The possession and/or distribution of drugs is prosecuted harshly in Nebraska. Drug offenses and their subsequent penalties rely on a variety of factors, such as the amount and type of drug you possess.
While the possession of under one ounce of marijuana is not a criminal offense, it can still result in a fine and other penalties. In addition, it is illegal to possess marijuana in any higher quantities or to sell it.
The possession of any other type of controlled substance without a prescription, including so-called “street drugs,” is a felony-level offense in the state. Possessing any drug with the intent to sell it is also a felony that carries a mandatory state prison sentence upon conviction. These harsh penalties make it important for defendants facing drug charges in Omaha take to take the necessary steps to protect themselves, including hiring experienced legal counsel.
The Omaha drug lawyers from our firm are well-versed in Nebraska’s laws concerning drugs and common police tactics used to make arrests. We have experience defending clients facing a variety of drug charges. If you are facing drug charges in Omaha, our skilled defense attorneys could work to protect your constitutional rights in court and fight for your freedom out of it.
Drug Possession Laws Applicable to Omaha
In Nebraska, it is illegal to possess over one ounce of marijuana. If the police search a suspect and find under one ounce of marijuana, that defendant could be issued a citation for $300 and forced to attend a drug education course. Even though this is not a criminal offense, there are still penalties attached to marijuana possession, as explained in Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-416 (13).
Possession of larger amounts of marijuana, other street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or prescription drugs without a doctor’s note are much more serious allegations. Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-416 (3) states that any person knowingly in possession of these items is guilty of a class IV felony. This means that a conviction can result in up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. An Omaha attorney can work to build an effective defense strategy for the specific drug charges you are facing.
Omaha Drug Distribution Laws
Much more serious than allegations of drug possession are charges that a defendant manufactured or possessed illegal drugs with the intent to distribute them. It does not matter if the defendant allegedly sold these drugs for money or simply gave the drugs to friends—any distribution is illegal, as is holding drugs with the intent to sell them.
While it is rare for a person to admit to police that they intend to sell the drugs in their possession, prosecutors can—and often do—rely on circumstantial evidence to prove their case, including:
- Multiple small packages of drugs
- Large quantities of cash
- Measuring equipment
- Customer ledgers
Emphasizing a lack of intent to sell can be a powerful defense strategy for a drug lawyer in Omaha, and it could potentially lead to the reduction or dismissal of charges.
According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-416 (2), the baseline charge for selling exceptionally hazardous drugs in Omaha is a class II felony, which carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year with a potential maximum of 50 years. These penalties may increase depending on the quantity of the drug allegedly sold or if they were sold near a school.
Arrested on Interstate 80? Call Us for Help!
Law enforcement has been aggressively pulling over drivers on Interstate 80 in hopes of finding drugs, often overstepping their bounds and making questionable stops. Many out-of-state residents have unfortunately been the victim of such actions. If you have been the target of a drug arrest on Interstate 80, an experienced Omaha drug crime attorney is ready to help you fight your charges.
We help out-of-state clients challenge their I-80 drug arrests with potential defenses that can include:
- Lack of training of drug-sniffing dogs
- No probable cause
- No reasonable suspicion
- Unreasonable length of traffic stop
We represent all individuals facing drug charges. Our firm is known for providing customized and effective legal advocacy, no matter how serious the charge.
What Factors Can Impact the Sentence for a Drug Charge?
There are a variety of factors that could impact the sentence someone receives when convicted of a drug crime in Omaha. Repeat offenders will almost always face more severe sentencing than if the individual is committing a drug offense for the very first time. However, other factors can enhance the charge even if it is the individual’s first crime. For example, if the accused deliberately gave drugs to a minor or engaged in a drug offense near to a school, they could face enhanced penalties.
Are There Additional Consequences for Having a Criminal Record?
Besides jail time and financial penalties, a drug conviction can result in additional consequences. For example, some landlords will not rent to someone who has a criminal record.
A criminal record can also prevent you from going into certain career fields and voting. Therefore, it is vital to work with an attorney who can construct the most effective defense strategies and work to get a reduction or potential dismissal of your drug charges.
Consult an Omaha Drug Attorney
The prospect of facing drug charges in a Nebraska court can be intimidating under any circumstances. Except for small amounts of marijuana, Nebraska’s drug laws enforce harsh penalties for any person caught selling an illegal drug. Even instances of simple possession can result in felony convictions and a prison sentence.
An Omaha drug lawyer from our team could fight aggressively to prevent this from happening. Whether the best defense strategy revolves around disputing the identity of the drug, questioning the police tactics that resulted in the arrest, or fighting back against an allegation of distribution, our attorneys could work with you to help identify strategies and apply them to your case. Call today to learn more about your legal options.