Taking a fraudulent paternity test-or helping someone else take it-carries serious punishments in Nevada including high fines and jail. And not only does it look bad on your record to potential employers . . . it could subject you to even harsher penalties for unpaid child support.
Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers understand the delicate nature of paternity cases, and our goal is to try to keep your domestic life undisturbed. We have decades of combined experience in negotiating charges down to lesser offenses or full dismissals. And if necessary we will fight all the way to trial for a "not guilty" verdict.
To read more about the Nevada crime of paternity fraud including the law, defenses, and penalties, keep scrolling down . . . .
The legal definition of "paternity fraud" in Las Vegas, Nevada, is to "knowingly render inaccurate results of a genetic identification test to determine the paternity of a child." Paternity fraud may occur in one of two ways:
- By conspiring to have the wrong person take the DNA test; OR
- By otherwise falsifying or forging the test results.
Note that a biological father is not the only person who may be prosecuted for paternity fraud . . . a man who knowingly takes the test in his place is equally liable. And anyone else who helps someone commit paternity fraud or who doctors the testing equipment or results faces criminal prosecution as well.
Paternity fraud remains a growing problem in the U.S. resulting in non-biological fathers being wrongly ordered to pay child support or in children being deprived of any child support at all. Organizations like PaternityFraud.com help to educate the public on resources for families affected by paternity fraud.
How to defend against an allegation of the Las Vegas offense of paternity fraud depends on the circumstances and parties involved. But a common strategy is to argue that the evidence-or lack thereof-shows that your conduct was not willful. As long as the D.A. cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly committed paternity fraud, then the charge should be dropped.
A violation of Las Vegas paternity fraud law is a gross misdemeanor in Nevada. The sentence for a gross misdemeanor in Nevada will include:
- up to 364 days in jail, and/or
- up to $2,000 in fines
Knowingly failing to provide child support is a separate offense in Las Vegas. Depending on the situation it may be prosecuted as a felony carrying thousands of dollars in fines as well as incarceration in Nevada State Prison. (NRS 201.020)
Also note that a conviction for Nevada paternity fraud may rope you into Family Court as well. The judge may impose fines and child support payments.
Charged with a crime? Call us . . . .
If you have been arrested for paternity fraud in Nevada under NRS 201.085, phone our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). We can consult with you free of charge about whether we can get your charges reduced or even dropped so you stay out of Family Court and your record remains clean.