Accusations of drug crimes on Interstate 80 are no joke. Because this interstate is so well-known as a drug trafficking route, Nebraska law enforcement can be overzealous in their application of probable cause. As a result, you may face accusations of drug use, possession, manufacturing, and/or trafficking, regardless of your relationship with illegal substances.
If you find yourself contending with drug crime charges after a police stop on I-80, know that you don’t have to address those accusations without legal guidance. An I-80 drug crimes attorney can stand with you as your case goes before a judge and argue to have your charges reduced or dropped.
I-80 and the Legalization of Marijuana
Colorado legalized marijuana in 2014, courtesy of Colorado Amendment 64. While you might think Colorado’s laws would only impact Colorado, you would be mistaken. Nebraska law enforcement took to I-80 with renewed enthusiasm as Nebraska residents began to drive to Colorado to purchase marijuana for recreational and medical use legally.
Of course, marijuana isn’t the only substance to allegedly travel I-80. I-80’s expansive reach makes it an ideal highway for anyone who wants to transport illicit substances through Nebraska. Because the highway has seen such a rise in police stops in recent years, however, it is considered a dangerous highway for all motorists.
Nebraska’s position on the legality of marijuana may be changing, as evidenced by both the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act and Nebraska Legislature LR2CA. Even so, law enforcement’s attention may remain on I-80 as representatives try to curb the transportation and use of illegal substances on other drug schedules within the Cornhusker State.
How to Recognize Illegal Police Searches and Drug Busts
Unfortunately, the officers who patrol I-80 aren’t always accommodating during roadway stops. If they suspect that you may have illegal substances in your vehicle, they may try to manipulate you into answering unjustified questions or allowing them to search your car when they otherwise may not have the right to.
If you notice a police officer following you for a considerable amount of time without their lights on, be cautious. Some police officers wait for an excuse to pull a car over before accusing a driver of drug possession or trafficking. Similarly, some officers may misrepresent your behavior during a stop to facilitate your arrest.
How to React to a Police Stop on I-80
If police officers stop you on I-80, do not panic. While you can’t control how a police officer behaves or their motives, there are steps you can take to minimize the stress of your stop. For example, it may be in your best interest to:
- Pull over to the side of the road and turn off your car’s engine
- If it’s dark out, turn on your interior light
- Do not reach for your license or registration unless you’ve told an officer you intend to do so
- Remain polite and cooperative, but don’t allow police officers to violate your rights
- If it seems like police officers are stalling, ask if you are free to leave the stop
- If you have a licensed firearm with you, tell the officer right away.
Should police officers allow you to drive away from a stop, do so without saying anything else to them. Disgruntled officers may attempt to bring you up on subjective charges if they think you’re being disrespectful or otherwise obstructing justice.
Should a police officer attempt to arrest you and charge you with a drug crime on I-80, cooperate. You should also, however, state that you intend to invoke your right to remain silent and that you want to speak to an I-80 drug crimes lawyer as soon as possible.
Once you invoke this right, remain quiet. Our team can rush to Nebraska jails and help mitigate a police officer’s attempt to misrepresent your status on the road.
The Consequences for Unchallenged Possession, Use, and/or Trafficking Charges
You want to challenge the I-80 drug charges leveled against you by the state as soon as possible. If you do not take action against these charges or preemptively plead guilty, the resulting consequences can have a devastating effect on your personal and professional life.
For example, the consequences that most often accompany unchallenged possession and/or trafficking charges include:
- Felony convictions
- Loss of your constitutional rights
- Forfeiture of certain personal assets
- Lengthy prison sentences, depending on the nature of your felony conviction
You can learn more about how Nebraska divides its felony convictions and how different schedules of drugs can impact your charges.
Our Team Fights I-80 Drug Charges on Your Behalf
Once our I-80 drug crime attorneys arrive on the scene, you can count on us to represent your best interests against law enforcement and criminal prosecutors. We can discuss your charges in private conversations and determine what arguments might best help you challenge the charges against you.
Some of the best arguments to use in drug crimes cases can include:
- Inappropriate search and seizure
- Lack of probable cause on the part of attending police officers
- The violation of your rights on the road
- The prosecution’s failure to meet the burden of proof necessary in a criminal case
When Berry Law takes your case, we strive to reduce the charges brought against you or have them dropped entirely. You can discuss the possible outcomes of your drug crimes case during a consultation with our team members.
Reach Out to Our Criminal Defense Attorneys ASAP
If you face unjust accusations of drug possession, distribution, use, and/or trafficking on I-80, know that you have the right to a comprehensive legal defense. You can collaborate with Berry Law’s criminal defense attorneys to challenge the drug crimes charges brought against you in criminal court.
Our team meets you where you are to discuss how you want your case to proceed. Whether you need legal assistance in jail or the comfort of your own home, give us the chance to learn more about your case. Contact our team of I-80 drug crimes lawyers by calling our office or filling out our online contact form.