Las Vegas Criminal Attorney Nicholas Wooldridge, Esq Provides Details When a Gaming Establishment Can Detain You in Nevada

When you visit a gaming establishment, you need to be aware that the law protects the licensee who owns and operates the gaming facility. One law, in particular, gives the licensee who runs the establishment the authority to detain you if you are suspected of committing a felony. This authority is not unlimited, however, and your rights must be respected.

If you are unlawfully detained, subject to unlawful arrest, or otherwise treated inappropriately, you need to understand your options. At LV Criminal Defense, we provide representation to clients who have been accused of all types of criminal acts including felony charges in gaming establishments. We will carefully review the circumstances leading to your arrest and prosecution to find ways to help you avoid conviction or reduce penalties. Call today to speak with a Vegas defense attorney to learn about how the legal services we offer can help you.

A Gaming Licensee Can Detain Suspected Felons Under NRS 171.1235

In most situations, an individual or a business is not lawfully permitted to detain any person against that person’s will. However, Nevada law carves out certain exceptions to this general rule. One of those exceptions is found in Nevada Revised Statute 171.1235.

N.R.S. 171.1235 gives gaming licensees the authority to detain any person suspected of committing a felony in the gaming establishment.  Licensees include any person who has a valid gaming license, including a license to operate an off-track betting establishment.  The actual licensed person, and employees or agents of that person can exercise the authority to detain someone. Establishment is defined to include any premises where gaming takes place, as well as the parking lot of a gaming place which is under the control of the licensee.

When an individual is detained under N.R.S. 171.1235, the purpose of the detainment is to provide time to notify a law enforcement officer of the suspected felony.  The detainment is only lawful if there is a sign posted in the gaming establishment warning patrons of the authority to detain them for suspected felony offenses.

What are Your Rights if Detained? 

In order for it to be lawful for you to be detained, there must actually be reasonable cause to believe you committed a felony offense.  If you are unlawfully detained or detained for longer than is reasonably necessary, you may have the right to bring a lawsuit for false imprisonment.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


If your detainment leads to an arrest, you are entitled to all of the protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution including the right to due process, the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure, the right to remain silent, the right to a trial, and the right to an attorney.

You should begin putting together a case as soon as possible after your arrest, as you also have the right to be considered innocent of a crime until proven guilty. If you can make it impossible for the prosecutor to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually committed a felony, you should avoid any criminal consequences.

Contact a Las Vegas Defense Attorney 

When you are accused of wrongdoing in a gaming establishment, the consequences of a felony offense can be serious. Call LV Criminal Defense today to learn how our Las Vegas defense attorneys can help you to fight charges and try to stay out of prison by securing a not guilty verdict, getting the case dismissed, or negotiating a favorable plea deal.

Las Vegas Criminal Lawyer: Wooldridge Law - LV Criminal Defense
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