And by Hot August Nights, I don’t mean those scorching nights in the height of summer when cases of heat stroke are imminent (on that note, I advise that you all stay hydrated!). By Hot August Nights, I am of course referring to the annual summer event where hundreds of people descend upon Reno for a week of Show-n-Shines, nostalgia, entertainment, and revelry. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Hot August Nights, so it’s bound to be bigger, better, and most likely, a little rowdier than before.
Over the years, law enforcement in Reno have done a tremendous job keeping Hot August Nights revelers safe; both residents and tourists have also been on their best behavior. In 2014, the Reno Police Department reported 14 arrests, a 40% decrease from the previous year. In 2015, that number was even lower: Just 5 arrests.
While we want to keep the troublemaking down to a minimum (or none at all), things happen. You get drunk, you get riled up, and soon you find yourself getting detained for your own protection. As a criminal defense attorney in Reno, I’ve seen it happen time and again: people getting arrested, being charged with misdemeanors, or being taken into civil protective custody, so trust me when I say that staying out of trouble at events like Hot August Nights is something that can and should be avoided.
Don’t Drink and Drive
It’s Hot August Nights; of course you’re going to drink! Here’s the thing, though: With hundreds of people flocking to Reno during this weeklong event, the Reno Police Department is serious about taking drunk drivers off the road. Don’t be one of these drunk drivers, unless you want to get slapped with a DUI and face hefty fines, license suspension, and jail time. If you’ve had more than two drinks, call a cab or ask a friend – a sober friend – to drive you home.
Here’s a challenge to responsible adults: In 2015, a minor was found in possession of alcohol. Let’s do the entire community a favor by not giving alcohol to minors. Yes, you’re feeling incredibly friendly, but make sure that the person you’re offering a drink to is of legal age.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
Sadly, fist fights aren’t exactly uncommon at events like Hot August Nights. People are pumped! Add alcohol to the mix and you have an intoxicated group of people that can’t be reasoned with. While Hollywood movies tend to glamorize bar brawls, these fights carry severe consequences. In Nevada, these actions are considered battery and assault, which are both violent crimes. If you’re charged with and convicted of assault, you could face up to six months of jail time. It’s the same with battery charges. So remember to keep your cool.
Don’t Do Drugs
I know you’re not in high school; you don’t need to be told to not do drugs, but this is the effect that big events have on people. They make people feel bold, daring, and adventurous. Well, a little adventure like, oh, I don’t know, the possession and unlawful use of a controlled substance can get you into deep trouble. If found guilty of such an offense (and depending on the kind of drug found in your possession), you could be ordered to cough up money for fines up to $20,000 or face one to four years in Nevada State Prison. A good criminal defense attorney can help get your case reduced to misdemeanor drug charges, but come on, why risk it? Don’t do drugs, and you’ll be fine.
Did you think I was going to say, “Don’t resist the temptation”? Well, too bad. I was actually referring to “resisting arrest”, which occurs when an individual interferes with a police officer’s attempt to make a lawful arrest. This can be in the form of running away, hiding, or worse, threatening or acting violently toward said police officer. If you are arrested, invoke your rights to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
If you do get busted…
Whether it’s for a DUI, assault, drug possession, or obstruction/ resisting, the first thing you need to do is find a criminal defense attorney who knows the nuances of Nevada law like the back of their hand. Veteran Reno arrest attorney Richard P. Davies has years of legal experience and can help you build a strong defense to your case. Contact our law office today for a free case evaluation.