Las Vegas, Nevada Marijuana Laws, Punishments, and Criminal Defense
As public attitudes change and marijuana is accepted in mainstream society, the laws may also change. Until then, the laws will continue to be quite strict, and that includes Nevada laws for crimes which involve marijuana.
In many cases, these crimes can result in felony convictions which carry long prison sentences, fines, and a criminal record that may make it difficult to find housing or employment in the future.
If you are arrested for any crime involving marijuana, the drug lawyers at LV Criminal Defense can begin defending you right away. There are many ways to question the evidence, negotiate for reduced charges, or even get the charges dismissed, and you will want a criminal defense attorney fighting for you every step of the way.
Which Nevada crimes involve marijuana?
There are many crimes in Nevada which specifically deal with marijuana, in addition to offenses that only apply to other controlled substances. These include:
- Simple possession of pot
- Driving under the influence of marijuana
- Felony possession of cannabis
- Possession of weed with the intent to sell
- Cultivating marijuana or owning a grow house
- Trafficking in marijuana.
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What are the penalties for Nevada crimes involving marijuana?
The penalties for Nevada crimes involving cannabis depend on two factors:
- The amount of marijuana involved and
- Whether you have been convicted of drug crimes in the past.
As with many other crimes, if you have never been convicted of a similar crime before, the sentence may be greatly reduced. In the case of marijuana crimes, this can include complete dismissal of the charges if you agree to complete Drug Court.
If the charges are not dropped, you may at least get your jail sentence suspended. This means that you do not go to jail instead, you return to normal life and as long as you do not get in trouble again during the time frame when you would have been in jail, you do not have to serve the jail sentence.
Most first and second cannabis offenses are misdemeanor crimes. Nevada misdemeanor crimes are capped at 364 days in a county jail, such as the Clark County Detention Center in downtown Las Vegas. They may also require you to pay fines up to $1,000.
Felony marijuana charges
There are a few reasons why a crime involving marijuana may be charged as a felony offense:
- If you have three prior misdemeanor convictions for simple possession of less than one ounce of pot
- You are found in possession, even if the first time, with more than one ounce of marijuana or
- You are caught with marijuana and the judge agrees that you intended to sell it to other people.
Most Las Vegas felony marijuana crimes are charged as Category E or Category D felonies. These both carry prison sentences up to 4 years. A Category E felony may also require you to pay fines of $5,000. A Category D felony may require you to pay fines up to $10,000.
Marijuana trafficking is the most serious offense involving marijuana in terms of jail time. You can be sentenced to 1 to 5 years for trafficking amounts over 100 pounds, while amounts over 10,000 pounds can result in a life sentence with the possibility of parole.
Hiring a seasoned Las Vegas marijuana defense lawyer is critical. You should not take the possibility of a felony conviction lightly, and even for misdemeanor crimes, there is the possibility of dismissal with appropriate and skilled representation.
What if I have a Nevada medical marijuana card?
Medical marijuana is a new and changing area of law that your experienced Las Vegas defense lawyer will be keeping up with.
A medical marijuana card does prevent law enforcement from arresting you for certain crimes, including simple possession and cultivation. You are allowed to have up to one ounce of marijuana in your possession, or three mature plants or four immature plants for personal cultivation and use.
Having a medical marijuana card does not mean you are immune to prosecution for any drug offense. You can still be prosecuted for selling marijuana, intending to sell it , and driving under the influence of marijuana.Also, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even for medicinal purposes although most federal agencies have stated publicly that prosecuting medical users of marijuana is not a priority.
Getting arrested for a drug charge can be very scary. The evidence against you may seem impossible to ignore, the likelihood of long prison sentences and expensive fines is very high, and law enforcement, the prosecutor, and the court may not be sympathetic to you.
This is why you need to contact LV Criminal Defense as soon as possible if you have been arrested for a drug crime involving weed in Las Vegas. Your attorney has experience in these cases and understands the goals of the prosecutor and the courts, which means a strong defense that may not be available if you represent yourself or simply plead guilty.