Unpaid Markers Charges in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Unpaid Marker Defense Attorney
Most people do not intend to defraud a casino. They just want to have fun gambling but end up over their heads.
If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you need to speak with our experienced Las Vegas casino marker attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, our veteran Clark County criminal trial attorney has successfully handled countless casino marker cases for out-of-state visitors and Nevada residents. He and his talented legal team can work quickly to:
- Negotiate repayment with the casino in order to avoid criminal charges
- Argue to have your case dismissed in return for payment of the casino marker for pennies on the dollar
- Pursue a reduction of the charges against you
- Immediately take steps to stop the extradition process if you are arrested while trying to travel
You do not have time to waste when you are charged with a casino marker offense. Get Joel on your side today. Contact us now to discuss your case.
How Do Casino Markers Work?
Nevada law (NRS 205.130) deems a casino marker to be a “negotiable instrument.” It is like a check that you write to a casino. The casino agrees to refrain from cashing the check as long as you pay back the marker within a short period of time – typically 30 days.
Casinos offer markers to encourage people to gamble. The marker is always connected to a bank account or some other collateral. The casino can draw funds from that source if a player fails to pay the marker. Nevada law does not consider a casino marker to be a credit of any kind. It is typically this thinking that confuses casino patrons.
If you fail to pay back the marker in a timely fashion, Nevada law presumes that you intended to defraud the casino when you received the marker. It is as if you wrote a bounced check. You can be charged with a crime.
What Happens If I Don’t Pay a Casino Marker?
Typically, casinos will try to collect the debt before they turn to law enforcement. The process may unfold as follows:
- The casino will attempt to contact you by letter, asking you to pay the outstanding marker before it submits the marker to the bank. This is a key time to get a lawyer involved as the lawyer can provide significant assistance in trying to resolve the issues with the casino.
- The casino will then try to collect money from the bank account you listed as an asset on your credit application.
- If the bank account has insufficient funds, the casino will try to, once again, contact you about the bad check. Nevada law requires a casino to send you a certified letter that informs you about the debt and gives you 10 days to respond.
- If the casino fails to reach you, or it has not come to an appropriate resolution, the casino will file a formal complaint with the Clark County District Attorney. After the casino files a complaint, you can no longer directly pay or negotiate your bad check with the casino. If you have not hired a lawyer by this point, you definitely should do so in order to protect your rights.
- The District Attorney will send you a certified letter and give you 10 days to respond and pay the marker. You may also need to pay costs and fees related to processing the complaint. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office typically adds a fee to each and every marker of 10 percent.
- If you fail to respond to the DA’s letter, the DA will file a criminal complaint and request the Court to issue a warrant for your arrest.
- Most people with warrants for outstanding markers find themselves arrested when they do any sort of traveling, a lot of times at the United States’ border. Upon arrest, you will be extradited to Nevada to appear before a Judge on your arrest warrant. However, you could be kept in custody for up to 30 days before you arrive in Las Vegas. A lawyer can provide substantial assistance at this stage to possibly help prevent you from being transported to Nevada.
- If you are arrested and convicted, you could go to jail and be forced to pay restitution.
As a long-time Las Vegas casino marker attorney, Joel has extensive experience dealing with the Bad Check Chief Deputy District Attorney. He has helped many clients to avoid extradition, obtain a dismissal of their charges, or even get a recall of their arrest warrant.
Contact Joel today to learn how he can help you.
Defenses in Unpaid Casino Marker Cases
If you are a first-time offender with no criminal history, the District Attorney may be willing to negotiate a payment plan and dismiss your case without jail time once restitution is paid. However, if the District Attorney wants to prosecute the case, Joel will strategically build a defense based on the circumstances of your case.
This could include arguing:
- You had no intent to defraud. If you fail to pay back a marker in a timely fashion, it creates a presumption that you intended to defraud the casino. Joel may present evidence that rebuts that presumption such as:
- You have a history of paying off all your markers.
- You paid off some markers at the time you obtained new markers.
- You had appropriate funds in the bank at the time you obtained the marker.
- The marker was invalid. A casino marker, like any negotiable instrument, must meet certain requirements in order to be valid. In your case, the marker may have been invalid if:
- It lacked your signature.
- It failed to list a date.
- It did not name the casino as the payee.
- It was a forgery.
- It was post-dated.
You should know: Even if criminal charges are dropped, the casino can still sue you in civil court in an attempt to collect on any unpaid markers. That is why it is crucial to hire an experienced Las Vegas defense attorney to handle your case from the very start.
Contact Joel today to discuss your case.
Penalties for Unpaid Casino Markers
You can face many serious consequences if you leave a casino marker unpaid, including:
- Incarceration (1 to 4 years in prison for each unpaid marker)
- Fines (up to $10,000 for each unpaid marker)
- Restitution to the casino
- Court costs
- Lengthy, invasive probationary period
- Ruined credit record
The District Attorney can file several charges for each unpaid casino marker. Typically, the DA will file fraud and/or theft charges associated with the debt. You should know that bankruptcy will not impact the criminal complaint.
Get Help Now From a Las Vegas Unpaid Marker Attorney
Do not ignore the unpaid markers that are hanging over your head. The situation will not resolve itself, and you could face a warrant for your arrest and severe penalties.
Joel M. Mann and his skilled team can help you with your unpaid casino marker or bad check criminal matter. Contact Joel as soon as possible to schedule an immediate consultation and start working to resolve your issue.