David Schubert was scheduled to surrender to court officials Friday to begin serving a nine-month jail sentence. But Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth signed a warrant for his arrest when he didn't show up.
Schubert's lawyer, Louis Schneider, said he didn't know where his client was and is concerned for his safety.
"He has just disappeared," Schneider told the Las Vegas Review Journal. "He felt that he let the district attorney's office down. He was so proud to be an attorney, and when they took away his license yesterday, he was extremely despondent."
The Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily suspended Schubert from practicing law as a result of his guilty plea last year to the drug charge.
The court referred the matter to the State Bar of Nevada to determine the "extent of discipline" against the former chief deputy district attorney.
Schubert, 48, resigned from the Clark County district attorney's office after he was arrested in March 2011 with a $40 rock of cocaine and an unregistered handgun in his car. He pleaded guilty in September 2011, and at his sentencing in February Ellsworth called him "a disgrace to his oath as a prosecutor and a lawyer."
He had been free while he challenged his jail sentence, but was told to turn himself in after the high court earlier refused to delay his sentence while it considered his appeal.
Schneider said the judge sent Schubert's probation officer to his Las Vegas home to look for him.
Schubert wasn't at the home, but all of his personal belongings and his car were there, Schneider said, who described his client as distraught.
"He promised his two little kids that he wasn't going to jail," Schneider said.