Possession of Controlled Substance

It is a crime in Nevada to “knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance.” Controlled substances include a long list of substances, such as cocaine, marijuana, meth, GHB and ecstasy. One has to knowingly or intentionally possess the controlled substance to be charged. If you truly had no knowledge of the controlled substance in your possession, then one would be innocent. Furthermore, you have to have possession of the controlled substance, which could be on you, at a location you have control over, or jointly with someone else if you share control or ownership of the controlled substances.

Being charged with possession of a controlled substance is a felony. Luckily, Nevada does treat 1 ounce or less of marijuana differently from the rest of the controlled substances.

Penalties for controlled substances include:

  • First or second offense is a category E felony with a minimum 1 year to a maximum 4 year prison sentence, however, probation and jail of less than 1 year may be possible
  • Third and subsequent offense is a category D felony that carries a minimum 1 year and a maximum 4 year prison sentence and may include a fine up to $20,000
  • If it is a first offense schedule V drug (e.g. Opium, Codeine) it is a category E felony, but it may be possible to enroll in “Drug Court” and receive a dismissal if successfully completed
  • For a second or subsequent schedule V offense, it is a category D felony
  • If charged with flunitrazepam or gamma-hydroxybutyrate (e.g. date rape drug), a category B felony will be imposed and a minimum prison sentence of 1 year to a maximum 6 years

As one can see, a charge of possession can be quite serious. Additionally, if there are certain quantities of controlled substances, it may be a higher penalty and a felony of possession controlled substance with intent to sell or even a higher penalty of trafficking of a controlled substance. The law does treat marijuana differently from other controlled substances. Penalties for possession of marijuana are:

  • First offense of 1 ounces or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor and a fine of $600 or possible treatment
  • Second offense is a misdemeanor and a fine not more than $1000 or possible treatment
  • Third offense is a gross misdemeanor and possible jail up to a year and/or fine not more than $2000
  • Fourth or subsequent offense is a category E felony

It may be possible, depending on your case, to get a dismissal, reduce the charges, or avoid jail time. Contact the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata, an experienced drug charges attorney, for a free consultation to explain your charges and possible defenses for possession of controlled substances at 702-366-0891.