In Nevada, drug crimes range from possession of an illegal drug for one's personal use to more serious crimes involving sale, distribution, importation, cultivation, manufacture, and trafficking. Drug crimes also include the unauthorized obtainment of prescription drugs for personal use or sale, such as barbiturates, codeine, and opioid painkillers. Possession of a drug generally includes not only what is found on your person but areas over which you have control, such as your home, apartment, business, or vehicle. Illegal drugs and controlled substances include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, steroids, Ecstasy, and other club or street drugs.
These types of crimes may be prosecuted at the state or federal level, depending on the nature of the offense. Federal drug policy is regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, which places drugs in a schedule or classification, based on their degree of addictiveness and potential risk. Schedule I drugs, for example, have a high risk for abuse and includes such substances as codeine, heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, and peyote. Controlled substances are classified in this method into five categories, which also determine how drug crimes involving them are punished. Federal possession laws also prohibit obtaining certain amounts of the precursor chemicals used in drug manufacturing, such as an ephedrine base used in meth labs.
A person may be charged with both a Nevada state and federal drug violation for the same drug crime. Federal drug crimes in Nevada are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's office. Because I handle both state and federal crimes, I can represent anyone facing federal drug charges throughout the entirety of their case. Nevada laws concerning marijuana possession make a distinction between those under the age of 21 and those above. Anyone under 21 who is convicted of possessing marijuana in any amount faces a felony charge with potential penalties of 1 to 4 years of incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines. First and second-time offenders are often put on probation in lieu of incarceration. Those over 21 face a misdemeanor charge, with fines of $600 to $1,000.