Tag Archives: Drug Arrest

What Happens in Vegas Can Affect Your Career

iStock_000003792613SmallcropLas Vegas is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World and for good reason. Vegas offers a wide variety of tourist attractions, including casinos, performance venues, luxury hotels, and fine dining. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority 41,126,512 tourists visited the city in 2015. Many tourists regard Las Vegas as a place where they can figuratively let their hair down, because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?  That’s not necessarily the case.

While Las Vegas has several features to brag about, like The Strip, Venetian Hotel, Caesar’s Palace and The Colosseum, and the Stratosphere Tower, it also has a more sinister side.

Las Vegas Drug Statistics

According to the 2015 Nevada Crime and Corrections Statistics, 10.8 percent of the state’s populations are illicit drug users; ranking the state number 14 in the U.S. All drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, acid, and prescription drugs, are widely available.

During the last 10 years per capita sales of Oxycodone increased by 366 percent.1 Hydrocodone sales increased by 233 percent.1 In recent years club drugs, including MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, LSE, and K2, have also spiked in popularity, especially among the nightclub and adult entertainment scenes.

The wide availability of illicit drugs and the “what happens in Vegas” mantra often results in serious criminal charges for tourists, including possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance (PCS), or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Drug Possession and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Nevada

Possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia are two of the most common drug-related offenses in Nevada. An individual may be charged with possession of a controlled substance, if the individual has in his or her possession or custody a narcotic such as marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, or other controlled substance.

Depending on the circumstances, an individual may be charged with possession of a controlled substance without having said controlled substance in his or her custody or control. It is possible to be charged with possession of a controlled substance for simply being around a controlled substance.

As earlier stated, possession of drug paraphernalia is another common drug-related offense in Las Vegas. Drug paraphernalia is considered any product, material, or equipment which is used for the purpose of producing, concealing, or using narcotics.

Nevada Drug Possession Penalties

Any conviction for possession of a controlled substance has serious consequences, including steep fines and/or jail time. In the state of Nevada, the penalties for drug possession depend on the amount of drugs possessed, the schedule the drug falls under, and whether the individual has previously been convicted for a drug offense.

In Nevada, drugs are divided into 5 schedules.

  • Schedule I consists of drugs that are considered highly abused and have no accepted medical use. Schedule I consists of heroin, MDMA, LSD, GHB, Methamphetamine, PCP, and Marijuana (THC).
  • Schedule II consists of drugs that have an accepted use, but still have a high tendency of abuse. The following drugs generally require a prescription. Schedule 2 consists of Cocaine, Opium, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, Morphine, and Ritalin.
  • Schedule III consists of drugs that have less potential for abuse and may have an accepted medical use. These substances include Codeine, Ketamine, Testosterone, and Anabolic Steroids.
  • Schedule IV consists of drugs that have low potential for abuse or addiction and an accepted medical use. These drugs include Xanax, Tranquilizers, Valium, Clonazepam, and Sedatives.
  • Schedule V consists of drugs that have an accepted medical use and limited addictive properties. Schedule V includes cough suppressant and Codeine.

As mentioned earlier, Schedule I drugs like MDMA, LSD, and GHB are popular among Las Vegas’ nightclub scene and are widely available to tourists. A conviction for possession of these substances can be particularly problematic for a tourist, because first-offense possession of a schedule I narcotic is considered a category E felony in Nevada. A category E felony carries a penalty between one to four years in prison and a fine of no more than $5,000.

Las Vegas Drug Possession Conviction Can Affect Your Career

A felony drug possession conviction does not stay in Vegas. The collateral consequences can follow an individual for years and negatively impact all aspects of life, especially one’s career.

Most employers perform a criminal background check before extending an official offer of employment. While a criminal conviction may not automatically bar an individual from employment. Most employers will deny employment if there is a correlation between the drug possession conviction and the position.

Depending on the profession, a drug possession conviction may have more damning consequences.

  • Teachers– In certain states a felony drug conviction may bar an individual from obtaining a professional licensure or certification. For example, in Ohio an individual may not obtain a certification to teach if he or she is convicted of a felony drug-related offense.2
  • Lawyers– In certain states, including Kansas, Texas, Missouri, and Mississippi, an applicant is automatically barred from bar admission if convicted of a felony. Other states, including Georgia, Alabama, Connecticut, and Indiana, place significant barriers to bar membership if convicted of a felony.3
  • Police Officer– Most states do not allow convicted felons to become police officers. For example, Texas does not allow individuals convicted of a felony become a police officer at any time after the conviction.4

Conclusion

Joel Mann of the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, Chtd. is a criminal offense attorney based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has extensive experience defending tourists and out-of-state residents in drug-related offenses, including possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, drug trafficking, possession with the intent to sell or distribute, and prescription pill offenses.

