Nevada Drug Possession, Sale and Trafficking Laws

March 16th, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

The impact for a drug conviction can be severe for misdemeanor and felony offenses in Nevada. With the widespread use of background checks, a conviction can shut many doors for future employment opportunities. Certain fields may be especially thorough with background checks and will disqualify individuals with drug convictions. This includes many healthcare fields, law enforcement agencies, and other government bodies. Given what is at stake, it is important to understand the Nevada drug laws, even if you are being represented by a defense attorney.

Currently, Nevada laws severely punish individuals arrested for possession, manufacturing, cultivation and trafficking of illegal drugs. Commonly used drugs in 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, offenses and penalties in the state. Some of the defined offenses are:

NRS 453.316 – Maintaining a place for unlawful sale, gift or use of a controlled substance
NRS 453.321 – Offer, attempt, or commission of unauthorized acts relating to controlled substances
NRS 453.322 – Offer, attempt, or commission of manufacturing or compounding of 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 or subsequence offense for selling a controlled substance to a minor
NRS 453.336 – Unlawful possession not for purpose of 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 – Marijuana trafficking

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

Drug Possession, Not For Sale

Class E Felony (1st or 2nd offense,schedule 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 offense, schedule I, II, III, or IV) – between 1 and 4 years in state prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines
Class E Felony (1st offense, schedule V) – between 1 and 4 years in prison or probation and/or fines up to $5,000
Class D Felony (2nd or subsequent offense, schedule V) – 1 to 4 years in Nevada state prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines

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

1st offense, category D felony – 1 to 4 years in state prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines
2nd offense, category C felony – between 1 and 4 non-probational years in Nevada state prison and/or up to $10,000 of fines
3rd or subsequent offense, category B felony – punishable by 3 to 15 non-probational years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000 for each offense

Unlawful Possession for Sale of Schedule III, IV, or V Drugs

1st and second offense, category D felony – punishable by 1 to 4 non-probational years in state prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines
3rd or subsequent offense, category C felony – can be punished by 1 to 5 non-probational years in Nevada state prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines

Drug Trafficking (Schedule I)

Category B Felony (between 4 and 14 grams) – Punishable by 1 to 6 non-probational (mandatory prison) years in Nevada State Prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines

Category B Felony (between 14 and 28 grams) – Punishable by 2 to 15 non-probational (mandatory prison) years in Nevada State Prison and/or up to $100,000 in fines

Category A Felony (28 grams or more) – Punishable by 25 non-probational (mandatory prison) years 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 the state’s voters moved to amend the state’s constitution to recognize its legitimate use in a medical capacity. However, to remain in compliance with the state law, medical marijuana users must have documented permission from a physician.

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