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Have you been charged with a Drug Crime?

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Your response to being charged with possession, sales, or use of illegal drugs in Nevada should be to promptly contact a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney with extensive experience successfully handling drug crimes cases. The skilled Las Vegas drug crime attorneys of Adras & Altig have more than a decade of experience defending residents and visitors from all types of drug charges. We understand the stakes in these types of cases, and we fight aggressively for solutions that represent the best interests of our clients.

You should never try to deal with drug charges on your own, no matter how relatively minor the offense may seem. Prosecutors will not go easy on you, and a conviction could haunt you for the rest of your life. Contact Adras & Altig today. Our lawyers will work quickly to protect your rights and craft a strong case in your defense, which may include fighting for charges to be dropped or reduced.

You Have Rights After a Drug Crime Arrest

Any time you have been arrested, you should cooperate with police but protect your right to not do harm to yourself. Know that:

  • You have a right for an attorney to be present before you answer questions.
  • Anything you say really can and really will be used against you.
  • As calmly as you can, you should tell police you decline to answer questions until you have spoken to a lawyer.
  • You should contact an experienced drug crime attorney as soon as you are allowed to, and let your lawyer handle everything from there.

Do not try to explain your side of the story to the police. Just stay quiet and try to be polite. Try to remember the sequence of events, what police said to you (such as if/when they read you your Miranda rights), and who may have witnessed your arrest.

Contact our respected criminal defense law firm today to talk about your legal rights after an arrest. 

How We Help Clients Fight Drug Crime Charges

Regardless of the circumstance of your arrest or drug charges, you should obtain qualified legal representation and initially plead not guilty. Never try to represent yourself in court. Prosecutors have no reason to go easy on you. In fact, they have an incentive professionally and in terms of public relations to be hard on drug offenders.

At Adras & Altig, our experienced Las Vegas drug crime attorneys will seize every opportunity to fight for drug charges against you to be reduced or dropped, and we may be able to avoid even going to court. Our skilled team will investigate the circumstances of your arrest and the alleged evidence against you to evaluate all your legal options.

Remember, the prosecution must establish beyond all reasonable doubt that you were in possession of an illegal substance to gain a conviction. Many drug cases do not go to court because the prosecution realizes they will not stand up to an experienced defense attorney’s examination.

Our attorneys will work tirelessly to uncover all the factors that could make a difference in your case, such as:

  • Improper arrest, including problems involving mistaken identity, illegal search, or failure to advise of Miranda rights
  • Unreliable or unavailable witnesses, which often occurs in a tourist destination like Las Vegas
  • Faults with evidence, such as chain of custody issues
  • Evidence that supports the defendant’s innocence

Evidence in your favor when facing a drug charge may be that you honestly did not know you had controlled substances in your possession. This is not unusual in charges of constructive or joint possession, and in the “party” atmosphere found in Las Vegas.

Additionally, under Nevada’s Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, a person who sought help after overdosing on drugs, sought help with another person’s overdose, or helped someone who may have overdosed cannot be charged with drug possession or use by police who respond. If you were arrested in such a scenario, we can help.

If this is your first offense, our seasoned defense lawyers can argue to get you into a drug diversion program or have charges dismissed or reduced. Even with more serious drug crime charges, our dedicated defense attorneys often argue to get charges reduced to help expedite the case.

Making a deal that benefits the defendant in a Clark County (Las Vegas) drug case requires the defense attorney to have positive professional relationships with local prosecutors and judges. It also requires full understanding of Nevada drug laws and a willingness to craft a strategic defense based on the unique details of each client’s case.

At Adras & Altig, we believe that no one’s life should be ruined by a mistake, an addiction, or improper criminal charges. Contact our experienced Las Vegas drug crime lawyers today to find out how we can help you.

Nevada Drug Laws and Controlled Substances NRS 453

Nevada law — Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 453.336 — makes it illegal to intentionally and unlawfully possess on your person or otherwise have under your control any “controlled substance,” unless you have a valid prescription for the drug. There are specified penalties for possession or control of various drugs classified as Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V controlled substances.

