Nevada Drug Possession, Sale and Trafficking Laws

The impact for a drug conviction can be severe for misdemeanor and felony offenses in Nevada. With the widespread use of background checks, a conviction can shut many doors for future employment opportunities.
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Certain fields may be especially thorough with background checks and will disqualify individuals with drug convictions. This includes many healthcare fields, law enforcement agencies, and other government bodies. Given what is at stake, it is important to understand the Nevada drug laws, even if you are being represented by a defense attorney.
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Currently, Nevada laws strictly penal individuals arrested for possession, manufacturing, cultivation and trafficking of illegal drugs. Commonly used drugs in this list include cocaine, heroin, opium, LSD, ecstasy and a variety of other narcotics.
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Chapter 453 of the Nevada Controlled Substances Act defines the schedule of drugs, allowances and penalties in the state. Some of the defined offsets are:

  • NRS 453.316 – Maintaining a place for unlawful sale, gift or use of a controlled substance
  • NRS 453.321 – Offer, attempt, or commission of unauthorized acts relating to controlled substances
  • NRS 453.322 – Offer, attempt, or commission of manufacturing or compounding of controlled substances
  • NRS 453.331 – Distribution of controlled substances, use of unauthorized registration number and possession of signed blank prescription forms
  • NRS 453.333 – Second or subsequence offense for selling a controlled substance to a minor
  • NRS 453.336 – Unlawful possession not for purpose of sale
  • NRS 453.337 – Unlawful possession for sale of flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and schedule I or II substances
  • NRS 453.338 – Unlawful possession for sale of schedule III, IV, or V substances
  • NRS 453.3385 – Trafficking in controlled substances Trafficking in controlled substances: Rohypnol, GHB, and schedule I substances (not including marijuana)
  • NRS 453.339 – Marijuana trafficking

Penalties for drug crimes in Nevada can vary, depending on the specific criminal liability, circumstances of the arrest, amount of illegal drugs involved, previous criminal history of the alleged offender, and strength of the defense or prosecution of case. Under Nevada’s Controlled Substances act, the most common offenses may be punished as follows:
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Drug Possession, Not For Sale

  • Class E Felony (1st or 2nd offense, schedule I, II, III, or IV ) – 1 to 4 years in state prison or probation and / or up to $ 5,000 in fines
  • Class D Felony (3rd or subsidiary offense, schedule I, II, III, or IV) – between 1 and 4 years in state prison and / or up to $ 5,000 in fines
  • Class E Felony (1st offense, schedule V) – between 1 and 4 years in prison or probation and / or fines up to $ 5,000
  • Class D Felony (2nd or subsequent offense, schedule V) – 1 to 4 years in Nevada state prison and / or up to $ 5,000 in fines

Unlawful Possession of Schedule I or II Drugs, Rohypnol, or GHB

  • 1st offense, category D felony – 1 to 4 years in state prison and / or up to $ 5,000 in fines
  • 2nd oath, category C felony – between 1 and 4 non-probational years in Nevada state prison and / or up to $ 10,000 of fines
  • 3rd or subsidiary oath, category B felony – punished by 3 to 15 non-probational years in state prison and / or a fine of up to $ 20,000 for each indemnity

Unlawful Possession for Sale of Schedule III, IV, or V Drugs

  • 1st and second offense, category D felony – punished by 1 to 4 non-probational years in state prison and / or up to $ 10,000 in fines
  • 3rd or subsequent indemnity, category C felony – can be punished by 1 to 5 non-probational years in Nevada state prison and / or up to $ 10,000 in fines

Drug Trafficking (Schedule I)

  • Category B Felony (between 4 and 14 grams) – Punishable by 1 to 6 non-probational (mandatory prison) years in Nevada State Prison and / or up to $ 50,000 in fines
  • Category B Felony (between 14 and 28 grams) – Punishable by 2 to 15 non-probational (mandatory prison) years in Nevada State Prison and / or up to $ 100,000 in fines
  • Category A Felony (28 grams or more) – Punishable by 25 non-probational (mandatory prison) years to life and a fine of up to $ 500,000

