An arrest does NOT guarantee a conviction. We may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed without a trial. Visit our page on Nevada criminal defense laws to learn more.
Therefore, any action that involves any amount of cocaine is treated as a felony charge in Nevada. But a first- or second-time recreational possession charge can be completely dismissed if:
Otherwise, the penalties for cocaine felonies can be very severe:
Nevada cocaine felony
|Possession of a controlled substance (“simple possession”)||A first- or second-time cocaine possession charge of less than 14 grams is a category E felony, and the court will dismiss it if you complete a diversion program. But third offenses are category D felonies carrying 1 to 4 years in state prison and up to $25,000.
Possessing 14 to less than 28 grams of cocaine is a category C felony carrying 1 to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000.
Possessing 28 to less than 42 grams of cocaine is a category B felony carrying 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $50,000.
Possessing 42 to less than 100 grams of cocaine is also a category B felony. The penalties are 2 to 15 years in prison and up to $50,000.1
|Drug possession for sale||A first offense of cocaine possession for the purpose of sale is a category D felony, carrying 1 to 4 years in prison and up to $5,000.
A second offense is a category C felony, carrying 1 to 4 years in prison and up to $10,000.
A third or subsequent conviction is a category B felony, carrying 3 to 15 years in prison and up to $20,000.2
|Drug selling, making, transporting||A first-time conviction of selling, transporting, or making cocaine is a category C felony in Nevada, carrying 1 to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000.
A second-time conviction is a category B felony, carrying 2 to 10 years in prison and up to $20,000.
A third or subsequent offense is also a category B felony, carrying 3 to 15 years in prison and up to $20,000.3
|Drug trafficking (any act involving 100 grams or more of cocaine)||Low-level cocaine trafficking (100 to less than 400 grams) is a category B felony. This carries 2 to 20 years in prison and up to $100,000.
High-level cocaine trafficking (400 grams or more) is a category A felony. This carries 15 years to life and up to $250,000. Parole is possible after 5 years.4
There are two misdemeanor cocaine crimes under Nevada drug laws. These include:
The reason these offenses are only misdemeanors is that they do not involve any cocaine being present. As misdemeanors, the penalties include:
Sometimes, prosecutors charge simple cocaine possession not as a felony but instead as a misdemeanor under NRS 454.351. This statute is a “catch-all” drug misdemeanor reserved for non-serious cases.5
Nevada criminal defense attorneys may be able to persuade prosecutors to reduce felony cocaine charges to misdemeanors. Depending on the type of drug offense, your lawyer can argue that the police committed entrapment or that the police search was an illegal search.
In addition to lesser penalties, misdemeanors have the following advantages over felonies:
As discussed in the first section, many first- and second-time charges of simple possession can be completely dismissed if you complete a diversion program.
And if you are suffering from an acute addiction, you may be eligible for drug court, an intensive rehab where your case also gets dismissed upon successful completion.
Arrested for a cocaine offense or other drug charge? Contact our drug crime attorneys. Our DUI and criminal defense lawyers practice throughout Clark County, Las Vegas and Henderson. And our Nevada law offices are available 24/7.
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, 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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