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Can I get arrested for not returning a rental car in Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

Yes. Failing to return a rental car in Nevada amount to embezzlement.

Embezzlement in Nevada is wrongfully taking property that you have been legally entrusted with, such as a rental car. If the rental period has expired and the renter has not returned the car, the renter faces arrest for embezzlement.

Note that a key element of the Nevada crime of embezzlement is "intent to steal." Merely forgetting to return a rental car on time is not a crime. As long as the prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to permanently deprive the rental company of the car, embezzlement charges should not stand.

The penalties for intentionally failing to return a rental car in Nevada depend on the value of the car. If it is less than $650, the crime is a misdemeanor carrying:

  • up to $1,000 in fines and/or
  • up to 6 months in jail

If the car is valued at $650 to less than $3,500, the crime is a category C felony carrying:

  • 1 - 5 years in Nevada State Prison,
  • maybe up to $10,000 in fines, and
  • restitution

And for cars valued at $3,500 or higher, the crime is a category B felony carrying:

  • 1 - 10 years in prison,
  • maybe up to $10,000 in fines, and
  • restitution

Read more information about the Nevada crime of embezzlement (NRS 205.300).

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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