Tips to Remember When Stopped by Police in Las Vegas
Thousands of people are detained every year in Las Vegas. The arrests range from minor misdemeanors to felonies with harsh penalties. Every arrest is different and can have e a devastating and frightening experience.
By Nick Wooldridge
The most common laws leading to arrests in Las Vegas are:
• Casino Markers and Fraud
So many NFL players have been arrested in Vegas that the league considered opening a franchise in Law Vegas. To be called "The Outlaws" they would only recruit players have been detained in Sin City.
What (Most) Tourists Don't Know
According to NRS 484C110
, it is perfectly legal to walk around certain areas of Las Vegas with an open container of alcohol. A person can even ride in a public vehicle with an open beverage. What can't be done is to drive under the influence of alcohol or with an open beverage or be intoxicated in public.
Under NRS 201.354
, prostitution is legal — in rural areas. That means that prostitution in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, will get a person arrested. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department holds many prostitution stings annually. Many tourists have been arrested just for talking about money for sex.
Gross Lewdness, is the state's public indecency law. Unlike other states which specify which body parts are publicly indecent, Nevada doesn't specify so there are a wide variety of actions in public which fall into this category and will trigger an arrest. Many tourists have been arrested in Las Vegas' nightclubs for touching a stranger's butt, while dancing, without the other's consent.
Being drunk is not an excuse nor a legal defense to the charge of gross lewdness.
Arrested? What You Should Do
No one intends to get arrested, but it would be helpful to think about just what you should do if you ever hear a cop say, "Put your hands behind you." The simplest "to do" is to do what you are told. It's simple but often escapes someone who is very nervous or very drunk.
Get a Lawyer
This should go without saying. Too often though people arrested in Las Vegas are intoxicated and not thinking clearly. An attorney should be consulted even if for a misdemeanor. You need someone to protect your rights, and an experienced attorney is better than a jail-house lawyer.
Don't disclose any information about the offense to the arresting officer without an attorney at your side. Be sure to invoke your constitutional right to remain silent. The only thing you should say is that you want a lawyer. The most difficult cases for lawyers to defend are those where the arrestee got talkative.
Judges and juries will ignore what a suspect says that helps him, but credence to anything that seems to hurt him.
Ask for a Blood Test
If you are stopped for DUI, make sure to ask for a blood test.
Blood tests are more precise than breathalyzers and have to be performed at the police station — allowing you more time to sober up than blowing into the tube on the spot. Refusal to be tested for alcohol can get nasty as they can take a sample — even strapping you down if necessary.
Bail in Las Vegas comes in two forms. You can either pay it yourself or use the serices of a bondsman. If you make bail yourself, or with the help of friends, 100% of the money will be refunded to you at the conclusion of the trial. A bondsman will charge 15% of the total, and you don't get that back.
If you're not bailed out, plan on spending, at least, a few days in jail.
If you have friends outside, they can put money into your jail account so you can buy things like toothpaste, and snacks.
The friends will be able to "visit" you, but only by video conference — no face to face meetings are allowed unless it is with law enforcement or your attorney.
Permission to Search
Never give permission to search — anywhere. If the police ask, it usually means they don't believe they have the right to search and need your consident. If ordered to hand over your keys, state loudly and clearly, "You do NOT have my permission to search."
Whatever else you do, do not resist arrest. Pushing the police or swatting their hands away is an assault on a police officer. Any injury — however slight — will turn a minor misdemeanor into a felony.
If you have been arrested while visiting in Las Vegas, contact the Law Office of TK promptly to discuss the details of your case and explore possible defenses. With a skilled attorney, there are many options to lessen, and even eliminate, the charges. Finding an aggressive lawyer is the best option to avoid stiff penalties.
Nick Wooldridge is an experienced criminal defense attorney and aggressively fights for his clients'