Prescription painkillers OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone) are schedule II controlled substances. Any unlawful use, possession, sale or trafficking of these drugs in Nevada is a felony. But criminal charges can possibly be plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor or dismissal.
Below our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers answer frequently-asked-questions about OxyContin and Vicodin crimes in Nevada.
1. What are the penalties for OxyContin or Vicodin crimes?
The more serious the charge, the more extensive the prison term and fine.
|Nevada OxyContin or Vicodin crime||Sentence|
|Possession for personal use (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.)
|Possession for sale (NRS 453.337)|
Category D felony:
3rd conviction or successive convictions
|Selling, giving away, transporting, or manufacturing (NRS 453.321)|
Category C felony:
Category B felony:
3rd or successive convictions
Category B felony:
|Trafficking (NRS 453.3385)|
(The highest prescription dosage of Oxycontin is 160 mg. pills.)
|It depends on the amount of drugs:|
100 grams to less than 400 grams
Category B felony:
400 grams or more
|Being under the influence (NRS 453.411)||Misdemeanor:|
2. What are the defenses?
Three common arguments to fight OxyContin or Vicodin charges are:
- No knowledge that the drugs were there.2 Maybe someone planted the drugs in the defendant’s residence or vehicle. Or perhaps the defendant’s roommate possessed the drugs without telling the defendant. If the prosecutor cannot show the defendant was aware of the drugs, the case should be dropped.
- Police entrapment. Law enforcement is allowed to go undercover, conduct stings, and lie to suspects. But they cross the line if they threaten or otherwise force suspects into breaking a law they were not predisposed to break. Defendants who were deceived by police may be able to raise the entrapment defense and get the charge dismissed.3
- Unconstitutional search and seizure. Police are required to conduct their searches within the bounds of the Fourth Amendment. If the police overstep their bounds, defendants may ask the judge to suppress any illegally-obtained evidence. If the court grants the “motion to suppress,” the D.A. may be unable to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
3. Can the record be sealed?
Usually, yes. But there may be a wait.4
|Nevada OxyContin or Vicodin conviction||Record seal waiting period|
|Misdemeanor||1 year after the case closes|
|Category E felony||2 years after the case closes|
|Category D felony|
Category C felony
Category B felony
|5 years after the case closes|
|Category A felony||10 years after the case closes|
|Dismissal (no conviction)||Right away (no wait)|
Learn about how to petition for a Nevada criminal record seal.
4. Are there immigration consequences?
Non-citizens convicted of any drug crime related to OxyContin or Vicodin face deportation.5 Immigrants should hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible to try to get the charges dismissed.
5. Related offenses
See our articles on:
Also see our article on DUI of Vicodin in Nevada.
In California? See our article on California Vicodin laws.