It is a crime in Las Vegas to possess narcotics, drugs, or any controlled substances without a prescription from a certified doctor. If you are charged with drug possession, it could result to prison sentences and hefty fines.
Nevada Revised Statute Section 453.336: Controlled Substance Possession
This statute defines that drug not for purpose of sale is when a person knows and intentionally possesses a controlled substance (i.e. illegal drugs), unless the substance was obtained with prescription. In short, owning or having control over drugs that you do not plan to trade for valuables or cash is considered as drug possession in Las Vegas.
Drug possession in Las Vegas is also called as:
- Las Vegas’ possession of drugs for personal use
- Las Vegas’ possession of controlled substance) PCS
- Las Vegas’ straight possession of controlled substance/narcotics.
Types of Prohibited Possession
One of the common misconceptions when it comes to drug possession is when the illegal substance is found physically on the person. The legal meaning, however, defines “possession” as extending to any location you exercise control over (i.e. at home, or in the car).
There are 3 types of controlled substance possession such as:
- Actual possession of narcotics
This possession is when someone physically keeps the controlled substance in their person. This includes hiding marijuana in your back pocket, or holding a baggie of crystal meth in your hand.
- Constructive possession of narcotics
This happens when someone stores the drugs in a place that they have a control over. For example, hiding an ounce of cocaine inside your house, or keeping heroin in your cabinet.
- Joint possession of narcotics
This type means there are 2 or more people who share or control ownership over the same illegal substance. For example, if a brother knows his sister stored heroin in the cabinet and permits it, he could be prosecuted for possession even if he did not use the drug himself.
The Defense to PCS
Your Drug Possession Attorney should explore all the possibilities for your defense when fighting drug possession charges. Some of the common defenses are:
- Lack of intent – you honestly did not know anything about the controlled substance in your possession.
- The drugs were not in your custody, possession, or control.
- The law enforcers committed a Miranda Rights violation
- The enforcers did an entrapment
- The law enforcers did an illegal search and seizure.
There is a possibility in getting your charges suspended, or get drug rehabilitation, or for the court to order probation. Depending on the conditions and facts determine the best defense for a drug charge case.
Sentence given by the judge typically depends on the drug’s schedule classification and if you have no other drug offenses in the past. If you have no drug offenses before, you might get eligible for Las Vegas drug court.
Schedule I – IV: 1st and 2nd offense
- Category E Felony in Las Vegas
- 1 – 4 years imprisonment
Most of the time, a 1st offense is probationable. This means avoiding the chance of imprisonment and a conviction if you would complete rehabilitation program or drug education.
Nevada Revised Statute 176A.100(1)(b)(4): Mandatory Probation
Provides that where a person is convicted of a category E felony, see NRS 453.336(2)(a), the district court must suspend the execution of the sentence and grant probation unless it is established at the time of sentencing that the defendant had previously been convicted of two felonies. Other reasons when a court may not grant probation includes when a person: (1) was serving a term of probation or was on parole at the time the crime was committed; (2) the person’s probation or parole was previously revoked; or (3) previously failed to successfully complete a program of treatment and rehabilitation pursuant to NRS 453.580.
Schedule I – IV: 3rd and subsequent offense
- Category D Felony in Las Vegas
- 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison
- Fines up to $20,000
Schedule 1 GHB: 3rd and subsequent offense
- 1 to 6 years imprisonment in Nevada State Prison
Marijuana possession charges do not apply
Schedule V: 1st offense
- Category E Felony in Las Vegas
- 1 to 4 years imprisonment
Charge can be dismissed if Drug Court is completed
Drug possession charge reduced to misdemeanor
This is a chance to reduce the charges against you if you are unwilling or ineligible to do Drug Court. A good defense attorney might convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges to:
- An order not to get arrested while the case is pending
- Community service
- Suspended jail sentence
Defend against PCS Charges
Ross Goodman is an experienced Las Vegas drug possession attorney who is committed to defend those who are accused of drug crimes. Ross Goodman’s goal is to get your charges lessened or dropped without a trial. It is important to get experienced lawyer who can help you with the charges filed against you and get represented in court. Contact Ross Goodman and schedule a free consultation.