When it comes to the penalties for prescription drug possession in Nevada and Henderson, unlawful possession or sale of prescription drugs is punished at the same level of severity as scheduled drugs like heroin, ecstasy, and cocaine. In fact, police officers in Nevada have only ramped up their efforts to prosecute prescription drug cases further. This is all because there has been a noticeable rise in the abuse of prescription medications in recent years. This could be prescription drugs like Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, and the penalties for prescription drug possession in Nevada vary on a case by case basis.
What Constitutes as Possession?
Possession would mean actually having this drug in your possession without a valid prescription. You may also be arrested for possession for having them stored in a location you have access to rather than simply on your person. In Nevada, possession does not constitute ownership; you may still be charged if you are in possession of someone else’s prescription drugs.
Related: What If Police Find Drugs While Searching My Car?
Penalties for Prescription Drug Possession in Nevada
First and Second Offense
Simply put, a first and second offense for prescription drug possession will result in a class E felony and between one and four years in Nevada state prison. It is possible, though, for you to potentially avoid a conviction and subsequent prison sentence by entering either a rehabilitation or drug education program.
Related: What to Expect When You’re on Probation for Drug Possession in NV
Third Offense or Subsequent Offense
Anyone who gets charged with this offense three times or more will be charged with a category D felony in the state of Nevada. That will result in one to four years in Nevada state prison as well as a possible fine of up to $20,000.
Possession with Intent to Sell
Beyond the regular legal ramifications that go along with a drug possession charge, if it’s found that you unlawfully possessed prescription drugs and that you also intended to sell said drugs, you’ll most likely be facing a much harsher penalty. Depending on whether it was your first offense or your third or more, the penalties range from one to up to fifteen years in prison and fines up to $20,000.
The prosecution may use context from the situation against you. For example, if the drugs were found in separate baggies, if you have a past history of selling drugs, or if you were in an area that is commonly known for drug dealing, you may be charged with intent to sell even if this was not the reality. In addition, if you are also in possession of a weapon or a large amount of cash, the prosecution may also consider these as indicators. This is why having legal representation is paramount in a drug possession case.
Prescription Fraud and Doctor Shopping
Yet another potential way to be prosecuted is for the crime of prescription fraud or for doctor shopping. In prescription fraud, a person is misrepresenting themselves to their doctor in order to secure a prescription that they shouldn’t have. This can also be committed by a doctor who prescribes drugs that are not needed.
Doctor shopping is when someone goes from doctor to doctor in order to get as many prescription drugs as possible while misrepresenting themselves. Both of these charges are felonies, and violating these laws can definitely result in prison time if the accused is not adjudged to be worthy of drug rehabilitation treatment.
Legal Defense Options for Unlawful Drug Possession in Nevada
In all of these situations, having the right legal counsel for your individual case can literally be the difference between prison time and recovery from addiction. These laws are treated differently than a violent crime as there are legitimate treatment options that can help to cure drug addiction. Whether you are enrolled in one of these programs instead of facing prison time will be entirely up to your legal counsel.
If you need legal help for a prescription drug possession case, you need an attorney who will fight for you. At Marchiano Law, we’ve been working on behalf of clients to reduce charges and sentencing. Call us today at (702) 565-0473 for legal representation on your case or request a free drug possession case evaluation.