Joel Mann is a trial proven attorney, who will achieve the best result in your case based on your unique circumstances. For many first-time drug possession offenders, Attorney Mann gets the charges reduced or dismissed.

The Law Office of Joel M. Mann, Chtd. diligently represents both tourists and local residents facing drug charges in Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada. Contact Joel Mann at (702) 474-6266 for a confidential consultation.

Resources

  1. National Geographic, Facts: Last Vegas “Interesting Facts Related to This Episode, September 28, 2012- http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/drugs-inc/articles/facts-las-vegas/
  2. Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3301-20-01: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3319.31
  3. Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements: http://www.ncbex.org/pubs/bar-admissions-guide/2016/index.html#p=19
  4. Requirements for Licensed Law Enforcement Careers: https://www.tcole.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/le_careers_lic_requir_11.pdf

 

Nevada Prescription Drug Abuse

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Nevada Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug dependency and abuse has become a nationwide health epidemic claiming approximately 50 lives each day and over 16,000 lives each year. Compared to national averages:

  • Nevada ties as one of the top states in writing painkiller prescriptions
  • Nevadans consume over two times as many prescription drugs as any other state; and
  • Clark County has more deaths by drug overdose from prescription narcotics than by any other street drug

The ease of obtaining a prescription and the lack of transparency in prescription drug history are both to blame for the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

New Law SB288

Senate Bill No. 288 was created in an attempt to combat the rise in prescription drug abuse by monitoring prescription history. The Bill proposed that all authorized personnel who handle commercially manufactured prescription narcotics be granted access to a prescription drug database, and required to maintain access to this database by logging in at least twice a year.

It also granted the State Board of Pharmacy and the Investigation Division of the Department of Public Safety the authority to discipline those who failed to comply. These new requirements for those authorized to write and fill prescriptions would help support the National Drug Control Strategy. After months of revisions, Senate Bill 288 was passed and went into effect as NRS 453.1545 on January 1, 2016

NRS 453.1545  outlined the state’s computerized prescription monitoring program (PMP) requirements:

  1. Board of Pharmacy Registrants who prescribe controlled substances are required to register with the PMP
  2. Board of Pharmacy Registrants registered with the PMP are required to monitor the system and view
  3. Provision’s to NRS 453.1545 are enforceable by the occupational licensing boards within that state

The new law tightens regulations on doctors, pharmacist, and other medical personnel to ensure that they are using the prescription monitoring database to track drug prescriptions as well as flag cases of potential drug abuse.

Prescription Pill Offenses

Contrary to popular belief, charges for possession of a controlled substance (which includes prescription pills) is very serious offense in Nevada. Types of arrest for prescription pill offenses include:

  • doctor shopping
  • possession of a medication without proof of a prescription
  • illegal possession of medication; and
  • prescription fraud

Individuals charged with prescription pill fraud can result in:

  • a category C felony for doctor shopping punishable by a 1-5 year prison sentence and fined up to $10,000
  • First and Second convictions for illegal possession of prescriptions is punishable by a category E felony punishable by 1-4 year prison sentence
  • Three or more conviction for illegal possession of prescription pills can result in a category D felony punishable by a 1-4 year prison sentence and/or a fine up to $20,000

Additionally, doctors and medical personnel who are charged with prescription pill offenses in Nevada can be charged with a category C felony punishable by a1-5 year prison sentence and fined up to $10,000.

Conclusion

In the state of Nevada, drug crimes are not treated leniently, and penalties for the sale, use or possession of controlled substances can be harsh.

If you have been arrested and charged with prescription fraud, illegal possession of a prescription or doctor shopping in Clark County or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann to discuss your criminal charges.

Joel Mann is an experienced Las Vegas drug lawyer who will do everything in his power to help you achieve the most desirable outcome in your situation. Call (702) 474-6266 today for a free consultation about your alleged drug crime in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Arrests on New Year’s Eve 2015-16

iStock_000003177126SmallIf you are coming to Las Vegas to celebrate on New Year Eve you need to be aware of the dangers in your revelry.  The amount of tourist traveling to nightclubs and gentlemen’s club will substantially increase as many people come to Las Vegas to ring in the New Year. Many club-hoppers, who overindulge in drugs and alcohol, make bad decisions. The loud music, dancing, and crowds often influence people take chances they wouldn’t normally take.  Make sure you do not put yourself another statistic.

Law enforcement officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (“LVMPD”) use this opportunity to crack down on drug crimes and rack up arrests for a variety of related offenses, including DUI.

