Las Vegas Drug Crimes Attorney
At the Law Offices of Michael I. Gowdey, Ltd., we are committed to defending clients across Nevada facing felony and misdemeanor drug charges. Our firm’s criminal defense attorney — Michael I. Gowdey — represents people from all walks of life, including tourists accused of minor possession and conspirators accused of running organized drug manufacturing and trafficking operations.
Despite being known as “Sin City,” Las Vegas and the state of Nevada carries some of the harshest penalties in the country for drug crimes. Law enforcement officials in the state aggressively pursue drug convictions for residents and visitors alike. The severity of punishment depends on which schedule the drug falls under, the amount of substance found, and whether you have a prior history of substance-related convictions.
Many drug crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences that can land people in jail for 20 or more years. In fact, selling more than 28 grams of an illegal narcotic can subject an individual to life in prison.
Attorney Michael I. Gowdey has built a strong record defending clients accused of a wide range of drug crimes for more than 23 years. Contact our law firm online or call 702-471-0321 to schedule a free initial consultation or jail visit. We are ready to help you aggressively fight for your rights and your freedom.
Drug Schedules in Nevada
Controlled substances in Nevada include illegal street drugs and medical drugs obtained without a prescription from a doctor. These controlled substances are divided into 5 Schedules or categories based on their potential for abuse and addiction, and whether or not they can be used for medical purposes.
Schedule I drugs have the highest potential for physical dependency and have no currently accepted medical use.
- LCD (acid)
- GHB ("date rape drug")
- Peyote (mescaline)
Schedule II drugs have a high tendency for abuse and limited medical use
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin)
Schedule III drugs have less potential for physical dependency than schedules 1 & 2 and may have accepted medical uses.
- Anabolic steroids
- Synthetic Dronabinol
Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse, and some substances can be prescribed by doctors.
Schedule V drugs have the lowest chance of being addictive and may be distributed for medical purposes without a prescription.
Drug Charges in Nevada
The Law Offices of Michael I. Gowdey can defend against a wide range of state and federal drug charges including but not limited to:
Possession of a controlled substance: According to Nevada Revised Statute 453.336, you can be charged with possession of a controlled substance if you knowingly or intentionally had the drug on your person or were in a position in which you exercised “dominion and control” over the drug.
- Penalties for drug possession in Nevada can include fines of up to $5,000 ($20,000 if it is a third or subsequent offense) and 1 to 4 years in state prison.
Possession with intent to sell or distribute: Under NRS statutes 453.337 and 453.338, you can be charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell or distribute if you were found with large amount of drugs, scales, baggies, or large amounts of cash.
- Penalties for possession with intent to sell or distribute are more serious than simple drug possession charges and can include 1 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000, depending on the type of drugs involved and your criminal history. If you are a first-time offender, probation may be an option.
Drug Trafficking: Under NRS statute 453.3385, this is a broad crime that can refer to the possession, manufacture, transportation or sale of controlled substances. The crime is categorized as trafficking when the quantity of drugs exceed a certain amount.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking
At least 4 grams but less than 14 grams of a controlled substance
- 1-6 years in Nevada State Prison and a $5,000.00 fine. This is a non-probational offense.
At least 14 grams but less than 28 grams (one ounce) of a controlled substance:
- 2-15 years in Nevada State Prison and a fine of not more than $100,000.00. This is a non-probational offense.
At least 28 grams (one ounce) of a controlled substance
- 10-25 years, or a Life sentence with parole eligibility beginning at 10 years, in Nevada State Prison and a fine of not more than $500,000.00. This is a non-probational offense.
- Drug manufacturing in meth labs or marijuana grow houses
Defense Strategies for Drug Charges
Criminal defense attorney Michael I. Gowdey offers an aggressive approach to drug cases. He conducts a comprehensive factual investigation of the drug charge including gathering and scrutinizing evidence, consulting expert witnesses, and reviewing the police report. Based on the circumstances of your case, Mr. Gowdey will develop a tailored defense strategy.
Common defenses used in drug cases often include
- Your constitutional rights were violated by law enforcement
- improper or illegal stop/lack of probable cause
- illegal search and seizure
- failed to administer your Miranda Rights
- Errors with weighing, packaging or labeling drugs
- Faulty field testing or chemical testing of substances
- Possession issues
- you didn’t have custody or control of the drugs; they belonged to someone else
- you had no intention of selling or distributing drugs
When you select our law firm, you can feel confident that we will deliver a strong defense strategy. Even if we aren’t able to get a dismissal or acquittal — which is always our first goal — we can seek to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution to reduce the charges against you or seek a diversionary drug treatment program.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation with a highly skilled Las Vegas drug charges defense lawyer.