Reviewing the Basics of Las Vegas Bad Check Laws

In a world that is continually moving towards a near-cashless society, where most transactions even at a personal level can be made with credit cards, there are still a handful of people who prefer to make their payments using checks every once in a while. Checks are often used to make larger transactions that most credit card limits can’t handle in a single run, life for business-to-business exchanges and payrolls. There are also several high-end individuals who issue checks to pay for their larger purchases and expenses when their credit cards won’t be enough.

However, checks are typical traps for serious financial and legal trouble for many people in Las Vegas. Local legal experts take bad check laws in Nevada seriously because of the prevalence of these cases, especially in large establishments like casinos and hotels where such big payments are made on a regular basis. For a tourist planning to high-roll in any of the city’s establishments, or for a newcomer in the local business scene, it would be helpful to get a good view at some of the bad check laws that the city and the state enforces.

Bad Checks in Overview

Generally speaking, the local criminal statutes define a check as any legally-binding document that is issued with an intent to be exchanged for cash, a product, or a service. Checks are recognized to be used to pay for or obtain money, the use of a property, goods and services, and in the case of Las Vegas’ most prominent establishments, gaming credit. Bad checks are often categorized as checks issued with insufficient credit that are not paid in full after a 90-day grace period.

Bad checks cover a wide range of cash amounts and times of issuance in the city. Even a check issued for $1 or $10 that bounces can expect to get the issuant in serious legal trouble. Fees tend to be pretty high even with these lower-value bad checks, so savvy locals have been wary about their payments ever since tougher laws were enacted.

‘An Intent to Defraud’

The key word that drives the prosecution to charge a person with a bad check complaint is the premise that the defendant had an intent to defraud. The idea is that, even if the defendant did not knowingly plan to pay a bad check, he or she may still expect to face the harshest penalties from the law, in the form of fines and other administrative penalties that may be handed to him or her as the court sees fit. In most cases, a defendant can face a bad check charge due to circumstances that are out of his or her control.

In most cases, it’s a problem with the bank that is supposed to issue the funds from which the check will come from. For example, the bank may actually be short on equivalent funds to pay for the amount in the check, and thus the defendant reneged on paying his or her bills in full. In other cases, it can be caused by miscommunication or a technical issue, like a delayed notification of the check not clearing the bank for certain reasons. Still, even refusing to testify in court can be enough of a reason to be charged with the intent to defraud.

How to Handle the Charge

Like many legal cases, people facing bad check problems get a grace period to pay for the check in full, including all the extra fees. This usually requires constant communication with the establishment where the check was issued. As is typical for these kinds of transactions, notifications for a bad check issuance, as well as requests for its payment, should be listed in hard writing; otherwise, no case can be made because there are no documents to back up the complaint.

People should be wary about the bad checks they may have issued over a 90-day period. A total minimum of $650 in bad check issues, spent at once or in increments over the given period, can already be considered as a Category D felony with the matching time in prison and fees to boot. Note that once the defendant has been convicted, the payments will not be directed to the establishment itself, but will be part of the legal fees and penalties that the defendant will have to pay to the State.

Bad checks may not seem like a problem in this modern day and age thanks to the faster transactions that businesses and individuals can do, but it can steal come up for the unprepared. Always keep any transactions in check, and should one face any legal issues, remember that there are many Las Vegas defense attorneys that are ready to provide assistance.