A conviction for unlawfully possessing or selling ketamine in Nevada can result in a state prison sentence and a fine of thousands of dollars. Perhaps worse, having a felony drug conviction could keep you from getting a job or owning a firearm.
Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have a proven track record of success in Nevada drug cases. Often we are able to negotiate a plea bargain involving reduction of the charges to a misdemeanor. Sometimes we get the evidence dismissed because it was discovered during an illegal search and seizure or unlawful arrest.
When necessary, however, we will fight your court case aggressively to convince a jury you were not guilty of the charges.
To help you understand more about Nevada ketamine crimes and how we may be able to help you beat the charges, our Nevada criminal defense lawyers discuss the following, below:
- 1. What is Ketamine?
- 2. Ketamine Possession — NRS 453.336
- 3. Ketamine Possession for Sale — NRS 453.338
- 4. Ketamine Sale, Manufacture or Transfer — NRS 453.321
Ketamine is a prescription drug used most commonly on animals as a veterinary anesthetic.
Because it can produce a detached, dreamlike state in humans, ketamine is often used recreationally or as a “date-rape” drug. At high doses, users may experience a “K-Hole” — an “out of body” or “near-death” experience.
Recreational ketamine is most commonly consumed as a powder that can be injected, stirred into drinks, snorted, or added to joints or cigarettes. Nicknames for the drug include K, Special K, jet, and cat valium.
Ketamine is a Schedule III controlled substance in Nevada. Schedule III substances have a lower potential for than those such as heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine, and an accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse of Schedule III substances may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
Although it may seem like a harmless drug, it is a felony to possess ketamine in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada. Don’t count on the cops to give you a break. Drug possession at Las Vegas nightclubs and concerts such as the Electric Daisy Carnival are actively policed.
Penalties depend 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 28 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.)
3. Ketamine Possession for Sale — NRS 453.338
Nevada law makes it a felony to possess ketamine with the intent to sell it. But prosecutors often have a hard time proving your intent. As a result, our Nevada drug lawyers are often able to get possession of ketamine for sale charges knocked down to charges of simple possession.
A first or second offense for possession of ketamine for sale can be punished by:
- 1-4 years in prison and maybe up to $5,000, and
- maybe a further fine of not more than $10,000.
If you have two or more prior convictions for drug felonies, however, prison time increases to 1-5 years and the court may not sentence you to probation.
It is a felony to sell, manufacture or even give away ketamine in Nevada. A first offense can usually be punished by:
- 1-4 years in prison, and
- maybe a fine of up to $5,000.
However, if it is your second or subsequent offense or you have any prior drug felony convictions, the penalties for sale of ketamine are more severe.
Learn more about selling narcotics / controlled substances.
Learn more about Nevada drug crimes.
In California? Visit our page on California’s ketamine laws.