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 conviciton 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 on the famed Las Vegas Strip, according to Officer Marcus Martin, public information officer, who spoke with CBS affiliate KLAS-TV.
During the course of the traffic stop, police say, they conducted a search and found an undisclosed amount of cocaine in Hilton’s purse.
An officer indicated to KLAS that a possible odor of marijuana was initially detected, requiring further interaction with police.
Hilton was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
A clerk at the Clark County Detention Center indicated early Saturday morning that Hilton “had been booked and released.” Further details were not available from the jail.
A Metro watch commander also said the male driver was arrested for DUI and drug possession. He declined to identify the driver.
Celebrity Web site 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 cvery 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).”
© MMX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.