Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Sell NRS 453.337 & NRS 453.338)

All drug charges in Nevada are serious offenses that can negatively impact your future job prospects and immigration status, as well as limit civil rights such as the ability to vote and own a gun.

If you have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance you are accused of planning to sell in Las Vegas, contact LV Criminal Defense today to begin your defense. The attorneys will work to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed.

How does Nevada define possession with intent to sell?

Possession with intent to sell is just what it sounds like- the Nevada crime of possession of a controlled substance plus intent to sell.

Intent is a mental state that the prosecution has to prove. Intent can be proven using many factors such as:

  • the quantity of drugs in hand is more than a normal supply for an individual;
  • weapons are also  found on the person because drug deals can be dangerous;
  • the person is found in a location where drug deals normally happen;
  • the defendant has materials for aid in selling, like small plastic bags, on his person;
  • the defendant has the drugs neatly separated into many small bags or containers; and/or
  • other facts that would make it seem that you have, or are preparing to, sell narcotics in your possession such as carrying lots of small denominations of money in cash.
  • The intent part of the Las Vegas felony of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell is what makes the penalties so much higher than the simple possession. But in many of the examples above, there is a good, alternative explanation that shows the person is just a recreational buyer of drugs, and not a seller.

For example, the defendant could simply have been carrying a weapon legally. A person who purchases a large quantity of drugs in from a seller for his own personal use may have lots of baggies on his person.

Don’t let a stereotype result in a conviction!

Many times prosecutors will rely on stereotypes to prove their case. For example, a sober person carrying narcotics intends to sell them because drug users are always high.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


Therefore, it is critical to contact a Las Vegas drug defense lawyer as soon as possible if you have been arrested. He can work to raise doubt about whether you intended to sell narcotics.

Do you have to actually sell drugs to be convicted of possession with intent to sell in Las Vegas?

No. Just intending to sell controlled substances is enough for a conviction. The stat does not need to prove any sales actually happened.

What are the penalties for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Penalties for possession with intent to sell depend on:

  • the prior criminal history of the defendant;
  • the amount of drugs found; and
  • the seriousness of the drugs (what “schedule” they are).

Schedule 1 and 2 and drugs containing GHB

Possessing Schedule I drugs in Las Vegas with the intent to sell them is a Category D felony. Category D felonies in Nevada carry punishments of:

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Address: 400 S, 7th Street #401, Las Vegas, NV 89101 United States, 400 S, 7th Street #401, 89101, US, $$$ | Tel: + 1 (702) 623-6362

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  • 1 to 4 years in prison; and
  • fines up to $5,000.

If this is not your first conviction, the penalty increases to a Category C felony, which has fines up to $10,000 in addition to jail time of 1 to 5 years.

A third offense of possessing narcotics with the intent to sell in Nevada is a Category B felony. Category B felonies for drug crimes impose 3 to 15 years prison time in a State prison and fines up to $20,000.

Las Vegas plea bargains in possession with intent to sell cases

These can often be reduced to misdemeanors or even dismissed. First time offenders may be sentenced to probation instead of jail time.

Las Vegas Drug Crime Lawyers

If you have been arrested in Las Vegas for possession of controlled substances with intent to sell, you need solid, experienced criminal defense as soon as possible. This is the best way to make sure a simple possession crime is not punished as a possession with intent to distribute.