Overview of Potential Jail Time for Possession of Marijuana in Nevada
The legality of possessing marijuana has become a hot topic in and around Las Vegas due to recent changes in state law. It is now legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana if you are 21 years of age or older. However, you cannot smoke pot in a public setting, with the exception of a “social use venue” in Las Vegas.
If a police officer catches you smoking marijuana in a public area outside a recognized social use venue, it is possible you could be charged with a misdemeanor and have to pay a fine of up to $600.
Here are other scenarios that could result in potential jail time if you are found in possession of marijuana.
You Cannot Possess Large Quantities of Weed
Even though possessing small amounts of marijuana is now legal in Nevada, it remains a felony criminal offense to possess more than one ounce of marijuana. Furthermore, if you are found to be in possession of 50 pounds or more of weed, then you are automatically charged with drug trafficking, which could result in a lengthy, multi-year prison sentence.
Definition of “Marijuana Possession” in Nevada
In Nevada, there are three distinct forms of “possession” when it comes to marijuana. There is (i) actual possession, (ii) constructive possession, and (iii) joint possession. The information below is an overview of each form of possession:
- Actual possession means you were physically holding or carrying marijuana on your person. For example, if you were patted down by police and they found an edible in your jean pocket or purse.
- Constructive possession means you were storing or keeping marijuana in a place you had control over. For example, if police found marijuana in your bedroom, vehicle, etc.
- Joint possession means when multiple people were found to be in possession of marijuana. For example, if you and your roommate had marijuana in your living room and it was identified by law enforcement.
Location, Location, Location
The location of the marijuana is critical when Nevada police determine whether to arrest someone for possession of marijuana. Police generally make a determination that someone has marijuana when they find marijuana in their vehicle, home, office, desk, or on their person.
So Can I Go to Jail for Possessing Marijuana in Nevada?
The answer to this question depends on the unique circumstances of your particular case. As mentioned, it is a misdemeanor offense if you are found to be smoking or consuming marijuana in a public place or moving vehicle.
You can also face significant jail time if you were found to be in possession of large quantities of marijuana (e.g., more than 50 pounds).
Can I Seal a Pot Possession Conviction That Appears on My Record?
Generally, the answer is year. You can attempt to seal criminal records for a pot possession conviction that occurred one of two years after the closure of your case.
Defending Against a Marijuana Possession Charge
If you are charged with marijuana possession, do not give up hope. You may be able to fight the charges. For example, there is no marijuana possession if you did not know that the marijuana was there. For example, if someone slips a joint in your backpack without your knowledge, then you did not commit a crime because you never intended to possess marijuana.
Charged with Marijuana Possession in Las Vegas? Speak to an Experienced Las Vegas Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one was arrested for possession of marijuana, now is the time for action. Contact an aggressive and skilled drug possession defense lawyer with LV Criminal Defense. Once hired, our legal team will go to work right away on your behalf.
There are many ways to question the evidence, negotiate for reduced charges, or even attempt to get the criminal charges dismissed, and you will want an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer fighting for you every step of the way.