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Under Nevada law, if a check bounces and the person who wrote the check fails to pay within five (5) days of written notice that the check failed to clear, it is assumed that the matter is a case of intentional fraud.
NRS 205.132 creates an assumption that there was an attempt to defraud a party if the check bounces or the party fails to pay within five (5) days of written notice of insufficient funds. Therefore, a bounced check becomes a criminal charge under Nevada law. If you write a check knowing that the check will not clear on the date the check is written, it is a crime. A bad check under $650 is a misdemeanor charge, and a bad check of $650 or more is a felony charge.
Under the current rulings of the Nevada Supreme Court, a casino marker is the same as a check. This is a unique ruling, and other states have rejected this notion. However, ANY casino marker can be prosecuted just like a bad check case. There are constantly appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court on this issue, but it is unlikely to change in the immediate future.
Generally, civil debts can be discharged or reorganized under Federal Bankruptcy laws. However, in Nevada a person can still face criminal prosecution, even if the person declares bankruptcy. This has allowed casinos in Las Vegas to circumvent the bankruptcy protection laws and pursue your debt criminally. Other Federal courts have rejected the notion that casino markers can survive bankruptcy. It is likely that Nevada will agree in the future. However, at this point criminal charges can still be brought and sustained, with judges having the power to order restitution be paid to the victim of the bad check.
As you can tell, Nevada casinos have an extremely powerful lobby in the State of Nevada. They have been able to influence the legislature to enforce their debts with the power of the District Attorney. Many attorneys, including this firm, find this to be distasteful and unconstitutional.
If you are being charged with writing a bad check, or more seriously, taking out a casino marker with knowledge that there were insufficient funds available to cover the transaction, you need the representation of an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. There are numerous potential defenses to the charges, and each situation is unique and needs the proper analysis. In worst case scenarios, plea bargains can be negotiated that results in the reduction or dismissal of criminal charges.