Wednesday, February 27, 2019

How Unpaid Casino Marker Cases Work in Nevada

Veteran gamblers use casino markers to make it easier to play without the need to bring huge wads of cash to the dealer every time. Often, however, people tend to forget to pay out their casino markers after an extended gaming session, and incur some hefty debts, or worse, an arrest. Here are how upaid marker cases work in Nevada after 30 days.

  • The casino will collect the payment directly from the debtor's bank account. All casino marker applications require the applicant to enter their bank account as proof that they can afford to pay off the marker they are done playing.
  • If the bank account has insufficient funds or has already expired, the casino will contact the debtor directly to inform them about the outstanding debt. They will receive a 10-day grace period to settle their account; otherwise, the casino will file a formal criminal complaint. The district attorney's office will then be the one to notify the debtor about his outstanding dues, and eventually be the one to collect on behalf of the casino. If this still fails, a warrant of arrest will be sent out.
  •  The debtor will now have to contend with both the debt and legal consequences. If the debt is below $250, it is a misdemeanor and only equates to some jail time and a sizable fine. If it is over $650, it is a class D felony and can translate into substantial prison time, a large fine, probation, and a negative criminal record. Note that this is made even worse if there was an intent to defraud the casino.

Four Unique Types of DUI

Driving under the influence is mostly associated with people behind the wheel of most light vehicles like cars, or most medium vehicles like SUVs or vans. However, DUI is not limited to such vehicles. Listed below are four other unique cases of DUI charges that are covered in Nevada and elsewhere.
  • Biking under the influence: some states consider bicycles to be vehicles in the same category as most motor vehicles, and fall under the same jurisdiction as other DUI cases. This is on top of motorized bikes, ATVs, and go-karts that also fall under the same category. Drunk bikers can expect the following penalties:
    • $350 fines minimum
    • year-long suspension of driving privileges
    • year-long delay in receiving new driving license

  • Commercial DUI: drunk driving with a bus, semi-trailer, or other commercial vehicle.In addition, commercial DUI can also cover people who lease commercial vehicles, private motor carriers, government chauffeurs, civic organization drivers and church drivers. Penalties include:
    • suspension or revocation of commercial driving license
    • temporary or permanent job loss
    • higher insurance rates
    • stiff fines
    • jail time

  • Aggravated DUI: also referred to as 'felony DUI'. Committing another serious crime while under the influence and behind the wheel. Penalties include:
    • extended incarceration
    • long probation terms
    • community service
    • substantial fines
    • temporary or permanent loss of license
    • installation of a vehicle interlock device
    • confiscation of vehicle

  • Misdemeanor DUI: less severe offenses that can still aggravate a DUI charge. Penalties include:
    • reduced jail times
    • probation
    • extended suspension of driver's license

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

On DUI with Serious Bodily Injury or Death

 DUI manslaughter, intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault, or vehicular homicide is a charge when a traffic accident results in the death or bodily injury of another person. Victims of such an offense can be passengers, other drivers, or even passersby.

Causing death or injury because of driving under the influence is a category B felony, and is subject to the following penalties:
  • Imprisonment in  State Prison for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 20 years
  • Fines from $2,000 to $5,000

The prosecution must prove that impaired driving caused by alcohol or other intoxicating substance led to the bodily harm. On the other hand, the defense must identify an intervening event during the accident, and prove that this intervening event led to the accident, not the intoxication. If the plausibility of the intervening event is stronger than the intoxication argument, the DUI felony charge can be dropped entirely, or at least reduced.

The defendant may also opt to prove that the alcohol found in his or her system was consumed after the crash. They must prove this by providing toxicology reports within 14 days of the incident, or as dictated by the court.

Knowing the intricacies of DUI manslaughter cases can make a huge difference in gaining an acquittal. Consult a seasoned DUI attorney in Nevada if facing such a charge.

On Defending Against a Felony DUI Charge in Nevada

Defending against a felony DUI charge in Nevada can be a challenge, especially if the accused already has a history of DUI convictions in the past. However, with a seasoned DUI attorney on their side, the defendant has a strong case to make for their innocence.

