May 24

Drug Crimes in Nevada: Types, Penalties, and Defenses

The legalization of marijuana in Nevada has transformed the drug crime landscape in the state. However, while marijuana is legal, there are still numerous illegal substances, and the repercussions for possession, sale, or manufacturing of these drugs can be severe. It’s important to seek immediate counsel if you have been charged with drug crimes.

Types of Drug Crimes

In Nevada, drug crimes are categorized based on the severity of the offense and the type of substance involved. The major categories include:

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance: This offense pertains to knowingly and intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription.
  • Possession with Intent to Sell: This more serious offense involves possessing drugs to distribute or sell them, attracting stricter penalties than simple possession.
  • Sale, Manufacturing, or Trafficking: These crimes encompass creating and distributing controlled substances, such as growing marijuana in quantities exceeding personal use, selling drugs, or trafficking large amounts across state lines.
  • Prescription Drug Fraud: This offense involves acquiring drugs through fraudulent means, like forging prescriptions or impersonating medical professionals.

Penalties for Drug Crimes

Penalties for drug crimes in Nevada are determined by factors such as the type and quantity of the substance, the intent behind possession, and prior convictions. Controlled substances are categorized into five schedules, with Schedule I substances (e.g., heroin) considered the most dangerous, attracting the harshest penalties.

Possession-related Penalties

  • Possession of a Schedule I or II Substance: First and second-time offenders typically face a Category E felony, punishable by 1-4 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Third-time offenders receive a Category D felony, with penalties including 1-4 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
  • Possession of a Schedule III, IV, or V Substance: First-time offenders often receive probation, while second-time offenses are charged as a Category D felony. Third-time offenders face a Category C felony, resulting in 1-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Sale or Trafficking-Related Penalties

Penalties for the sale or trafficking of drugs depend on the type and quantity of the drugs, with Schedule I and II substances attracting the harshest penalties. For instance, trafficking over 4 grams of a Schedule I or II substance can lead to up to 5 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, while trafficking 200 grams or more can result in a minimum of 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Defenses for Drug Crimes in Nevada

Skilled criminal defense attorneys can employ various strategies to defend against drug charges. Possible defenses include lack of knowledge, unlawful search and seizure, or entrapment.

Understanding the intricacies of Nevada’s drug laws can be complex, but it’s crucial to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. If you or a loved one is facing drug charges, it’s essential to secure legal representation promptly to explore available options and potential defenses.

Richard P. Davies and his team of experienced lawyers can help you craft an effective defense if you’ve been charged with a drug-related crime. Call (775) 360-6894 or email us to see how we can help you.


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drug charges, drug crimes, drugs, nevada, nevada drug charges


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