Here’s the scenario. Police find drugs while searching your car. What do you do? Drug possession in Nevada can be a very serious issue in many instances, depending on the material case factors. Nevada state law is generally consistent with other states, and more lenient than others concerning substances such as medical marijuana.
Car Searched, Police Find Drugs
Medical marijuana is not allowed to be sold within the state, but individuals who have a legal prescription can carry up to one ounce of marijuana within the state borders without the threat of being charged with possession or trafficking in a controlled substance, or PCS.
But, the prescription cardholder must still be compliant with all other state laws, so difficulties can still occur. And, many times those difficulties arise from a traffic stop that may involve an illegally searched vehicle.
Typical Illegal Substances
Nevada police are well-trained in what they are looking for when they search a vehicle.
In many ways, Nevada is a unique state and officers are keen to transients and the state’s vibrant tourist industry. This combination makes places like Henderson excellent communication hubs for all sorts of criminal behavior, including drug crime. While marijuana is commonly found as a result of a vehicle search, the same is true for higher scheduled substances like cocaine and heroin, along with sedative or narcotic prescription medications possessed illegally.
Valid Reasons for a Traffic Stop
The concept of a random driver’s license check is not exactly legal, but police can choose from an array of nominal situations that can validate a traffic stop. Even failing to use a turn indicator can constitute a valid stop, so the stop is not the issue in many cases.
Police can explain their rational at that point. Individuals who are charged with possession or intent to sell a controlled substance may have a cogent argument if the vehicle operator was not potentially intoxicated. The illegal search problems often begin when the issue is alcohol-related and the police can justify searching the vehicle without consent of the suspect or owner, such as implementing the plain sight rule.
There is no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy when any contraband is in plain sight. Also remember that many illegal searches are conducted during designated roadblocks, as well as often during a high-speed chase when a driver attempts to avoid the road block. Any search of a vehicle being operated by a law abiding citizen who is not intoxicated can typically be invalidated.
Consequences from an Illegal Search
The consequences a drug conviction are numerous for the defendant in several areas of life. Even when the charge is classified as a misdemeanor, there can be long-term problems for the defendant. Future ability to earn a living can easily be impacted, as well as incarceration terms for more serious cases.
Subsequent run-ins with the law can also be enhanced by the number of convicted offenses an individual has had. Even a second conviction for possession of marijuana can establish convicted felon status in certain situations, based on the amount of the drug in question, and future employment and eligibility for government services can also be included.
Lower class felonies in Nevada carry a term of 1-5 years in a state facility, with other classes graduating upward to 5-10 and 10-20 years based on the seriousness of the charge. An illegal search determination can mean those charges can go away completely if you retain the right counsel.
Anyone in Nevada who may be the victim of an illegal search that resulted in controlled substance charges should seriously consider an effective and aggressive criminal defense lawyer to investigate your case for illegal search issues.
If the evidence is not acquired according to the Constitution, the state effectively has no case.
And, the state is not entitled to a conviction without valid proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Always confer with criminal defense attorney, John Marchiano in Henderson, NV.
Submit for your free case evaluation now.