drug possession arrest in las vegas as a tourist

Drug Possession Arrest for Tourists in Las Vegas Nevada


What happens in Vegas…

And you know the rest or so you think.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and can follow you for the rest of your life. 

I believe that the Las Vegas tourist authority made the best decision ever when they ran that marketing campaign “ What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”.

Having lived in Vegas for many years during that campaign I realized very quickly that most out of towners or visitors to Vegas actually believe it.

People come from all over the world for a fun filled few days in Vegas and maybe to do things they wouldn’t normally do or get to do where they come from.

That might be seeing a good show, gambling , or going to a hot new club or pool.

But there are the other questionable activities that are not so innocent and even illegal, like drug use or possession, prostitution, or even identity theft.

These things take place all the time in Vegas.

The thing is, no matter whether or not you are a tourist, the crimes are the same and so are the punishments.

If you have been arrested in Las Vegas and are from out of town you need to hire a defense team before you step foot on the plane to go home.

Call The Defenders today.



Can I be Arrested for Drug Possession in My Hotel

Remember the movie Casino.

What does Robert De Niro’s character say about who is watching who? 

The Dealers are watching the customers, the boxmen are watching the dealers, the floormen are watching the boxmen, the pit bosses are watching the floormen, and the eye in the sky is watching everybody.

Something to that effect i believe.

This happens to be true as an ex casino worker can tell you.

So you assume that you have the right to privacy in your hotel room and that what happens there is your business, but since everyone is watching everyone the casino or hotel has the right to enter your room at anytime if they suspect illegal activity it happening.

For example, if a cleaning crew enters your room and sees drug paraphernalia and what they seem to believe are drugs, the crew has an obligation to notify the hotel management who then has the right to enter your room.

They also will notify the police who can then get a search warrant to enter your room and take anything as evidence.

If you have been arrested for drug possession you should contact an experienced criminal defense team immediately.



arrested in las vegas at pool party for drugs

Getting Caught With Drugs at a Nightclub or Pool Party

As we said before, anyone is subject to security anywhere in Las Vegas.

If you are arrested for drug possession as a tourist you will face the same charges and punishments as a local.

The pool party and club scene in Vegas is huge and basically second only to gambling.

Many hotels have famous clubs that we all know, but don’t expect to get away with drug possession or selling drugs in these clubs.

These clubs are heavily monitored and there are cameras everywhere.

Most of the use of illegal drugs in clubs takes place in restrooms where cameras are not prohibited.

However, club or hotel security is allowed to monitor all restrooms and in certain cases place undercover police in the restrooms, so even though you may think using the bathroom at a club or pool party is a safe bet you’re wrong.



If You’ve Been Arrested for Drug Possession While on Vacation in Nevada

Just because you’re on vacation in Nevada does not mean what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Even as a tourist you are subjected to the same penalties as a local for drug possession or sales.

These can range from a fine and probation to a long prison term depending on the offense and the charges against you.

There are many steps you can take immediately after a possession arrest:

  1. You should never answer any questions from the police without an attorney present. Explain that you choose not to give a statement without your attorney.
  2. Remain calm and try to get bail or get released on your own. Depending on the charges you may be released without bail and just a date to appear in court.
  3. Gather any evidence you can to prove that it wasn’t you, if it wasn’t.
  4. Finally the most important thing you can do to help yourself is get a defense attorney immediately. This could mean the difference between going to jail and not.



working with a defense lawyer in las vegas for drug arrest

Working With a Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for anything including drug possession in Nevada you’ll need to hire a criminal defense law firm in Las Vegas.

You may be thinking what’s the point, it’s only a minor drug charge, maybe I’ll pay a fine or get probation.

Well thinking like that can be dangerous. Being accused of a crime is one thing but being convicted of a crime is completely another.

All penalties are determined by either a judge or jury and unless you have a crystal ball you may never know what the sentencing might be. 

Having a good defense team is the equivalent to having the golden ticket.

A good defense team can do many things to help mitigate the outcome.

  1. Go to all court appearances with our clients
  2. Gather evidence for your defense
  3. Can get the case dismissed or the charges reduced
  4. Can offer alternative programs instead of jail like rehab

So if you have been arrested for drug possession while a tourist in Las Vegas then you need to hire an experienced defense team to represent you immediately.


Criminal Charges for Drug Possession in Nevada

Since it’s the same for tourists and locals alike, the criminal charges for drug possession vary based on the circumstances of the offense and the drugs you were arrested with.

(NRS) 453.336 states that intentionally and unlawfully possessing on your person or otherwise having under your control any controlled substance is specifically criminalized and assigned penalties.

This is the actual wording of the possession law in Nevada.

This however doesn’t just include illegal drugs, this can also include prescription drugs that you have in your possession but are in another person’s name.

The penalties can range from rehab to long term prison sentences based on the drugs possessed at the time of arrest. 

If you have been arrested for drug possession in Las Vegas and it’s your first offense you may get to enroll in a divergence program.

If you successfully complete the program and a set amount of time passes without another charge then the charges can be expunged from your record.

This means it’s like it never happened. 

A Simple possession charge that include schedule I, II , III or IV by the FDA is punishable by :

1-4 years in state prison for the first and second offense.

For the third and more offenses 1-4 years in jail and up to a 20,000 fine.

If you possessed GHB then you may serve up to 1-6 years in prison.


Here are some examples of the schedules of drugs from the FDA.

Schedule 1- Heroin, Marajuana, and MDMA

Schedule 11- Methadone, OxyContin, Percocet, Morphine and Opium

Schedule 111-Ketamine, Steroids

Schedule 1V- Xanax, Valium, Triazolam


These are just a few examples of the schedule of drugs that the FDA classified by passing the controlled substances act of 1970.

Even though this act is over 50 years old it is what determines the laws and penalties for the laws. 

If you have been arrested for drug possession you need to get yourself an experienced defense team right away.

Call The Defenders today for a free consultation and case review.

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