NRS 453.333 - Nevada’s Law on Providing a Controlled Substance Which Causes Death

Murder by Giving Someone Drugs

young Caucasian man in light blue shirt lying face down and dead or unconscious next to bottle spilling pills

In Nevada, you commit murder if you unlawfully provide someone with a controlled substance and the drugs cause that person's death.

Specifically, NRS 453.333 provides, in relevant part:

If the death of a person is proximately caused by a controlled substance which was sold, given, traded or otherwise made available to him or her by another person in violation of this chapter, the person who sold, gave or traded or otherwise made the substance available to him or her is guilty of murder...

When the death is caused unintentionally, it is murder in the second-degree.

The penalty for second-degree murder in Nevada is:

  • 25 years in Nevada state prison, or
  • Life imprisonment, with the possibility of parole.

In either case, you will be eligible for parole after you have spent a minimum of 10 years in prison.

However, if you intentionally kill someone with an unlawful controlled substance. you are guilty of the Nevada crime of murder in the first degree.

First-degree murder by means of a controlled substance can be punished in Nevada by:

  • 50 years in prison, with the possibility of parole,
  • Life in Nevada state prison (with or without the possibility of parole), or
  • The death penalty, if:
    • One or more aggravating circumstances are found and any mitigating circumstances do not outweigh them, AND
    • You have previously been convicted of drug trafficking in Nevada under NRS 453.3385, 453.339 or 453.3395 or a law of any other jurisdiction which prohibits the same conduct.

If you are eligible for parole, your first opportunity will come only after you have served a minimum of 20 years in prison.

To learn more about aggravating circumstances and defenses to charges of killing someone with a controlled substance, please see our articles on Nevada's Murder Law, NRS 200.030 and the Nevada death penalty.

Call us for help…

If you or someone you know has been charged with a violation of Nevada's murder law by providing someone with a controlled substance, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Our compassionate Las Vegas, Nevada criminal defense lawyers understand that innocent people can be charged with murder.

We also know that people sometimes make mistakes. Regardless of the reason for the charges, we will fight aggressively on your behalf to get them dismissed or reduced or, if necessary, to obtain a “not guilty” verdict at trial.

To schedule your free consultation, simply fill out the confidential form on this page, or call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).

To learn about California's homicide laws, please see our article on California's Murder Law, Penal Code 187(a)PC.

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