Category Archives: Criminal Defense Law

What Involves a Drug Paraphernalia Possession Charge in Nevada

Aside from being charged for possession of drugs, you can also be charged for owning and using the devices needed to exploit them. This is called possession of drug paraphernalia in Las Vegas. Drug possession cases are rife in Nevada and it should be a given that these charges always follow.

What involves a drug paraphernalia possession charge in Nevada is not entirely complicated, but it helps to know the details involved so that you will know how to defend yourself if you ever are accused of such a crime in Las Vegas.

 

  • State laws define drug paraphernalia as equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.
  • It does not matter if you do not have drugs on hand when arrested, as long as you have the paraphernalia in your possession.
  • Conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia is affected by other factors, including
    • statement by the owner/s or previous user/s of the item/s
    • prior convictions of the owner or user
    • proximity of the object to the person of interest
    • presence of residue of any controlled substance on the object
    • direct or circumstantial evidence regarding the owner’s/user’s intent
    • manner in which the object was displayed
    • expert testimony concerning its use

There are other factors regarding possession of drug paraphernalia that require further discussion. Talk to a reputable Las Vegas defense attorney to learn more.

Wildlife Crimes in Nevada

Nevada is a state that is blessed with a diverse ecosystem, from its large deserts to its rocky peaks and everything in between. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area alone offers a glimpse into all the different natural environments existing throughout the state.

Sadly, such a diverse environment continues to attract the attention of unscrupulous individuals who wish to exploit the environment and the fauna that reside within. Over the years these individuals have contributed to a growing list of wildlife crimes in Nevada which have affected both the biodiversity in these ecosystems and have affected the livelihood of people connected to these fauna. A few of these wildlife crimes are listed below.

  • While hunting is legal in Nevada, there are limits that prevent people from going overboard, as well as restricted species that cannot be hunted, such as
    • Bighorn sheep
    • Mountain goat
    • Elk
    • Deer
    • Pronghorn antelope
    • Mountain lion
    • Black bear
  • Using illegal methods for hunting, such as firing from aircraft or hunting game outside of hunting season
  • Hunting endangered species in a wildlife preserve
  • Importing and trading game wildlife
  • Illegal possession of exotic wildlife
  • Vandalizing signs and warnings related to wildlife protection
  • Cutting or trimming of fauna without permission
  • Mutilation of fauna in State-preserved property

Knowing these crimes will help ordinary citizens, game hunters, and nature trekkers to avoid committing any of these acts by mistake.

Penalties for Out-of-State Drunk Driving in Nevada

Nevada’s DUI laws are not limited to its residents. Any person who is within Nevada’s borders, no matter how short their stay is, is subjected to the same drunk driving rules as anybody else. For American citizens visiting Nevada as tourists, this is what is known as an out-of-state DUI, where they are charged based on where the crime was committed instead of what their home state is.

If you’re visiting Nevada or are just passing through the state, you will have to abide by these rules if you don’t want to be arrested and face with the following penalties for out-of-state drunk driving in Nevada:

  • First-Time Offenses are misdemeanors and often includes
    • tuition payment for a full-fledged educational course on alcohol, drugs, and DUI (no sessions skipped)
    • between two to six months in a Nevada prison
    • between 48 and 96 hours of community service
    • between $400 and $1000 in fines
  • Second-Time Offenses within seven years of the first one are still counted as misdemeanors, but with heavier penalties
    • maximum six months of jail time
    • maximum six months residential confinement (refusing this counts as a separate misdemeanor charge)
    • between $750 and $1000 in fines
    • enrollment into an alcohol and drug treatment program
  • Third-Time Offenses within seven years fall under a Category B felony and can be punished with
    • between one and six years of prison time
    • between $2000 and $5000 in fines

Note that these penalties are separate from any penalties that can be handed by the offender’s home state, which may include license suspension or revocation.

Factors that Constitute Robbery in Las Vegas

According to NRS 200.380, robbery is the “unlawful taking of personal property from the person of another, or in the person’s presence, against his or her will, by means of force or violence or fear of injury.” The statute also specified that violence is used in this form of theft to:

  • Obtain or retain possession of the property
  • Prevent or overcome resistance to the taking
  • Facilitate escape

In essence, robbery can take on many forms, but nonetheless has the same factors involved, such as the use of threats of force to get what the offender wants. Another variation is armed robbery, where the perpetrator uses a weapon to force the victim to hand over his or her items. The last type is carjacking, which involves forcible entry and commandeering of another person’s vehicle.

