If you are in Nevada and you face felony drug charges, as the first line of defense your attorney will try to get the charges dismissed. If the state has strong evidence and you do not want to face a trial, your attorney will try persuading the prosecutors to reduce the charges to a less serious misdemeanor known as ITS, or Interstate Drugs Commerce.
In Nevada, most drug crime is prosecuted as a felony charge, whether it is for selling drugs, trafficking, intent to sell, possession, or being under the influence of a drug. The main exception is the ITS misdemeanor which is a catch-all category.
In Las Vegas, most people who are arrested for a drug crime are not initially charged with ITS. If the case is a weak one, or if the person does not have a serious criminal record, the prosecutors often drop the felony charges and replace the initial charge with the misdemeanor ITS.
You may be able to have your felony drug charges reduced to misdemeanor ITS if your attorney can prove in your defense:
Entrapment – If the police entrap a person in a drug deal they would not have entered without the encouragement of the police, the charges may be dismissed by the state.
Illegal search – If the police violated your constitutional rights during the investigation, the charges may be dropped. If the search is ruled illegal, any incriminating evidence that is found during the search can be kept out of your case by your defense attorney.
Weak evidence – If your lawyer can prove to prosecutors that they have a weak case, the state may reduce or drop the charges.
In the state of Nevada, ITS is considered a misdemeanor which means that if you are convicted, a judge can order a sentence of:
- Incarceration in jail up to six months, and/or
- Fines up to $1,000
If you have been arrested on felony drug charges and the state agrees to reduce the charges to misdemeanor ITS, the judge will often impose some or all of these conditions:
- Attendance at a drug treatment program
- Community service and an order to keep away from any future trouble, meaning you must avoid being cited or arrested for any reason other than minor traffic offences until the case is closed.
- Probation and a suspended sentence will mean that you do not go to jail unless you commit a violation of your plea deal.
These penalties may appear to be very severe for a misdemeanor offense. It is actually a preferable outcome if you consider that in Nevada most drug crimes are considered felonies automatically, with the exception of marijuana possession of amounts less than one ounce, which carries a fine. Since ITS is a misdemeanor, you can petition to have your criminal record sealed in two years after the case is closed.