Las Vegas Drug Crime Penalties
Nevada is home to many strict drug laws, and even though marijuana is legal in Nevada, the state is harsher than some of its neighbors. Despite its reputation for being a party town, the law in Las Vegas, and the entire state of Nevada, is strict with drugs and drug crimes. Read on to learn more about some of the state’s rules and regulations regarding drug use, possession, and sale.
What Drugs Are Illegal In Nevada?
All controlled substances, like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine in Nevada, are illegal to make, sell, or possess. Some substances, like marijuana, are legal in limited quantities. Medical marijuana cardholders with less than 2.5 ounces and individuals with less than one ounce of marijuana can have the substance in their homes. It’s illegal to have marijuana outside the home, including in a hotel room. Amounts differ for concentrated marijuana, with those 21 and over able to possess one-eighth of an ounce so long as it’s in their home.
What Penalties Can You Receive?
The penalty you receive for a drug charge can depend on the schedule or class, a drug belongs to. Drug schedules range from one to five, and the categories consider factors like a drug’s potential for abuse or user dependency alongside its medical benefits. Two primary groups comprise these categories, with schedule one and two drugs making up one group and schedule three, four, and five drugs making up the other.
Penalties are often most harsh for those with schedule one and two drug charges. Understanding the different categories of drugs can give you a clue as to their charging and penalty expectations. Even though marijuana is a schedule one drug, because of its limited legality in Nevada, some marijuana-related penalties are lower than other schedule one and two drug charges.
Schedule One Drugs
Schedule one drugs have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical uses. Marijuana remains a schedule one drug and is illegal federally, though some can legally possess small amounts of marijuana in Nevada. Other schedule one drugs include heroin, ecstasy, acid, and peyote.
Schedule Two Drugs
Schedule two drugs include meth, cocaine, and codeine. Schedule two drugs often see similar penalties to schedule one drug charges. In Nevada, being high in public is an offense, even if you don’t physically possess any drugs on your person. Anyone charged for a schedule one or two drugs will likely see harsher consequences than charges for the lower schedules of drugs.
Schedule Three Drugs
Schedule three drugs can sometimes carry less severe penalties, but punishments for convicted offenders are still often severe. Drugs in this schedule include anabolic steroids and ketamine. Suboxone is another schedule three-drug.
Schedule Four Drugs
Klonopin, Xanax, and valium are three examples of schedule four drugs. These drugs are typically considered less dangerous, with lower instances of abuse and higher instances of medical significance. Still, punishments for various charges with schedule four drugs can be severe, especially for repeat offenders.
Schedule Five Drugs
The last category within the drug schedules system is scheduled five. These drugs still carry legal significance, and the penalties for abuse can be severe. Schedule five drugs include over-the-counter cough medications like Robitussin, which contains codeine. Abusing drugs like these by taking them outside their intended use or using them to produce other substances can carry severe legal consequences.
What Drug Charges Are There?
Drug charges related to the possession, creation, trafficking, and sale of controlled substances. Here’s a closer look at some of the various drug charges:
In Nevada, drug possession means having physical possession of drugs. Simple possession means you have the drugs for personal use. This can include drugs stored in a secure area, like a glove box or safe, drugs shared by a group, or drugs in a purse or pocket. If you get caught with marijuana outside the home, first offenders can get a misdemeanor charge that might include a fine or rehabilitation. Subsequent offenses can lead to more significant consequences, like larger fees, jail time or felony charges, and probation.
Other drug charges can be much harsher. Possessing a schedule one or two drug, including methamphetamine, cocaine, and OxyContin, can mean a felony charge and probation. Lower schedule drugs, like Xanax, ketamine, and valium, can still be category B and C felonies, with jail time and large fines.
Possession With Intent To Sell
It’s also illegal to sell or otherwise distribute drugs and controlled substances. This means no unauthorized prescribing, gifting, or exchanging either. The sale amount and the drug type can determine penalties for this offense. First offenders can face time in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Subsequent offenses can lead to higher fines and increased prison time. Schedule one and two charges are often punished most harshly, as are more significant amounts.
Trafficking usually refers to the transportation of large amounts of drugs, but even high enough quantities of personal-use drugs can lead to this charge. For marijuana, trafficking or moving large amounts can lead to prison time and large fines. Very high amounts, even of concentrated weed, can lead to more severe consequences. Lawbreakers can see up to life in prison.
Selling other controlled substances can require lower weights than marijuana. Having over 100 grams of a controlled substance like cocaine, Rohypnol or heroin can be a category B felony. Higher amounts can have penalties like $500,000 fines and up to life in prison.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)
In Nevada, it’s also illegal to operate a vehicle or heavy machinery while under the influence of drugs. Typically, the state treats driving under the influence of drugs similarly to driving under the influence of alcohol. First-time offenders often lose their licenses, pay heavy fines of up to $10,000, and attend special educational sessions.
If an individual injures or kills someone because of their drugged driving, there might be case-specific consequences. Hit and Runs can also require criminal defense cases. Most drug charges can be charged alongside other offenses if they occur.
If you have additional questions about penalties for drug crimes, Las Vegas laws, or a separate legal matter, you can request a legal case evaluation or give us a call. Our team would love to hear from you.