If you going to a nightclub in Las Vegas on the evening of December 31, 2015, or the early morning hours of January 1, 2016, you should expect local law enforcement officers to be out in full force.

In some cases, overly aggressive bouncers and security officers work with law enforcement to help them arrest a patron of the club. An arrest for using or selling any controlled substance comes with serious consequences under Nevada law.

It is important for you to recognize that the Las Vegas nightclubs have staff watching at every location, especially the bathrooms.  Joel Mann has had many drug cases originate from club staff waiting in the bathroom for any signs of drug use.  Once they suspect you of using drugs they will take you into custody and bring you down to the casino’s holding room, awaiting for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to arrive.

The most commonly used drugs in Las Vegas nightclubs include: marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, GHB and heroin.

Defenses to drug crimes after an arrest in a Las Vegas nightclub can include:

  1. The law enforcement officer conducted an illegal search in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution that should lead to the suppression of the evidence at trial;
  2. The law enforcement officer or someone acting in cooperation with the officer manufactured the crime and entrapped the defendant into using or selling drugs when the defendant was not otherwise predisposed to commit the crime; or
  3. The defendant did not actually or consecutively possess the drug because he didn’t know of its presence.

Knowledge often becomes in issue in drug cases in area nightclubs because another person could secretly plant the drugs on the defendant in order to avoid detection.

The penalties and punishments for drug possession in Las Vegas, Nevada, depend on a host of factors including the type of narcotics possessed, the quantity of the narcotics, and the surrounding circumstances.

Under Nevada law, a criminal charge of selling drugs is classified as either a Category C felony or a Category B felony depending on the type of drugs sold. The maximum sentence for these offenses includes a lengthy prison sentence and stiff fines.

For possession with intent to sale, the offense is classified as a Category D felony.

Simple possession of a controlled substance is a Category E felony in Nevada that carries with it one to four years in prison. For first time offenders charged with a possession charge, it is usually possible to avoid any incarceration by completing counseling and probation.

Drug crimes involving marijuana involve an entirely different set of penalties.

The top nightclubs in Las Vegas, Nevada, include:

  • Bellagio:
    • The Bank
    • Hyde
  • The Cromwell:
    • Drai’s
  • Delano:
    • FDR
  • Hard Rock Hotel:
    • Vanity
    • Body English
  • Luxor:
    • Savile Row
    • LAX
  • Mandalay Bay:
    • Foundation Room
    • LIGHT
  • Mirage:
    • 1OAK
  • Palms:
    • Rain
    • Moon
    • Ghostbar
  • Paris:
    • Chateau
  • Planet Hollywood:
    • Extra Lounge
  • SLS:
    • LiFE
  • The Sayers Club
    • Foxtail
  • Wynn:
    • XS
    • Tryst
    • Surrender
  • Venetian:
    • Tao

Additional Resources

Statistics on New Year’s Eve Arrests in Las Vegas – Each year the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) releases final statistics on the number of arrests made on New Year’s Eve. The 2014-2015 New Year’s Eve celebration stood out as one of the most orderly within recent history with 19 people being booked into the Clark County Detention Center on various felony and misdemeanor offenses. Two other people received Class II citations from within the Strip corridor. The Downtown Area Command, which covers the Fremont Street Experience, reported 3 arrests. Only 9 DUI arrests occurred within the Metro’s jurisdiction. By comparison, for the New Year’s Eve celebration four years earlier, 159 people were arrested including 68 arrests for DUI by the police department and another 48 arrests for DUI by the Nevada Highway Patrol.

Conclusion

Joel Mann is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has extensive experience defending clients charged with drug and alcohol related offenses. He is experienced with the tactics used by officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in drug cases in area nightclubs during New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Joel Mann also knows the importance of obtaining the surveillance video of the incident when it is likely to be helpful to the case. In many cases the surveillance video might help establish important defenses to the charges.

For your New Year’s Celebration, keep in mind that area police will be out in full force. If an arrest occurs, contact Joel Mann to discuss your case and important defense to protect your good name after a criminal charge is made against you. For charges related to drug crimes or DUI, Joel Mann has the experience to help you fight for the best result in your case.

Bruno Mars Arrested, Are You Next???

 In 2010 Bruno Mars was arrested when he was at a night club in the Hard Rock Casino.  Mars had gone to the bathroom and a bathroom attendant believed Mars to be using drugs and detained him for the police.

What happened to Bruno Mars in 2010 happens every night in Las Vegas Night Clubs.  I have numerous clients who call me about being arrested after going to the bathroom in various Las Vegas night clubs.  The Clubs and the Las Vegas Casinos hire people to literally stand in the bathroom and watch people use the facilities.  The so-called bathroom attendants are not there to assist customers use the facilities and enjoy mints after relieving themselves, rather these attendants are trained to spy on people and attempt to determine those that are using drugs.

