Reflexology Clinics Targeted for Regulation Due to Prostitution Allegations

 

arrested man hands close upThe Clark County Commission recently passed new restrictions this past week on clinics that practice reflexology, an alternative medicine. The Commission targeted the clinics under the suspicion that they have become locations where prostitution occurs.

The clinics are now required to close at midnight, and may not open earlier than 8 a.m., unless they receive a special permit. Practitioners must have background checks and certification from a licensed school. The new regulations put them more in line with massage parlors, which have long been regulated under the suspicion that they frequently engage in prostitution.

Reflexology involves putting pressure on the feet, hands and ears to relieve pain.

The commissioners have cited multiple reasons for the new regulations ranging from accusations that clinics overcharge, to safety for consumers. One specific recurring concern is that the clinics are a front for prostitution. The same accusation is the reason for many regulations on massage parlors.

Regulations have not stopped arrests for prostitution at massage parlors, and are unlikely to stop them at reflexology clinics. It’s important for reflexology clients to understand what prostitution is under Nevada law, so that they avoid arrest if they cross the line.

Under Nevada Revised Statute 201.295, prostitution is when a person, for a fee, engages in “sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact or any touching of the sexual organs or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either person.”

Reflexology is a varying practice, with few set rules. However, if the practitioner is touching a person’s genitals or breasts, or the client is touching the practitioner’s breasts or sexual organs, there is a very good chance that it has crossed the line into prostitution.

It is also important for clients to know that they may be arrested for solicitation if they express a desire to have a reflexologist touch him or her sexually for money.

There is nothing about the practice of reflexology that makes paying a fee legal if for a service performed for sexual gratification. The key is the person’s intent: Whether or not the person sought to give or receive sexual pleasure for a fee.

New regulations may mean that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department will keep a careful eye on reflexology clinics. If you are a practitioner or client arrested, it is important to immediately seek the services of a Las Vegas prostitution defense lawyer.

 

Guests at National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas Should Be Wary of DUI Charges and Know Their Rights

AlcoholKeys

The National Finals Rodeo, called the “super bowl” of rodeo, kicks off Thursday, December 5, and continues until December 14. Held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the event brings in participants, rodeo enthusiasts and spectators from around the world. While in Las Vegas, though, many of these visitors may find themselves the subject of criminal accusations, especially drunk driving.

Under Nevada law, it is illegal for a person to be in actual physical control of a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than .08. If found with a BAC of .08 or higher within two hours of having actual physical control of a vehicle, you may also be charged with a DUI.

A first DUI in Nevada is a misdemeanor. It carries a presumptive sentence of at least two days in jail, with a maximum of six months. There may be a fee of $400 to $1,200, and your license could be suspended for 90 days. The Nevada DMV will report your conviction to the appropriate governmental body in your state, and your state may take action against you, like suspending your license.

Like in any other state, you have the right to refuse a DUI test in Nevada, unless police obtain a warrant. Denying a DUI test deprives the prosecution critical evidence against you. However, there may be consequences in your state if Nevada reports the matter.

If you are an out-of-state visitor who is arrested for DUI during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, it is important not to assume that you can go home and forget about it. If you ignore the charges, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. The open warrant may turn up in background searches, and it’s even possible for Nevada to seek for you to be extradited back to Las Vegas, a difficult, time-consuming and expensive procedure.

You can hire a Las Vegas DUI lawyer to handle your case. Your attorney can represent you in courts in Clark County. It’s possible that you will not have to travel back to Las Vegas. He can seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed, challenging your arrest and calling into question any DUI tests or other evidence against you. While there are no guarantees, your lawyer will work diligently to fight for your rights and seek the best possible result.

If you are attending the National Finals Rodeo this week, enjoy Las Vegas. Call a cab if you are drinking, or have a designated driver. But if you are accused of drunk driving, know your rights, especially the right to have qualified counsel on your side.

Ninth Circuit Upholds Gun Ban for Those Convicted of Domestic Violence

Beretta HandgunThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which includes Nevada, last month upheld a federal law banning firearm possession for any person convicted of domestic violence, including misdemeanor charges, for life.  The Court ruled that the law does not violate a person’s rights under the Second Amendment.

Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), a person convicted of a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence, including a state charge, may not possess a firearm. A person convicted of a felony domestic violence charge may not possess a gun under another section of the same law, which prohibits people convicted of any felony from firearm possession.

