Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a Controlled Substance

If an individual is in possession of drugs, narcotics or controlled substances without a valid prescription in Las Vegas, they can be convicted of a felony offense. Even if the possession is for personal use and not to sell, traffic or distribute the drugs, the alleged offender can still receive severe penalties for a felony drug conviction in Nevada.

In addition to the typical prison and fine penalties associated with a felony conviction, an alleged offender could also face an inability to pursue certain professions or occupations, an ineligibility to receive specific types of government funding, a  denial of admission to certain educational programs, a possibly permanent criminal record, and/or an inability to own or possess a firearm.

Therefore, it is essential to hire an experienced Las Vegas drug defense attorney to fight the serious drug allegations against you.

Las Vegas Possession of a Controlled Substance Lawyer

If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Las Vegas, or any of the surrounding areas in Nevada, including Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite, Laughlin, Paradise, Spring Valley, Sunrise Manor, Enterprise, Winchester, Whitney or Summerlin South, then contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann.

Joel Mann is an experienced Las Vegas drug defense attorney who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged drug crime. Call the Law Office of Joel M. Mann at (702) 474-6266 to schedule a free consultation about your drug charges in Las Vegas


Possession of a Controlled Substance Defined

According to Nev. Rev. Stat. § 453.336, an individual can be charged with possession of a controlled substance if they knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance, unless the possession was from a valid prescription ordered by a person licensed to practice medicine.

A controlled substance in Nevada can include chemicals, street drugs, prescription pills, medications, man-made substances, natural substances, stimulants, anti-depressants, depressants or narcotics. Examples of controlled substances in Las Vegas are:

  • Adderall
  • Ambien
  • Cocaine
  • Codeine
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Lortab
  • LSD (Acid)
  • Methadone
  • Methamphetamines (Meth)
  • Morphine
  • OxyContin
  • Valium
  • Vicodin
  • Xanax

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Actual and Constructive Possession in Nevada

In order to convict an alleged offender of drug possession in Nevada, the state prosecutor must demonstrate they had actual or constructive possession of the substance. The prosecution is required to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to achieve a conviction.

If the prosecutor cannot show the alleged offender had either actual or constructive possession of the substance, their charges may be reduced or even dismissed.

An individual can have actual possession of the substance if they have actual, physical control of the drug. This can be anywhere on their body, in their pocket or in their purse.

Constructive possession is usually harder for the prosecution to prove and typically involves the following three factors:

  • Whether the alleged offender was aware the substance was in their presence and it was an illegal substance;
  • Whether the alleged offender was able to take actual possession of the substance; and
  • Whether the alleged offender had the intent to actually possess the substance.

An example of constructive possession would be if the police found drugs in a car where you were a passenger and you had access to the drugs in question.


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Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance in Las Vegas

A conviction for possession of controlled substances can result in serious consequences. The degree of punishment a convicted offender will receive depends on what the substance is, the schedule the substance is classified in, the weight of the substance, whether the alleged offender was a state prisoner, whether the alleged offender was committing a more serious drug offense like trafficking, and whether the alleged offender has any previous drug convictions.

If the offense is a first or second offense, and the substance is in schedule I, II, III or IV, the alleged offender could be convicted of a category E felony, which is punishable by a prison term from one to four years and/or a fine up to $5,000.

If the offense is a third or subsequent offense, and the substance is in schedule I, II, III or IV, the alleged offender could be convicted of a category D felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from one to four years and/or an increased fine of up to $20,000.

If the offense is a first offense, and the substance is in schedule V, the alleged offender could be convicted of a category E felony, which is punishable by a prison term from one to four years and/or a fine up to $5,000

If the offense is a second or subsequent offense, and the substance is in schedule V, the alleged offender could be convicted of a category D felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence from one to four years and/or a fine not more than $5,000.

If the alleged offender is convicted of possessing flunitrazepam or gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB or the Date Rape drug), they can receive a category B felony, which is punishable by a mandatory prison term of at least one year, but not more than six years.

A conviction for possession of marijuana can result in different penalties. Read more about marijuana possession in Las Vegas.


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Diversion Programs in Las Vegas

Nevada law allows a first-time defendant to request that the Court treat him through what is called a diversion program.

NRS 453.3363 states that a Court may withhold adjudication of a first-time drug offender and place a defendant on probation if the defendant successfully completes probation and fulfills the Court’s requirements then the Court will dismiss the charge and automatically seal the defendant’s record.

The diversion program is not given away freely, as it would completely remove the arrest from a defendant’s record, that is why you need an experienced drug lawyer in Las Vegas to guide you through the legal process and possibly remove the entire mistake from your record.


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Law Office of Joel M. Mann | Las Vegas Drug Possession Attorney

If you have been charged with drug possession in Clark County and the surrounding areas in South Nevada, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann to discuss your side of the case. Joel Mann is a knowledgeable drug lawyer in Las Vegas who will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your particular situation.

Contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann at (702) 474-6266 for a free consultation about your alleged drug crime in Las Vegas.