When Out-Of-State Visitors Arrested for Drug Possession in Las Vegas, Nevada
Drug Possession Charges in LV
Drug arrests in Las Vegas are far more common than many out-of-state visitors realize. Illegal possession of drugs is a felony in Nevada and if arrested, you need to hire an attorney to defend your case.
We invite you to call us at 702-432-1000 and speak with our criminal defense attorney. The initial consultation is free and confidential.
Where Arrests Happen
In Las Vegas, most drug arrests against out-of-town visitors occur in a handful of places. Most common locations include: inside nightclubs and bars, inside pool parties, or, while waiting in line for a pool party or a nightclub.
Other common locations are public areas that are under surveillance or the areas that casino employees routinely visit. Bathroom stalls inside the casino and the area around the gaming floor are good examples.
Waiting in Line
An overwhelming number of drug arrests occur while visitors are in line to enter a pool club or night club. The security check is much more scrupulous than most people realize - every pocket in a handbag or wallet is thoroughly checked.
Women, often hold contraband for their friends in bags and purses, are often caught off guard by the intrusive search. Although holding drugs for another, in Las Vegas, a person can still be charged with drug possession because they had physical control of the drugs when the search occurred.
Inside Pool Parties
Another common location for drug arrests occurs inside the pool party itself. Although Las Vegas pools provide a relaxing atmosphere, the hotel staff is vigilant for illegal drug use.
It is common for staff and security to report drug use inside a cabana or the pool bathroom. Often the patron does not even know that they were spotted with illegal drugs until security approaches them, sometimes hours later.
Inside Nightclubs and Bars
Like pool parties, nightclubs in Las Vegas also provide fertile grounds for drug arrests. Nightclub security and staff often report drug use at VIP tables and in restroom stalls.
Drugs Connected to Arrests
By far, the most common drugs that are connected to Las Vegas drug arrests on hotel property are: cocaine and ecstasy.
In Nevada, these drugs are controlled substances and their possession is treated as a felony.
What Happens After Arrest
Spending Time in Jail. When there is overcrowding at the jail, the jail will first release non-violent misdemeanor offenders and then non-violent felony offenders. Las Vegas jails often face overcrowding during the weekends, and especially over holiday weekends and major conventions.
48 Hour Hearing. Usually, in Las Vegas a person arrested for drugs is released after a 48 hour hearing, a video "in camera" hearing when judge reviews the case and determines charges and the bail amount.
72 Hour Hearing.If a person is not released within first 48 hours, they will face the judge after 72 hours in custody or during the next weekday morning, whichever is later. At this stage, a person will either be released or be assigned a public defender who may argue for their release.
Posting Bail. Sometimes a person cannot afford to wait to be released. If a person wants to get out of jail early, they will have to post a bail. When this article was written, the amount of bail was $3,000 for a single drug charge. This amount is a subject to change.
The bail amount will be returned to the person who posted it after the criminal charges are ultimately resolved.
If a person cannot afford bail, then family or friends can hire a bail bondsman to post bail on their behalf. The fee that the bail bondsman charges for their services will not be returned.
Paper Work After Being Released. When a Las Vegas visitor is release from jail, that person will be given paper work with their scheduled court date and the charges they are facing. The court may change that court appearance date and the person may or may not be notified of the new court date. It is very important to check with the court about your court date.
If a person fails show up for their court date, a bench warrant for that person’s arrest will be issued. Bench warrants do not expire on their own; they stay on a person’s record until resolved and give the police a reason to arrest the person who has the warrant - regardless of what state that person lives in.
For details, call our office at 702-432-1000 and ask to speak with a criminal defense attorney.
Whether you are a Las Vegas resident or an out-of-state visitor, this Las Vegas arrest for drug possession will come up during your background check and will cause endless problems.
If you are a foreigner, having a drug related charge and an active warrant for your arrest will have very serious implications. The Immigration Service will either deny your entry to the United States or, will allow you to enter the country and arrest you at the border.
What to Do
The right way to handle your drug possession criminal charge is to face the charges and then - to seal your criminal record.
Our office provides record sealing services.
Facing Drug Possession Charges
Because drug possession charges are felony charges they can wreak havoc with a person’s life long after their stay in Las Vegas has ended.
However, in the beginning of any criminal defense case it is very important to remember that felony drug charges are just that – only charges. The conviction, which is the outcome of the matter, may be very different than what a person was arrested for. And, the difference often comes down to the quality of the criminal defense representation.
We Can help
Our criminal defense attorney Parviz Heshmati has won numerous awards for his excellence in criminal defense. In 75% of drug related cases that we handled, we successfully negotiated and reduced charges; many casino drug arrest cases were dismissed. Furthermore, we waived our client’s presence in court and they didn’t have to fly back to Las Vegas for the hearing.
Call us at 702-432-1000 with any questions you may have.
Our office is in downtown Las Vegas.
Walk-ins are always welcome!
Payment plans are available.
The initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney is always free.
Drug Possession Charges
Drug Schedules - DEA. The DEA enforces the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States.