If I Refuse to Leave a Casino, am I Trespassing?
Lawmakers wrote Las Vegas trespassing laws with a particular situation in mind – the common occurrence of rowdy casino patrons refusing to leave casinos. While these patrons may not believe their refusal to leave is punishable by law, their actions in fact could qualify as trespassing – leaving the patron with a criminal record, extensive fines, and even jail time.
Las Vegas Trespassing Laws
Las Vegas trespassing laws relating to casinos are complex, leaving many patrons confused about their rights and the rights of security guards. Even though casino arrests and charges are common, each case is complex. Laws in Nevada refer to trespassing as:
- Going onto someone else’s property with the intent to commit a crime or annoy the owner, or
- Willfully remaining or going on another person’s property after the owner or occupant warns you not to trespass
The second provision can lead to an arrest for refusing to leave a casino, since it is legally deemed trespassing in Nevada. Even if a rowdy or drunken patron did not intend to break the law, the police may charge him or her with trespassing anyway. Understanding your rights in these situations is important to ensuring the police don’t wrongfully convict you of a crime you didn’t commit.
The typical casino trespass arrest involves a security guard asking a rowdy patron to leave and said person refusing. In the event of a fight, loud argument, or other disturbance of the peace, casino security guards will likely ask the offending patron to leave the property. In casinos, money is on the line and emotions run high – increasing the odds that the patron will refuse.
What are My Rights in a Casino?
If the police arrest you for refusing to leave, but you were only an innocent bystander or targeted for “looking suspicious,” you may have the right to sue for compensation. These victims are cited wrongly for trespass when they were only loitering or doing nothing wrong. A security guard can cite a patron for trespassing in any situation where the patron is asked to leave and refuses – regardless of whether the patron did anything wrong.
If a security guard bans you from returning to a casino and you return anyway, they can convict you of trespassing. Unfortunately, this is the case even if you return the following day to retrieve your belongings, such as a wallet or prescription medications. Consequently, many patrons of Las Vegas casinos have to choose between obeying the law and losing their things or returning to the casino and risking a trespass arrest.
In these catch-22 situations, the best thing you can do is politely ask a security guard to escort you onto the property to retrieve your belongings. If the security guard refuses, seek the legal help of local lawyers. The Clark County courts will look at each individual trespassing case and decide how to rule according to the circumstances. For the best chance at erasing a trespassing charge, you need a lawyer to defend you in court.
Hire a Proven Las Vegas Casino Arrest Attorney
The circumstances surrounding a casino trespass conviction can vary greatly, depending on the situation. If you believe you were wrongly arrested for trespassing, contact a local criminal defense lawyer right away. You might have your charges lessened or dropped, or even win compensation for negligent or unlawful arrests.
At De Castroverde Law Group, our Las Vegas casino arrest attorneys have experience handling arrests at almost every casino on the Strip and beyond, including the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, and more. Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your case one-on-one, and to find out about your rights as a casino patron in Las Vegas.