Las Vegas nightlife often revolves around clubs, and thousands of people can visit a single nightclub in one weekend. Unfortunately, a well-deserved vacation can sometimes result in an arrest that requires the representation of a skilled Las Vegas criminal defense team.
A Las Vegas nightclub arrest attorney at De Castroverde Law Group is very familiar with the circumstances that lead to club arrests, and we can protect your rights and interests if you were charged with a crime while enjoying such nightclubs as:
- The Bank
- Foundation Room
- Gold Boutique Nightclub and Lounge
- VooDoo Lounge
Common Criminal Charges at Nightclubs in Las Vegas
Many of our Las Vegas clients’ charges come about after a night of drinking and partying with friends. We are prepared to defend you against such allegations as disorderly conduct or lewd conduct and will seek to have the charges reduced or dropped entirely. In many cases, these charges are the result of an intoxicated fight or misunderstanding, and both parties are to blame.
Patrons can be arrested for:
- Battery (fighting)
- Controlled substance violations (using or selling illegal narcotics)
Any of these charges can lead to lengthy sentences served in state prison, but the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime occurred. If there is a lack of video footage or witnesses to attest to the crime, they will have a difficult time prosecuting.
Defense Strategies Against Nightclub Crime Charges and Their Penalties
Depending on the circumstances of the charges and the arrest, a criminal defense lawyer can develop several strategies to defend against a conviction. Nightclubs are infamously very dim and chaotic, which can make it difficult to pinpoint an individual’s actions. Security personnel may mistakenly accuse the wrong person or apprehend the wrong patron. Any number of strategies can be used to fight charges and keep someone out of jail.
Lewd or Disorderly Conduct Arrests in a Las Vegas Nightclub
Lewdness is defined in several ways, falling into one of two different categories: a sexual activity that is nonconsensual but falls short of the legal definition of rape (penetration has not occurred) or a sexual activity that takes place in a public setting where others can see.
Penalties for this charge can include up to a year in jail and $2,000 in fines for first-time offenders (gross misdemeanor) or 1-4 years in prison and fines up to $5,000 if is a second-time offense.
Similarly, disorderly conduct charges can span a few definitions. Overall, disorderly conduct refers to “disturbing the peace,” and can include challenging another to a fight, being excessively intoxicated, or shouting at a nightclub employee. Penalties for this offense can include up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Unless the prosecutor has clear footage of the actions taking place, it may be difficult to prove to the court that lewd conduct happened. Of course, this depends on the situation. While there may not be footage, there may be innumerable eyewitness reports that persuade the court. Developing a good strategy with a criminal defense lawyer is the best way to fight against lewd or disorderly conduct charges.
Controlled Substance Violations in a Las Vegas Nightclub
Depending on the type of violation, penalties can vary. First-time offenses are usually more lenient than subsequent (repeat) charges, but it is up to the discretion of the court to determine the punishment. Possession of illegal narcotics for sale is a Category D felony and carries a possible 1–4-year prison sentence and up to $5,000 in fines. Selling narcotics can result in a maximum of 15 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
Nevada has different penalties for marijuana use and sale of marijuana. However, using marijuana in public spaces like nightclubs, and selling marijuana without licensure is still considered illegal.
The best defense strategies against drug charges can include:
- Arguing that the defendant did not have knowledge of the drugs, or that the drugs were planted on their person or property.
- Accusing law enforcement of entrapping an individual into selling drugs when the defendant had no predisposition to do so.
- Saying the drugs were found during an illegal search.
Battery and Assault Charges in a Las Vegas Nightclub
While disorderly conduct can include someone merely challenging another to a fight, battery or assault can include the actual act of fighting. Any physical altercations, or deliberate, unwanted touching of another in an unwanted or illegal way is considered battery. Assault is considered a separate charge in which someone fears being harmed (a threat), and often leads to battery.
Penalties for assault and battery vary depending on whether a deadly weapon is used, as well as the amount of harm that was sustained. Battery without a deadly weapon usually carries up to 5 years in prison and anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 in fines.
A criminal defense lawyer can argue that the actual act of touching the victim was purely accidental, or that the accused had no intention of causing harm. They may also argue that the physical contact was given with consent or that the victim falsely accused the defendant out of revenge or anger.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Nightclub Charges
If you were arrested for a drug-related offense, it is imperative that you call a Las Vegas nightclub arrest lawyer as soon as possible. Prosecutors take drug crimes very seriously, regardless of the circumstances of the arrest. These charges can result in harsh penalties if convicted, especially if the alleged crime involved such narcotics as cocaine or ecstasy. You will be arrested and charged if you are found using an illegal drug or substance in the nightclub or if you are found to be in possession of drugs.
Your charges may even be increased to include distribution or intent to sell if the arresting officer believes the amount of the illegal substance in your possession proves that the drug was meant for more than personal use. A nightclub arrest is more than just frustration or an inconvenience; a conviction can have severe and damaging effects on your career, freedoms, and even your future.
Contact a Las Vegas nightclub arrest attorney today to obtain the aggressive advocacy needed to challenge the charges. Our expertise goes beyond criminal defense as we have a team of immigration lawyers and Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyers ready to assist you.