Nevada "Drug Court" Laws (NRS 453.3363)
Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys

People struggling with drug problems in Nevada do not need prison ... they need help. Fortunately, Las Vegas courts offer "Drug Court" as an alternative to incarceration.

Nevada Drug Court is a rehabilitation program that lasts about a year. And not only does it keep you out of prison ... you will not get a criminal conviction either.

Not everyone is eligible for Drug Court in Nevada. But our Las Vegas defense lawyers have been very successful in getting our clients admitted.

Keep reading to learn more about this Las Vegas drug diversion program and how we can help.

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What is Drug Court in Las Vegas, NV?

Nevada Drug Court is a rehab program used as an alternative to prison in some narcotics cases. Nevada began using Drug Courts in 1992, and thousands of people have since done it.

What are the benefits of doing Drug Court in Las Vegas, NV?

Drug Court allows you to go on with your normal life because you do not have to go to prison.

Completing drug court also means you will not get a conviction on your criminal record. This will improve your chances of getting jobs in the future.

What is Drug Court like in Las Vegas, NV?

Drug Court in Nevada is a probation program that requires participants to do the following:

  • Attend an outpatient rehabilitation and education treatment program. This counseling occurs usually once or twice a week.
  • Appear regularly before the Drug Court judge to monitor your progress. This is usually once a week but may decrease over time.
  • Stay clean of drugs and maybe submit to random drug testing.

How long does Drug Court last in Las Vegas, NV?

Las Vegas Drug Court usually lasts one year. But requirements may vary depending on the person and circumstances.

How do I get into Drug Court in Las Vegas, NV?

Your attorney will confer with the prosecutors and judge to take care of the technicalities. But the whole process under NRS 453.3363 goes like this:

  1. You temporarily plead guilty or "no contest" to one of the following offenses: The Nevada crime of drug possession, the Nevada crime of unlawful drug use, or the Nevada crime of drugs which may not be introduced into interstate commerce.
  2. The judge declines to convict you and "suspends" the case by putting you on probation.
  3. You complete the applicable Nevada Drug Court program in about a year.
  4. The judge dismisses your case, and you're done.

Who is ineligible for Drug Court in Las Vegas, NV?

Nevada Drug Court usually won't admit (1) people with prior drug convictions and (2) people charged sales and trafficking related offenses. This program is also not meant for people who aren't true addicts.

If I am not a drug addict, can I still do Nevada Drug Court to avoid prison and a conviction?

You may not have to ...

Depending on your case the judge may allow you to do a drug education class instead of rehab. These classes are usually only eight hours.

What happens if I break a rule in Nevada Drug Court?

Judges may punish non-compliance by throwing you out of Drug Court. This means that you would be convicted of your original narcotics charge and probably then face custody time. But ...

In practice most judges give second chances and punish mistakes with any of the following:

  • community service
  • increased judicial supervision and/or counseling
  • house arrest
  • a short jail term

What happens when I complete Drug Court in Las Vegas, NV?

Your drug case will be completely dismissed. In other words you will not have a conviction.

There is usually a small graduation ceremony celebrating your finishing rehab.

When I complete Nevada Drug Court, can I keep my old drug charge a secret?

It's legal for you to deny that it ever happened in most circumstances (such as a job interview). But you do have to be truthful to professional licensing boards (such as for nursing or law).

Are there different kinds of drug courts in Las Vegas, NV?

Yes, there are six different drug court programs in Las Vegas. Each offers specialized support according to your age, gender, history and parental status:

  • Adult Criminal Drug Court
This is the general drug court program for adults who have been arrested on felony drug charges.
  • Juvenile Drug Court
This program is devoted to youths under eighteen who have been arrested for drugs in Nevada.
  • Dependency Drug Court
This helps parents whose substance abuse is causing them to abuse or neglect their children.
  • Dependency Mothers Drug Court
This program is open to women whose child custody is being threatened by their child abuse.
  • Child Support Drug Court
This is for non-custodial parents who are behind in their child support due partly to drug abuse.
  • Prison Re-Entry Drug Court
This program is targeted for non-violent drug offenders who are currently in Nevada State Prison. They are eligible to apply to this drug court within two years of their probation release.

Does California have Drug Courts like Nevada?

California has similar programs that allow you to avoid prison. For more information read our articles on PC 1000 and California Proposition 36.

Additional Resources

Arrested for Drugs? Call us now ...

If you would like to explore doing Drug Court in Nevada, call 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). We will set up a free meeting with our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys to discuss your options. Our goal is that by the end of your case both you and your criminal record will be clean.

For more information go to our articles on the Nevada crime of drug possession; the Nevada crime of unlawful drug use; the Nevada crime of drugs which may not be introduced into interstate commerce; PC 1000; and California Proposition 36.

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