Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Nevada DUI Laws to learn more.
Immigrating to the U.S. is a gauntlet of forms, rules and interviews. But our attorneys are committed to making the process as quick and easy for you as possible. Visit our page on Nevada immigration laws to learn more.
Is hotel security in Las Vegas allowed to search me for drugs?
Las Vegas hotel security guards are not police. Therefore, they are not bound by the Fourth Amendment. They do not need search warrants – or a constitutional exception to the search warrant requirement – to search a hotel patron for drugs.
However, hotel security rarely searches patrons for drugs without their permission. In practice, hotel security typically sets up checkpoints at the entrance to special events, nightclubs, or pool parties. Patrons cannot enter without being searched. And patrons who refuse to be searched can simply leave. If hotel security suspects a patron has drugs, they typically will call the police.
Can security guards perform a citizen’s arrest for having drugs?
Yes. Since security guards are not law enforcement officers, they can perform citizen’s arrests like any other person can pursuant to NRS 171.126. As long as hotel security has reasonable cause to believe the suspect possesses drugs, the guards can restrain the person using no more force than necessary. And since guards are not police, they do not need an arrest warrant.
If the patron fights back against the security guard, the guard may use self-defense with reasonable force. Otherwise, guards should simply restrain the arrestee until the police can arrive.
If security guards use excessive force – or perform a citizen’s arrest without good cause – the arrestee may have grounds to bring a civil lawsuit for battery and false imprisonment.
Less than 28 grams of Schedule III, IV, or V drugs
A first or second offense is a category E felony. In general, charges can be dismissed without jail if the defendant completes the sentencing terms. Defendants with two or more prior felony convictions face 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
42 grams to less than 100 grams of Schedule I or II drugs
Category B felony:
2 – 15 years in prison, and
$50,000 in fines
Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB); or
1 – 6 years in prison
Although it is now legal in Nevada to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana at home, it is illegal to possess any amount of marijuana in public. Consuming marijuana in public is a misdemeanor carrying a $600 fine. Read more in our article on marijuana possession.
About the Author
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, 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.