Drug Crimes

Possession of Marijuana

In Nevada, it is lawful for a person over the age of 21 to possess less than one ounce of marijuana. Public use of marijuana is still illegal and it is still illegal under federal law.

Penalties

If you have more than an ounce of marijuana in your possession, it is a Category E Felony for the first offense and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison, suspended;
  • Up to $5,000 in fines; and/or
  • Formal Probation.

For a second offense of Possession of More than an Ounce of Marijuana, it is still a Category E Felony and punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison;
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.

For a third or subsequent offense of Possession of More than an Ounce of Marijuana, it is a Category D Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $20,000 in fines.

Medical Marijuana Card

If you have your Medical Marijuana Card in Nevada, the law allows you to possess up to two and a half ounces of usable marijuana in any one 14-day period, or twelve plants irrespective of whether they are mature or immature.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

In Nevada, Drug Paraphernalia is defined as any kind equipment, product or material of any kind that is used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, storing, containing, concealing, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance. Common of examples of drug paraphernalia are:

  • Smoking Pipes
  • Bongs
  • Roach Clips
  • Scales
  • Needles
  • Grinders
  • Jars
  • Baggies
  • Rolling Papers

Penalties

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and is punishable by:

  • Up to six months in jail; and/or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines.

Possession of Controlled Substance

In Nevada, it is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell that controlled substance to other persons. This crime has two essential elements:

  1. The defendant was in possession of a controlled substance; and
  2. The defendant was intending to sell the controlled substance.

There are two types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means you have the controlled substance on your person. Constructive possession means you keep the controlled substance in a location you have access to, such as your home, car, a bag or a storage facility.

In order to prove a defendant’s intent to sell the controlled substance, the police look to the items and circumstances present with the defendant. They can include:

  • The suspect is carrying a weapon;
  • The controlled substance is kept in separate containers, in equal quantities;
  • The defendant is not under the influence of the controlled substance;
  • The defendant is also in possession of a large amount of cash, usually small bills;
  • The defendant is not carrying drug paraphernalia;
  • The defendant is present in an area known for controlled substances sales; and/or
  • A large amount of the controlled substance is found.

Penalties

When the controlled substance is a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Sell has the following penalties:

A first offense is probationable offense. It is a Category D Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.

A second offense carries mandatory prison time. It is a Category C Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

A third or subsequent offense also carries mandatory prison time. It is a Category B Felony and is punishable by:

  • 3 to 15 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $20,000 in fines.

When the controlled Substance is a Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V drug, Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Sell has the following penalties:

A first offense is a probationable offense. It is a Category D Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

A second offense carries mandatory prison time. It is a Category D Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

A third or subsequent offense also carries mandatory prison time. It is a Category C Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Trafficking

In Nevada, trafficking a controlled substance is a very broad crime that applies to cases involving a large amount of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance and the defendant is engaged in one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Manufacture of a controlled substance;
  • Possession of a controlled substance;
  • Sale of a controlled substance; and/or;
  • Transportation of a controlled substance.

Penalties: 

The penalties for trafficking a controlled substance vary depending on the schedule of drug and quantity involved, but trafficking a controlled substance always carries mandatory prison time.

Schedule I Controlled Substances

If the drug weighs at least 4 grams but less than 14 grams, then it is a Category B Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $50,000 in fines.

If the drug weighs at least 14 grams but less than 28 grams, then it is a Category B Felony and is punishable by:

  • 2 to 15 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $100,000 in fines.

If the drug weighs 28 grams or more, then it is a Category A Felony and is punishable by:

  • Life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served;
  • A definite term of 25 years, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 10 years has been served; and/or
  • Up to $500,000 in fines.

Schedule II Controlled Substances

If the drug weighs at least 28 grams but less than 200 grams, then it is a Category C Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $50,000 in fines.

If the drug weighs at least 200 grams but less than 400 grams, then it is a Category B Felony and is punishable by:

  • 2 to 10 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $100,000 in fines.

If the drug weighs 400 grams or more, then it is a Category A Felony and is punishable by:

  • Life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 5 years has been served;
  • A definite term of 15 years, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 5 years has been served; and/or
  • Up to $250,000 in fines

Marijuana

If the drug weighs at least 100 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, then it is a Category C Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $25,000 in fines.

If the drug weighs at least 2,000 pounds but less than 10,000 pounds, then it is a Category B Felony and is punishable by:

  • 2 to 10 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $50,000 in fines.

If the drug weighs 10,000 pounds or more, then it is a Category A Felony and is punishable by:

  • Life with the possibility of parole, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 5 years has been served;
  • A definite term of 15 years, with eligibility for parole beginning when a minimum of 5 years has been served; and/or
  • Up to $200,000 in fines.

Possession with the Intent to Sell

In Nevada, it is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell that controlled substance to other persons. This crime has two essential elements:

  1. The defendant was in possession of a controlled substance; and
  2. The defendant was intending to sell the controlled substance.

There are two types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession means you have the controlled substance on your person. Constructive possession means you keep the controlled substance in a location you have access to, such as your home, car, a bag or a storage facility.

In order to prove a defendant’s intent to sell the controlled substance, the police look to the items and circumstances present with the defendant. They can include:

  • The suspect is carrying a weapon;
  • The controlled substance is kept in separate containers, in equal quantities;
  • The defendant is not under the influence of the controlled substance;
  • The defendant is also in possession of a large amount of cash, usually small bills;
  • The defendant is not carrying drug paraphernalia;
  • The defendant is present in an area known for controlled substances sales;
  • A large amount of the controlled substance is found.

Penalties

When the controlled substance is a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Sell has the following penalties:

A first offense is probationable offense. It is a Category D Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.

A second offense carries mandatory prison time. It is a Category C Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

A third or subsequent offense also carries mandatory prison time. It is a Category B Felony and is punishable by:

  • 3 to 15 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $20,000 in fines.

When the controlled Substance is a Schedule III, Schedule IV, or Schedule V drug, Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Sell has the following penalties:

A first offense is a probationable offense. It is a Category D Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

A second offense carries mandatory prison time. It is a Category D Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

A third or subsequent offense also carries mandatory prison time. It is a Category C Felony and is punishable by:

  • 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison; and/or
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.