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Criminal Defense for Drug Charges

Drug offenses are some of the most common crimes for which people are arrested and charged. Sometimes these charges can be based on false allegations or misunderstandings. Or perhaps you did have drugs in your possession--but that doesn't mean you have to carry a conviction around for the rest of your life.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you need a qualified defense attorney to protect your rights and help you avoid serious penalties such as jail time, community service, classes or fines.

Drug Possession

Possession of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor. Possession of drug paraphernalia is also punishable as a misdemeanor, and if you've been convicted of multiple possessions within the past seven years, it could even be charged as a felony.

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession is a legal concept that can be used to establish guilt for the crime of drug possession. It does not require actual physical possession of the drugs (such as in your pocket, purse or backpack), but rather you have the ability to control them.

Example: If police pull over your car, and find a bag of cocaine behind your seat, they may charge you with constructive possession because they know you have control over what happens to that bag of cocaine.

This isn't necessarily limited to drugs—it can apply in any type of situation where someone has control over an item even though he or she doesn't physically own it.

For example, if you borrow money from a friend who then steals her mother's jewelry and sells it on eBay while using your account information (but without telling you), then perhaps both parties could be held liable under constructive possession law because one person had access and control over stolen property which was ultimately consumed by another person

Drug Manufacturing and Distribution

Drug manufacturing and distribution are offenses that are defined differently, but often result in the same penalties. They are both considered felonies and carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years on conviction.

Distribution is the act of selling or giving away drugs, whether it be small quantities or multiple kilograms at a time. Manufacturing can include growing plants that contain illegal substances, making hash oil or wax from marijuana leaves, cooking methamphetamines in your kitchen using household chemicals like acetone and drain cleaner (the resulting dangerous gas released during this process is called “shake”), extracting fentanyl from legal prescription drugs by dissolving them in alcohol or acetone then filtering out impurities before drying them out into powder form—or any other method for creating an illicit substance for use by others.


If you are found guilty of trafficking, the minimum sentence is one year in prison and the maximum sentence is life in prison. In order to be charged with trafficking, drugs must exceed one ounce.

For example, if a police officer finds an individual holding three separate baggies each containing 1/8th of an ounce of marijuana separately, he or she would not be charged with trafficking because their total amount does not exceed 1 oz.



Paraphernalia offenses

Paraphernalia is not the same as drug possession, but it's still a charge that you should know about. Paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, and can include anything used to smoke, handle or prepare marijuana or other drugs. This includes pipes, scales and bongs. If you're caught with these items on your person or in your home while committing another crime (like possession of marijuana), then the police will charge you with both crimes at once.

The punishment for paraphernalia offenses varies depending on where you live and how many times you've been convicted for this offense in the past—but generally speaking it's not too severe: fines can range from $300-$1,000 per item found in your possession; jail time ranges from 30 days to one year; probation is usually required for two years; community service may also be required if deemed appropriate by local judges who adjudicate each case individually based on factors like prior convictions and evidence found during the arrest process itself (e-mail us today for more details).

Possessing Drugs for Personal Use Is a Misdemeanor, Trafficking Them Is a Felony.

The difference between possessing and trafficking drugs involves the intent of the person who has possession of the drugs. If an individual possesses narcotics with the intent to sell or distribute them, then he or she has trafficked in drugs; otherwise, he or she has only been found guilty of misdemeanor drug possession. To prove intent, prosecutors will look at various factors such as:

  • The quantity of narcotics possessed by an individual

  • How it was packaged (i.e., baggie vs bottle)

  • Where you were when police found you with the narcotics (i.e., in your pocket vs sitting on a table)

If you are convicted of trafficking heroin or cocaine in Nevada, you could face up to 15 years in prison plus fines totaling $6,000!


Drug charges can be very serious and have lasting consequences that affect your future. If you are facing drug charges, it is important to have legal representation from an experienced attorney who knows the law and how best to defend you. Your attorney will work closely with you to understand what happened and determine the best way forward for your case.Dean Gronemeier