Drug Charges

Drug Charges

Although Las Vegas is known for its glamour and neon lights, many people falsely believe Nevada is lenient when it comes to the prosecution of drug crimes. The fact remains that Nevada has some of the toughest laws in the country when it comes to drug possession and distribution. Those laws are strictly enforced throughout Clark County and the greater Las Vegas area. This has become obvious with the recent Las Vegas drug arrests and prosecution of such celebrities as Paris Hilton, Bruno Mars, Adam “Pac-Man” Jones, and others.

In Nevada, a drug charge is a serious offense that can have grave consequences that can range from huge fines to several years in jail. If a person has been charged with possession of an illegal drug, it is imperative that he or she contacts an experienced Las Vegas drug possession attorney to discuss the available legal options.

The Law Office of Joel M. Mann can provide the help you are looking for in dealing with drug charges. A Las Vegas drug possession attorney can provide legal help for the following crimes:

Las Vegas Drug Defense Attorney

Drug charges constitute serious offenses in Nevada. The police and the prosecutors are working hard to obtain information to use against you. It is important to get legal representation right away because a narcotic crime conviction can stay on your record forever.

A conviction can make it difficult to find employment or receive other positions and benefits in life. Joel Mann can help you fight these charges or can help you get the charges reduced or dropped altogether. Call (702) 474-6266 to learn more during a free consultation today.

Nevada Drug Charges Information Center

Definition of Possession in Nevada

Possession is defined as having custody of  narcotics such as cocaine, marijuana, opium or other controlled substance. In some areas, individuals can also be arrested for possession without actually having custody of a controlled substance at all. Many cases a person has been arrested and charged with being around an illegal substance.

An individual can also be charged with possession if they are found with drug paraphernalia which is defined as:

  • any product,
  • material, or
  • equipment
  • used for producing,
  • concealing,
  • or using narcotics.

It is important to contact a Las Vegas Drug Charge attorney immediately if you are charged with possession of a controlled substance. You need to take swift action to make sure you avoid the potential consequences of a narcotics conviction.

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Defenses to Drug Charges

Joel Mann can provide you with a number of defenses to drug charges. Some of the common defenses are:

  • Police violated your constitutional rights
    • Illegal search and seizure
    • Miranda rights violation
    • Entrapment
  • There was no intent to sell drugs
  • The drugs were not actually in your custody, control or possession

Attorney Joel Mann can fight against illegal police intrusion and false criminal charges.  He has successfully fought criminal controlled substances cases and been able to demonstrate his client’s innocence.  Joel Mann can also negotiate plea bargains where the drug charges can be reduced or dropped all together. It is possible to get your sentence suspended or for the court to order probation or drug rehabilitation. Different circumstances and facts determine the best defense for a drug charge case. If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug offense, you should contact our office immediately so we can start building your defense against these drug charges as early as possible in the case.

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Types of Drugs: Nevada Drug Schedule

An individual can possess a number of drugs that violate Nevada’s drug law. The State of Nevada employs a drug schedule for addictive or illegal drugs. Depending on the amount of drugs and the schedule the drugs fall under, the penalties for possession, drug trafficking and sale of the drugs varies. Here is the schedule of drugs in Nevada:

Schedule I Drugs - These drugs have a high tendency for abuse and currently have no accepted medical use.*

  • Diacetylmorphine - Heroin
  • MDMA - Methylenedioxymethamphetamine - “Ecstasy”
  • LSD - Lysergic acid diethylamide - “Acid”
  • GHB - Hydroxybutyric acid - “date rape drug”
  • Mescaline - 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine - Peyote
  • Methamphetamine - Amphetamines - “Crystal Meth,” “Speed,” “Crank”
  • PCP - Phencyclidine
  • THC - Tetrahydrocannabinol - Marijuana / Cannabis - "Weed," "Pot"
    *Marijuana is classified under Schedule I even though medical marijuana is legal in Nevada.
    More information on Marijuana laws and penalties.

Schedule II Drugs - These drugs have a high tendency for abuse, may have an accepted medical use, can produce dependency or addiction with repeated use. Usually available with a prescription from a physician, but the drugs are subject to strict record keeping procedures.

  • Benzoylmethylecgonine - Cocaine
  • Lachryma Papaveris - Opium
  • Oxycodone - Oxycontin
  • Hydrocodone - Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin
  • Hydromorphone - Dilaudid
  • Morphine
  • Methylphenidate - Ritalin

Schedule III Drugs - Less potential for abuse or addiction and may have an accepted medicinal use.