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However, Nevada has surprisingly moved to a certain level of acceptance concerning marijuana, along with many other states in the country. Nevada decriminalized the use of medical marijuana in 2001 when 65% of the state’s voters moved to amend the state’s constitution to recognize its legitimate use in a medical capacity. However, to remain in compliance with the state law, medical marijuana users must have documented permission from a physician.
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Once registered with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services: State Health Division, the individual can use, possess and grow marijuana to a certain extent (up to 1 ounce possession and up to 7 plants cultivated, only 3 of which can be mature) . Note that Nevada has not decriminalized the use of marijuana for the general population like other states such as California, Connecticut and Mississippi have. flights
Currently there are several legal battles going on regarding the medical marijuana laws and how people can obtain medical marijuana. As the law stands today a person must produce their own medical marijuana to legally obtain medical marijuana. A person can not get it from a centralized location like a dispensary. Furthermore, even though the State of Nevada has approved the use of medical marijuana, the Federal government has not, and is starting to invoke Federal Law against those people using and growing medical marijuana. Be aware that even though you might be following State laws you can be arrested and convicted for violating Federal laws.
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Possession of marijuana by non-approved medical users is still a serious criminal offense. Under Nevada’s Controlled Substances Act, possession of non-medical marijuana indemnity can result in the following punishments:

Possession of 1 Ounce or Less of Marijuana

  • 1st offense, misdemeanor – Fine up to $ 600 or drug abuse treatment examination
  • 2nd offense, misdemeanor – Fine up to $ 1000 or drug treatment / rehabilitation program
  • 3rd offense, gross misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in county jail and / or up to $ 2000 in fines
  • 4th or subsidiary oath, category E felony – between 1 and 4 years in state prison or probation and / or a fine up to $ 5,000

It’s important to remember that an arrest for a drug-related crime does not necessarily mean a conviction will follow, regardless if the individual was charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. If you have a defense attorney experienced in Nevada drug cases, he or she can use many of the details surrounding the case to your benefit. This can include improper search and investigation procedure, lack of probable cause to make a stop (in cases of vehicular arrests), constitutional right violations, competency of witnesses, and other miscellaneous facts.

Pleading guilty to a drug crime does not necessarily mean the defender will receive a lighter sentence. Many individuals facing this situation also find it beneficial to retain an attorney from the moment of arrest, regardless of their state of innocence. Prosecution and law enforcement officials do not have the best interests of the accused in mind and details may be overlooked in their pursuit of justice. It is in your best interest to consult with a Nevada defense attorney about your legal options.

Payroll Nevada, Unique Aspects of Nevada Payroll Law and Practice

Nevada has no State Income Tax. There for there is no State Agency to oversee withholding deposits and reports. There are no State W2’s to file, no supplement wage withholding rates and no State W2’s to file.

Not all states allow salary reductions made under Section 125 cafeteria plans or 401(k) to be treated in the same manner as the IRS code allows. In Nevada cafeteria plans are taxable for unemployment insurance purposes. 401(k) plan deferrals are taxable unemployment purposes.

Nevada doesn’t have income tax.

The Nevada State Unemployment Insurance Agency is:

Employment Security Division

500 E. Third St.

Carson City, NV 89713

(775) 687-4510

The State of Nevada taxable wage base for unemployment purposes is wages up to $22,000.00.

Nevada has optional reporting of quarterly wages on magnetic media.

Unemployment records must be retained in Nevada for a minimum period of four years. This information generally includes: name; social security number; dates of hire, rehire and termination; wages by period; payroll pay periods and pay dates; date and circumstances of termination.

The Nevada State Agency charged with enforcing the state wage and hour laws is:

Department of Business and Industry

Office of Labor Commissioner

555 East Washington Avenue

Las Vegas, NV 89101

(702) 486-2750

The minimum wage in Nevada is $5.15 per hour.

The general provision in Nevada concerning paying overtime in a non-FLSA covered employer is one and one half times regular rate after 8-hour or 40-hour week (10-hour day, 4-day week if agreed to).

Nevada State new hire reporting requirements are that every employer must report every new hire and rehire. The employer must report the federally required elements of:

  • Employee’s name
  • Employee’s address
  • Employee’s social security number
  • Employer’s name
  • Employers address
  • Employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

This information must be reported within 20 days of the hiring or rehiring.

