Nevada "Welfare Fraud" Law (NRS 422A)
Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys

With a rising number of people claiming eligibility to go on welfare, the government has been aggressively stepping up investigations into fraud.  And a conviction for violating welfare fraud law in Las Vegas could not only result in prison, fines, and a marred criminal record . . . it could keep you from receiving deserved welfare benefits in the future.

Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers are seasoned litigators with decades of success in getting cases reduced to lesser charges or dismissed outright.  Keep reading for a brief overview of the Nevada crime of welfare fraud and how we can help.

Welfare Fraud crimes in Nevada

The legal definition of "welfare fraud" in Las Vegas, Nevada, is extremely broad and encompasses dozens of possible state and federal offenses committed either by people receiving benefits or by welfare employees.  Just a few of the more common crimes include the following:

  • A welfare applicant making false statements in order to receive benefits
  • A welfare applicant using a fake ID in order to receive benefits
  • A welfare recipient not reporting all their real property or valuable possessions that could offset the benefits
  • A welfare recipient secretly accepting benefits from more than one state
  • A welfare recipient not reporting income or other monies they have received that could offset her benefits, or make her ineligible
  • A welfare recipient not reporting when a child or other dependent leaves the home
  • A welfare recipient accepting benefits they are no longer entitled to receive
  • A welfare worker inputting incorrect information in order to give benefits to an ineligible applicant or to deny benefits to an eligible one


As with any government bureaucracy, the welfare department makes mistakes all the time.  If you have been arrested for welfare fraud in Nevada, your lawyers' first plan of attack is to investigate whether the charges resulted from clerical errors or wrongdoing employees . . . and if so, your case should be dismissed.

Otherwise, your lawyer may be able to persuade prosecutors to reduce the charges significantly in exchange for you taking a plea.  This is the equivalent of "settling out of court" so you do not have to risk a guilty verdict at trial.

And if you do want to take your case to a jury after all, remember prosecutors have the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If your attorneys can show that the state's evidence does not rise to this standard, then you should be acquitted.


Depending on the specific offense, Las Vegas welfare crimes are typically punished as either a category D felony in Nevada or a category E felony in Nevada.  The standard sentence includes:

  • one to four years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • repayment of any welfare benefits illegally obtained, and
  • up to $5,000 in fines, and
  • possible ineligibility for future welfare benefits

Some Nevada welfare offenses are probationable whereby you avoid prison time by agreeing to certain terms of probation.

Contact us if you are facing charges . . . .

Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers are ready to help whether you are being investigated for welfare fraud or you have already been charged.  For a free consultation please call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to discuss how we may be able to have your charges lessened or thrown out completely.

Go back to our main page on Nevada fraud crimes.

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