Las Vegas, Nevada is known as “Sin City” for a multitude of reasons, and a lot of those reasons will land you behind bars. Last year, 39 million tourists visited the city, which has a population of 2 million, and there were a recorded 79,000 arrests.
Tourists seem to get arrested more in the city, and as the Vegas Chatter notes, most of the incidents involve alcohol. Paul Caruso, owner of Express Bail Bonds, says that tourists can usually get out of jail free thanks to loopholes in the system.
“If you go to jail for certain offenses and you’re from out of state, you’re going to be let out in Las Vegas. There’s no need to even post a bond,” Caruso said. “If you go to jail for a DUI, for instance, normally it would be a $2,000 bail. By law, the bondsman charges 15 percent or $300 to the person in jail and then we would post the bail for you. But these days, you’ll just get an OR, or an Own Recognizance.”
Express Bail Bonds has been family operated for over 15 years and currently offers free bond delivery for people in all parts of the Las Vegas area. Caruso notes that one of the reasons tourists are generally not prosecuted for crimes in the city is because it usually costs them more.
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“If you’re from out of state and you go to jail, they don’t charge you any money to get out,” Caruso claimed. “The officers will say you don’t need to call a bondsman and will start the release process right away. The reason for this is that they need to clear out the jails. What’s more, the District Attorney opts not to file these cases. When you get out, you get a DA Denial from the District Attorney if you’re a tourist. Its too expensive to try your case if you’re out of state. For locals, that’s another story. If you live in Las Vegas and you’re a local, it’s a lot easier for the DA to pursue your case. It's cheaper.”
As Caruso mentioned, another main reason that tourists are released after getting arrested is because of a shortage of guards. Back in 2012, reports claimed that nearly 70 inmates were released from an area prison due to financial issues and budget cuts as well as an unbalanced personnel to inmate ratio.
“As a local bondsman in Las Vegas, I look at everyone as a potential client,” Caruso said. “Vegas sometimes brings good people to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do and it gets them into trouble. I’m not sure how long this is going to last in Vegas with the state of the justice system and tourists. But that’s how it is now. Crimes that often get thrown out from tourists include burglary, drug possession, possession of a stolen vehicle, drug possession with intent to sell, and more. The quote, ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,’ is totally correct if you’re a tourist.”
It’s no secret that Las Vegas is a place that people go to let loose and party, but sometimes, things can get out of hand. Thankfully, loopholes in the system can mean that those who get into minor trouble on their vacation don’t have to have their lives ruined.