The Ninth Circuit case is U.S. v. Chovan. In the case, Daniel Chovan, a California resident, had been convicted of a domestic assault charge in 1996. In 2010, the FBI and the ATF executed a search warrant and found a .22 caliber handgun and 532 rounds of ammunition in his home. He was indicted on two charges of violating § 922, one for possession of a firearm and one for making a false statement in the acquisition of a firearm.

Chovan moved to dismiss the first count, which was denied. He pled guilty and was sentenced to five years probation. He appealed the conviction, arguing that his civil rights had been restored, and that the federal ban violated his fundamental right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. He argued that the 2008 Supreme Court case D.C. v. Heller established that the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to bear arms.

The Ninth Circuit rejected his argument. In his opinion for the court, Judge Harry Pregerson wrote that  Chovan had never lost his “core civil rights,” the right to vote, hold public office or serve on a jury, and therefore did not qualify to have his civil rights restored. He wrote that the Heller case did not create an unlimited Second Amendment right, and that the ban addressed an important government interest and therefore met the intermediate level of scrutiny applied.

The case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, who could uphold the ruling or strike down the law. However, for now, defendants facing domestic violence charges in Las Vegas must accept that the loss of a right to bear arms is one of the punishments they face if convicted. A domestic violence charge will result in jail time of at least two days for a first offense, along with possible fines and court costs, community service and counseling sessions at the defendant’s expense. 

Don’t Be Like Matthew Cordle: Be Careful About Your Social Media Posts If Accused of a Crime

Social Media can lead to trouble.The dramatic story of Matthew Cordle in Ohio has been making some headlines across the country lately, including in Las Vegas. Cordle had been accused of killing another driver while driving drunk. He made a three and a half minute-long video and posted it to YouTube confessing to the act. He said in the video that he was driving drunk, that he drove drunk regularly, and that he regretted the death he caused.

The video was heartfelt. Cordle said he did it not to get a more lenient sentence, but to alleviate himself of the personal guilt he felt over the act. That’s a good thing, because it did not help his case. In fact, according to many legal analysts, it hurt his case. Cordle was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, a tough sentence for the jurisdiction for the charge.  In Nevada, Mr. Cordle would have been looking at a mandatory prison sentence range of 2 to 20 years in the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Few cases are as dramatic as Cordle’s. But his case does highlight the significant dangers of posting anything related to a criminal offense on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any form of social media. There’s a simple rule when it comes to posting anything on the internet relating to a criminal charge: Don’t do it. Ever.

If you are charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, your attorney can challenge the stop, the DUI test results and the arrest, eliminating evidence that may lead to a conviction. But it may all be for naught if the prosecutor shows up with a Tweet you posted the day after the arrest saying “Got busted for DUI. Guess I shouldn’t have had that sixth Jager shot at the Palms before driving off #YOLO.”

If you’ve been arrested, simply stay silent. Do not even try to defend yourself. There’s a good chance you might say something that hurts you by mistake. If your friend posts on your Facebook wall “Heard you got arrested for drunk driving in Vegas,” you may think you are helping things out by commenting “That breathalyzer was busted. I only had three drinks, no way I was a .08.” But all you’ve done is admit that you were drinking before you got behind the wheel.

Let your defense lawyer handle your defense, and let him or her say anything that needs to be said. It’s important to remember you have a right to remain silent. That extends to everything, including social media. There is no reason to post anything after you’ve been arrested. Do not do it.

Metro announces DUI checkpoints for Halloween evening

Metro announces DUI checkpoints for Halloween evening.

If you are going out to drink, please make sure you get a designated driver.  Not only can you seriously change your life, but you can destroy another’s life as well.  Please be safe this Halloween.

Molly and DUI

Drugs and MoneyThe drug “Molly” has made some splashy headlines lately — “Mulling on Molly: Investigating the Dangers of a Club Drug” in the New York Times, “Recent Club Deaths Highlight Dangers of Molly” in Forbes, “Scrutiny of ‘Molly’ Party Drug Increases After 4 Deaths” in NPR — so you might think it was something new.

“Molly” has, in fact, been around for a while. It is another name for MDMA, also frequently called Ecstasy. Many people use “Molly” to refer to MDMA in capsule form. The name comes from “molecule,” and it has been used in several recent popular songs, hence the recent hype in the media.

