Nevada Drug Crime Penalties
Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Helping Clients with Drug Crime Charges
If you are in town for a weekend with friends on the Las Vegas Strip or are entertaining family members at your home in Las Vegas, it is important to recognize that drug crimes carry severe penalties in the state of Nevada. While it might look like other people on the Strip or in nightclubs and bars across the city are using recreational drugs in a carefree manner, even minor drug possession charges can result in serious repercussions.
And do not assume that just because recreational marijuana is now legal to buy for adults aged 21 and older that you can consume it outside a casino or elsewhere on the Strip. To be sure, CBS News recently emphasized that Nevada law requires legally purchased marijuana to be consumed in a private residence. In other words, it is unlawful to consume marijuana in a public place, including your hotel, your rental car, on a sidewalk on the Strip, or in a casino.
In order to understand the penalties for various drug crime penalties, we will go through the variety of drug crime charges under Nevada law (Nevada Rev. Stat. §§ 453.011 to 453.730) and their associated penalties upon conviction.
Types of Drug Crime Charges in Las Vegas, Nevada
It is important to keep in mind that there are different laws for different substances. For example, charges related to marijuana tend to be less severe than charges related to other drugs like methamphetamine. These categories include:
- Drug counterfeit charges;
- Drug paraphernalia charges; and
- Maintaining a drug house.
Penalties for Drug Offense Convictions
The potential penalties for drug crime charges depend on multiple factors, including but not limited to:
- The category of the offense;
- Type of drug; and
- Whether it is a first-time or subsequent offense.
Drug crime convictions can result in anything from a Category E felony (common for possession-related offenses) to a Category A felony (for drug crimes that result in another person’s death):
- Category A felony: life in prison with a 10-year minimum for parole or, in some circumstances, 40 years in prison with a 10-year minimum for parole, and a mandatory fine of up to $50,000 (example includes allowing a child to be present where controlled substances are manufactured or sold and substantial bodily harm or death results);
- Category B felony: anywhere from 1 to 15 years of imprisonment with no probation and no possibility of a suspending sentence, and a fine of up to $100,000 (examples include importing or selling schedule I or II drugs up to a third or subsequent offense of importing or selling schedule III, IV, or V drugs);
- Category C felony: 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 (example includes keeping or maintaining a drug house);
- Category D felony: 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 (example includes unlawful possession of a controlled substance by a prisoner);
- Category E felony: 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 (examples include a first offense of possession of a schedule V drug and manufacture or possession of drug paraphernalia).
Marijuana-related offenses begin with a misdemeanor that is punishable with a fine of up to $600. For each subsequent offense, the penalties increase. A fourth or subsequent marijuana violation is punishable as a Category E felony.
Seek Advice from a Las Vegas Drug Crimes Attorney
If you are facing drug crimes charges, you should seek advice from a Las Vegas drug crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Lobo Law for help with your defense strategy.