Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Nevada DUI Laws to learn more.
Is casino marker debt dischargeable in bankruptcy?
In Nevada, casino marker debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy because failing to pay back casino markers is a crime. The only way you discharge casino marker debt in bankruptcy is if:
the district attorney dismisses the criminal case; or
no criminal case is ever brought.
In other states where defaulting on casino markers is not a crime, you should be able to discharge the debt through chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy.1
How long do I have to pay back the debt?
In Nevada, casino markers generally have to be paid back to the casino within 30 days. If the deadline passes, the casino will go to your bank to take the balance out of your account.
If your bank account has insufficient funds, then the casino will mail you a certified letter giving you 10 days to pay the debt. If you do not pay, then the casino submits a bad check complaint to the district attorney.
The D.A. will then mail you a certified letter giving you 10 more days to pay the debt, plus collection fees. If you miss that deadline, then an arrest warrant will issue for your arrest.
In most cases, your criminal case will remain open until the debt is fully repaid.
Can I go to prison for defaulting?
Yes. Defaulting on a Nevada casino marker of $1,200or more is a category D felony. The penalty is:
If the casino marker is for less than $1,200, then defaulting on the debt is a gross misdemeanor carrying:
up to $2,000 in fines and/or up to 364 days in jail, and
Note that each unpaid marker counts as a separate criminal charge. So if you have ten unpaid markers, then you would face ten separate charges.2
Can the casinos sue me, too?
Yes, casinos can sue you for defaulting on marker debt.3 Though in practice, casinos usually hold off on filing lawsuits in the hopes that you pay everything back through the district attorney.
In short, most casinos rely on the district attorney to act as their debt collector. That way, casinos do not have to spend time and energy litigating the case themselves.
Defaulting on casino markers is both a criminal offense and a civil cause of action in Nevada.
How do I fight casino marker charges?
It is an uphill battle.
In most cases, prosecutors have the burden to prove each element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order for you to be convicted. Though in casino marker cases, Nevada law presumes you are guilty.
Therefore, the burden is on you to show that you had no “intent to defraud” the casinos. This is very difficult to do unless you can show you were incapacitated at the time.4
That is why most of these cases resolve with the D.A. agreeing to a payment plan where you pay the balance of the debt over two or three years.
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, 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.