Las Vegas Drug Trafficking Lawyer
Drug trafficking in Nevada is generally defined as the manufacture, delivery, sale, or importation of illegal drugs across state or national borders, or throughout the state. In addition to Nevada criminal drug charges, this offense can result in federal drug charges. Although both Nevada state and federal drug trafficking charges can result in serious penalties and repercussions, federal charges can lead to longer prison sentences and steeper fines.
Las Vegas Drug Trafficking Lawyer
If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Las Vegas, or any of the surrounding areas in Nevada, including Boulder City, Enterprise, Henderson, Laughlin, Mesquite, North Las Vegas, Paradise, Spring Valley, Summerlin South, Sunrise Manor, Whitney, or Winchester, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann. Joel Mann is an experienced drug defense attorney in Las Vegas who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties related to your alleged offense.
Controlled substances commonly trafficked in Las Vegas can include illegal drugs, street drugs, chemicals, man-made substances and prescription pills, such as:
Nevada Drug Trafficking Laws
Nevada has recently seen several major changes to the state’s drug laws, including the laws that pertain to drug trafficking. While some areas of the law remain the same, it’s important to understand how these changes could impact your case if you’re accused of drug trafficking.
The sections of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) that deal with drug trafficking are section 453.3385 and section 453.339. Under section 453.3385, drug trafficking is defined as the crime of knowingly or intentionally selling, manufacturing, delivering, or bringing schedule I or schedule II controlled substances into Nevada. You can also be charged with drug trafficking for possessing certain amounts of these drugs.
In addition to schedule I and schedule II controlled substances, you can also be charged with drug trafficking for possessing certain amounts of flunitrazepam (commonly known as Rohypnol), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (also known as GHB, another date rape drug), or any substance for which flunitrazepam or gamma-hydroxybutyrate is a precursor.
Section 453.339 of the NRS concerns trafficking in marijuana. The broad definition of the law is the same as section 453.3385, in that trafficking is defined as knowingly or intentionally selling, manufacturing, delivering, or bringing marijuana into the state. As with section 453.3385, you can also be charged with trafficking in marijuana if you’re found to be possessing certain amounts of the drugs or engaged in the cultivation of it.
However, marijuana is legal for recreational use in Nevada, so unless you’re caught bringing large amounts of it into the state or growing it outside of existing state regulations, you’re unlikely to be charged with drug trafficking.
While the broad definition of drug trafficking has not changed under the revised law, there are a few notable differences from the prior law. First, drug trafficking now includes both schedule I and schedule II controlled substances, in addition to flunitrazepam and GHB. The more substantive change, however, is the amount of drugs required to elevate a charge from simple drug possession to drug trafficking. Under the terms of the revised law, the amount of drugs required to be charged with possession has increased dramatically. For example, under the previous law, you could have been charged with drug trafficking if you had as little as 4 grams of a schedule 1 drug. Under the new law, the minimum is 100 grams.
There is no provision under Nevada law for trafficking in schedule III, IV, or V substances, so anyone who sells, manufactures, or delivers any substances in these schedules would not be charged with trafficking in Nevada, but instead with another offense, such as possession of a controlled substance, manufacture of a controlled substance, transportation of a controlled substance, or sale of a controlled substance.
Las Vegas Penalties for Drug Trafficking
The revised laws make dramatic changes to the potential drug penalties in Nevada. Furthermore, the revised laws create different penalties for different weight thresholds of different controlled substances. For example, prior drug laws had different sentencing requirements for schedule I and schedule II controlled substances, whereas the penalties are now the same for both types of controlled substances.
The new weight thresholds and potential penalties under the revised laws are as follows:
- Schedule I and schedule II controlled substances:
- A conviction for trafficking 100 grams or more but less than 400 grams of these substances is a Category B felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in jail.
- A conviction for trafficking in more than 400 grams of these substances is a Category A felony. Depending on the facts of the case, a Category A trafficking conviction could result in 10 years to life in prison, or 25 years in prison with eligibility for parole after 10 years.
- Flunitrazepam and GHB:
- A conviction for trafficking 100 grams or more but less than 400 grams of either substance is a Category B felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in jail.
- A conviction for trafficking in more than 400 grams of either substance is a Category A felony, with penalties of either a lifetime prison sentence or 25 years in prison with parole eligibility after 10 years.
- A conviction for trafficking 50 pounds or more but less than 1,000 pounds of marijuana is a Category C felony and can be punished by a fine of up to $25,000. The same is true for trafficking in 1 pound or more but less than 20 pounds of marijuana concentrate (i.e., resin).
- A conviction for trafficking between 1,000 and 5,000 pounds of marijuana is a Category B felony, and the penalties include 2 to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $50,000. The same penalties apply for between 20 and 100 pounds of marijuana concentrate.
- Finally, a conviction for trafficking more than 5,000 pounds of marijuana or more than 100 pounds of marijuana concentrate is a Category A felony. The penalties include either 15 years or life in prison, with eligibility for parole beginning after five years, along with a fine of up to $200,000.
The guiding force behind AB236 was to reduce the prison population and save more than $600 million in taxpayer dollars. To help with this effort, the law offers a number of alternatives to incarceration, including specialty court programs, drug or alcohol use disorder treatment, mental illness treatment, and veterans’ treatment. It also establishes guidelines for when a person should presumably be sentenced to probation instead of incarceration. Additionally, it prohibits people from having their probation or parole provoked for technical reasons like failing to file a change of address or missing a single treatment session.
Federal Drug Schedule and Drug Trafficking Penalties
According to 21 U.S.C. §§ 807 et seq., it is a federal offense to manufacture, import, distribute or traffic controlled substances with the intent to sell the controlled substances either across state borders, throughout the state, or from a foreign country into Nevada.
The federal Controlled Substances Act classifies many substances drugs into different schedules, ranging from the most serious drugs with the greatest likelihood of abuse in schedule I to the least serious substances with hardly any potential for abuse in schedule V.
- Schedule I – This schedule contains controlled substances that have a high potential for abuse and have no known or accepted medical purposes.
- Schedule II – This schedule contains substances that have a high potential for abuse, but have commonly used or accepted medical applications, with certain restrictions.
- Schedule III – The substances in this schedule have less potential for abuse than schedule I or II substances, and are commonly used for medical purposes in the United States.
- Schedule IV – This schedule contains controlled substances with a lower potential for abuse than substances in schedule III, and are commonly used for medical purposes.
- Schedule V – The substances in this schedule have the least potential for abuse, and are commonly used for medical uses in the United States.
Federal drug trafficking penalties can vary depending on which schedule the controlled substance falls into, whether the alleged offender had any previous drug convictions, whether death or serious bodily injury resulted from the commission of the offense, and the amount of the substance trafficked.
For example, an individual who has no prior drug convictions could face ten years to life in prison, or if the alleged offender has two or more prior convictions, they could face life imprisonment without parole. Additionally, an individual who is convicted of a federal drug trafficking offense could face a fine up to $8,000,000.
Contact a Las Vegas Drug Trafficking Attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking in Clark County and the surrounding areas in South Nevada, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann to discuss the facts of your particular situation. Joel Mann is an experienced drug defense attorney in Las Vegas who will aggressively fight the allegations against you and make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your situation. Among his many accolades, Joel M. Mann has been sworn in before the United States Supreme Court and has a perfect 10.0 rating on Avvo. He’s also been listed as a Nevada Super Lawyer every year since 2011.
Don’t wait to contact our office if you’ve been accused of drug trafficking. Call (702) 986-0565 for a confidential consultation about your Nevada drug crime allegations. We are on call 24/7 to answer your questions.