Paris Hilton Arrested on Cocaine Charges

Last Updated 2:40 p.m. ET

Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton was arrested Friday night and booked into the Clark County Detention Center for possession of a controlled substance, described by Las Vegas Metro Police as cocaine.

CBS News legal analyst Lisa Bloom says a conviction would probably mean more time behind bars for Hilton.

She was a passenger in a car when Metro conducted a traffic stop around 11:30 p.m. Friday in front of the Wynn Hotel and Casino, according to Officer Marcus Martin, public information officer, who spoke with CBS affiliate KLAS-TV.

Martin said the motorcycle officer pulled over the black Cadillac Escalade, driven by Hilton's boyfriend, nightclub mogul Cy Waits, after noticing smoke that smelled like marijuana. Police later found a substance in Hilton's purse that tests showed to be cocaine, Martin said. He didn't say how much of the drug was found.

A crowd quickly gathered when Hilton and Waits were stopped, and pictures and cell phone video were later posted on the celebrity website TMZ.com.

The 29-year-old celebrity socialite was taken into the hotel "to keep her safe" during the initial investigation, police Lt. Wayne Holman said.

Hilton was arrested on suspicion of felony cocaine possession.

Waits, 34, was arrested on misdemeanor suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Paris and the Police
Paris Hilton

Both were booked into the Clark County jail, where Martin said Hilton was released without bail about 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Less than an hour later, Hilton's Twitter account was updated with a posting that said the actress was in bed watching the television show "Family Guy," and then that she was going to sleep. It was unclear if the tweets came from her, were posted by time-release or were sent by someone else.

If convicted of the low-grade felony, Hilton would get probation. Any violation of probation would be punishable by one to four years in Nevada state prison.

Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined comment Saturday about the case.

Hilton's attorney, David Chesnoff, told The Associated Press on Saturday morning that he was still gathering facts about the arrest.

"I caution people not to rush to judgment," he said.

Waits' lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, said Waits posted $2,000 bail and was expected to be released Saturday.

Court appearance dates for Hilton and Waits were not immediately available.

Schonfeld said he was "troubled by the circumstances" leading to the arrest, but declined to specify his concerns.

"As the case proceeds, a lot of facts are going to come to light that will ultimately lead to exoneration," Schonfeld said.

Hilton's manager did not immediately respond early Saturday to telephone calls for comment. Hilton's publicist, Dawn Miller, did not immediately return an e-mail message.

A spokeswoman for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Waits and his twin brother, Jesse, are managing partners of the Tryst Nightclub inside Wynn Las Vegas, Drai's after hours club at Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon, and XS The Nightclub at Wynn's Encore resort. A spokeswoman for Harrah's resorts declined immediate comment.

TMZ.com reported Hilton and her boyfriend, Cy Waits, were likely headed to Las Vegas on a private jet from Los Angeles Friday. Waits runs several nightclubs in the city.

Hilton was arrested this summer after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The case was then dropped at a midnight court hearing.

Hilton also pleaded no contest in 2007 to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. After spending about 23 days in jail, Hilton told U.S. television host Larry King that the experience caused her to re-evaluate the role partying played in her life. She said she wanted "to help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis."

Lisa Bloom told "Early Show on Saturday Morning" co-anchor Chris Wragge she thinks Hilton is "probably" staring at more jail time if she's convicted. "In Nevada," Bloom explained, "the sentence for a conviction of a Schedule 2 narcotic, which is what cocaine is, is probation-to-four years if it's a relatively small amount. If it's a larger amount, four grams or more, it could be up to 20 years in state prison. Assuming it's a small amount, I don't think she would get probation this time. ... She has a prior conviction in California. We remember the reckless endangerment charge. And she violated her probation twice in California. So, if she's convicted, I expect her to do some time on this."

" ... Nevada is a very tough law and order state, notwithstanding Las Vegas' reputation. Judges are very tough there on drug crimes," Bloom added.

"There's really only two defenses to a drug possession charge, and that is, 'The police illegally searched my car' or 'I didn't do it.' It doesn't sound, based on the facts we know so early on now, that either of those are gonna be present here," Bloom pointed out. "She should be considering, obviously, her public reputation, first and foremost. She makes millions of dollars a year as model and as a spokesperson. All of that is in jeopardy from this act if she did it."

Not only that, said Bloom, but, "Judges do not want to appear soft on a celebrity. We saw that with Lindsay Lohan going to jail, and now we're gonna see that with Paris Hilton (if she's convicted)."

To see the entire Bloom interview, click on the video player below.

Earlier this week, Hilton was in the news when a 31-year-old man allegedly tried to break into her Los Angeles home.

Authorities have said that someone carrying two big knives banged on Hilton's window Tuesday. She posted a photo of the arrest on Twitter and described it as "scary." Nathan Lee Parada faces a felony burglary charge.

While most famous for her tabloid exploits and reality TV series "The Simple Life," Hilton has appeared in the films "Bottoms Up," ''The Hottie & the Nottie" and "House of Wax."


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