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Bruno Mars Mug Shot

Once a bathroom attendant suspects you of using drugs the attendant will do whatever it takes to catch you in the act.  I have seen numerous cases were the attendant looks over the top of the stall, kicks in the stall door, or publicly berate you until you come out of the stall.  These attendants have very little limitations on what they can do because they are employed by the property and it is a public restroom.

In Bruno Mars arrest, according to the report, a bathroom attendant approached a security officer at the facility to say that there was a man in a bathroom stall who might be using drugs, telling the guard that a male in the bathroom was “taking a really long time.”

The attendant said he observed the suspect in a striped shirt with a “baggy of white powder substance.” The attendant and the security guard approached the suspect as he exited the stall, and the guard ordered Mars to hand over whatever narcotics he had on him. “This is when Hernandez, with his left hand, pulled out a white powder substance, which was consistent with cocaine, from his left-front jeans pocket.”

When the guard asked Mars if he knew why he was being detained, the singer reportedly said, “Can I speak to you honestly, sir?” and then said he “did a foolish thing and has never used drugs before.”

That is another mistake that I often see people get into with the Las Vegas night clubs.  People who are detained immediately state that the drugs are theirs and request to just be released.  Law makers and police have come down hard on the growing and very profitable night club industry, if the clubs let suspected drug users go then they would put their license to own a club in jeopardy.  Therefore the night clubs have a zero tolerance for anything that appears to be drug use.  No matter what you say the police will be contacted to deal with anyone suspected of drug use.

Remember when you go to these Las Vegas night clubs don’t assume your trip to the bathroom is a private trip.  If you are in this situation, you should always remember you have a constitutional right to remain silent.

Electric Daisy Carnival – Police are looking to arrest drug users

If you are like the 80,000 other people coming in to Las Vegas to attend the Electric Daisy Carnival then you should be aware that with all the negative publicity the RAVE is getting these days that the police are going to be vigilent in cracking down on drug offenses.  Understanding your rights will be critical to preventing a fun all night rave into a terrible mistake. 

First, despite what you see on TV commercials, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas.  If you are caught with drugs you will more than likely be arrested and eventually charged with a felony.  It is a felony to possess any drugs (except marijuana which depending on the amount is a misdemeanor) in Nevada.  It is also a felony to be under the influence of any drug including marijuana. 

The police will probably not search you when you enter the RAVE. This is similar to how the casino’s operate the pool parties and night clubs.  More than likely the organization will have paid security guards going through your bags, wallet, pockets, etc.  If they find anything that is illegal they will escort you away from the carnival into a holding area.  Once you are there they will ask you questions.  The answers to these questions can and will be used against you if you are charged with a crime.  The security guards are allowed to ask you these questions as they are not the government doing the questioning.  Once they have confirmed who you are and that you have committed a crime they will contact the police who will be present on hand to formally arrest people that are committing crimes.  What you need to know is that the security guards are not the police and there are different rules that apply to them.  

You still can protect your rights. 

  1. Your first right is to remain silent.  It is a constitutional right and if you are in trouble you should invoke that right. 
  2. Second, do not admit to anything as this will be used against you, but don’t lie either, so refer to the first step…remain silent.
  3. Third, do not fight the security guards or the police.  This will just add more aggravation to your life and add additional more charges.  When you have a defense you need to let your lawyer do your fighting for you.

To avoid the issue involving drugs, make sure you do not have any drugs on your person when you enter the carnival.  It is important that you do not hold anyone’s stuff as they may have drugs in their stuff and you will be left literally holding the bag for them.  They will search everything you have when you enter the Electric Daisy Carnival and you need to be aware anything found on you will be charged against you.  The Police are on heightened alert and the organizers are trying to deal with bad press, they will be working together to put it all on you as those people trying to destroy a good time.  Be careful and be safe.

 

 

 

Kentucky v. King, US Supreme Court allows Police to enter without warrants

In the United States Supreme Court’s most recent decision of Kentucky v. King, No. 09-1272 , the Supreme Court has further eroded the value of the 4th Amendment.  The opinion allows for police to enter a person’s home without a warrant based on the suspicion that there is criminal activity going on.  In the Kentucky case the officers followed a suspected drug dealer into a home and then knocked on the door.  Upon knocking the police heard what they believed was movement and destruction of potentian evidence.  The Police then entered without a warrant and saw drugs in plain sight.  The US Supreme Court said this was ok because of exigent circumstances.

Drug cases are often times very much about police procedure and following proper 4th amendment searches. For more information see: http://www.legalmann.com/CriminalDefense/DrugCharges.aspx

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