Can a felony drug possession charge be reduced to a misdemeanor in Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Dec 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Possibly, especially if it is the defendant's first offense.

Possession of drugs for personal use is typically prosecuted as a felony in Nevada (The only exception is a first- or second-time offense of possessing less than one ounce of marijuana.) However, prosecutors may be willing to lessen the felony drug charge to a misdemeanor if it is the defendant's first offense.

Nevada's "catch-all" misdemeanor drug possession statute is NRS 454.351, and it is commonly called "ITS." When people are accused of felony possession of drugs in Nevada, defense attorneys may try to persuade the prosecutor to reduce the charge to one count of ITS.  ITS is the charge that Paris Hilton pleaded guilty to in Las Vegas for her 2010 cocaine possession case.

Since ITS is only a misdemeanor, the maximum penalties include:

  • 6 months in jail, and/or
  • $1,000 in fines

And for a first offense, judges rarely impose jail. Another bonus of ITS convictions is that they can be sealed from the defendant's record after only two years from the time the case is closed. Read more information on Nevada misdemeanor drug possession laws.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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