Tag Archives: Clark County

Nevada Prescription Drug Abuse

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Nevada Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug dependency and abuse has become a nationwide health epidemic claiming approximately 50 lives each day and over 16,000 lives each year. Compared to national averages:

  • Nevada ties as one of the top states in writing painkiller prescriptions
  • Nevadans consume over two times as many prescription drugs as any other state; and
  • Clark County has more deaths by drug overdose from prescription narcotics than by any other street drug

The ease of obtaining a prescription and the lack of transparency in prescription drug history are both to blame for the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

New Law SB288

Senate Bill No. 288 was created in an attempt to combat the rise in prescription drug abuse by monitoring prescription history. The Bill proposed that all authorized personnel who handle commercially manufactured prescription narcotics be granted access to a prescription drug database, and required to maintain access to this database by logging in at least twice a year.

It also granted the State Board of Pharmacy and the Investigation Division of the Department of Public Safety the authority to discipline those who failed to comply. These new requirements for those authorized to write and fill prescriptions would help support the National Drug Control Strategy. After months of revisions, Senate Bill 288 was passed and went into effect as NRS 453.1545 on January 1, 2016

NRS 453.1545  outlined the state’s computerized prescription monitoring program (PMP) requirements:

  1. Board of Pharmacy Registrants who prescribe controlled substances are required to register with the PMP
  2. Board of Pharmacy Registrants registered with the PMP are required to monitor the system and view
  3. Provision’s to NRS 453.1545 are enforceable by the occupational licensing boards within that state

The new law tightens regulations on doctors, pharmacist, and other medical personnel to ensure that they are using the prescription monitoring database to track drug prescriptions as well as flag cases of potential drug abuse.

Prescription Pill Offenses

Contrary to popular belief, charges for possession of a controlled substance (which includes prescription pills) is very serious offense in Nevada. Types of arrest for prescription pill offenses include:

  • doctor shopping
  • possession of a medication without proof of a prescription
  • illegal possession of medication; and
  • prescription fraud

Individuals charged with prescription pill fraud can result in:

  • a category C felony for doctor shopping punishable by a 1-5 year prison sentence and fined up to $10,000
  • First and Second convictions for illegal possession of prescriptions is punishable by a category E felony punishable by 1-4 year prison sentence
  • Three or more conviction for illegal possession of prescription pills can result in a category D felony punishable by a 1-4 year prison sentence and/or a fine up to $20,000

Additionally, doctors and medical personnel who are charged with prescription pill offenses in Nevada can be charged with a category C felony punishable by a1-5 year prison sentence and fined up to $10,000.

Conclusion

In the state of Nevada, drug crimes are not treated leniently, and penalties for the sale, use or possession of controlled substances can be harsh.

If you have been arrested and charged with prescription fraud, illegal possession of a prescription or doctor shopping in Clark County or the surrounding areas, contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann to discuss your criminal charges.

Joel Mann is an experienced Las Vegas drug lawyer who will do everything in his power to help you achieve the most desirable outcome in your situation. Call (702) 474-6266 today for a free consultation about your alleged drug crime in Las Vegas.

Clark County successfully prosecutes first case under sex trafficking law

legsA Las Vegas man was found guilty last month of sex trafficking, marking the first conviction for the state offense. The offense of sex trafficking was created with the passage of AB 67 in 2013. Prosecuting sex trafficking has been a major focus of law enforcement in recent years, and a successful conviction is likely to herald more people facing these charges. It is critical, therefore, to understand the differences between charges relating to sex work.

Sex work, generally, is a broad term that applies to people who engage in sexual acts as a profession. Sex work crosses the legal line when it becomes prostitution. Nevada law defines prostitution as the act of engaging in “sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact, touching the sexual organs or other intimate parts for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either person” for pay or anything of value.

Both the act of engaging in prostitution and soliciting prostitution (being a “John” or customer) are misdemeanors, unless the person involved was in a licensed brothel. There are no licensed brothels in Clark County.

Penalties are more significant for people accused of being the business of managing and recruiting prostitutes. In the past, these people, often called “pimps,” have faced charges of pandering.

Pandering remains a crime under Nevada law. If charged with pandering, a person is accused of inducing a person to engage in prostitution or to continue to engage in prostitution without engaging in physical force or the threat of physical force. The charges are a Class C felony, punishable by 1-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Under the new, more serious sex trafficking charges, a person who takes, places, harbors, induces, causes or compels a person into sex work using force, threats, fraud or intimidation can be convicted of a Class B felony. It is the same charge to harbor, induce, recruit, transport, obtain or maintain a sex worker knowing force, threats, fraud or intimidation to compel that person into that work.  A Class B felony is punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Additionally, if any sex worker involved was a child, the charges become sex trafficking, whether or not force or threats were involved. Charges are a Class A felony. If the child was between 16 and 18 years old, there is a mandatory minimum five-year sentence. For a child between 14 and 16, the mandatory minimum is 10 years. Trafficking any child sex worker younger than 14 will result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison under state law.

