How To Do Case Style When There Is 2 Defendants Nevada Drug Possession, Sale and Trafficking Laws

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Nevada Drug Possession, Sale and Trafficking Laws

The impact of a drug conviction can be severe for misdemeanors and felonies in Nevada. With the widespread use of background checks, a conviction can close many doors to future employment opportunities. Some fields can be particularly thorough with background checks and will disqualify people with drug convictions. This includes many health fields, law enforcement agencies, and other government agencies. Given what’s at stake, it’s important to understand Nevada’s drug laws, even if you’re represented by a defense attorney.

Currently, Nevada laws severely punish people arrested for possession, manufacture, cultivation and trafficking of illegal drugs. Commonly used drugs on this list include cocaine, heroin, opium, LSD, ecstasy, and a variety of other narcotics. Chapter 453 of the Nevada Controlled Substances Act defines the schedule of drugs, crimes and penalties in the state. Some of the defined offenses are:

  • NRS 453.316 — Maintaining a place for the unlawful sale, gift, or use of a controlled substance
  • NRS 453.321 – Offer, attempt or commission of unauthorized acts related to controlled substances
  • NRS 453.322 — Offer, attempt or commission to manufacture or compound controlled substances
  • NRS 453.331 – Distribution of controlled substances, use of unauthorized registration number and possession of signed blank prescription forms
  • NRS 453.333 — Second offense or subsequent offense for selling a controlled substance to a minor
  • NRS 453.336 — Unlawful possession not for sale
  • NRS 453.337 – Unlawful possession for sale of flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and schedule I or II substances
  • NRS 453.338 – Unlawful possession for sale of schedule III, IV or V substances
  • NRS 453.3385 – Trafficking in controlled substances Trafficking in controlled substances: Rohypnol, GHB and schedule I substances (not including marijuana)
  • NRS 453.339 — Trafficking in marijuana

Penalties for drug offenses in Nevada can vary, depending on the specific criminal offense, the circumstances of the arrest, the amount of illegal drugs involved, the alleged offender’s prior criminal record, and the strength of the defense or prosecution case. Under Nevada’s Controlled Substances Act, the most common offenses can be punished as follows:

Possession of drugs, not for sale

  • Class E crime (1st or 2nd offense, annex I, II, III or IV) – 1 to 4 years in state prison or probation and/or up to $5,000 in fines
  • Class D Felony (3rd or subsequent Schedule I, II, III, or IV offense): 1 to 4 years in state prison and/or fines up to $5,000
  • Class E Felony (1st Offense, Schedule V): 1 to 4 years in prison or probation and/or fines up to $5,000
  • Class D Felony (Second or Subsequent Schedule V Offense): 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines

Illicit Possession of Schedule I or II Drugs, Rohypnol or GHB

  • 1st offense, Class D felony: 1 to 4 years in state prison and/or fines up to $5,000
  • 2nd Offense, Category C: 1-4 years without probation in Nevada State Prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines
  • Third or subsequent offense, Class B felony: punishable by 3 to 15 years of probation in state prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000 for each offense.

Illicit possession for sale of Annex III, IV or V drugs

  • 1st and 2nd Offense, Class D Felony: Punishable by 1 to 4 years without probation in state prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines
  • Third or subsequent offense, Class C felony: punishable by 1 to 5 years without probation in Nevada State Prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines

Drug trafficking (Annex I)

  • Class B Felony (between 4 and 14 grams): Punishable by 1 to 6 years non-probation (mandatory imprisonment) in Nevada State Prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines
  • Class B Felony (between 14 and 28 grams): Punishable by 2 to 15 years non-probation (mandatory imprisonment) in Nevada State Prison and/or up to $100,000 in fines
  • Class A Felony (28 grams or more): Punishable by 25 years in prison without probation (mandatory imprisonment) to life and a fine of up to $500,000

However, Nevada has surprisingly moved to a certain level of acceptance regarding marijuana, along with many other states in the country. Nevada decriminalized the use of medical marijuana in 2001 when 65% of state voters changed the state constitution to recognize its legitimate medical use. However, to comply with state law, users of medical marijuana must have documented permission from a physician.

Once registered with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services: Division of State Health, the individual may use, possess, and cultivate marijuana to a certain extent (up to 1 ounce of possession and up to 7 plants grown, of which only 3 may be mature ). Note that Nevada does not decriminalize marijuana use for the general population as other states such as California, Connecticut, and Mississippi have done.

There are currently several ongoing legal battles over medical marijuana laws and how people can obtain medical marijuana. As the law stands today, a person must grow their own medical marijuana in order to legally obtain medical marijuana. A person cannot get it from a centralized location like a dispensary. Also, while the State of Nevada has approved the use of medical marijuana, the federal government has not, and is beginning to invoke Federal Law against those people who use and grow medical marijuana. Be aware that even if you are following state laws you can still be arrested and convicted of violating federal laws.

Possession of marijuana by unauthorized medical users remains a serious criminal offense. Under Nevada’s Controlled Substances Act, felony possession of non-medical marijuana can result in the following punishments:

Possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana

  • 1st offense, misdemeanor: fine up to $600 or drug abuse treatment exam
  • 2nd offense, misdemeanor: fine up to $1000 or drug treatment/rehabilitation program
  • 3rd offense, misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in county jail and/or up to $2000 in fines
  • 4th or subsequent offense, category E: between 1 and 4 years in state prison or probation and/or a fine of up to $5,000

It is important to remember that an arrest for a drug-related offense does not necessarily mean a conviction, regardless of whether the individual was charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. If you have an experienced Nevada drug defense attorney, he can use many of the details surrounding the case to your advantage. This can include improper search and investigation procedures, lack of probable cause to make a stop (in cases of vehicle stops), violations of constitutional rights, competency of witnesses, and various other facts.

Pleading guilty to a drug offense does not necessarily mean that the defendant will receive a lighter sentence. Many people facing this situation also find it beneficial to hire a lawyer from the time of arrest, regardless of their innocence. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers do not have the best interests of the accused in mind and details may be overlooked in their pursuit of justice. It is in your best interest to consult with a Nevada defense attorney about your legal options.

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