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October 5, 2016

Is Possession of a Controlled Substance a Misdemeanor in Nevada?

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The quick answer is, “No.” The Possession of a controlled substance in the state of Nevada is actually considered felony, with the exception of marijuana only. Possessing drugs, controlled substances without a prescription, or narcotics in Nevada is a serious offense that could land you prison time or hefty fines without a good criminal defense. Whether the drug in question is heroin, cocaine, or a club drug commonly charged on many revelers in Las Vegas club busts such as Ecstasy, you risk landing yourself in jail.

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Definition of Controlled Substances Possession in Nevada

The “unlawful possession not for sale purpose of sale” in Henderson, Nevada laws is defined as when a person knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance, except if the substance was gotten directly from, or pursuant to, a legal prescription. In simple terms, possession of controlled substances in Nevada is intentionally owning or having control over drugs which you do not plan or intend to trade for cash or other valuables.

Related: Criminal Defense for Drug Possession

How does Nevada classify Controlled dangerous substances (CDS)?

Nevada puts controlled substances into 5 “schedules.” Schedule one lists the most dangerous drugs with a high probability of abuse and addiction, and consequently possess no recognized medical value. The dangerousness of the controlled drugs as well as the likelihood of abuse decreases down the schedules, meaning that drugs in schedule V are least dangerous, have the least probability of abuse, and more recognized medical uses.

A sitting judge can use these classes to settle on the penalties to charge you for illegally possessing specific CDS. If you have been arrested for illegal controlled substance possession, consult the Nevada Code to check where the substance under question is precisely classified. Check the statute Nev. Admin. Code § 453.510, 453.520, 453.530, 453.540, & 453.550 to find the substance you are charged with.

Penalties for Illegal possession of a controlled substance

  • First or second offense (Involving schedule I, II, III, or IV substances) – Penalties in this category include fines of up to $5,000, a jail term of 1-year maximum, or both.
  • Third or subsequent offense (Involving a schedule I, II, III, or IV controlled substances)- Penalties include a fine of up to $20,000, jail term of 1 to 5 years, or both.
  • First offense (Involving a schedule V controlled substance)- Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, jail term of up to 1 year, or both.
  • Second or Subsequent offense (Involving a schedule V controlled substance)- Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, jail term of 1 to 5 years, or both.
  • Possession of Flunitrazepam or Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate – Possession of these substances, or their precursors, is punished with a jail term of between 1 and 6 years, regardless of whether it is a 1st or subsequent conviction.
  • Possession of Marijuana – First and second offenses are treated as misdemeanors with charges of ‘treatment’ or fines of up to $600 or up to $1,000 respectively. The 3rd offense is treated as a gross misdemeanor with charges of up to 1 year in prison and/or fines of up to $2,000. The 4th offense is however treated as a Class E felony with charges of between 1 and 4 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Related: High Price of Drug Possession

All in all, if you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Henderson or nearby areas, all is not lost. There are various defenses that a professional drug possession attorney can help you make that may have less of a negative impact on your life. Call John F. Marchiano Law Corporation today to have your case handled the right way.