The attorneys at Adras & Altig are hardnosed criminal defense attorneys and have more than three decades of combined experience fighting on behalf of those charged with drug crimes in Las Vegas, including drug trafficking. Our lawyers at Adras & Altig are reputable and respected defense lawyers who provide strong representation for our clients. We respond promptly to investigate trafficking charges and develop a viable defense that will help our clients beat a drug trafficking charge.
Our law firm’s legal representation focuses on getting results through knowledge of the local drug trafficking laws, careful preparation and zealous advocacy. We follow the principle that an individual facing drug trafficking charges should have a strong legal defense. Attorneys Paul Adras and Steven Altig handle all of our firm’s cases personally. If you are represented by Adras & Altig, you will deal directly with the two partner attorneys who take a team approach to serving clients. In each case, we develop a legal defense strategy that serves the interests of the client. We negotiate aggressively with Clark County prosecutors to seek the best possible outcomes.
Definition of Drug Trafficking
The Nevada criminal code, NRS 453.3385, defines trafficking in controlled substances as knowingly or intentionally selling, manufacturing or bringing into Nevada any schedule I drug or schedule II drug other than marijuana or being in actual or constructive possession of four grams or more of a schedule I or schedule II drugs.
Schedule I drugs are illegal drugs such as heroin, LSD, mescaline, ecstasy, and methaqualone that have a high potential for abuse and no recognized medical benefit.
Schedule II drugs include methamphetamine, oxycodone, methadone, Dilaudid and Vicodin. The penalty for conviction of drug trafficking depends on the quantity of schedule I or schedule II drugs involved.
The Nevada drug trafficking statute also covers certain club drugs such as flunitrazepam (also known as Rohypnol, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), or any substance for which flunitrazepam or gamma-hydroxybutyrate is an immediate precursor. The penalties for a conviction of trafficking these controlled substances depend on the amounts of drugs involved.
Controlled Substances Commonly Trafficked in Las Vegas
Six types of drugs accounted for more than 95 percent of drug trafficking convictions in the fiscal year 2017, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
The types of drugs are:
Other controlled substances and illegal drugs that are frequently trafficked include:
- Ecstasy or MDMA
- GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate)
If a person is trafficking more than one type of drug, he or she will face a separate trafficking charge for each type of drug. An individual may face both state and federal drug trafficking charges.
Nevada’s Drug Trafficking Laws and Penalties
Under Nevada criminal law, NRS 453.3385, a conviction of trafficking 4 grams to 13 grams of a schedule I controlled substances is a class B felony carrying a punishment of imprisonment for at least a year and a fine of up to $50,000.
A conviction of trafficking 14 grams to 27 grams of a schedule I drug is a class B felony carrying mandatory imprisonment of two years or longer and a fine of up to $100,000.
A conviction of trafficking 28 grams or more of a schedule I controlled substance is a category A felony that carries a life prison sentence with the possibility of parole after 10 years.
For schedule II substances, the Nevada criminal code NRS 453.3395 states that a conviction of drug trafficking 28 grams up to 199 grams of a schedule II drug is a category C felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for one to five years and a fine of up to $50,000.
A conviction of trafficking 200 to 399 grams of a schedule II controlled substance is a category B felony that carries a sentence of two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
A conviction of trafficking 400 grams or more grams of a schedule II controlled substance is a category A felony that carries a definite 15-year sentence or a life prison sentence with the possibility of parole after five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Penalties for Trafficking Marijuana or Concentrated Cannabis in Nevada
Nevada also has harsh penalties for conviction of trafficking in large quantities of marijuana or concentrated cannabis as outlined in NRS 453.339.
A conviction of trafficking 50 pounds to 999 pounds of marijuana or 1 pound up to 20 pounds of concentrated cannabis is a category C felony that carries a sentence of one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
A conviction of trafficking 1,000 pounds up to 4,999 pounds of marijuana or between 20 pounds and 99 pounds of concentrated cannabis is a category B felony that carries a prison sentence of two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
A conviction of trafficking 5,000 pounds or more of marijuana or 100 pounds or more of concentrated cannabis is a class A felony, punishable by imprisonment for life with the possibility of parole after 5 years and a fine of up to $200,000
If the case involves the movement or distribution of illegal drugs across state lines or national borders into or out of Nevada, the offense may involve federal drug charges. Both state and federal charges involving drug trafficking carry harsh punishments, but federal charges generally carry longer prison terms and heavier fines.
How a Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you have been arrested on charges of possessing or selling large amounts of controlled substances in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, you need to hire an experienced drug trafficking defense lawyer as soon as possible. If the case involves a large quantity of drugs or weapons, you should seek a criminal defense attorney who has experience representing defendants in state and federal court in Clark County. Federal prosecutors may use the same evidence as state prosecutors to pursue a drug trafficking prosecution against you.
Our seasoned Nevada criminal defense attorneys at Adras & Altig have a detailed knowledge of Nevada drug trafficking laws as well as federal drug laws. We will review the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest and expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were trafficking in controlled substances to get a conviction. We will analyze whether the arresting law enforcement officer followed the correct protocols in charging you and executing a search warrant to search your property. The pretrial phase in a drug trafficking case is a critical stage. During pretrial hearings, our defense attorneys can challenge the prosecution’s evidence and have certain evidence suppressed by the court depending on the facts of the case. This can lead to drug trafficking charges being reduced or dismissed.
Being convicted of drug trafficking is something you want to avoid at all costs. A person found guilty of drug trafficking in Nevada generally is required to serve a mandatory minimum prison term before being eligible for parole. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys may be able to negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction or suspension of your sentence in some circumstances. The Nevada criminal code NRS 453.3405 allows the court to reduce or suspend the sentence of a convicted drug trafficker who provides substantial assistance in the investigation and prosecution of any criminal offense. When good cause is shown, a hearing may be held in closed session to consider a motion to reduce or suspend the sentence.
We understand the stakes are high if you are facing drug trafficking charges in Nevada. Your future and your freedom are at stake, and every decision our attorneys make regarding your case will be guided by that awareness. We bring open minds to handling drug trafficking cases and are here to help you resolve the charges, not judge you. We seek a resolution to the charges that has the least impact on your liberty. If you call with questions and we are in court, we will do our best to respond to your call by the close of business when possible. Contact us by phone or use our online contact form to set up a free consultation with Adras & Altig.