Most DUI defense attorneys would invoke any of the following defenses as a prelude for proving their client's innocence:

  • Lack of probable cause
  • Defective equipment
  • Inaccurate readings
  • No causation

On the flipside, if an outright acquittal could not be achieved, defense lawyers recommend that their clients take up a plea bargain with the courts. Plea bargaining means that the defendant will enter either a guilty plea or a plea of no contest for a charge, in exchange for reduced penalties. In the case of felony DUI cases in Nevada, acquiescing to a plea bargain can drop the case to a misdemeanor, as well as exacting any or all of the following penalties:

  • up to six months in jail, or a suspended sentence
  • DUI school or DUI court sessions
  • fines up to $1,000, including court fees
  • Victim Impact Panel sessions, also known as MADD lectures
  • option to enroll in the Felony DUI Court program
  • one-year suspension of driver's license
  • $35 civil penalty fee

How Nevada's Field Sobriety Tests Work

The Field Sobriety Test is the evaluation that law enforcement officers do to people who are suspected of Driving under the Influence (DUI), to analyze if they are still capable of driving safely, considering that they will not endanger themselves and the other people on the road. These tests are usually done to evaluate one’s ability to concentrate, balance, multitask, and function as directed, characteristics that are usually impaired whenever one is under the influence or intoxicated. As in many states across the country, Nevada's field sobriety test procedures follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved method of field sobriety tests, which involve
  • 9-step heel-to-toe walks
  • one-legged stands
  • horizontal eye movement nystagmus test (checking for twitchy eye movement while following an object horizontally, usually a pen, thus earning it the nickname of the 'pen test')
  • feet together and head backwards
  • finger counting
  • Rhomberg stationary balance test (feet together, arms wide, and heads back with eyes up to the sky)
  • finger to nose
As a rule, when pulled over for a field sobriety test:
  • Keep calm and deal with the officer respectfully
  • Know your rights
  • Concentrate on the tasks at hand
  • Cooperate fully
  • Get in touch with a veteran DUI lawyer if about to be booked

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Arrest Risks for Commercial DUI in Nevada

Nevada's commercial DUI laws are a special section of the general DUI statutes, pointed directly at commercial vehicles. Commercial DUI covers driving under the influence while operating a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-trailer or a delivery truck. Note that to be charged with a commercial DUI, one must be driving (1) a vehicle around 26,001 lbs, including the towed unit that must not exceed 10,000 lbs, (2) The ability to ferry 16 passengers (including driver), and (3) can transport either regular materials or hazardous substances like medical waste in bulk over long distances.

Apart from its coverage of a specific industry, there's not much difference between it and DUI laws in general. For example, commercial DUI charges can be made when relatively the same amount of intoxicating substances are found in their blood stream. Note the table below.
DrugUrine Nanograms per illiliterBlood Nanograms per milliliter
Cocaine Metabolite15050
Heroin Metabolite2,00010
6-monoacetyl morphine5010
Lysergic acid diethylamide2510

Drug Schedules According Nevada's Revised Statutes

Nevada takes its drug-related crimes seriously. As one of only ten states where marijuana use for recreational purposes is legal, Nevada is very keen about regulating drug use in general, and will severely penalize any attempts to produce or consume controlled or prohibited substances. Add that to the state's long history of dealing with drugs since its inception, and you can get a pretty clear picture of how serious Nevada is about cases.
For a more detailed look into drug laws based on the Nevada Revised Statutes, here is how the state defines some of the more drug crimes in Nevada:
  • Manufacturing or growing of controlled substances: the act of planting, cultivation, growing, and eventual harvesting of plants that are used or distilled to create controlled substances. Manufacturing with the intent to sell is classified as a crime, and can be penalized with a six-year prison sentence and over $100,000 in fines. Nevada's new laws regarding marijuana cultivation also apply here.
  • Distribution or selling of controlled substances: merely being a middleman for distributing controlled substances can land you in jail. Note that selling refers to dealing in small amounts of controlled substances; 'trafficking' refers to wholesale distribution of controlled substances, as in cartels.
  • Possession or usage of controlled substances: having controlled substances on your person without prescription is enough to land you in prison for at least six months and have to cough up over $1,000. Note that there are three different precedents for possession-related charges: actual possession, constructive possession, and joint posession.

