Arrested While Visiting Las Vegas? (Part 1)

Arrested While Visiting Las Vegas? (Part 1)

Las Vegas is a party town. It’s the place to go when you want to cut loose and let your hair down. Whether it’s a Bachelor Party, a girl’s weekend out, or any of the many events available such as this weekend’s Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), or the upcoming Life is Beautiful Festival, or just to celebrate a holiday weekend such as Memorial Day or New Year’s Eve, Las Vegas is the place to go. Sports events such as the Golden Knights NHL games, and, soon, the Raiders NFL team, are also being added to the equation. Large trade conventions occur constantly throughout the year. We welcome nearly 40 million partiers every year… it’s what our town does.

It is important though, for visitors to understand that there are limits, and there are behaviors that can ruin the party and land them in jail. Unfortunately, a small percentage of the 40 million visitors don’t leave at the end of a party weekend, because they’ve been arrested, and they’re now seeing a different side of Las Vegas. It’s important to know the problem areas so visitors can stay clear of legal entanglements and party on.

The following are a few areas of concern for visitors coming to Las Vegas to be aware.

Misunderstood Legal Issues for Visitors to Las Vegas

Drug Crimes:

Marijuana has recently been legalized for recreational use in Nevada. It is now legal for adults 21 and older, to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use in Las Vegas. But at this point, there is no legal place for visitors to smoke it. Edibles can be consumed, but smoking marijuana in a hotel room, or in public, is still a crime, and you can be arrested. A charge of public use of marijuana is a misdemeanor and carries a fine up to $600.

Weed can only be legally purchased at a licensed dispensary, and until weed bars and other marijuana-related businesses open, it can only be smoked in a private residence; a hotel room does not qualify. State and County officials are discussing the issue of marijuana related businesses, such as weed bars, but are hesitant to move forward due to the likelihood of attracting unwanted federal attention. We expect this to change in the near future, but for now be careful where you use recreational weed.

Marijuana purchased at a legal dispensary may only be used in Nevada. Transport of marijuana across state lines remains a federal crime. If you have some stash left over after your visit and you attempt to sell it, you can be charged with a felony that has a jail term of up to four years for first-time offenders. Smoking while driving or driving when high is still an area of concern for Law Enforcement, and you can be charged with a DUI for driving high.

Marijuana remains a Class 1 controlled substance to federal officials. Which means, if you are visiting federal lands, which surround Las Vegas, you can be arrested at those locations for recreational marijuana use and charged with a federal crime.

Other Drugs such as MDMA (ecstasy), cocaine, hallucinogens, and prescription opioids are illegal to possess in Nevada; are considered Class 1 controlled substances and carry felony charges if arrested.

If you’re arrested on drug charges while partying in Las Vegas, you should immediately seek the services of an experienced lawyer. The Defenders stands ready to represent you against drug charges.

Sex Crimes:

Prostitution and Solicitation:

Prostitution under Nevada law is defined as: “…engaging in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee, monetary consideration or other thing of value,” is illegal in Clark (Las Vegas), Douglas, Eureka, Lincoln, Pershing and Washoe (Reno) Counties, and Carson City in Nevada.

“Sexual conduct” as defined under this statute, is “…sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact or any touching of the sexual organs or other intimate parts of a person…” Prostitution is only legal in state-licensed brothels located outside of those municipalities. The closest location to Las Vegas that allows legalized prostitution is in Pahrump, NV, over 60 miles away from Las Vegas.

Solicitation, defined as requesting said behavior, is also illegal in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County. In spite of flyers, and billboards on wheels visitors may see on the Strip, you can be arrested for solicitation in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departmet (LVMPD), also known as Metro, enforces these laws through regular sting operations and undercover officers, but you can be arrested for solicitation on very scanty evidence, such as testimony of a witness to a conversation, and does not require corroboration for an arrest to occur.

If you are arrested on solicitation charges in Las Vegas, you will be charged with a misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail. The Defenders will provide a vigorous defense against these charges.

The Defenders will provide an aggressive defense for visitors to Las Vegas

If you have come to Las Vegas to party, and end up being arrested, the Defenders lawyers are experienced and able to provide a defense that will protect your rights. There are valid defenses that can be employed to petition the court in your behalf. Depending on the strength of the evidence against you, or the circumstances of the arrest, we may be able to negotiate reduced charges, or possibly dismiss charges completely. If you’ve been charged with one of these crimes while visiting Las Vegas, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

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