Under the Influence of MARIJUANA – NRS 453.411
NRS 453.411 provides that it is unlawful for a person knowingly to use or be under the influence of a controlled substance except in accordance with a lawfully issued prescription.
If an offender is found to have unlawfully and knowingly used marijuana such that he or she is under the influence of a controlled substance, except when administered to that person at a rehabilitation clinic established, or licensed by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health of the Department, or a hospital certified by the Department, he or she may be charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance.
For example, if Frank decided to smoke marijuana in his home, and then decided to take his dog for a walk, if he came into contact with the police and they found probable cause to arrest him, they can secure a search warrant for his blood. He could then be charged with Felony Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance. No other illegal conduct is required other than consuming the drug, to be charged with this Felony offense, even if possession of said drug, for example, marijuana, may be legal depending on the amount possessed. (Read more about possession of a controlled substance CLICK HERE).
Additionally, in Nevada, if the police collect your blood for a DUI offense and drugs are present, they can charge you for both the Misdemeanor DUI and Felony Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance.
However, if in the above example, Frank is walking with his dog, has not consumed the medical marijuana in a public place, and has a valid medical marijuana card, it is possible that he can avoid arrest, or use this as an affirmative defense should charges be brought against him.
PENALTIES FOR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
A person who violates the statute for being under the influence of a controlled substance shall be punished for a category E felony. A category E felony carries a sentence of imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 4 years. Upon sentencing a person who is found guilty of a category E felony, the court shall suspend the execution of the sentence and grant probation to the person upon such conditions as the court deems appropriate.
In addition to any other penalty, the court may impose a fine of not more than $5,000, unless a greater penalty is authorized or required by statute.
DEFENSES FOR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
Many factors go into the defense and a resolution of an Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance offense.
It is an affirmative defense to a criminal charge of under the influence of marijuana, if the person has been diagnosed with a chronic or debilitating medical condition within the 12-month period preceding his or her arrest and has been advised by his or her attending physician that the medical use of marijuana may mitigate the symptoms or effects of that chronic or debilitating medical condition.
Another defense is that the person is engaged in the medical use of marijuana, and that the person holds a registry identification card issued to the person by the Division or its designee.
Further, a person engaged or assisting in the medical use of marijuana who is charged with a crime pertaining to the medical use of marijuana is not precluded from asserting a defense of medical necessity, or presenting evidence supporting the necessity of marijuana for treatment of a specific disease or medical condition,
Bail for Under the Influence
The bail amount for a charge of Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance can typically be $5,000.00.
If you have been charged with this, or any other marijuana related offense, please call us at 702-405-0001 for a consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys. Our consultations are always free and confidential.