Five Notable Doping Cases in the UFC

In a big city like Las Vegas, one of the most notable cases a drug crimes attorney will handle is athletic doping. In essence, doping is the act of ingesting performance-enhancing substances to gain an unfair advantage over an opponent in any sporting event. As Las Vegas has been the venue for many high-profile sporting events like the Ultimate Fighting Championship's mixed martial arts events, it has also been embroiled in many equally high-profile instances where doping allegedly took place.

Listed below are five of the most notable cases of doping in the UFC over the past couple of years.

  • Brock Lesnar: Was penalized in 2016 after he tested positive for anti-estrogen drugs before and after his 2016 co-main match in UFC 200. Re-applied for a drug clearance in 2018; in the meantime, Lesnar has returned to WWE Raw while awaiting the all-clear to fight back in the octagon.
  • Chael Sonnen: Failed three consecutive drug tests, starting with the test conducted after his loss to Anderson Silva. Has since recovered his fighting license, and has moved on to a different promotion.
  • Josh Barnett: his spectacular championship win over Randy Couture was overshadowed by a positive result for doping before, during, and after the bout. After recovering from his suspension, moving on to other promotions overseas, and eventually returning to the UFC, a positive result for doping during an out-of-contest test in 2016 eventually led him to request being released from the UFC out of his growing distrust of the US Anti-Doping Agency.
  • Nick Diaz: tested positive for marijuana use in 2007 during and after his match with Gomi Takanori. Another positive doping result five years later led to a high-profile court case and another suspension. He remains in hiatus even long after being cleared to return to the ring.
  • Wanderlei Silva: Failing to submit to drug tests in 2014 led the Nevada Athletic Commission to ban Silva from fighting for life in the state. The ruling was overturned, however, and was replaced by a three-year limited ban. He has since moved on to a different promotion and continues to fight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

America's Major Federal Crimes

United States Federal law has a wide coverage when it comes to criminal law and jurisprudence. As such, it has a sizable list of crimes that fall under its jurisdiction. Listed below are thirteen of the major crimes punishable under US federal law.

    1. Drug crimes: cartel-level crimes, as well as international drug trade, are federal crimes.
    2. Mail fraud: distribution of counterfeit items as well as illegally obtaining cash and property through the mail.
    3. Wire fraud: like mail fraud, but through online mail.
    4. Violent crime: can be a federal crime if the number of victims or the threat level presented by the accused is high.
    5. Bank fraud: organized bank fraud that encompasses multiple locations across the state or the country is a federal matter.
    6. Property crimes: mostly if federal property is concerned. Vandalism, theft, trespassing and arson are commonly prosecuted at the federal level in this situation.
    7. Immigration crimes: illegal or overstaying foreign nationals are prosecuted under federal law.
    8. Firearms crimes: illegal firearms modifications, illegal ownership, and carrying in a federally-mandated no-carry area.
    9. Sex crimes: organized trafficking rings or sex crime sprees committed across state lines count under federal law.
    10. White collar crimes: organized forgery, identity theft, and other related white-collar crimes.
    11. Conspiracy and unlawful manipulation: conspiracy to destabilize the government as a private individual. Utilizing government position to influence who gets employed or assigned to certain jobs, for elected officials.
    12. Cross-state kidnappings
    13. Organized and cybercrime: cracking, racketeering, taking part in the operations of a crime family or group

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

How to Deal with Nevada's Gambling Laws

Nevada was one of the first few states that legalized and regulated gambling on a large scale throughout the United States. Now, gambling is one of the state's top industries, both on its own and as a tie-in with other industries like tourism. As a major part of the local economy, the need for stringent regulations is tantamount. As such, Nevada's gambling laws are some of the most comprehensive and strict in the country. Enforcement is just as tough, and it is not unusual for gambling cases to pile up in one hearing.

