It is important to always keep in mind that an arrest is not yet a conviction. However, any small conviction for possession of a controlled substance can have a lasting impact on your criminal record even if you did not serve time for it. A second conviction could have severe repercussions on a penalty range.
If you have been arrested on charges of criminal possession or other drug offenses, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys for a free consultation.
Drug crimes in Nevada have varying degrees of penalties and fines, depending on the type of substance and the amount.
Each of these offenses will range in penalties and will largely depend on the facts and circumstances of the arrest, as well as the type and quantity of substance involved. Additionally, drug offenses concerning possession have more lenient sentences than drug offenses involving drug trafficking. The difference between the two types of crimes has to do with the amount of the substance found when you are arrested. It is important to treat each arrest with importance since even a small misdemeanor conviction can have a lasting impact on your future. Drug trafficking crimes will only apply to situations where the defendant is arrested with Schedule I or Schedule II substances.
As is clear, each type of substance has varying degrees of potential abuse and dependence, leading to enhanced penalties on each substance.
The penalties for making or selling Schedule I or Schedule II substances range according to whether you have a prior conviction, but could lead to up to 15 years in prison and a fine of at least $10,000. The penalties for making or selling Schedule III, IV, or V substances include a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison, depending on prior convictions.
Drug crimes, regardless of the severity, should always be treated with the utmost importance during criminal defense. While the penalties may range according to the substance type and quantity, a criminal conviction will remain on your record for the rest of your life. Even a misdemeanor offense can haunt you in years to come, and it is important to handle the criminal defense of your arrest regardless of the severity. Drug trafficking arrests may furthermore lead to federal charges, which will involve stricter penalties and punishment ranges than Nevada state law.
De Castroverde Law Group has helped countless clients defend against serious charges, including:
Our Las Vegas criminal attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group are experienced in defending clients against all types of drug charges, and we can fight for you.
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De Castroverde Law Group is dedicated to helping someone like you. Someone who has been criminally charged, who has been arrested or someone who knows that they are under criminal investigation. These are frightening scenarios and are usually accompanied by high levels of stress. If you find that you are in a situation similar to this, we highly encourage you to look around our site. Your Las Vegas criminal attorney can do the following:
Understanding the criminal trial procedures and overall process is crucial when you have been charged in Las Vegas. A trial may seem tidy on television shows, but it is usually a long and technical process which can take months or even years to resolve. There are many aspects to a trial, the first of which is deciding whether the defense wants the trial to be done by judge or jury. If it is to be done by jury, the selection process, known as “voir dire,” consists of the prosecution and defense asking questions to potential jurors.
In a trial, surprises are not allowed. Witnesses must be submitted beforehand, and both parties given the opportunity to question them. Any relevant evidence must also be submitted beforehand and agreed upon by the judge and opponent. Witnesses and evidence can be deliberated, as one party is allowed to argue against something being allowed in trial.
Cross-examination of witnesses happens next, and your lawyer can question the validity of their claims. If they feel that the prosecution has not produced enough evidence to convince a jury of guilt, they can move to have the trial dismissed. If that is not granted, then the defense will have the opportunity to show inaccuracies in the prosecution’s case. After all of this, each side presents closing arguments, and the jury is given instructions before the deliberate everything they have heard. The final step is verdict and, if necessary, sentencing.
Defense strategy in a Las Vegas court will depend on the type of crime and the circumstances surrounding it. As with all criminal cases, there is a presumption of innocence until guilt is proven through trial or a plea. The presumption of innocence is the basis of a not guilty plea, in which your attorney will procure evidence and witnesses to build your case.
This is done to convince the jury that there is reasonable doubt about your guilt. It’s not enough for a jury to just think that you did it; the evidence has to be almost overwhelming. If it’s applicable, you and your lawyer will use the alibi defense. If the crime occurred at a certain time or place, and you can provide evidence that you weren’t there. For example, if the crime happened between 9:00 and 11:00 pm, but you were at a movie, a ticket stub or the receipt for your popcorn could absolve you of guilt.
Unless you have been arrested after already being released from prison or are currently serving a suspended sentence, you will likely be admitted to bail. Bail is a dollar amount necessary to be released from prison after an arrest, and is determined by the judge of magistrate. This release is temporary, and is usually also made under the condition that you will appear in court.
Bail is set based on the nature and severity of the offense for which you are accused. Another thing that the judge considers is the likelihood that you will attempt to leave town or break the law again should you not be in prison. A “bail algorithm” is used which considers several other factors, such as age, health, criminal history and record of failing to appear in court, if one exists. This is done to avoid any accusation of bias against or towards the defendant.
The magistrate has the authority to set a bail amount as they see fit. A person arrested for drunk driving will have their bail determined by how far over the legal limit they were, whether they caused an accident and whether there are any injuries. For all other crimes – from petty theft to murder and everything in between – the bail will be set by a judge. The amount of bail for domestic violence or battery is predetermined by Nevada state law, and depends on whether you saw a judge or magistrate and how long after the crime you were admitted:
$3,000 – If the person has no prior arrests and there’s no reason to believe that the battery caused significant bodily harm and is admitted less than 12 hours after the crime. If it’s been more than 12 hours, violating a restraining order, stalking or harassment would also receive this bail amount.
$5,000 – If it’s been less than 12 hours: no previous convictions but the battery caused significant harm, or they have one previous conviction of domestic violence but didn’t cause significant harm. If it’s been more than 12 hours: previous conviction of violating a restraining order, stalking or harassment.
$15,000 – If it’s been less than 12 hours: one previous conviction of domestic violence and they caused significant harm, or two previous battery convictions. More than 12 hours: two or more previous convictions of harassment, stalking or violating a restraining order.
Many factors are considered when choosing whether to release someone without bail, such as whether conditions outside of prison will still prevent someone from attempting to flee, as well as employment history, criminal history and mental state. If you fail to appear in court or commit a crime while on bail, then you will be held in prison.
No matter the crime for which you have been arrested, you are entitled to fair and just treatment under federal law. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) outlines all of the rights you as an inmate would have:
Freedom of speech and religion – You still have the right to communicate with family and the outside world, as well as send and receive mail. The latter is subject to the institution’s need to protect security, and assuming there is no security risk are not allowed to be confiscated.
Medical and mental health care – All of your needs in this regard have to be met. Whether it’s something simple such as asthma and you need your inhaler or something that could be fatal if left unmedicated, you have a right to sustain your health.
Cruel, inhuman and degrading conditions – This pertains to many things: overcrowding, violence or abuse and mistreatment based on race, gender or religion are against the law.
If you have been incarcerated and you feel your rights in any regard have been violated, seek counsel from an experience attorney. Constitutional rights are extended to all citizens no matter what, so if these protections aren’t afforded to you by the prison officers, you have a right to a lawsuit.