Nevada law takes underage gambling very seriously, resulting in misdemeanor charges and other grave consequences in Las Vegas. This means using a fake ID to gamble in Las Vegas casinos can result in you going to jail. Due to their knowledge and experience, a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney is essential in these situations.
Even if you gain entry into a casino with a fake ID, you’ll have to hand it to the authorities to receive anything you win while gambling. Eventually, you will be caught. Before you decide to use a fake ID or borrow an older friend’s ID to gamble, learn the potential costs and consequences of such an action.
Legal Gambling Age in Nevada
The legal gambling age in Nevada is 21; as such, Las Vegas is a popular destination for 21st birthday celebrations. The law allows people to gamble legally on their 21st birthday. The moment you are legally 21 (starting at midnight on your 21st birthday), you can hit the casinos and gamble as much as you want. Until then, however, it can have severe consequences.
The legal gambling age in Las Vegas isn’t any lower than in the rest of the state. Just because the city is famous for its variety of gambling opportunities and a “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” attitude, doesn’t mean the city doesn’t abide by state and federal laws.
If you are under 21, you will not lawfully be able to:
- Play, place wages or bets or collect winnings from any game, slot machine, race book, sports pool, or other gambling agency
- Loiter in a room where gambling activities take place
- Work as a gaming employee in a casino and other gambling facilities
You Could Possibly Enter a Casino Under 21
Most casinos do not allow anyone under 21 years to loiter around the gambling floor, even if that person has family members or parents inside gambling. Casinos and other places where gambling takes place in Las Vegas set strict rules so they can maintain their gaming licenses.
Some casinos allow underage visitors to walk through as long as they do not stop near gambling areas, but others are stricter and may not even allow you to pass through if you are under 18 unless you are accompanied by an adult. If you are under 21 in a casino, you must have a guardian over the age of 21 with you.
What Happens if You Get Caught Gambling Underage
If you get into a casino using a fake ID and win a jackpot, you’ll be subject to an ID check, and it will be impossible to take the winnings home. Not only will you have to forfeit your winnings, but you’ll also be at risk of criminal charges, heavy fines, and even jail time. In addition to facing criminal penalties, you will be kicked out of the casino and likely prevented from returning in the future.
What Happens if You Allow a Minor To Gamble?
If someone lets you borrow their ID or you are caught using someone else’s ID to gamble, both the ID owner and borrower can face criminal charges. If you are arrested at a casino in Las Vegas, you could face permanent criminal charges on your record for ID theft.
Identifying theft to gamble is a misdemeanor under NRS 463.350, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and six months in prison under NRS 193.150. Whoever you borrowed the ID from may also face disorderly conduct charges for allowing a person under 21 to gamble. Others may also face penalties; the casino and its employees may be found guilty of letting a minor gamble.
Other Fake ID Crimes Punishable by Law
Using a fake ID to gamble, drink alcohol, or buy cigarettes is each a unique and separate misdemeanor.
While using someone else’s ID to drink alcohol or gamble isn’t punished as severely as using someone else’s ID to steal his or her identity or money, the state still considers it a serious offense. Nevada doesn’t take fake IDs lightly and will do everything necessary to bring an offender to court. If you’ve been caught gambling and are underage, you could retain a Las Vegas fake ID defense lawyer immediately.
Penalties for Fake IDs in Las Vegas
Punishments for fake ID crimes can vary depending on the circumstances. The penalties also depend on whether you tried selling the fake ID and what your intent was for having the fake ID.
Your attorney could get a plea bargain to reduce your charge down to a lesser offense or a possible dismissal, depending on the severity of your crime. Unfortunately, using a fake ID to gamble is usually held to strict punishments. Other crimes you may face for using your fake ID can include:
- Possession of a fake ID to drink, gamble, or buy cigarettes – Misdemeanor(up to 6 months in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine under NRS 205.460)
- Selling or giving away a fake ID – Gross misdemeanor(up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000under NRS 205.460)
- Possessing false identification to assume a fake identity – Category E felony punishable by probation and suspended sentence (having prior felonies can result in up to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines under NRS 465)
- Selling or transferring a fake ID OR possessing a fake ID to commit forgery, credit card fraud, or online fraud – Category C felonypunishable by to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. (NRS 205.465)
- Selling or transferring personal identifying information of a person over the age of 60, a vulnerable individual, or of five or more people – Category B felony (punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $100,000 under NRS 205.465)
What Is the Punishment for a Juvenile Using a Fake ID?
Children under the age of 18 that are caught using or selling a fake ID are usually prosecuted in a juvenile court instead of an adult criminal court. A judge might still impose penalties like fines, community service, and driver’s license suspension if a minor is found guilty of gambling with a fake ID.
A minor found guilty of using a fake ID to gamble in Nevada may face other repercussions, such as a school suspension and disqualifications from obtaining certain scholarships.
You Could Be Deported for Using a Fake ID To Gamble
Yes, using a fake ID to gamble counts as a crime of moral turpitude, which has serious consequences for those that are undocumented. Non-citizens convicted of a fake identification crime in Nevada could face deportation or be denied the opportunity to naturalize.
Non-citizens prosecuted for a fake ID crime should seek counsel right away to attempt to dismiss the charge or get a punishment that does not involve deportation.
You Could Seal Your Record if You Used a Fake ID To Gamble
Nevada allows individuals to seal their criminal records after a period of time has passed. Usually, a crime can be sealed from public viewing, but this depends on the crime. Possessing a fake ID to gamble is usually a misdemeanor crime, which has a waiting period of about one year after the case ends under NRS 179.245 before a person can apply to have the crime sealed.
More severe crimes involving fake IDs, such as selling or giving away a fake ID so someone else can gamble, are gross misdemeanors and can take up to two years after the case ends before a person can seal their record. The more serious the crime, the longer the waiting period is.
Most juvenile criminal records are automatically sealed when a person turns 21 under NRS 62H.140. If a minor is found guilty of using a fake ID to gamble in juvenile court, they must wait three years after their case before they can petition for a record seal.
Possible Defenses for Fake ID Charges
If you are accused of using a fake ID to gamble in Las Vegas, there are defense arguments your attorney may use to get the charge dismissed or reduce the punishment. The two most common defenses include:
- Proving you had no intent to defraud
- Claiming the police found your fake ID through an illegal search
Prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable double that their client was not guilty of a crime. This means that they have to convince the court of your innocence. The defense might try to prove that the prosecutor’s evidence is insufficient, false, or unreliable in order to get a guilty verdict.
Though it may be difficult to claim either defense after you have been found using a fake ID to gamble, your attorney could still reduce your charges in other ways and lessen the amount of time you spend in jail or the number of fines you have to pay.
Talk to a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Team Today
If you use someone else’s ID or a fake ID to gamble in Las Vegas and you’re caught, you could secure skilled legal representation to defend your case. Whether you’re a first-time offender or have been caught underage gambling before, the team of Nevada criminal defense lawyer at De Castroverde Law Group can answer your questions and fight your case in court.
At De Castroverde Law Group, we know that Las Vegas identity theft and underage gambling charges can be frightening, stressful, and overwhelming. Nevada state laws are strict regarding underage gambling and can leave you with a permanent criminal record.
No matter how close you are to turning 21, don’t gamble in Las Vegas. There is no leeway for people about to turn 21, even if your birthday is the following day. For expert legal counsel concerning underage gambling or identity theft charge, contact us for a free case evaluation. Our criminal defense attorneys are here to help after a fake ID arrest in Las Vegas.