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If you’re charged with drug possession, you’ll want a reputable law firm in your corner. An expert drug possession lawyer will help you navigate the legal system, ensuring you receive the right to a fair trial.

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Drug Possession in NevadaProtect your rights. Know exactly what resources are available to you. We’ve assisted numerous individuals like yourself throughout Henderson and the Las Vegas Valley. We’ve provided legal counsel to the community for over 35 years.

Let John F Marchiano Law provide you with the best legal counsel available.

 When to Call a Drug Possession Lawyer

Nevada, despite the rigmarole of Sin City, has some of the toughest drug laws in the nation, cracking down on controlled dangerous substances (CDS) with stiff penalties and long prison sentences.

 

If you face narcotic charges in Nevada, you need to understand how the government will see your case.

Drug Charges Based on Four Factors

• Type (e.g., Schedule II)
• Intent of use (e.g. possession)
• Amount (e.g., less than one pound)
• Number of offenses: (e.g. second time)

 

Drug Categories in Nevada

Nevada divides substances into five classes, referred to as schedules:

Schedule I: High Threat of Abuse, No Acknowledged Medical Value
To no one’s surprise, hardcore street hallucinogens and stimulants like heroin, PCP and MDMA are considered Schedule I. However, so is marijuana, even though medical use is allowed under Nevada law. See the section below for marijuana-related penalties.

Schedule II: High Threat of Abuse, Possible Accepted Medical Value
Some of upper-class America’s most abused substances are considered Schedule II substances, including Ritalin, cocaine, and opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine.

Schedule III: Medium Threat of Abuse, Possible Accepted Medical Value
Testosterone and its synthesized cousins, anabolic steroids, are common Schedule III substances.

Schedule IV: Low Threat of Addiction, Accepted Medical Value
Schedule IV substances include common anti-depressants, tranquilizers and prescription-strength sleep aids.

Schedule V: Low Risk of Abuse, Accepted Medical Value
Example substances are small quantities of codeine and cough suppressants.

 

What Constitutes Possession?

A person in Nevada cannot “knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a lawful prescription.”

Contrary to popular knowledge, a person can be convicted without ever having touched the drug in question. In the eyes of the law, there are three types:

Actual: When you physically keep the substance on your person. Being high can get you convicted of being under the influence of a controlled substance, but not for possession. Owning related paraphernalia, such as manufacturing equipment or literature, can also convict you.

Constructive: When you harbor the narcotic in a place you control, such as your automobile.

Joint: When you share ownership with another person. This one is tricky. For instance, if you know that your spouse hid marijuana in his car, and you have some control over that car, you may be liable.

 

What Are the Penalties in Nevada for Drug Possession?

Most penalties in Nevada for having illicit narcotics and controlled pharmaceuticals follow federal precedent. Penalties for Schedule I, II, III, IV Possession break down as follows:

First/second offender
• A fine up to $5,000.
• And/or incarceration, 1-4 years.

Third/subsequent offender
• A fine up to $20,000.
• And/or incarceration, 1-4 years.

Penalties for Schedule V:

First offender
• A fine up to $5,000.
• And/or incarceration up to one year.

Second/subsequent offender
• A fine up to $5,000.
• And/or incarceration, 1-4 years.

Date-rape drugs like flunitrezepam and gamma-hydroxybutyrate are punished more severely. These substances or their precursor ingredients is an automatic Class B felony and warrants a minimum of one year in prison.

 

What Are the Rules for Marijuana?

Nevada lays down the gavel on marijuana. Penalties are delineated by quantity of substance and number of offenses.  If you are caught with one ounce or less of marijuana, your case is automatically presumed possession.  The state is somewhat forgiving of recreational users.

First Offender
• A fine up to $600.
• And/or participation in a drug rehabilitation program.

Second Offender
• A fine up to $1,000.
• And/or participation in a rehabilitation program.

Third Offender
• A fine up to $2,000.
• And/or incarceration up to one year.

Subsequent Offender
• A fine up to $5,000.
• And/or incarceration, 1-4 years.

 

What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Manufacture, Sale or Trafficking?

Being caught with more than one ounce of marijuana is penalized as manufacture, sale or trafficking.  Between one ounce and 100 pounds, the maximum fine is fixed at $20,000. However, maximum prison term escalates from six years as a first offender to 15 years as a third offender. Once the 100 pound-barrier has been crossed, the state starts landing punches. As the quantity grows, so do the penalties, which top out at a maximum fine of $200,000 and life in prison.

Nevada specifies two special cases of marijuana distribution:

• Sale of marijuana to a minor is punishable by up to 20 years for a first offense or life in prison for a second or subsequent offense.
• Sale of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a video arcade, playground or school zone automatically incurs double the penalty.

 

What Is the Intent to Sell?

Law enforcement may argue that you intended to sell or distribute the substance. The prosecution may dredge up circumstantial evidence such as personal weapons, legal history, paraphernalia, etc. If you are discovered with copious quantities, you may be prosecuted for trafficking, which is considered a Class B or Class A felony.

 

How Can Charges Get Reduced?

Possession charges may not hold up in court due to illegal search and seizures or Miranda rights violations or entrapment. They can also be reduced with community service, rehabilitation or other alternatives.

Call for your FREE consultation (702) 565-0473 or complete the form below:

Free Drug Possession Case Evaluation

Complete a free case analysis so John F. Marchiano may review the details of your drug arrest. The more information you are able to provide, the faster we will prepare a free assessment of your case at no charge. Submit your possession charges online for a free evaluation now.

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