Las Vegas hotels offer world-renowned restaurants, dazzling live shows, endless shopping opportunities, and of course bustling casino floors. As a visitor to Vegas, you likely spent a significant amount of time weighing your options and choosing your ideal hotel for its amenities and attractions.
However, when you are arrested while vacationing, the fact that you’re staying in temporary lodging may complicate this process, especially if you are in custody at your scheduled checkout time.
The belongings you have with you at the time of your arrest can be confiscated and returned to you after your release. This step in the booking process does not apply to anything, or anyone, you may have left in your hotel room.
In this blog, we discuss the fundamentals of what happens when your arrest causes you to miss a checkout.
Belongings in the Room
While you occupy a hotel room for the amount of time you agreed upon and paid for, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. You can learn more about how reasonable expectation of privacy applies to guest quarters in our previous blog, “Officers At Your Las Vegas Hotel Room Door? Know Your Rights.”
However, after your occupancy expires, so does this expectation for privacy. At this point, the hotel may remove your belongings at their discretion and place them in lost-and-found storage.
The amount of time between a missed checkout and belonging removal depends on hotel policy, whether the hotel is booked to capacity, and whether or not you have notified the hotel of the delay. Typically, the hotel will not remove your items until several hours have passed.
Contact the hotel or ask a loved one to do so on your behalf as soon as you have access to a phone. Use this opportunity to pay for more time in the room, release your belongings into your loved one’s care, or ask about the hotel’s lost-and-found policies so you know what to do when you can come back.
The care of your children or any of-age individuals you have guardianship over is one of your biggest concerns in the event of an arrest. If your children or wards are there during the arrest, the officers who take you into custody will assess the situation to decide if they should take your children into temporary custody.
If another parent, close relative, family friend, or other legally acceptable caregiver is available, your child will be placed in this individual’s care. However, if you are vacationing alone with your children and no one you know can make the trip or none of the adults traveling with you are considered suitable guardians, Child Services will care for your wards.
If your children are old enough to take care of themselves and any younger children, they may stay in a hotel room through the paid date.
If your children or wards are not present during the arrest, it is your responsibility to notify a secondary guardian, law enforcement, and/or Child Services of their whereabouts. If you fail to do so and the choice results in harm, such as heat stroke or malnutrition, you are legally responsible.
If your child is left in a hotel room when the occupancy ends, the hotel will call law enforcement or Child Services.
Similar rules apply if your pet is left in a hotel room. Law enforcement officers may decide to take the animal into temporary care or call a shelter if they see the pet during the arrest, but officers are not required to do so. You are responsible for arranging care, such as a kennel, for your pet during any jail time.
A missed checkout almost always impacts your overall hotel bill. The exact circumstances determine how big of a hit the final sum takes. Most hotels have a standard fine amount for missed checkouts.
However, if you do not make it back to the hotel for several hours after checkout or you are detained overnight, you may see much larger charges.
If you have a personal or company car in hotel parking, the vehicle is subject to parking enforcement rules. The car may be booted or towed and impounded at your expense after your occupancy ends. In this situation, you can retrieve the car after paying relevant fines.
Your vehicle may be impounded and retained as evidence by local law enforcement if officers believe you committed a crime while using it, such as a DUI, or that they will need the car to collect evidence in your case. In this situation, you may have to wait to retrieve the car until the end of your court case.
If you have been arrested, reach out to your hotel reception staff as soon as possible to safeguard your belongings and protect any people or pets in your care.
To ensure that you can collect your belongings and minimize the negative consequences of the arrest and checkout occurring simultaneously, begin working with an experienced bail bondsman as soon as possible.