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Las Vegas law criminalizes a variety of activities that may be civil offenses in other cities and states. Knowing what these surprising criminal offenses include can help residents and visitors avoid arrest and jail time.

Most Commonly Misunderstood Criminal Offenses in Las Vegas

Whether you’re a local or one of Las Vegas’ 40 million visitors, knowing what makes and breaks Las Vegas law is important. Many people mistakenly think that anything goes in Las Vegas, from prostitution to public intoxication. While the city boasts a relaxed attitude, Las Vegas is actually strict on a surprising number of activities, including those that may be legal or only civil offenses in other cities.

Financial Crimes: Spousal Support and Casino Markers

In Las Vegas, if you don’t make court-ordered child and spousal support payments, you may face criminal charges. Although there are some exceptions for unemployment, incarceration and illness, those who owe back payments to a child or former spouse could face jail time for up to five years.

Similarly, failing to pay your casino marker is a crime. Once the casino and district attorney complete a few steps to collect your unpaid debt, a warrant for your arrest can be issued. If you’re not a Nevada resident, you may be extradited to face the charges. To avoid arrest, it’s best to seek help from a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney before the district attorney completes the notification process.

Soliciting for Sex

Contrary to popular belief, solicitation and prostitution are not legal in Las Vegas. Nevada licenses brothels in the state, and prostitution is allowed only in those licensed sites. No licensed brothels are located within Las Vegas city limits. Solicitation and prostitution crimes carry fines and penalties of up to six months in jail, but soliciting a minor can land offenders in state prison for up to four years.

Finding an Advocate for Your Case

If you have been accused of one of these crimes, or you think you will be, it’s important to seek the help of an attorney with experience and a proven track record of criminal defense in Las Vegas.