Current Laws On Medical And Recreational Marijuana
The laws related to medical and recreational marijuana in the state of Nevada are constantly evolving. Presently, Nevada’s medical marijuana program allows cardholders (18 and older) to possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana for medical purposes. In order to obtain a medical marijuana card, the patient must be prescribed it by a physician to treat illnesses such as cancer, PTSD, AIDS, glaucoma, muscle spasms, and other similar conditions. The card lasts one to two years with the option to renew it. Cardholders and their caregivers must adhere to vigorous rules and regulations regarding their marijuana purchasing, consumption, and cultivation. Otherwise, there are possibilities for criminal charges for possession and other offenses.
Recreational marijuana users over the age of 21 are now permitted to purchase, possess and consume marijuana without a medical card. However, there are restrictions that exist for recreational users. A person can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana in the state of Nevada in their residence, but possessing a larger quantity is considered a crime unless you are a licensed vendor. Using marijuana in public is a misdemeanor, with a $600 fine involved. Possession of more than one ounce and less than fifty pounds of marijuana is considered a felony, as it is categorized as possession with an intent to distribute. Possession of more than fifty pounds is a trafficking offense, with penalties ranging from one year to life imprisonment depending on the amount involved.
Punishments For Drug Paraphernalia In Nevada
In the city of Las Vegas, drug paraphernalia possession is against the municipal court statutes and is considered a misdemeanor with up to six months in jail and/or a fine not exceeding $1,000. Typically, if an individual is convicted of drug paraphernalia possession, they will not end up in jail. A competent drug crimes attorney will play a large role in ensuring that this type of offense is resolved with the least severe consequences possible. Because paraphernalia is not a drug crime, these cases can be dismissed due to the low level of the offense. The best way to defend against drug paraphernalia charges include factors such as lack of intent and police misconduct.
Can Law Enforcement Search Vehicles Or Homes For Drugs Or Drug Paraphernalia?
In most cases, law enforcement must have a warrant to search homes for drugs or drug-related materials. This would have to involve probable cause, meaning there must be information involved that leads the police to believe that there are illegal substances in the home.
Vehicles are slightly different. If an officer pulls over a motorist and asks permission to search, and the individual gives them permission, this is considered a legal search. Otherwise, they must also obtain a warrant, unless they have probable cause which can be obtained by things such as odors or drug-sniffing dogs. It is important to note that police need an additional search warrant in order to search the trunk.
For more information regarding marijuana and possession laws in Nevada, contact Yampolsky & Margolis Criminal Defense today.
Common Legal Defense Strategies Used Against Drug Cases
The main priority of any attorney representing a criminal defense drug case is to do everything they can to keep their client out of prison. Additionally, avoiding a felony charge is an important goal, which can be done by getting the charges dismissed, or getting the case acquitted in the trial process. Many times in drug cases, minimizing exposure plays a large role in how the case is resolved. Explaining the circumstances that the defendant was in when they were arrested for drug possession can allow the case to take on a different element, perhaps convincing the prosecuting party of an alternate perspective.
Negotiating for lesser convictions is crucial for the ultimate sentencing of the defendant, and a skilled attorney can use several different angles to do so. Obtaining the best offer for their client is the cornerstone of any successful lawyer, and it is their job to ensure the legal security being imposed, and that due process is being followed. A skilled legal representative analyzes elements of the case such as:
- How law enforcement constructed the case
- The defendant’s intent
- Insufficient evidence
Bringing aspects of the case to light that may decrease the criminal charge is very important to a criminal drug case. Arriving at a plea bargain that minimizes the penalties and recognizes the legal autonomy of the defendant is an important objective for any attorney to work towards. Each case is different, and the strategy is to minimize any exposure that the client has and get them the best possible deal.
If you have any questions regarding the legal representation of a drug case, please do not hesitate to contact Yampolsky & Margolis Criminal Defense today for an initial consultation.