With such a tight legal system, there will be instances where one can be falsely implicated of committing a violation against gambling laws. What should you do if you are falsely accused of breaking Nevada's gambling laws?

  • Casinos and other gaming hubs are equipped with surveillance cameras and are usually filled with many patrons who can be considered witnesses. These can be assets for the defense to point out that no crime was committed
  • Claim that the charge was the product of a mix-up. Especially useful if the crime was allegedly committed in a packed casino
  • Gather evidence proving your innocence. Thanks to the burden of proof, the prosecution must be able to present their own set of evidence that can make a stronger case than what you have
  • Assert that there was no intent to defraud
  • Point out that the casino marker was invalid

Remember that defending against gambling laws in Nevada is best conducted with the help of a seasoned casino marker attorney. Seek out expert legal help before facing a gambling charge.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Dealing with Juvenile Sexual Offenders in Nevada

In 2017, Nevada finally took steps to overhaul its revised statutes regarding sexual offenders to be more in line with the Adam Walsh Act of 2006. The update aimed to increase the coverage of what constitutes as a sex crime, and who can be held liable for such acts. The new provisions gave a clearer definition of juvenile sexual offenders, how to categorize them, and how to handle them.

There are a few key points with regards to Nevada's handling of juvenile sex offenders:

  • Juvenile sex offenders are categorized as 15 years old and below who have committed sex crimes against people of the same age bracket.
  • Juvenile sex crimes are virtually the same types as adult sex crimes, which include everything from gross lewdness to battery sexual assault.
  • Penalties for juvenile sex offenders are less lenient. These penalties include home supervision, detention in a youth correction center, and community service. Nonetheless, juvenile offenders are expected to register for the sexual offender database as a matter of course.
  • Juvenile sexual offenders who have committed a severe sex crime (like rape or battery sexual assault) are at risk of being put through an adult's sex crimes hearing and face the same penalties as adult sex offenders, if the prosecution wishes and the court ascents to this request. Defense attorneys will endeavor to ensure that their client will not have to face this kind of wringer and deal with worse penalties.

Why Was My License Suspended/Revoked?

Driving isn't just a right, it is also a duty. Drivers are required by law to observe road rules and ensure the safety of themselves, their passengers, their fellow drivers, and pedestrians. A driver's license is proof that they are both qualified to drive and are following the prescribed driving rules of the state.

However, there are instances where a lapse in judgement, sheer ignorance, or outright malicious intent can lead a person to commit that acts that qualify for a suspension or revocation of a driving license in Nevada. These instances breach local, state, and federal laws and indicate that the driver is not safe enough to be allowed to drive for a period of time.

Several situations can lead to a license suspension or revocation. These include:

  • Driving under the influence: the driver has been found to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Points suspension: multiple traffic citations added up, enough to warrant a suspension or revocation. The Nevada standard is 12 demerit points for a continuous period of 12 months.
  • Collisions: driver was involved in an accident that involved crashing into pedestrians or other drivers.
  • Failure to appear: not showing up in court for a traffic violation hearing can lead to an automatic license suspension.
  • Security deposit: being involved in a road accident that breaks the $750 insurance limit for damages and injuries warrants a suspension/revocation.
  • Graffiti: vandalism can lead to suspension.
  • Firearms: mostly applies to juveniles who have been found to be carrying unlicensed firearms while driving.
  • Child support: failure to provide regular child support after a divorce can lead to a license suspension/revocation to 'encourage' you to keep up with your alimony duties.
  • Street racing: illegal road races are grounds for suspension or revocation.
  • Other intervening factors: people too young (for a professional license at least), too old, too sick, or too impaired (usually due to injury or sudden health conditions like weakening vision) to drive will have their licenses suspended or revoked.