Codeine is an opioid narcotic prescribed for mild to moderate pain. Possessing codeine without a valid doctor’s prescription is a felony in Nevada. It is also a felony to sell or dispense codeine unless you are a medical professional such as a doctor or pharmacist acting as permitted by Nevada law.
It may come as a surprise that the unlawful possession or sale of codeine is punished just as harshly as that of cocaine or methamphetamine. Like these substances, codeine is a Nevada Schedule II controlled substance. Other Schedule II drugs in Nevada include stronger prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin.
A first offense for codeine in Nevada can often be taken care of by drug education and probation.
But if you have prior felony drug convictions or codeine-related offenses on your record, penalties for codeine sale or possession can include time in Nevada State Prison and a hefty fine. Perhaps just as bad is that a felony drug record can keep you from getting a job.
How our Nevada criminal lawyers fight codeine charges
Our Las Vegas, Nevada criminal defense lawyers have a proven track record of successful outcomes in drug cases. Such outcomes include reduced charges, dismissals, or “not guilty” verdicts at trial.
If you have been arrested for a Nevada codeine offense, rest assured that our first step is to listen to your story. Together we will figure out the best defense to your Nevada codeine charges. Then we will try to plea bargain a favorable resolution or, if necessary, fight aggressively to protect your rights at trial.
To help you understand more about Nevada codeine offenses, our Las Vegas criminal lawyers discuss charges of codeine possession, possession for sale, sales and trafficking below.
You may also wish to visit our related page on Nevada’s Oxycontin and Vicodin Laws.
What is codeine?
Codeine is an opioid narcotic and prescription pain medication derived from morphine. It is prescribed for mild to moderate pain, often following an injury or surgery. Prescription codeine frequently contains a non-prescription pain reliever, such as Tylenol. It also appears in small amounts in some cough, cold and combination pain medications.
Codeine is generally classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in Nevada. However, cough, cold and combination pain medications containing codeine may appear in less restricted drug schedules, depending on the amount of codeine they contain.
Codeine Possession Laws in Las Vegas, NV (NRS 453.336)
Penalties depends on the amount and if the defendant has prior convictions. See our page on drug possession (NRS 453.336) to learn more.
For a first-or second offense involving less than 14 grams, it is a category E felony:
The court will grant eligible defendants who plead guilty or no contest a deferral of judgment, which means that the court will dismiss the case if the defendant completes certain court-ordered terms. Otherwise, category E felony convictions carry probation and a suspended sentence, which may include up to one year in jail. (But if the defendant has two or more prior felony convictions, the court may impose one to four years in Nevada State Prison and up to $5,000 in fines.)
Codeine Possession for Sale Laws in Las Vegas, NV (NRS 453.337)
It is a felony in Nevada to possess Schedule II codeine with the intent to sell it. However, because possession for sale requires proof of intent, a skilled Nevada drug lawyer can often get the charges reduced to simple possession.
Consequences of a first conviction for possessing codeine for sale in Nevada can include as much as:
- 1-4 years in prison, and
- A fine of up to $5,000.
Those with prior drug felony convictions face a greater fine and maximum prison sentence.
For further information on Las Vegas narcotics possession for sale and defenses, you may wish to review our article: Nevada crime of possession of drugs / controlled substances with intent to sell.
Codeine Sale Laws in Las Vegas, NV (NRS 453.321)
It is illegal to sell, make or give away codeine in Nevada without a license to do so.
A first offense for selling or giving away less than 100 grams of Schedule II codeine can be punished by:
- 1-5 years in Nevada state prison, and
- A fine of not more than $10,000.
Penalties can increase, however, if you have a criminal record containing prior felony drug convictions.
To learn more about Las Vegas narcotics sale laws and defenses, please refer to our article on the topic: Nevada crime of selling drugs / controlled substances.
Codeine Trafficking Laws in Las Vegas, NV (NRS 453.3385)
If your alleged offense involves 100 grams or more of codeine, you will likely be charged with Nevada drug trafficking.
The penalty for trafficking codeine in Nevada depends on the amount involved, as indicated in the following chart:
|Amount of Codeine||Possible sentence & fine|
|≥ 100 grams, but < 400 grams||2-20 years in prison. |
Fine of up to $100,000.
|400 grams or more||15 years or life in prison |
(parole possible after 5 years).
Fine of up to $250,000.
You can read more about Las Vegas trafficking laws and defenses in our article Nevada crime of trafficking drugs / controlled substances (NRS 453.3385).
Arrested for codeine in Las Vegas? Call us for help…
If you or someone you know has been charged with a codeine-related offense in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, we invite you to contact our compassionate Nevada drug defense lawyers.
We offer free consultations over the phone or in-person.
To schedule your free consultation with one of our Nevada or Las Vegas criminal lawyers, call or fill out the confidential form on this page.
One of our experienced Nevada drug lawyers will get back to you promptly to discuss the facts of your case and the best defenses to your Nevada codeine charges.
Learn more about Nevada drug crimes.
To learn about codeine charges in California, please visit our page on California codeine laws.