Heading over to Sin City for the weekend? Every week, thousands of tourists flock to Las Vegas to immerse themselves in the pleasures this glamorous city has to offer. The old adage, however, about ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’, doesn’t hold true when it comes to criminal law.
Nevada has its laws just like any other state, and it’s all too easy for a tourist to overstep the boundaries and end up in a courtroom. While Inmate101 is an ideal resource to know about the state’s prisons, we’d much rather you not face legal convictions.
Before heading off for a wild weekend, therefore, get acquainted with these basic Las Vegas laws so that you can have fun responsibly.
Nevada, and especially Las Vegas, are famous for their relaxed liquor laws. It is legal to buy alcohol all day on any day of the week, and public consumption in places like The Strip is also legal subject to regulations on breach of peace due to intoxication or when driving a vehicle. It is still illegal, however, for minors (people under the age of 21) to buy, be supplied with or to be allowed into establishments that sell alcohol.
Gun Control Laws
Nevada has a colorful history as part of the Wild West, and its gun control laws are fairly relaxed even today. The State operates on a ‘shall issue’ basis – so any qualified applicant above 21 years of age must be given a concealed carry permit. Loaded firearms can be carried openly in Las Vegas and every other part of Nevada except inside a vehicle or on a public road. In addition, convicted felons cannot possess firearms.
One of the biggest questions every tourist has is about whether marijuana is legal in Las Vegas. And the answer is yes – recreational cannabis has been legal since June 30, 2017!
This comes with a set of caveats, however. While everyone above the age of 21 can buy marijuana as long as they hold valid ID, Las Vegas deems it illegal to consume it in a public place like a casino or The Strip – and you can be fined up to $1000 for doing so.
You also need to be careful about carrying marijuana in your car – while you can transport it in a sealed container in a vehicle, it’s illegal to consume it in your car, even if it’s your own vehicle.
Las Vegas might be the ultimate party destination, but its laws on cocaine are as strict as anywhere else in the United States. The sale of cocaine is a felony crime in Nevada and could mean imprisonment for up to 20 years, and even possession could bring you 6 years – with double penalties if the offense is near a school. You can consult a Nevada drug crime attorney to know more.
Personal Injury Laws
Personal injuries happen all day across Las Vegas, from speeding buses causing car accidents to wet floors tripping up people. You can file a lawsuit in cases where you believe that someone else was legally responsible for your injury. The standard timeframe within which you must file a lawsuit is two years, although it can go up to three years in case of medical malpractice. The extent of the damages you can claim depends on the degree of your own negligence. In Las Vegas, as long as you are less than 51% negligent, you can press charges.
Nevada is notorious for legalizing gambling, and the casinos of Las Vegas are famous around the world. The Gaming Control Board, however, has a strict set of regulations in place to govern gambling activities. These regulations can often be hard to remember, especially for a tourist – if you find yourself in possible contravention of these rules, consulting a Nevada gaming attorney is your best bet.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal across the United States, and Nevada has its own laws for dealing with those driving under the influence of intoxicants. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more is deemed illegal, with the figure being 0.02% for drivers under 21 years of age. Punishments include community service, fines of up to $5000, driver’s license revoking and imprisonment for up to six years depending on how many previous DUI convictions the person has.
Disorderly Conduct Laws
Referred to as ‘breach of peace’ laws in Nevada, these laws are related to conduct that disturbs the public peace. A person can be guilty of breaching the peace, provoking someone else to breach the peace or assembling in order to breach the peace. Common defenses include lack of intent or self-defense against another party’s provocation. You can consult a Nevada criminal defense lawyer for advice on disorderly conduct laws.
Las Vegas, in short, allows its visitors a lot of licenses to have fun, but there are laws just like in any city to protect its residents and maintain public order. Keep the above laws in mind, therefore, and you can enjoy a safe and unforgettable weekend in Vegas!