Regardless of the offense, any charge involving sex work is serious. It’s important to immediately contact a Las Vegas prostitution defense lawyer if accused.

Crime in Las Vegas on the Decline Though No Change in Arrest Rates

On Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie reported a drop in several crime rates in Las Vegas. Compared to data collected from 2010, the reported cases of robbery, auto theft and homicide dropped in 2011, along with traffic fatalities and sexual assault. The Las Vegas Metro Police point to several different factors for this drop in crime, including increased traffic patrol, better documentation of domestic violence cases, new technology, and others.

Also, according to these statistics, arrests in Las Vegas have seen a negligible change between 2010 and 2011 with a 0.44% increase, an interesting contrast to the drop in certain crimes. An arrest does not mean that a conviction will necessarily follow. The police may arrest a person if there is probable cause to suspect he or she has committed a criminal offense. However, probable cause does not give a police officer automatic permission to search a person, their belongings, vehicle, or property without a warrant, since this would violate the Fourth Amendment.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” (Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution)

Probable cause that a crime has been committed may not be as objective as we’d like to believe. It is not unknown for a person to be arrested because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time or if there were false charges made against them. In certain cases, such as in responses to calls of domestic violence in Las Vegas, police must make quick judgments based on the evidence before them. Whether this decision is found to be justified later or not, it can severely impact the life of the person arrested in the short-term and maybe even long-term.

Many people choose to exercise their right to remain silent and speak with an attorney after arrest for these very reasons. Regardless of the circumstances of the arrest, an experienced Las Vegas defense lawyer can help determine if any constitutional rights were violated and if the police had probable cause to arrest or not.

The 2010 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Report can be downloaded from their website in PDF format. While the 2011 police report has been released, it is not currently available for review online.

Pursuing a Second Chance with a Criminal Record Sealing in Henderson, NV

With the current state of the economy, competition for employment is extremely high. It is not uncommon for prospective employers to use criminal background checks to thin the number of applicants. In certain industries, such as retail, transportation, and healthcare, this is even considered necessary for security purposes. However, the use of background checks serves to close the doors for many men and women convicted of minor felony offenses. Some background checks are so thorough that they also catch misdemeanor offenses that occur in Henderson or Clark County, Nevada.

Fortunately, there is a process that can help these individuals achieve a seemingly second chance in terms of their criminal record. In Nevada, this is referred to as criminal record sealing, the stipulations of which are set forth in NRS 179.245.

For those who satisfy the eligibility requirements and complete the process, it’s as if the incident in question never happened. Records of the conviction will not be accessible by public, private, or government agencies. This can be a relief when applying for jobs, housing, scholarships, special licenses, and government assistance. Additionally, a sealed felony can allow the person to regain their right to vote, hold office, and serve on a jury, if they are so inclined.

The process of criminal record sealing is not automatic, nor is it instant. It may take between eight months to a year to achieve a sealed criminal record, beginning from the filing of an official petition to request a record sealing. The petition itself requires specific information, including the arrests the person wishes to seal, police agency that arrested the person, date of arrests, criminal charges, and result of each arrest. Roughly 4 to 8 months later, either a detailed denial or approval will arrive through the mail.

Certain criminal offenses are not eligible to be sealed. On this list are crimes committed against children under 18 years of age that involved kidnapping, pandering, prostitution, or the attempt to commit these offenses. Sexual offenses that involve a child under 18 years of age or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age are also not eligible. You can learn more about the eligibility requirements on a PDF provided by Clark County.

There is also a waiting period before a person can petition to have his or her record sealed. These time periods are as follows:

Category of Offense Waiting Period
Category A Felony 15 years
Category B Felony 15 years
Category C Felony 12 years
Category D Felony 12 years
Category E Felony 10 years
Gross Misdemeanor 7 years
Misdemeanor 2 years
Misdemeanor DUI 7 years
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence 7 years
Possession of Controlled Substance* NRS 455.3363 – immediately upon completion
Arrest without a conviction Immediately after dismissal or acquittal

While this process can be done by the felony offender, it may prove to be time and labor consuming. Mistakes made can also slow the process down or result in a denial. Many men and women use a criminal record sealing attorney in Henderson, NV or Clark County, NV to help streamline and expedite the process. A lawyer can handle the often complicated paperwork and efficiently take care of related affidavits and required reports. The guidance of an experienced Las Vegas defense attorney can prove invaluable when pursuing an even playing field.

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