How to Stay Out, and Get Out, of Jail in Las Vegas

When law enforcement comes looking for you in Vegas, you know you're in trouble. The odds are good they don't want to congratulate on winning the $1 million jackpot.

Many people visit "The Strip" thinking that anything goes. What many don't comprehend is that casinos, nightclubs, bars and hotels face hefty fines and sanctions if they don't watch their guests' behavior and make sure laws are followed.

Each year many people visit Las Vegas who are either incredibly naive, incredibly stupid, or both.

Three criminal categories can get you locked up: misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony.

Misdemeanors are the lowest degree and sanctions run up to 6 months behind bars and $1K in fines. You can anticipate another $1k in attorney fees and court costs.

Make that a gross misdemeanor and jail time goes to one year, fines increase to around $2k, and legal fees of $5k are not unrealistic — even if you don't go to trial.

Felonies? Fines, jail time and legal fees can be higher than the Stratosphere Tower and just aren't worth the fun.

The four most common offenses committed in Vegas which can land you behind bars are:

Drug Crimes

Ranging from possession to an intention to sell, being arrested for a drug crime is sure to ruin your vacation or business trip.


Counter to what numerous persons think, prostitution is outlawed in Nevada counties with a population over 300,000. Vegas' census is shrinking, but it's not below the magic figure - yet. The nearest counties for ‘love-by-the-hour' are pretty far out in the country, but if you talk to your hotel concierge, a brothel may send a limousine for you.

The two charges linked to prostitution are soliciting and pandering. Soliciting is requesting somebody to have sex with you for money, and Las Vegas police regularly disrupt this business transaction by setting up sting operations. Pandering is the legal word for pimping. Soliciting will earn a slap-on-the-wrist, pandering gets you behind bars.

Computer Crimes

Las Vegas has city laws against it. Computer crimes in Vegas include unlawful use of a system, outlawed encryption and unauthorized access. Casual tourists to Vegas may get swept up in a computer crime as they are directed at the corporate embezzler or child pornographer.

Cheating at gambling is taken seriously in Vegas. A computer crime in Vegas connects with cheating by communicating card counts to colleagues, placing a bet after the result is known and other mundane things


Another common crime in Vegas is driving under the influence. Alcohol sneaks up on a person when they're busy gambling and not paying attention to the free drinks provided by the casino. The legal limit is 0.08 but most are in the 0.20 range when pulled over. Nevada is an "implied consent" state. If you drive, you give law enforcement the right to test.

Getting Bail in Las Vegas

Bond in Clark County is easy to come by. Until it isn't.

Regardless of which stupid reason you get arrested, you will get a free tour of the Clark County Detention Center. If you're arrested on "The Strip" you won't go to the luxurious city jail, but instead, you'll go to the industrial jail in an unincorporated part of Paradise, Nevada. Nether are happy places, and the worst luxury hotel is better than jail cells.

After spending the night freezing, even with the blanket they give you, you can look forward to meeting your new attorney — naked. You're naked. Not the attorney.

24-hours later the court will have a probable cause hearing. This is when the cops tell the judge why you were arrested. Within 72-hours, you will either be arraigned or released. Your release may be under your own recognizance or maybe bail.

Depending on your criminal history as well as the reason for your arrest, you may be able to bail out quickly, or you may have to wait a few days before making that call.

In Las Vegas, bail has two flavors. Either pay it yourself or use a bondsman. A bondsman can be the unsavory sort of character, and if you use one they will charge you 15% of the bond total.

If you accept the assistance of a bondsman, be doubly sure to follow all of the court's requirements and show up for trial when scheduled. You do NOT want to upset the bail agency which gets you from behind bars while awaiting trial.

Remember ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter"? Enough said.

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