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Las Vegas Drug Crimes Lawyer

Last Modified: December 18, 2023

Representation For Drug Charges In Las Vegas

If you have been charged under Federal Law or Nevada State law with a drug-related offense, you need an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Attorney Chandon S. Alexander has served the Las Vegas community for over 10 years, representing clients on a wide variety of criminal matters including drug possession and intent to distribute. He is licensed to defend clients in State, County, and Federal courts. We understand the seriousness of drug crimes and penalties in the state of Nevada and are committed to helping you understand the local court system and helping maintain your freedom. If you’re facing drug charges in Clark County, contact the Spartacus Law Firm and speak with our Las Vegas drug crime attorney today for a free consultation.

What Is A Nevada Drug Crime?

There are many different types of drug crimes that an individual can be charged with, and the type of drug crime can drastically change the degree of penalties if convicted. Any of the below scenarios can result in a drug crime charge against you. Not to mention, if you are found to simply be in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia for personal use it is still a crime in Nevada.

  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Possession of drugs with the intent to sell them
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia for personal use
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia which you intend to sell

It’s also crucial to understand that you do not have to own the drugs or drug paraphernalia to be charged with drug possession in Nevada. If the drugs are not yours but you are still caught while in possession of the drugs, there is a chance you could face the same charges as if they were yours. This scenario is more common than you might think, and if you’re in a similar situation, it’s important that you acquire skilled legal representation from a Las Vegas drug crime attorney to give you the best odds to prove your innocence. If you have been arrested for drug crimes because the police found someone else’s drugs on you or in your house or car, contact the Spartacus Law Firm right away for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.

Illegal Controlled Substances In Nevada

There are countless drugs that are illegal to possess and use, however, the rules for certain drugs can vary state by state. As a result, the state of Nevada has categorized controlled drugs and adopted a listing of different categories of drugs, known as a drug “schedule”. Drug schedules make it possible for controlled substances to be classified by certain characteristics. Below are examples of controlled substances that fall under each drug schedule.

Schedule I

According to NRS 453.166, Schedule I controlled substances are a category of drugs that are believed to have a strong likelihood of abuse and do not have a recognized use for treatment in the medical community and thus lack a benefit when administered under the care of a doctor.
Some common examples of schedule I controlled substances include the following:

  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • MDMA
  • LSD
  • GHB
  • Methamphetamine
  • PCP

Schedule II

According to NRS 453.176 Schedule II controlled substances have the same high potential for abuse as schedule I substances, but have some accepted in the medical community. Schedule II substances are believed to be very addictive and can lead to severe psychological or physical dependency. Some common examples of schedule II controlled substances include the following:

  • Opium
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Morphine
  • Ritalin

Schedule III

According to NRS 453.186 Schedule III, controlled substances are less likely to be abused compared to schedule I and II drugs, however, schedule III drugs are still dangerous. Schedule III drugs are believed to have a low to moderate dependence of a physical or psychological nature. Some common examples of schedule III controlled substances include the following:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Ketamine
  • Codeine

Schedule IV

According to NRS 453.196 Schedule IV, controlled substances have a low likelihood of abuse by the user and have recognized uses for medical treatment within the United States. These substances are believed to cause relatively limited dependence by their users. Some common examples of schedule IV controlled substances include the following:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam

Schedule V

According to NRS 453.206 Schedule V lists controlled substances that have little potential for abuse and are commonly used by medical doctors during treatment. Additionally, Schedule V substances have a low likelihood of chemical dependence. Some common examples of schedule V controlled substances include the following:

  • Substances with small amounts of codeine, such as cough suppressants
  • Substances with small amounts of dihydrocodeine
  • Substances with small amounts of opium
  • Substances with small amounts of difenoxin
  • Substances with small amounts of ethylmorphine

What If I Have A Medical Marijuana Card?

