One mistake or momentary lapse in judgment can be enough to change the course of your life forever. Unfortunately, one bad decision or split-second action can lead to serious legal troubles and life-long consequences. If you are facing criminal allegations and charges, you should contact a Nebraska criminal defense lawyer at Berry Law as soon as possible.
A dedicated criminal defense attorney in Nebraska can help you protect your rights, advocate on your behalf, and work toward a favorable resolution of the charges pending against you. The experienced team of criminal defense lawyers at Berry Law is ready to investigate the facts surrounding your case, evaluate the evidence against you, and explore the various options that may be available to you under your unique situation.
We are proud to be considered among the top Nebraska law firms, and we work hard to maintain that reputation. We have a strong track record of winning high-stakes criminal defense cases, and we’re ready to fight for you.
A Brief Explanation of Criminal Charges in Nebraska
Criminal charges can range from low-level misdemeanors at one end of the spectrum that can result in diversion programs to the most serious felonies, which carry the potential of years in prison. The penalties for criminal offenses may include periods of probation, fines, terms of incarceration in local jail or prison, and post-release supervision.
Some crimes also carry the possibility of collateral consequences that can have a significant impact on the lives of convicted criminals and their families. For instance, a DUI conviction is likely to result in the suspension of driving privileges and can lead to job loss, additional expenses, and the inability to care for family members. A felony conviction may prohibit someone from owning or possessing a firearm.
Certain factors can influence the range of penalties available for criminal offenses. For example:
- If minors are involved in the crime,
- If firearms or other dangerous weapons were used, or
- If the accused person has a prior criminal history,
The potential penalties will be more severe. A felony attorney in Nebraska can explain the full range of potential sanctions you may face for specific criminal charges and work with you toward the best possible outcome. The Omaha criminal defense attorneys at Berry Law are skilled at navigating the criminal justice system on behalf of our clients. We aggressively advocate for your legal rights.
What are the Categories of Offenses Under Nebraska Law?
Nebraska law contains hundreds of criminal offenses, some of which are more common than others. Many crimes fall within specific categories, such as:
- Drug crimes
- Sex crimes
- Theft crimes
- Violent crimes
- White-collar crimes
Other common crimes that may fall outside the scope of these major categories include driving under the influence (DUI), criminal mischief, trespass, resisting arrest, criminal nonsupport, perjury, and tampering with physical evidence.
The experienced Nebraska criminal attorneys at Berry Law understand how to gather evidence and apply the relevant law to build a strong defense on behalf of our clients who are facing any of these criminal charges. We represent clients at every stage as skilled negotiators with extensive trial experience.
What is the Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Offenses?
Under Nebraska law, a range of criminal acts can fall within each major category of criminal offenses. Most crimes are charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors typically are less serious criminal offenses with less severe penalties. The penalties for many misdemeanor offenses do not require a jail sentence. If they do require imprisonment, the term usually cannot exceed one year in jail.
On the other hand, felony offenses will carry the potential for far more severe sanctions upon a conviction. For example, someone convicted of a serious felony will be facing a period of incarceration for longer than one year and thousands of dollars in fines.
The Nebraska legislature has further subdivided both felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses into multiple classes, ranging from most to least severe. For example, a Class I felony conviction can be punishable by a death sentence, and a Class IA felony conviction can lead to a life sentence in prison. On the other hand, a conviction on a Class IV felony may result in a maximum of two years of incarceration or possibly no jail time at all.
Misdemeanor offenses are also divided into various classes according to the severity of the crime and resulting penalties. Class I misdemeanor convictions may result in a maximum of one year of incarceration. A Class W misdemeanor (DUI charge) can result in a minimum of seven days and a maximum of 60 days of imprisonment for a first conviction.
An experienced Omaha criminal defense lawyer at Berry Law can navigate the complexities of criminal law to ensure you understand your legal rights moving forward.
The Legal Process for Criminal Cases in Nebraska
When talking to your potential criminal defense lawyer, it is helpful to know what to expect in the legal process for these types of cases in Nebraska. By the time you talk to us, you probably have already been through the first steps, arrest, and booking. The police collect your personal information, like fingerprints and details of the alleged crime.
The next step is the initial court appearance, where you may be formally charged. If you requested a lawyer during booking, your lawyer can accompany you in this and subsequent court appearances.
From there, the case typically proceeds as follows:
- Arraignment: You go before the court and hear the charges that have been filed against you. You will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. You are not legally required to have a lawyer at this stage, but it is a good idea. Your lawyer can advise you about how to plead.
- Pre-trial Motions: Your lawyer will make legal arguments before the trial to shape the direction of the case moving forward.
- Discovery: In this phase, your lawyer exchanges information with the prosecution. This allows your attorney to create a plan to address these points.
- Plea Bargaining: Your attorney may negotiate to resolve the case without going to trial. They will bring any options to you to discuss. For example, a plea deal may involve you pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. Your lawyer cannot accept any deals without your approval.
- Trial: A judge or jury will hear the case and determine the verdict.
- Sentencing: If you are found guilty, there will be a separate hearing for sentencing. The judge will impose a sentence.
An experienced attorney who practices criminal defense law is your advocate. It is our responsibility to ensure that you understand the complexities of your case. This allows you to make informed choices about handling your defense.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
When You Need a Nebraska Criminal Defense Lawyer, Trust Berry Law
We understand how challenging, confusing, and even terrifying a criminal arrest can be. When law enforcement authorities arrest you and charge you with a crime, you are facing one of the most important and high-stakes battles of your life. It’s crucial to find a qualified criminal defense attorney in Nebraska. Your lawyer can fight for you and help you receive justice under the law.
The skilled defense attorneys at Berry Law have the grit and tenacity to help you fight for what’s right. These qualities have made us a leading criminal defense law firm. Contact our exceptional legal team today to schedule a confidential consultation.