There was a death at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas in 2012 attributed to Molly, and there have been incidents  where the Molly distributed at parties is mixed with other substances, which can be very dangerous. People should know all the risks of substances they use. One such risk people do not always consider is the risk of being arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Under Nevada law, there is not a “per se” limit at which point you are automatically considered intoxicated for MDMA, like there is for marijuana, cocaine and heroin. However, the law says it is illegal to drive or exercise actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance or a combination of alcohol and a controlled substance to the extent to which the driver is incapable of safely driving.  (Note:  Under Nevada Law, although it is a misdemeanor to drive while under the influence of ecstasy, it is a felony to be found with any amount of ecstasy in your system).

A first conviction for DUI, including DUI with Molly, results in at least 48 hours of imprisonment or 96 hours of community service, $340 in fines, a 90-day driver’s license suspension, among other penalties. Penalties for a second or subsequent offense can go up substantially.

In addition to the risks, people should know their rights. If you are pulled over and the officer believes you are high on Molly or any other drug, he or she will ask you if you have been doing drugs or drinking. You do not have to answer this question. You will be asked to take a DUI breath test.  You may refuse that test. If you have not been drinking, it might be to your advantage to consent to a breath test, as the breath machine, the Intoxilyzer 5000 EN, only measures alcohol in your system.  If you refuse a breath test, the police may take you to take a blood test, which you may also refuse.  If you refuse the police can only take your blood if they obtain a warrant.

At the time of arrest the police will tell you that you do not have a right to attorney. Although you will not be able to speak with a Las Vegas DUI Defense Attorney at the time of the arrest, You do have a right to a Las Vegas DUI defense lawyer after arrest. Your lawyer can advise you and challenge the evidence prosecutors bring forward, as well as represent you in any administrative license suspension hearings.

If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated with Molly or any other controlled substance in Las Vegas, your best strategy is to immediately contact a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

Holder Announcement on Mandatory Minimums for Drug Sentences Shows Promise

DUI PAS ScreeningThere’s finally some good news coming from the U.S. Department of Justice: In remarks made to the American Bar Association’s annual meeting, Attorney General  Eric Holder announced that the federal government would not pursue mandatory minimum sentences for certain low-level drug offenders.

The mandatory minimums have resulted in thousands being locked up for extended periods of time, sometimes for very small amounts of a controlled substance.  Nearly half of all people in federal prison are there due to a drug-related offense.

The mandatory minimums are draconian. For example:

  • If arrested and convicted in federal court for distribution of any controlled substance to a person younger than 21 or near a school, you will face at least a year in prison, even if you had no idea the school was there.
  •  If you are convicted of having a growhouse with 100 or more plants of marijuana, you will, under the guidelines, face at least five years in prison — even if you were growing the marijuana to sell at a legal medical marijuana dispensary.
  • If a person is convicted of selling another person any Schedule I or II drug or synthetic drug, and the buyer overdosed and was seriously injured or died, the minimum sentence is 20 years — more than a fourth of the average person’s life.

It’s unclear what the full impact of Holder’s announcement will be. He said, in the remarks, that the changes will apply to “low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels.” It’s unclear the extent to which the DOJ will take that. While it’s clear leaders in international cartels would not be included, there are many gray areas.

For instance, many kids who grow up in difficult neighborhoods are recruited into local street gangs at a very young age, sometimes against their will. Are these young people to still face mandatory minimums, or did “gangs” refer to larger ones, like the Crips?

In Nevada, we have legalized medical marijuana, but it remains illegal under federal law. It’s not clear whether “large-scale organizations” would refer to medical marijuana growhouses and dispensaries, operated legally under state law.

Hopefully, the application will be broad. Regardless, if you face federal drug charges, it’s important to hire a skilled Las Vegas drug defense attorney. Even without mandatory minimums, punishment for federal charges can be harsh, and you’ll want a strong defense.

The decision is made by executive order, which can be rescinded by Holder or the next occupant of the Attorney General’s Office. Many of the changes can be made permanent if Congress passes the bipartisan Justice Safety Valve Act, by Senators Patrick Leahy and Rand Paul.

Brianna’s Law Now in Effect, Las Vegas Police Can Now Search Your DNA For Any Crime Without Probable Cause

Arrested man and gavelA new law went into effect July 1 that requires police to take a swab of your cheek to collect DNA when you are arrested for a felony. If a court finds police had probable cause to arrest you, police can then run a search of your DNA against a database of all crime scenes.