Although several states have made marijuana legal, the drug is still considered illegal under federal law. Nevada is one of the few states that has deemed marijuana usage legal for certain instances like for medicinal purposes. Nevada is also one of the states that have made marijuana legal for people with a valid prescription from a doctor. Although it’s still illegal under federal law even with a prescription, the enforcement of marijuana charges has become much more relaxed over the past decade. However, even though the consequences for marijuana crimes are less severe than they used to be, it’s still important to understand that all uses of marijuana are illegal under federal law and federal law enforcement still has the power to arrest and punish people for possessing marijuana. An individual who uses medical marijuana in Nevada may not be prosecuted for possession so long as they have no more than:

  • One ounce of usable marijuana; or
  • Three mature plants; or
  • Four immature plants

Penalties For Nevada Drug Crimes

The potential penalties for drug charges in Las Vegas depend on multiple factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • The category of the offense;
  • Type of drug; and
  • Whether it is a first-time or subsequent offense

Drug crime convictions vary depending on the circumstances of the offense. For example, drug charges in Nevada 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 the wrongful death of another):

  • 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
  • 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
  • Category C felony: 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Category D felony: 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Category E felony: 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000

Marijuana-related charges in Nevada are generally misdemeanors that are punishable with a fine of up to $600. However, for every subsequent marijuana-related offense, the penalties increase. Less than 1oz of marijuana is a misdemeanor for the first and second offense, and a gross misdemeanor for a third offense. A fourth or subsequent marijuana violation is punishable as a Category E felony. If you’re facing drug charges in Nevada, it’s essential to remember that without professional legal representation, drug crimes can quickly be enhanced. Luckily, our Las Vegas drug attorney at the Spartacus Law Firm has represented countless clients facing these very same charges. Call our office today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.

Probation and Drug Court

Although Nevada takes drug crimes very seriously, there are opportunities for first-time, non-violent offenders who are willing to take steps to stay out of trouble in the future. For those without a prior criminal record, it’s possible to be granted some leniency in your case with the help of an experienced Las Vegas drug crime lawyer. In fact, Nevada courts have programs specifically for first-time offenders who have acknowledged their mistakes and show an interest in turning their lives around. For example, by completing Drug Court, the drug charges against you may be reduced or dropped entirely. Drug court can be a time-consuming process but it can result in a clean criminal record for people who follow through on it. If you have an opportunity to attend drug court, it’s highly recommended that you and your drug crime attorney seek to do so. It is important to note that even if your charges are dismissed due to the successful completion of an alternative sentencing program, the conviction will still count for the purpose of determining a second or subsequent offense enhancement.

The Adult Drug Court program is a minimum one-year court-supervised inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment program.

The Juvenile Drug Court program offers four programming tiers: Pre-Adjudication Diversion Program, a 90-day program individualized to the needs of each youth (including school/educational services, substance abuse and mental health counseling, mentoring and family support groups and after school programs), First STEP, which is a 90-day intensive substance abuse ASAM Level 1 program, STEP Court, a minimum 9-month substance abuse program which includes ASAM Level 1 outpatient, relapse and intensive outpatient treatment, and Transitional Program, a 90-day transitional program for youth transitioning into the community from outpatient treatment.

The Family Treatment Drug Court program is a court-supervised outpatient substance abuse treatment for alcohol and drug-dependent parents involved in the child welfare system.

The Veterans Court offers court-supervised outpatient treatment for veterans convicted of a felony. The program works with the Veterans Administration to serve veterans with significant addiction and mental health issues that developed during or from their military service.

The Gambling Treatment Diversion Court is a court-supervised comprehensive outpatient treatment program for defendants with gambling problems and other addictive behaviors. Per NRS 458A defendants are eligible if they have been convicted of a crime that was committed in furtherance or as a result of problem gambling.

The OPEN Program is a program for former non-violent former Nevada Department of Corrections inmates aged 18-26 years old who have been incarcerated. This program’s stated goal is to reintegrate this class of individuals into their communities and connect them with community-based resources while working to address their court requirements.

Defense To Drug Crimes In Nevada

At the Spartacus Law Firm, we know how to find weaknesses with prosecutors’ claims and evidence. If the right defense strategy is deployed, there’s a chance that the evidence is simply not strong enough to support a drug crime conviction in Nevada. It’s important to understand that after you are charged with a drug offense, do not assume that you will be found guilty. There are many criminal defense tactics that our Las Vegas drug crime attorney can use to present reasonable doubt in your case and help secure the best possible outcome. Some of the many different types of defenses that are used to challenge drug charges include:

  • The defendant did not have clear possession or control over the drugs
  • The defendant had a legal prescription for the drugs, such as medical marijuana
  • The defendant committed a lesser offense, such as possession for personal use as opposed to possession with intent to sell
  • The drugs were obtained through illegal search and seizure by law enforcement
  • Law enforcement officers used entrapment to make the arrest
Las Vegas Criminal Defense ATTORNEY

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Drug Charges Get Reduced Or Dismissed?