Sample scenarios of robbery include:

  • Going to an establishment and flashing or holding a gun asking for money or properties (e.g. bank robbery)
  • Suddenly confronting a person and violently threatening them for their possessions
  • Approaching a person from behind and pressing a deadly weapon on their back so he or she will surrender their case

Understand that is still considered an armed Las Vegas robbery even though you only used your fingers or other objects to pass off like a gun. The fact that the person was coerced in giving out their money or property should be more than enough to be labeled as a crime.

NRS on Sexual Misconduct Cases Involving Educational Professionals

As unfortunate as the thought is, sexual assault cases by teachers towards a student actually occur and they are rising on a very alarming rate. In Nevada, such teacher-student sexual encounters have happened in considerable numbers, with one prominent case being that of John Stalmach and Bambi Dewey who engaged in a three-way sexual act with their student at the Clark County School District. However, because the student in question was at the age of consent, all charges were dropped and no conviction was made.

This incident was a watershed moment that led to an overhaul in Nevada’s Revised Statutes regarding sexual misconduct involving teachers and students. Apart from defining which school staff are liable to such charges (teachers, administrators, school sports staff, guidance counselors, teaching aides, and administrative staff), it also set the bar for the age coverage for the charge. Now any educational staff can be convicted for sexual misconduct regardless of whether or not the student in question was a minor. It also covers which acts constitute sexual misconduct. Now, even lascivious communications (like sexting) can be considered enough for the charge.

Educational professionals charged with sexual misconduct with a minor within the age of consent face a category C felony charge, between one and five years in state prison, $10,000 in fines, and a sexual offender registry requirement.

Committing sexual misconduct with minors below the age of consent can vary between Category B felony charges if they are teenagers, or a lewdness with a minor conviction for anyone below 12 (and an automatic life charge if convicted).

Consequences of Unpaid Casino Markers in Nevada

Veteran gamblers use casino markers to make it easier to play without the need to bring huge wads of cash to the dealer every time. Often, however, people tend to forget to pay out their casino markers after an extended gaming session, and incur some hefty debts, or worse, an arrest. Here are three common consequences of failing to pay a casino marker in Nevada after 30 days.

  1. Withdrawal of Money From Your Bank Account: The casino has the right to collect the payment directly from the debtor’s account, as all casino marker applications request the client’s bank account number as a rule.
  2. Criminal Complaints: If the bank account has insufficient funds, the casino will contact the person directly, inform them about the debt, give the debtor 10 days to settle it, then eventually file a formal complaint if they still fail to pay. The debtor will receive a notification from the district attorney regarding the debt, and he will have to settle the debt with the district attorney’s office itself if the 10-day period expires.
  3. Criminal Charges: failing to respond to any of the above can lead to criminal charges and a possible arrest. Markers below $250 count towards a misdemeanor and can equate to some jail time and $1,000 in fines. Anything above $650 is a Class D Felony and can result in a lengthy prison sentence, over $5,000 in fines, extended probation, and a negative record that can affect job prospects.

Blood Alcohol Levels for Commercial DUI in Nevada

DUI laws in Nevada cover a broad range of offenses and situations, from simply being in possession of intoxicating substances on the road to culpability for a fatal road accident brought about by drunk driving. Part of this coverage are Nevada’s commercial DUI laws.

Commercial DUI covers driving under the influence while operating a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-trailer or a delivery truck. Apart from its coverage of a specific industry, there’s not much difference between it and DUI laws in general. For example, commercial DUI charges can be made when relatively the same amount of intoxicating substances are found in their blood stream. Note the table below.

Drug Urine Nanograms per illiliter Blood Nanograms per milliliter
Amphetamine 500 150
Cocaine 150 50
Cocaine Metabolite 150 50
Heroin 2,000 50
Heroin Metabolite 2,000 10
Morphine
6-monoacetyl morphine 50 10
Lysergic acid diethylamide 25 10
Methamphetamine 500 100
Phencyclidine 25 10

 

Note that to be charged with a commercial DUI case, one must be driving (1) a vehicle around 26,001 lbs, including the towed unit that must not exceed 10,000 lbs, (2) The ability to ferry 16 passengers (including driver), and (3) can transport either bulk regular materials or hazardous substances like medical waste.