Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Year after year, individuals travel here seeking the joys of the various forms of entertainment that this city has to offer. Unfortunately, with all the experimental fun and recreational activities, individuals often find themselves facing charges relating to illegal substances.
Once charged with a drug crime, it is critical that you take the allegations against you seriously. The state of Nevada has strict laws, which have the potential to lead to heavy penalties. In order to give yourself the best chance of avoiding these penalties, contact a dedicated drug crimes defense lawyer immediately after you are arrested.
Las Vegas Drug Defense Attorney
As a former federal public defender and prosecutor, Michael Pariente has accumulated a vast amount of legal knowledge and experience. Now, as a dedicated defense attorney serving the Las Vegas area, he will use the legal skills he has honed to defend you.
If you have been accused of a drug-related offense in Paradise, Henderson, Clark County, Las Vegas, or the surrounding areas, contact Pariente Law Firm, P.C. today at (702) 966-5310. Michael Pariente is ready and willing to serve you.
Information on Drug Offenses in Nevada
- Classification of Controlled Substances in Nevada
- What are The Most Common Narctoics Crimes in Las Vegas?
- Federal Drug Charges in U.S. District Court of Nevada
- Penalties for Possession of Drugs and Paraphernalia
- Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute
- Resources for Narcotics Charges in Nevada
- Working with the Best Drug Crime Defense Lawyers in Nevada
According to Chapter 453 of the Nevada Administrative Code, drugs are classified into five schedules, based on how dangerous the substance is, the likelihood that the drug will be abused, and whether or not it has any medical use in the United States. A breakdown of the drug schedules is as follows:
Substances in this schedule are categorized as having the highest potential for abuse, and are considered extremely dangerous. These drugs currently have no accepted medical use. Examples of drugs in this schedule include Heroin, Cocaine, LSD, and Ecstasy (NRS 453.510).
Drugs classified in this schedule have a high potential for abuse, and have limited amounts of medical uses. Extreme restrictions have been placed on the use of these drugs because of the dangers associated with them. Some of the commonly used drugs in this schedule include Opium, Morphine, Oxycodone, Codeine, and Hydrocodone (NRS 453.20).
These substances have a moderate potential for abuse and have some accepted medical uses and are prescribed by doctors under very specific circumstances. Anabolic steroids and ketamine are commonly used drugs from this schedule (NRS 453.30).
Narcotics in this schedule are known to be somewhat addictive, but have a lower potential for abuse than drugs mentioned in the schedules above. These drugs are commonly prescribed by doctors to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Examples of drugs from this schedule include Valium and Xanax (NRS 453.40).
These drugs are categorized as having the lowest potential for abuse, and they have many accepted medical uses. Cough syrup and other drugs that contain small amounts of controlled substances are examples of drugs in this schedule (NRS 453.50).
Drug charges typically depend on the amount of controlled substance possessed, as well as what the individual intended on doing with the narcotics in his or her possession. Some of the most commonly committed drug crimes are defined below:
Possession of a Controlled Substance
According to NRS 453.336, an individual who knowingly possesses a controlled substance without a valid prescription, is guilty of illegal drug possession. An individual can have actual or constructive possession of the narcotics. If the drugs are anywhere on your body, you are said to be in actual possession. Constructive possession means that the substances have been stored in a place that you have control over.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
This offense is defined by NRS 453.566 as being in possession of an object with the intent to use the object to package, distribute, manufacture, cultivate, store, transport, or use controlled substances. Some examples of paraphernalia include scales, pipes, bongs, capsules, small bags, and sifters.
Possession with Intent to Distribute:
NRS 453.337 and 453.338 states that anyone who possesses a controlled substance with the intent to sell it can be charged with this offense. In order to determine whether or not an individual intended to distribute narcotics, law enforcement can look for the presence of unusually large amounts of illegal substances or cash, weapons, packaging materials, and other paraphernalia consistent with drug distribution.
The federal government is also involved in the prosecution of drug offenses under the Controlled Substances Act. The Drug Enforcement Agency is tasked with pursuing federal narcotics crimes, although other agencies, like the FBI, may also do so.
The federal government can arrest anyone for mere possession of a controlled substance, but is more likely to pursue high-level trafficking charges. If convicted of these crimes, you will face mandatory minimum sentences and, sometimes, millions of dollars in fines.
Your attorney must be licensed in federal court. Michael Pariente is not only licensed, he has practiced for many years in the U.S. District Court of Nevada, and was a federal public defender before opening his defense practice.
If an individual is convicted of illegal possession, his or her punishment will depend largely on the amount and type of illegal substances found in his or her possession. Although penalties for narcotics crimes are predetermined, an experienced defense attorney in Las Vegas may be able to have your charges reduced, leading to a reduction in potential penalties.
In most cases, a first or second offense of possession is considered a category E felony, and is punishable by between one and four years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $5,000. A third or subsequent offense is usually classified as a class D felony, and carries a potential prison sentence of one to four years, and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is punishable by up to six months in jail, and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
The penalties for possession with intent to sell are mainly determined by which schedule the substance is classified under. If an individual is charged with intending to sell narcotics in Schedule I or II, he or she faces a category D felony. This is punishable by one to four years in prison, and/or up to a $5,000 fine if it is his or her first offense.
For a second offense, the charges are upgraded to a category C felony, which carries a prison sentence of one to five years, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If an individual is convicted of this offense for a third time, he or she can be sentenced to three to 15 years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
If the drugs are classified in Schedule III, IV, or V, a first or second offense is punishable by between one and four years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A third offense carries one to five years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Drug Enforcement Administration: The DEA is responsible for enforcing drug laws in the United States, and to bring any individual who is responsible for breaking these laws to justice.
Chapter 453 of the Nevada Revised Statutes: This chapter of the Nevada Revised Statutes provides explanations and definitions for crimes related to controlled substances. The link also provides potential penalties for offenders of drug crimes.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department:The LVMPD is the chief law enforcement agency in Las Vegas and in the surrounding area. The police department is located at:400 S. Martin L. King Blvd
Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
Phone: (702) 828-3111
Michael Pariente is an accomplished defense attorney who aggressively fights for clients accused of drug crimes in Henderson, Clark County, Paradise, Las Vegas, Spring Valley, and the surrounding areas. Whether you are a resident or a tourist, rest assured that Pariente Law Firm, P.C. will handle your case with the vigor and personal attention it deserves.
If you have been arrested on drug charges in and around Las Vegas, contact Michael Pariente today at (702) 966-5310. He has the knowledge and experience necessary to assist you against any drug charge, and he will dedicate his time to ensuring you have the best defense possible.