Yes, drug charges can be reduced or even fully dismissed. In many Nevada drug crime cases, it’s common for prosecutors to be willing to plea bargain drug charges down in order to avoid going to trial. Therefore, by relying on various defense strategies, you and your Las Vegas drug attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed completely. Also, first-time drug crime offenders suffering from addiction may have the opportunity to avoid serious consequences by completing Drug Court which can help dismiss drug charges. Additionally, in higher-level drug cases such as drug trafficking, there may be an opportunity for charges to be reduced or dismissed by agreeing to act as an informant for the police. There are many legal options for someone facing drug charges in Nevada, that’s why it’s best to seek the help of a skilled Las Vegas drug crime attorney who has represented these types of cases in the past.

How Can A Las Vegas Defense Attorney Help Me Win A Drug Crime Case?

There are a number of legal strategies that can be employed to help fight against a drug charge. Our legal defense team at the Spartacus Law Firm will examine the following issues to analyze if any of the following challenges can be made in your case:

  1. A motion to suppress evidence is applicable in regards to any search and seizure of drugs in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  2. A motion to suppress any incriminating statements made by a defendant because he/she was not properly Mirandized or a violation of a defendant’s Fifth Amendment right of self-incrimination.
  3. Challenges to illegal law enforcement tactics such as the usage of illegal surveillance, wiretaps, or unreliable confidential human sources (informants). General police misconduct may result in a dismissal of charges.
  4. Motions in Limine challenging the admission of evidence including the drugs in question.
  5. Chain of custody issues. Are the drugs that were seized actually belonging to the defendant or did law enforcement properly handle the drugs during the investigatory phase.
  6. Issues of entrapment, did law enforcement coerce or encourage the defendant into committing an illegal act.

Two other common defenses to drug possession in violation of NRS 453.336 are:

  1. The defendant did not legally possess the drugs at issue
  2. The defendant did not knowingly possess the drugs at issue.

All of these defenses are complicated and require the guidance of an experienced Las Vegas attorney. At the Spartacus Law Firm, we have the experience you need to get the results you want, contact us today for a free consultation.

What Will Happen If I Am Convicted Of Drug Crimes?

Yes. In Matter of Seven Minors the Nevada Supreme Court held that a juvenile court should decide for or against transfer to charge a juvenile as an adult on the basis of a matrix of categories: (1) the nature and seriousness of the charged offense or offenses, (2) the persistency and seriousness of adjudicated or voluntarily admitted past criminal offenses, and (3) the personal attributes of the offender. 99 Nev. at 442, 664 P.2d at 957. We also noted, however, that either seriousness of the charged offense or past record, or a combination of these two categories, may support a decision to transfer. Id. Once a transfer is justified on the basis of public interest and safety, there is no need to consider the “best interest of the child.” Id. at 433, 664 P.2d at 951.

In Ortiz v. State, 104 Nev. 312, 756 P.2d 1189 (1988), the Appellant juvenile sought review from an order of the Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County (Nevada), which certified that appellant could be treated as an adult to answer charges of trafficking in a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance, and conspiracy to sell a controlled substance. The Nevada Supreme Court held when juveniles, such as Ortiz, knowingly and extensively involve themselves in the sale and trafficking of significant quantities of controlled substances, their transfer to the adult criminal court may be readily justified as essential to public safety and welfare.

Should I Hire A Las Vegas Drug Crime Attorney?

In every drug case, prosecutors must be able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, otherwise, the charges will not stick. Therefore, a drug crime defense attorney must conduct a thorough investigation to uncover every weak link in the state’s case to increase the chances of reasonable doubt. The most effective defense strategies against drug charges in Nevada revolve around the specific charge and circumstances of the case. Typical evidence includes the following:

  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Recorded communications to and from the defendant
  • Photographs and surveillance video
  • The drugs themselves

Contact A Las Vegas Drug Crime Attorney

If you or a loved one are facing drug charges in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Clark County, you need to start working on your defense strategy as soon as possible. At the Spartacus Law Firm, we specialize in these types of cases and have an extensive background in similar cases. Don’t leave your fate in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer, contact our qualified Las Vegas drug crime attorney today to learn more about how we can help. We offer free consultations to better explain the legal process and exactly what we can do for you. Call the Spartacus Law Firm today to begin fighting the drug charges brought against you.
(702) 660-1234