The basic effect of this new law is that if you are a suspect for one felony, you are then a suspect for all crimes committed. Police and prosecutors now have the power to conduct a warrantless search on a person for crimes they have no probable cause— or any reason at all — to believe that person committed.

The law is a mockery of the Constitution and an affront to the principles of privacy and liberty it espouses. Unfortunately, a slim majority of the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t think so. In the Maryland v. King case decided last month, the Court decided that a similar law was constitutional. The majority opinion outrageously compared taking DNA, which contains all biological data on a person, to taking a fingerprint — that is used for “identification.”

The minority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, correctly points out that the DNA is, in fact, to be taken to search the suspect for other crimes, skipping the normal process that would require police to show probable cause in order to obtain a warrant to collect a sample from the suspect.

The law in Nevada is called “Brianna’s Law.” It is named after a girl who was murdered in Reno in 2008, under the unknowable pretense that it would have somehow kept her alive. It is unfortunate that the Nevada Legislature believed it was necessary to destroy every person’s right to privacy by passing this bill. Every senator, Republican and Democrat alike, voted for it. There were nine members of the Assembly with the bravery and sufficient concern for the privacy of their citizens to vote against it.

While, with the recent United States Supreme Court decision it seems unlikely the law will be repealed or overturned by a Court, it makes it much more important now to hire an effective Las Vegas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest for a felony. If your lawyer can show there was no probable cause for the arrest, the DNA sample should be destroyed.

Similarly, if you are arrested for a felony, but the charge is reduced to a misdemeanor, a request can be made to destroy the evidence. For example, you are arrested for possession with intent to sell marijuana, a felony. Your Las Vegas marijuana defense lawyer could challenge evidence or negotiate down to a misdemeanor possession charge, and then move that the DNA sample be destroyed.  Also, it is important that If you were arrested for a felony and the prosecution did not file charges that you notify the Nevada Criminal Repository to remove your name and your DNA from their database.  Your Las Vegas Record Sealing Attorney will be able to assist you in getting your privacy back.

If You’re Attending the Electric Daisy Carnival, Be Prepared

This month, hundreds of thousands of revelers are expected to descend upon Las Vegas for the annual Electric Daisy Carnival, a multi-day electronic music festival. The festival has a free-wheeling reputation, and many attendees arrive with the expectation that the event is a free-for-all for narcotics. It’s not, however, and every year there are hundreds upon hundreds of arrests at EDC-Las Vegas.

The arrests start at the entrance to the festival. EDC promoters do little to dispel the festival’s reputation, but they do seek to reduce their liability by posting security guards at the door to search the bags of attendees. If they find controlled substances, they will take you to a holding area. There, they will question you. Unlike police, they are not required to read you your Miranda rights, and they are not required to provide you with an attorney once you ask.

After the security guards are finished asking you questions, they will turn you over to police, who will formally arrest you. Anything you told the security guards will be evidence against you.

Once you’re inside the festival, assume security guards and undercover cops are watching everything you do. If they see you with any narcotics you slipped in or acquired once inside, they will detain you and you will likely face Clark County drug charges.

The danger doesn’t stop when you leave the festival. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Nevada Highway Patrol will be posted along all routes leading away from the Electric Daisy Carnival, ready to pull anyone over who they suspect of driving under the influence, either of alcohol or drugs. If they find narcotics in your car, they may also charge you with possession.

Don’t count on being able to skip town and not deal with the charges. You could be extradited, or you could lose your license in your home state.

Here are a couple things to remember if you’re planning to attend the Electric Daisy Carnival:

  • You don’t have to answer questions from security guards. They are not required to advise you of this fact, like police are, but you can refuse to answer questions. They may tell you that if you answer the questions, they’ll just confiscate the drugs and send you on your way into EDC. Do not believe this.
  • Carry with you the contact information of a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney who represents people in Electric Daisy Carnival arrests. An attorney back home will not be able to help you, unless he or she is licensed in Nevada. The sooner after an arrest you have an attorney, the better.

If you’re coming to the Electric Daisy Carnival, have fun, but be ready.

United States Supreme Court Rules DNA Testing Upon Arrest Legal.

United States Supreme Court Rules DNA Testing Upon Arrest Legal.

The Nevada legislature recently passed a bill that called for all felony arrests to be accompanied by taking a DNA sample.  What many people thought was a clear invasion of privacy and a violation of the Fourth Amendment, the United States Supreme Court ruled to day that it was legal.

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