A drug crime conviction in state court can have serious and lasting consequences. If you were charged with an offense related to controlled substances, it is crucial to contact a drug crime lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can protect your rights and help you build a defense.
Our law firm has defended hundreds of clients charged with both state and federal controlled substance crimes in Lincoln and the surrounding areas. To make an appointment with our Lincoln state drug charges lawyer, please call or contact us online.
Overview of Drug Charges in the State of Nebraska
Nebraska has several types of drug charges. Our trial lawyers aggressively defend adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanor state drug offenses such as:
- Minor in possession
- Possession with intent to distribute
- Possessing drug paraphernalia
- DUI & driving while intoxicated by drugs
Our attorneys take on drug crime cases involving nearly every type of narcotic, controlled substance, and illegal drug, including the following:
For more information about what can lead to a state drug charge, speak with a knowledgeable attorney in Lincoln.
What is the Difference Between State and Federal Charges?
The possession, manufacturing, or distribution of controlled substances is illegal under both state and federal law. However, most individuals are charged with these offenses at the State level.
Generally, federal authorities do not get involved in drug-related criminal cases unless they suspect that the defendant is part of a drug manufacturing and/or trafficking operation that exists in more than one state. A person found to possess significant amounts of certain controlled substances may also face federal drug charges based on a presumed intent to distribute. If you believe law enforcement is investigating you for a drug charge, an experienced attorney can help you determine whether it might be considered state or federal.
What Penalties May Result from a Conviction on State Drug Charges?
According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-416, possession of any controlled substance—except for marijuana—is a Class IV felony. This means a conviction could lead to a two-year prison sentence and/or a fine of $10,000. The severity of distribution, sale, and manufacturing charges depend on the Schedule classification of the substance in question.
Schedule I, II, and III Drugs
Exceptionally dangerous Schedule I, II, and III substances may lead to Class II felony charges. However, certain substances in these schedules may lead to Class IIA felony charges.
Schedule IV and V Drugs
Selling, distributing, or manufacturing Schedule IV or V substances is a Class III felony offense. Depending on the circumstances, penalties upon conviction may range from a maximum of four years in prison and a $25,000 fine to a prison term of one to 50 years.
A first offense for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is a non-criminal infraction punishable only by a fine. Subsequent possession charges for the same amount of cannabis are misdemeanors, as is the possession of between one ounce and one pound.
Even if you were charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana, it is a serious matter. A drug crime conviction can prevent you from getting jobs, obtaining certain licenses, and getting into college, which is why it is essential to hire a dedicated lawyer.
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Penalties for Federal Controlled Substance Charges
Federal drug charges usually result in much harsher penalties upon conviction than equivalent state charges would. The severity of these penalties will vary depending on the types and amounts of substances involved, as well as what the defendant allegedly did. Allegations of drug manufacturing, distribution, and/or trafficking may result in mandatory minimum sentences of five to ten years in federal prison.
Contesting federal drug crime charges is also a lot more complicated than fighting state-level charges. The federal sentencing guidelines for these kinds of offenses do not leave much room for negotiating a favorable outcome on a defendant’s behalf. Additionally, federal prosecutors often try to pressure defendants into cooperating with their investigation, pushing them to name co-conspirators and admit to other offenses. Because of these factors, representation from a skilled defense lawyer is especially crucial for anyone in Lincoln facing federal drug charges.
Contact Our Lincoln State Drug Charges Attorney
Do not attempt to handle a drug charge without an experienced defense lawyer. Berry Law has a record of success in controlled substance cases and can argue for pretrial diversion or other alternative sentencing. Contact a Lincoln state drug charges lawyer today to schedule a confidential appointment.