If a person is charged with Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses and decides to fight the case, can the courts change the charge to "Attempting" to Obtain Money Under False Pretenses? Or are they both considered the same charge?
Thank you in advance!
Criminal Defense Attorney
A prosecutor is afforded wide latitude in amending or altering the charges prior to trial. That does not mean that the prosecutor can change the charge on the eve of trial, but certainly if there has not yet been a preliminary hearing, leave to amend would be permitted. Even after a preliminary hearing, as long as the defense is not prejudiced, an amendment would likely be allowed if evidence supporting the charge was presented at the preliminary hearing. That being said, although the term "attempt" is not included in the Nevada statute regarding obtaining money under false pretenses (NRS 205.380), in Nevada, under NRS 193.330, the attempted commission of a felony is a crime in and of itself, although the penalty may be less severe. Additionally, NRS 616D.300, False statements or representations to obtain benefits, includes the attempt language, although it may or may not be applicable to your case.