attorney may be able to work out a plea arrangement with the prosecutor in which you would plead guilty to a lesser offense and receive a reduced sentence. An attorney may be able to negotiate a better deal than you could get on your own.
Finally, your lawyer is your courtroom advocate. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will defend you.
Contact a Las Vegas Theft Lawyer Today
Even a misdemeanor theft charge can impact the rest of your life. You could have a permanent record, meaning any employer or landlord could see the conviction and deny you a job or housing. Or you could lose years of your life in jail, have to pay thousands of dollars in fines and court fees, and make restitution to the party that accused you.
Contact the De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration lawyers on our team if you or a loved one need representation in a stolen property or theft crimes case. Our stolen property lawyers are ready to help protect your freedom and rights. Get started today by calling our offices for a confidential consultation.