The information can be sent as a W4 or equivalent by mail, fax or electronically.

There is a $25.00 penalty for a late report in Nevada.

The Nevada new hire-reporting agency can be reached at 888-639-7241 or 775-684-8685 or on the web at []

Nevada does not allow compulsory direct deposit

Nevada requires the following information on an employee’s pay stub:

  • itemized deductions
  • Nevada requires that employee be paid no less often than semimonthly; FLSA-exempt employees paid by out-of-state employers can be paid monthly.

    Nevada requires that the lag time between the end of the pay period and the payment of wages earned from 1st-15th, pay by end of month; 16th-end of month, pay by 15th of next month to the employee.

    Nevada payroll law requires that involuntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay immediately and that voluntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay earlier of next regular payday or 7 days.

    Deceased employee’s wages must be paid when normally due to the surviving spouse or distributee after affidavit of right is shown; 40 days after death; and if the estate is not over $20,000.

    Escheat laws in Nevada require that unclaimed wages be paid over to the state after one year.

    There is no provision in Nevada law concerning record retention of abandoned wage records.

    Nevada payroll law mandates no tip credit may be used against State minimum wage.

    There is no provision in Nevada law concerning tip credits against State minimum wage.

    In Nevada the payroll laws covering mandatory rest or meal breaks are only that all employees must have 30 minutes rest after eight hours of work; 10 minutes rest after 4 hours.

    Nevada statute requires that wage and hour records be kept for a period of not less than two years. These records will normally consist of at least the information required under FLSA.

    The Nevada agency charged with enforcing Child Support Orders and laws is:

    Child Support Enforcement Program

    Human Resources Division

    100 N. Carson St.

    Capitol Complex

    Carson City, NV 89701-4717

    (702) 687-4744


    Nevada has the following provisions for child support deductions:

    • When to start Withholding? 14 days after receipt of order.
    • When to send Payment? Within 7 days of Payday.
    • When to send Termination Notice? “Promptly”
    • Maximum Administrative Fee? $3 per payment; $2 per payment to state treasurer.
    • Withholding Limits? Federal Rules under CCPA.

    Please note that this article is not updated for changes that can and will happen from time to time.

    Time is of the Essence in Nevada Purchase Agreements

    Most state courts, including the Nevada Supreme Court, recognize and enforce the integrity of “time is of the essence clauses.” The Nevada Supreme Court recognizes that at common law a tender of money, which a party is bound to pay at a certain time and place, must be made on the day fixed for payment, and not thereafter, and that relief against forfeiture will not be granted where time of performance is made essential by the express terms of the contract, stating, “[a] court of equity has no more right than a court of law to dispense with an express stipulation of the parties in regard to time in contracts of this nature.” In one case the Nevada Supreme Court did rescue the defaulting purchaser from the harsh forfeiture of foreclosure of the “installment purchase agreement” whereby, the installment purchaser (the equitable owner) was in default of a mere $63.75 in tax payments and interest, and the seller had attempted to foreclose the equitable interest of the purchaser, pursuant to a harsh and inequitable forfeiture clause. Many times the court will rescue the defaulting purchaser, as it has done in many “equitable conversion” type cases that arise under installment purchase agreements, to avoid harsh, unjust forfeitures.

    “Equitable conversion” cases are those where the purchaser is purchasing property on an installment “contract for deed.” In such cases, even though the deed and “legal title” may not be delivered until all payments have been made, the “equitable title” is held by the purchaser in the interim. In one often cited contract for deed purchase, the Nevada Supreme Court rescued the purchaser from total forfeiture of the property, allowing the purchaser a reasonable time to cure, in spite of a time is of the essence clause, because the default was minor in comparison to the substantial forfeiture that would have occurred if the court had not rescued the buyer in equity. In Slobe, the installment purchaser was granted a reasonable time to cure an $8,320.28 default in light of the substantial $90,000 investment into the motel in dispute. The courts have been willing to rescue purchasers from harsh forfeitures when they have taken legal, peaceful possession, and enhanced the property, and/or made substantial payments thereon. However, in non-equitable conversion cases, the courts have not been so willing to rescue, and will require strict compliance with the “time is of the essence” provision. The Nevada Supreme Court has held that,