Las Vegas Drug Defense Attorneys
Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell
Drug Possession with Intent to Sell, or as it is known in Nevada: Possession
of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell is a
drug charge commonly seen in Las Vegas Courts. Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 453.337
and 453.338 cover this charge which in general terms, make it a crime
for a person to “sell” a controlled substance.
What Prosecutors Must Prove at Trial
To obtain a conviction for Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent
to Sell, prosecutors in Nevada must prove the following elements beyond
a reasonable doubt:
- That the person charged unlawfully and knowingly possessed a controlled
- That the person knew the nature of the controlled substance; and
- That the person intended to sell the controlled substance.
Under Nevada law no actual sale need occur for the State to prove the crime
of Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell. No specific
quantity is necessary. So long as the State can prove the illegal nature
of the controlled substance, they need not prove that a certain quantity
exists. Under Nevada law, a very small amount of the illegal substance
may suffice. Finally, the jury will be allowed to determine the intent
of the possessor from all the circumstances of the case, including: the
quantity of the controlled substance, the place where it was found, the
manner of packaging, and the opinions of expert witnesses.
Possible Defenses to Drug Possession with Intent to Sell
As in all criminal cases, to sustain a conviction for this drug crime,
the prosecution must present sufficient evidence to establish the essential
elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Drug possession with
the Intent to Sell cases – which necessarily contain factually ambiguous
issues of intent and control -
frequently present opportunities for the defense to contest the following:
The extent of the dominion and control that the defendant had over the
- His or her knowledge of the physical presence of the drug
- The defendant’s specific knowledge of the illegal nature of the drug
If the defense can effectively challenge and undermine the evidence which
goes to these elements, legally, a trier of fact must find the count lacking
in evidence, and render a verdict of not guilty. A good criminal defense
lawyer knows how to effectively attack these issues. Often persons charged
with this crime incorrectly conclude that because the drugs were found
within their immediate proximity that criminal knowledge and intent is
therefore automatically imputed to them. This is not the case. The prosecution
must absolutely present evidence which establishes beyond a reasonable
doubt that the defendant knows of the illegal substance, and controls,
or possesses it. Unless concrete facts are established to underscore these
issues, a conviction for this drug charge should be deemed invalid.
Determining "Intent to Sell"
Another significant issue arises in relation to the “Intent to Sell”
element of the crime. Drug possession with Intent to Sell includes within
it the lesser charge of felony Possession of Controlled Substance. While
the State can alternatively charge someone with both crimes in the same
count of the criminal indictment or information, a conviction cannot be
had for both. If the jury finds that there is no evidence to support the
“Intent to Sell” element of the charge, but nevertheless finds
that the defendant in fact knowingly possessed the controlled substance,
they will be instructed to convict the defendant of the lesser included
charge of Possession of Controlled Substance. This charge carries a lesser
sentence than Drug possession with Intent to Sell and therefore while
not a complete acquittal, can nevertheless serve as a defense which provides
a lesser potential punishment.
These are just some of the possible defenses which relate to this charge.
If charged with Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell
in Las Vegas, call the experienced drug defense lawyers at Oronoz, Ericsson
& Gaffney LLC for a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the defenses
which may pertain to your case.
Penalties Applicable to Drug Possession with Intent to Sell
A person convicted of this drug offense may be sentenced with the following:
- For a first offense: D Felony 1-4 Years in the Nevada Department of Corrections.
Probation is possible for a first offense.
- For a second offense: C Felony 1-5 Years in the Nevada Department of Corrections.
Probation is not possible for a second offense. The judge must impose
incarceration in the Nevada Department of Corrections for a second offense.
- For a third or subsequent offense: B Felony 3-15 Years in the Nevada Department
of Corrects. Probation is not possible for a third or subsequent offense.
The judge must impose incarceration in the Nevada Department of Corrections
for a third or subsequent offense.
Call our aggressive drug crime defense firm in Las Vegas - free consultation!
When charged with Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell
in Las Vegas, dramatically increase your chances of a successful outcome
by hiring the best legal counsel possible. The lawyers at Oronoz, Ericsson
& Gaffney LLC have the skill and expertise to defend your case in
a way that helps you both avoid a conviction, and most importantly, avoid
losing your liberty.
Call us today. Don’t cut corners when your freedom and future are on the line.
Hire the best.
Free case evaluation.