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Can I Go to Jail for Trashing My Las Vegas Hotel Room?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Dec 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

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If your Las Vegas trip includes acting like you're in “The Hangover” by trashing your hotel room, you could trade that luxury suite for accommodations behind bars.

As happened to this California lawyer who caused $100,000 in damage to his suite at the Encore during a drunken birthday party, you can be charged with the Nevada crime of malicious damage to property if you go on a similar rampage in your room, even if the damage is significantly less.

NRS 206.310 provides that:

Every person who shall willfully or maliciously destroy or injure any real or personal property of another… shall be guilty of a public offense proportionate to the value of the property affected or the loss resulting from such offense.

As the statute indicates, any damage to your hotel room or the property inside must have been done “willfully” or “maliciously.” If you accidentally break a lamp or rip a painting in your room, you probably won't be charged with a crime, though the hotel can sue you to recover damages for the things you broke.

If, on the other hand, the room party you had included you throwing objects, intentionally damaging property, or acting in conscious disregard for the risk that property might be damaged by your conduct, you could find the police at your door and yourself put in the back of a squad car.

NRS 206.310 makes the punishment upon conviction “proportionate” to the amount of the damage caused. The more damage you cause, the harsher the consequences.

Specifically, NRS 193.155 establishes four levels of punishment based on the value of the property damaged or destroyed:

  • Damage less than $25: a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $500.
  • Damage between $25 to $249.99: a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in the Clark County Detention Center and a fine of up to $1,000
  • Damage between $250 to $4,999.99: a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in the Clark County Detention Center and a fine of up to $2,000
  • Damage of $5,000 or more: a category C felony, punishable by up to 5 years in Nevada State Prison and a $10,000 fine.

If your stay in Las Vegas resulted in a trashed hotel room and criminal charges for malicious destruction of property, you need to contact a lawyer immediately. Please call one of our experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys today.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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