Drug Possession in Nevada
Drug crimes in Nevada usually center on the concept of “possession” of a substance (a drug) that is controlled by law. Possession can be either “actual” or “constructive” and both are recognized under the law.
The definition of possession is described as “having custody” of the purported drugs which are recognized by statute as being illegal. Illegal narcotics in Nevada include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, opium, ecstasy and many more. Oftentimes, an individual can be accused of possession “actual custody” of the purported controlled substance.
People can be accused, arrested or charged with possession if they are alleged to be in possession of drug or narcotics drug paraphernalia, demarcated as a product, material, or equipment that is used in the production, concealment or use of the illegal substance. Common examples are pipes, needles, baggies, containers or dispensing devices which contain a trace or powder of the alleged controlled substance.
It is important to contact a Las Vegas Drug Charge attorney immediately if you are charged with possession of a controlled substance. You need to take swift action to make sure you avoid the potential consequences of a narcotics conviction.
Possession does not necessarily mean the person accused, arrested or charged is holding the object at the time they are contacted by law enforcement. There are different types of “possession” under Nevada law, including Actual, Constructive and Joint.Actual Possession
A person, who knowingly has direct physical control over a thing, at a given time, is in actual possession of it.
For instance, if you have Cocaine in your hand or pocket, you are in actual possession of the drug.Constructive Possession
A person who, although not in actual possession, knowingly has both the power and the intention, at a given time, to exercise dominion or control over a thing, either by themselves or through someone else, is in constructive possession of it.
For example, if you have a backpack in the trunk of your car, you know that there are drugs in it and you intend on taking the backpack out of the trunk at some point later, you are in constructive possession of the drugs.Joint Possession
Another thing to be aware of is that possession can be joint. In other words, more than one person can possess the same item.
If you have drugs and you hand them to your girlfriend to keep in her purse, both of you have possession over the drugs jointly and at the same time.Penalties for Drug Possession in Nevada
There are different penalties, or punishments, under Nevada law for different types of drug possession crimes. There is no weight requirement for certain types of drugs in Nevada to make the charge a Felony Drug Offense. Pursuant to NRS 453.336, the penalties for drug possession are dependent on a number of factors, such as the schedule the drug falls into, the amount of the drugs and whether the person has priors for drug related convictions.
While most Drug Possession Charges in Nevada are of a Felony nature, a skilled and experienced Las Vegas Drug Defense Attorney can often find issues with the arrest or charge that can lead to a reduction of outright denial or dismissal of the charges. This is extremely important because Nevada law charges most Drug Possession Cases as a Category E or Category D felony, meaning potential prison time of up to four (4) years in jail and potential fines of up to $20,000.00.
If you are accused or arrested for a Drug Possession related charge in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, it is imperative that you speak to a Las Vegas Drug Crimes Lawyer as early on in the process as possible to ensure you get the best representation available. Contact Las Vegas Drug Crimes and Criminal Defense Lawyer Josh Tomsheck today.