There are numerous illegal controlled substances that are used as recreational drugs. Among the drugs most often seized in arrests in Las Vegas are:

  • Schedule I: Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy, Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Peyote
  • Schedule II: Cocaine, Methamphetamine (“meth”), Oxycodone (OxyContin), Methadone, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Schedule III: Codeine, Ketamine, Anabolic Steroids, Testosterone
  • Schedule IV: Valium, Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet
  • Schedule V: Robitussin AC, Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica

Being convicted of a drug crime in Nevada is something to try to avoid at all costs. A guilty verdict can result in heavy fines, time in prison, and lasting damage to future employment possibilities or higher education opportunities. If you or someone you love has been charged with a drug crime, contact our law office today to learn about your legal rights.

Types of Drug Crime Charges in Nevada

Drug crime charges in Nevada can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. You may be facing charges of:

Possession of Drugs

There are three types of possession of a controlled substance (PCS) charges under Nevada drug laws:

  • Actual possession: Having a controlled substance on your person (in hand, pocket, purse, etc.)
  • Constructive possession: Having a controlled substance in a location you control, such as in your car or home, a locker assigned to you, etc.
  • Joint possession: Knowing a controlled substance exists in a home or other location you legally share with a spouse or roommate

It is important to understand that even possession of prescription drugs in Schedule III thru V categories is illegal if you do not have a current, lawful prescription for that drug.

Nevada drug law penalties are among the harshest in the country. Simple possession of a controlled substance of any class is punishable by 1 to 4 years in state prison for a first or second offense. A third or subsequent offense is punishable by 1 to 4 years in prison plus a fine of up to $20,000.

Possession of the drug GHB, a central nervous system depressant that is commonly referred to as a “date rape” drug or “club drug,” can lead to a sentence of 1 to 6 years in state prison.

As of January 1, 2017, adults over the age of 21 (demonstrated with a valid ID) are allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for use on private property. If you possess more than an ounce of marijuana, you can be charged with possession of a Schedule I controlled substance.

In first offenses for drug possession, most defendants can enter and complete a drug court program and get probation instead of jail time. However, you will need an experience Las Vegas drug crime lawyer to arrange this.

Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance

Even if you have not sold a drug or have any intention of selling an illegal drug, you may be charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

The additional possession for sale charge is typically based on a large quantity of drugs found in your possession and/or having drugs packaged in separate and smaller amounts. Being caught with a large amount of drugs and a large amount of cash, particularly small bills, is likely to lead to a possession-for-sale charge, as well.

Possession with intent to sell is punished in Nevada as follows:

  • For Schedule I or II drugs: 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense; 1 to 5 years in prison with a $10,000 fine for a second offense; and 3 to 15 years in prison with a fine of up to $20,000 for a third offense
  • For Schedule III, IV, or V drugs: 1 to 4 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000 for a first or second offense (with probation possible for first-time offenders); and 1 to 5 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000 for a third offense
  • For possession of drug paraphernalia, with intent to sell:1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000

Sales of a Controlled Substance

A charge of selling drugs is met by even more severe punishment if you are convicted.

For Schedule I and II drugs, you may receive 1 to 6 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for a first offense; 2 to 10 years in prison for a second offense; or 3 to 15 years for a third or subsequent offense. Punishment for sale of Schedule III through V drugs is similar.

If convicted of drug sales involving minors or taking place near a school facility, the prison term can be doubled.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking charges may be filed if you are suspected of possessing and selling large quantities of a controlled substance, moving or delivering illegal drugs, or shipping drugs into Nevada from out of state. Quantities may be as little as 4 grams of a Schedule I controlled substance and 28 grams of a Schedule II drug.

Punishment for a drug trafficking conviction depends on the drug’s classification (Schedule I-V) and the amount trafficked. For example, trafficking in 28 grams or more of a Schedule I drug is punishable by 25 years to life in prison and/or a fine up to $500,000.

Under the Influence of Illegal Drugs

It is a felony to be high on controlled substances classified as Schedule I through IV. For Schedule V drugs, it is a misdemeanor.

Often such a charge is combined with DUI, as “DUID,” and penalties for DUI are applied if you are convicted.

Call Our Las Vegas Drug Crimes Lawyers Now to Discuss Your Case

If you or a loved one has been arrested on drug charges in Clark County, Nevada, do not wait to talk to our seasoned Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys about your legal options. A drug crime conviction could follow you around for the rest of your life.

Let our compassionate drug crime attorneys evaluate your case for free to talk about how we can help you deal with your legal problems and get on with your life.

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