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How Taking a Cashout Voucher Could Lead to a Felony Charge


On August 10, 2019, a 39-year-old man walked up to a slot machine at a casino. He was planning on playing and saw that a cashout voucher was in it. Wanting to put his own $2 in and not seeing anyone near the machine, he removed the slip of paper, which was worth $0.20.

A few seconds after he took the cashout voucher from the slot machine, two brothers confronted him. Apparently, the wife of one of the men was playing the machine and had gone to the cashier’s cage to get some change. The two men were watching the machine for her. When they saw the 39-year-old take the voucher, they went to stop him.

An altercation between the three men ensued, and casino security was called. They broke up the fight, but as they were separating the individuals involved, the 39-year-old turned and allegedly threw a punch at one of the brothers. The man was arrested and is facing a felony battery charge.

But isn’t battery a misdemeanor offense?

Levels of Battery Charges in Nevada

Under NRS 200.481, the definition of battery is using force or violence against someone else. Depending on the circumstances, this offense could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. There are various subsections to this statute that detail the different situations that affect the level of charge, but in this blog, we’ll look at only two: one that constitutes a misdemeanor, and another that constitutes a felony.

According to NRS 200.481(2)(a), battery is a misdemeanor when it is committed:

  • Without the use of a deadly weapon
  • When no substantial bodily harm results

In Nevada, misdemeanor offenses are punished by a jail term of up to 6 months and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Battery can be a category C felony when it is committed:

  • Without the use of a deadly weapon, and
  • Substantial bodily harm results, or
  • The act involved strangulation

A category C felony conviction carries with it up to 5 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

Why Was a Felony Charge Imposed?

Returning to the incident involving the 39-year-old and the two brothers, what elevated the level of charge from a misdemeanor to a felony was the severity of the resulting injury. With the lower-level charge, no substantial injury results; with the higher level, it does.

Nevada law defines a substantial injury as one that:

  • Puts a person at an increased risk of death,
  • Causes permanent disfigurement,
  • Causes long-term loss of the use of a limb or organ, or
  • Causes prolonged pain

The brother who was allegedly punched was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for his injuries. After doctors examined him, they found he had a brain bleed that could have caused death. Therefore, his resulting condition met the definition for a substantial injury, leading to a felony charge for the man who punched him.

For Legal Representation, Call The Draskovich Law Group Today

If you’re facing charges for a misdemeanor or felony, our skilled attorneys know how to effectively handle such cases. We have over 25 years of experience and know what types of defenses can be brought up to protect your rights. Our team will work toward getting your charges reduced or dropped.

Ready to discuss your case? Call us at (702) 381-6590 or schedule a free consultation online.