Despite what else you may have heard, some things that happen in Las Vegas aren’t about to stay there. This is particularly true for the visitor accused of committing a crime. When you return to your home state or country, those criminal charges will go right along with you. Under circumstances such as these, what’s a tourist to do?
When Breaking the Law Seems Easy
Thanks to sometimes-overeager marketing attempts, many visitors to Las Vegas tend to view it as a giant amusement park. They feel wrapped in a cloak of anonymity so thick that no one will take notice of their actions. To make matters worse, some tourists have no idea of what is and is not legal in Las Vegas. Such confusion can result in the commission of a crime.
Common Las Vegas Tourist Infractions
Whatever the initial trigger, some types of criminal activity frequently involve tourists in Las Vegas. Such crimes include:
- Assault and battery (NRS 200.471). In Nevada, assault can consist either of threatening to injure another person or of trying but failing to do so. If the assaulter does succeed in landing a punch, he has then committed battery. Either of these crimes may count as a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Unpaid casino markers. In Las Vegas, casino markers can be easy to come by. They do provide the tourist with an incentive to gamble, but the visitor who takes advantage of these no-interest loans must pay them back within 30 days or face both civil and criminal charges. Penalties can consist of heavy fines, jail time or both.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) (Chapter 484C). Regardless of what many people believe, a charge of DUI in Las Vegas can encompass more than just drunk driving. The attempt to operate a vehicle while mentally or physically impaired by any legal or illegal substance will qualify. While a first offense of Nevada DUI amounts to a misdemeanor, all subsequent transgressions of the kind will always count as felonies. More on DUI for Las Vegas visitors here.
- Drug possession. The recent arrests of several big-name celebrities bear testament to the fact that laws against drug possession are frequently stricter in Las Vegas than they are in other localities. Nevada laws make little distinction between the possession of marijuana and the possession of harder drugs. In either case, the crime carries serious penalties for which anyone convicted could face prison time.
- Gross or open lewdness. Most states are quite specific when describing which parts of the human body are off limits when touched or indecent when exposed. Definitions are somewhat blurrier in Las Vegas, a city in which the public performance of any number of seemingly innocent acts could lead to an arrest for lewd behavior. Because Nevada can force anyone convicted of such charges to register as a sex offender, the prudent visitor to Las Vegas will make every effort to keep his hands to himself.
- Public drunkenness. In certain designated areas of Las Vegas, no one will stop you from walking around with an alcoholic drink in an open container. Nevertheless, this seeming permissiveness does not extend to the state of inebriation. If the condition causes you to disturb the peace or commit some other infraction, public intoxication in Las Vegas will count as a crime in itself.
- Solicitation. Although prostitution is legal in some parts of rural Nevada, that isn’t the case in Las Vegas. Here, the solicitation of paid sex or even its implication can get you charged with an attempt crime. This is true even in cases where no currency changes hands and no carnal activity actually ensues. Normally considered a misdemeanor, solicitation escalates to a felony when minors are involved.
How the Lawyers at Weiner Law Group Can Help
If you’ve committed a crime in Las Vegas, the court will expect you to appear in person at all future hearings. Of course, once you’re back in your country or state of legal residence, returning to face the music is the last thing you’ll want to do.
Fortunately, with the help of Weiner Law Group, you may not have to. That’s because despite what you may have heard, Las Vegas courts will often allow a criminal defense lawyer to appear in your place for at least the initial hearing. If circumstances are in your favor, you might not need to return at all.
We will begin your defense by arguing for a reduction or complete dismissal of the criminal charges against you. This is often possible if you have no other criminal history working against you. We will also attempt to reduce or even eliminate the number of times you’ll need to return to Las Vegas.
If you’ve left Vegas with criminal charges pending, don’t try to fight them alone. Speak to a criminal defense attorney at Weiner Law Group who can smooth the way for you. Call today for a free consultation on your criminal case and learn what we can do to help you now.