Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Son, it's time your mother and I had a talk with you about...


This man is basically a pharmacy. 

In Nevada, it is illegal to posses a prohibited or controlled substance (without a prescription). Depending on the type of substance involved, the criminal charges one may face here range from a misdemeanor through a very serious felony offense, both Nevada state and federal. There is a range of possible criminal penalties a you may face including county jail time through life imprisonment.

I'm sure many of you reading this may equate the odds of you getting busted for drug possession as being roughly the same that you'll ever win the lottery or have your home hit by a meteorite. After all, you're a respectable person, right? and you're too cool to do drugs...

The Research & Development people really dropped the ball here. 

But, like many things in Nevada, it can be far easier for the flying excrement to impact the rotating air impeller than most people realize. 
(You never realized there was a classy way to say that, did you?)

So let's say that you are on prescription pain medication. Maybe more than one. Perfectly legal, right? Prescribed by a licensed physician, filled and dispensed by a qualified pharmacist and all that... but, let's say that you want to keep a few pills in your car or at your office in case you need them, but you certainly don't want to keep your entire monthly supply of pills there, so you just put a couple of them in a baggie, or mixed in with your Tylenol for example. This is where things can go wrong in ways you didn't expect. 

So there you are, with your legal, prescribed pills in some random container and you have occasion to be contacted by law enforcement. Maybe you get pulled over for speeding. Maybe you're involved in a car accident. If the police see what they believe to be prescription pills and they're not in the prescription bottle, you may have a problem. 

Officer ... I swear.... 

You see, if you have a prescription medication, you actually are in possession of a Controlled Substance. It's controlled - that's why you have to have a prescription to get it. If you are in possession of a prescription medication with no way to prove that you're allowed to have it, now you are looking at potentially being arrested for: Possession of Dangerous Drugs without Prescription. This crime is NOT a misdemeanor. It either a Gross Misdemeanor or a Felony depending upon what type of medication you have. 

This is problematic for several reasons. In the legal universe, there's something called 'the burden of proof'. Upon whom the burden of proof rests differs depending upon what type of case it is. Sometimes it's on the law enforcement officer, sometimes it's on the accused or potential accused. In a case like this, the burden of proof rests on YOU. What this means in plain English is that if a Police Officer has a legal and lawful reason to notice that you have a controlled prescription medication on your person and no way to prove that you're allowed to have it, it's ridiculously easy for him to arrest you. In fact, the declaration of arrest that he has to write is quite simple. All he has to do is explain his legal reason for contacting you, how he legally came to find the medication, and how you had no way of proving it was lawfully in your possession. 

That's it. 

Now, the burden of proof is on you to prove your innocence. Unfortunately your opportunity to prove this comes later, in the form of a court appearance in front of the Judge. This court appearance will also come after you've been arrested, after your car has been impounded (if you were driving at the time of the police contact), after you've posted several thousand dollars in bail (see yesterday's blog), and after you've spent a day or a week in jail. 

I mean, we all know about Cocaine, Meth, Heroine and their derivatives being illegal...

But most of us don't ever expect to get into any kind of trouble for carrying around our own medication!

So, if you've been prescribed prescription medication by your doctor:


And now, page 2.

If you failed to heed the warnings of 
This nice lady...
...back in the day, you might want to know more about Drug Trafficking. 

In Nevada, possessing illegal drugs in an amount exceeding 4 grams can have very serious consequences, including being charged with drug trafficking. A person convicted of drug trafficking is not eligible for probation, in other words, prison time is mandatory. There are three levels of drug trafficking in Nevada, low level (4 grams, but less than 14 grams), mid level (14 grams – but less than 28 grams), and high level drug trafficking (over 28 grams). [NRS 453.3385.] The punishment range for a low level drug trafficking offense is 1-6 years, for mid level drug trafficking 2-15 years, and up to a life sentence for a high-level drug trafficking conviction. Low and mid-level drug trafficking are category 'B' felonies, and high level drug trafficking is a category 'A' felony.

Let's re-visit that 'burden of proof' thing once more: If you get caught with enough drugs, the cops don't have to prove you were selling anything. If the amount of drugs you get caught with is large enough, the law will automatically assume you were (or were planning on) selling it. 

As always, if you need us, call us! 702-435-2121 or visit Our Website 


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