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Testosterone
  • Codeine
  • Ketamine

Schedule IV Drugs - Low potential for abuse, accepted medicinal use and low chance of abuse or addiction.

  • Benzodiazepines - Tranquilizers
  • Alprazolam - Xanax
  • Diazepam - Valium
  • Clonazepam
  • Sedatives

Schedule V Drugs - currently has an accepted medical use, low chance of addiction or limited addictive properties.

  • Cough suppressant
  • Codeine

This list is a representation of the common drugs that are involved in drug crimes. It is best to consult Joel Mann to be sure of the legal classification and penalties. Nevada drug law is complex and evolving all the time. Only a licensed Nevada lawyer can help you defend yourself against a Nevada drug charge.

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Penalties for Drug Possession in Nevada

NRS §453.336 discusses the penalties for drug possession. In Nevada, the penalties for drug possession go by:

  1. the schedule the drug falls into; and
  2. the amount of certain drugs; and 
  3. whether the individual has previous drug convictions on their record.

With an experienced drug arrest attorney, a first drug possession offense, in some cases can be reduced or even dismissed if the defendant attends drug court. Penalties for a first-time drug possession charge in Nevada include:

  • Rehab (Drug Court)
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Suspended jail sentence

For subsequent drug possession offenses, Nevada law classifies them as a Category E or Category D felony. A Category E felony carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine up to $5,000. A Category D felony carries a sentence of 1-4 years in Nevada state prison and a fine up to $20,000.

The penalties and charges are going to change based on your prior criminal record and aggravating or mitigating factors. Consult a Nevada lawyer to help you with you drug possession charges.

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Possession for the Purpose of Sale Under Nevada Law

A person can be charged with intent to distribute based on the quantity of the substance and other factors. The NRS 453.337 and NRS 453.338 state that it is illegal for a person to possess for the purpose of sale controlled substances, narcotics, and other illegal drugs. To break the law you must be:

  • in possession of narcotics
  • have the intent to sell or distribute the narcotics

Possession is usually an easy thing to determine, but a person’s intentions are harder to identify. If these other factors are present in conjunction with possession of drugs then the police and prosecution can try to convict you of intent to distribute or sell drugs:

  • A large amount of drugs were found
  • Guns or other weapons are found on the person
  • The person is in an area frequented by drug dealers
  • The person has a lot of cash particularly cash in small denominations
  • The person has a scale or baggies that appear to have been used to distribute drugs.

These factors can be used by the state of Nevada to infer that you were attempting to sell drugs. It is vital to contact a licensed Las Vegas attorney to help you defend yourself against an intent to sell charge.

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Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Nevada

The penalties for Drug Trafficking in Nevada are summarized in the following table:

Weight Drug Schedule Classification of Felony Penalties
At least 4 grams but less than 14 grams I Category B

1-6 years in Nevada State Prison
Fine up to $50,000

Non-probationable prison sentence.

At least 14 grams but less than 28 grams I Category B

2-15 years in Nevada State Prison
Fine up to $100,000

Non-probational prison sentence.

28 grams or more I Category A

25 years to life in Nevada State Prison
Fine of $500,000

Non-probational prison sentence.

For more information on drug trafficking penalties, consult a Nevada drug crimes lawyer immediately to discuss the particular facts of your case.

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Drug Crime Resources

L.E.A.P. - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition - Non-profit organization made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and others in the criminal justice system who are devoted to reforming current policy of drug prohibition which does not effectively address the destructive impact of drug abuse, violent drug gangs and cartels.

Common Sense for Drug Policy - The CSDP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reforming drug policy and expanding harm reduction.

Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 453 - Controlled Substances - Nevada's Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Office of National Drug Control Policy - The White House ONDCP is a component of the Executive Office of the President whose purpose is to establish policies, priorities, and objectives for the Nation's drug control program.

Drug Enforcement Administration - The DEA's mission is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States.

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Finding A Drug Attorney After an Arrest in Clark County

Attorney Joel Mann is an experienced Las Vegas criminal attorney who is dedicated to defending those accused of a drug crime throughout Clark County, Nevada, and surrounding areas. If you or someone you know currently facing drug charges in Las Vegas, Nevada, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann at (702) 474-6266 for a free legal consultation.