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Will I Go to Jail for Possessing a Small Amount of Marijuana?

Marijuana is the most frequently used drug in the United States, with an estimated 40 percent of American adults having admitted to trying the drug at least once in their lives. While public attitudes and many state laws regarding marijuana are changing, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I hallucinogenic substance in the state of Nevada and its possession is prohibited within the state. With that being said, if a person is arrested for possessing a small amount of pot in Nevada, does this mean they will go to jail? The answer: it depends.

First and second offense marijuana possession charges involving less than 1 ounce are charged as misdemeanors with no jail time. While defendants may still be arrested and spend the night at the police station, there is no period of incarceration attached to these offenses; instead, defendants face alternative sentencing of up to $1,000 in fines and mandatory drug assessment and treatment. With that being said, a person can still face jail time if they do not pay the fine.

Subsequent marijuana possession offenses are punished far more harshly. A third arrest for possessing 1 ounce or less of marijuana can bring up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $2,000. If arrested a fourth time, these charges are escalated to felony status and carry up to 4 years in prison and $5,000 in fines upon conviction, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in prison.

What If I Was Arrested for Possessing More than 1 Ounce?

Any possession charge involving more than 1 ounce of cannabis is a felony in Nevada, even for a first offense. Las Vegas judges may sometimes grant first offenders a suspended sentence and probation as long as the defendant has never been convicted of any other drug crimes before, though this is not guaranteed. If granted alternative sentencing, defendants are usually required to go to drug court, allowing them to have their felony dismissed upon completion. Otherwise, defendants may face standard category E felony penalties, which include one to four years in prison and a possible $5,000 fine.

Regardless of the amount, being arrested for marijuana possession is a serious matter that must be handled by an experienced attorney. If you have been arrested for marijuana possession, our Las Vegas drug crime lawyer at the Law Office of David R. Fischer can protect your rights and fight to secure a reduction or dismissal of your charges on your behalf. Backed by a “Superb” Avvo Rating and many positive client testimonials, we have what it takes to minimize your chances of conviction.

Call or contact our office online today to discover your legal options.