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Nevada Drug Selling Laws

Brian J Smith Aug. 20, 2012

In Nevada, the penalties for selling controlled substances can be severe, and can include fines in the thousands of dollars and prison time. If convicted of drug selling, you would have a criminal record which may discourage employers from offering you a job.

It is illegal in Nevada to offer drugs for sale or to sell drugs. In Las Vegas, this applies to both the sale of cocaine or other illegal drugs, or even Ambien, or other prescription drugs. This illegal activity is often abbreviated as SCS, short for Sale of Controlled Substances.

Most of the arrests for drug selling in Las Vegas results from one of the following:

  • A hand to hand drug sale witnessed by a concealed officer

  • An alleged drug dealer offering to sell to an undercover officer

Trafficking vs. drug selling

The crime in Nevada of controlled substances trafficking is normally reserved for a large scale operation in drug sales. In particular, charges in drug trafficking can only be brought under the following instances:

  • When a sale was: At least 4 (four) grams of a drug containing gamma-hydroxybutyrate or flunitrazepam or of a schedule 1 narcotic.

  • When a sale was: A minimum of 28 (twenty-eight) grams of a narcotic in schedule II.

When accused of drug selling in Nevada, the following defenses may be used:

Entrapment: If you normally would not have carried out a sale of drugs, but the police tricked you into doing so, an entrapment defense may be successful in Nevada to have your case dismissed.

Lack of Evidence: The burden of the prosecution is to prove a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If your case is not backed up by physical evidence, there is a possibility the case could be dismissed due to insufficient proof.

In a case where the only incriminating evidence is supported only by the testimony of an officer, your lawyer can attempt to damage the officer’s credibility as a witness to prove to the judge and jury that he or she cannot be trusted.

In Nevada, selling narcotics or drug selling of any kind falls under NRS 453.321 as a felony. A judge can impose an exact penalty under the following two factors:

  • The classification or schedule of the drug

  • Whether the defendant has a history of drug offenses in the past

Under the right conditions, probation may be a possibility if this is a first offense of SCS in Las Vegas. If minors are involved, increased penalties may apply under NRS 453.3345.

If there was a sale of a controlled substance in one of the following places, a Las Vegas judge will surely double the prison sentence:

Within 1,000 feet of a video arcade, recreational center, public swimming pool, public park, or playground.

Within 1,000 feet of any facility of higher learning in the Nevada System, or a school bus stop within one hour before or after school hours.