The Omaha police department and Nebraska State Patrol have made it a priority to pursue drug-related crimes. If you were arrested for possession of illegal substances with the intent to distribute them, you could benefit from the guidance of a skilled drug attorney.
An Omaha drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer can fight to defend your rights and future. Let a member of our experienced drug team help you fight your drug charges.
What is Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute?
Possession with intent to distribute is defined as knowingly or intentionally manufacturing, distributing, delivering, or dispensing a controlled substance. This definition is wide-ranging, and it encompasses the entire process of a drug operation.
A person could be charged with possession with intent to distribute regardless of whether he or she is manufacturing or distributing drugs. Due to the severity of these charges, it is important that you contact a drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer in Omaha if you are facing drug charges.
Differences between Possession and Possession with Intent
A prosecutor is responsible for determining when to charge simple possession of a controlled substance or possession with intent to distribute. Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-416 outlines the various penalties associated with knowingly making, selling, or possessing narcotics with the intent to distribute specific quantities. For instance, if someone possesses 10-28 grams of heroin with the intent to produce, sell, or transport the drug, he or she is going to face a Class ID felony charge, punishable by up to 50 years in prison.
Proving Intent to Distribute
The prosecution must prove that a person’s intent is to manufacture, sell, or move quantities thereof. Unfortunately, Nebraska law dictates that simply possessing a certain amount of a drug implies the intent to distribute, which is based on what quantity could be considered as personal use.
Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Penalties
Omaha drug charges often escalate from simple possession to possession with intent. However, the penalties associated with possession with intent to distribute in Omaha can also vary depending on the drug involved.
Charges for the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute could amount to a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the quantity of the drug in the person’s possession at the time of his or her arrest. In accordance with state law, if someone deliberately possesses between 1 ounce and 1 pound of marijuana with the purpose of distributing the substance, the crime is a Class III misdemeanor. Class III misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to 3 months in jail. A $500 fine may also be imposed in addition to or in lieu of prison time.
The greater the quantity of marijuana in a person’s possession, the higher the penalties that can be imposed by the court. For example, a conviction for possession of more than 1 pound of marijuana with intent to distribute is a Class IV felony. Someone convicted of a Class IV felony may be incarcerated for up to 2 years and be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
Possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana with intent to distribute is one of the lesser drug offenses in Omaha. Offenses of this nature of are charged as infractions for the first violation, with a $300 fine assessed as punishment. However, additional infractions will lead to more severe penalties.
Penalties for drug charges in Omaha can raise exponentially when they involve possession with intent to distribute. A possession charge for methamphetamine, for example, can incur penalties ranging from a Class IB felony to a Class ID felony, depending on the quantity of methamphetamine in the person’s possession.
A person can be charged with a Class IB felony for possessing at least 140 grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The sentence for a Class IB felony is 20 years in prison, but the presiding judge has the jurisdiction impose a life-sentence.
Possession with intent to distribute between 28 and 139 grams of methamphetamine is a Class IC felony offense, while knowingly possessing with intent to distribute between 10 and 27 grams of methamphetamine is a Class ID felony. Class IC and ID felonies carry maximum prison terms of 50 years.
A person can be charged with both possession and intent to distribute cocaine if he or she had the substance on his or her person at that time of arrest as well as any other items that would indicate their intent to move the substance. The consequences of this kind of charge depend on whether the substance is categorized as cocaine or its base, as well as the amount of the drug found. For example, possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine or a drug concoction featuring a perceptible amount of cocaine that meets or exceeds 140 grams will be charged as a Class IB felony.
Nebraska drug laws are stringently enforced, and the penalties for a single drug offense can haunt someone the rest of their life. This makes it crucial to hire an experienced Omaha attorney with a thorough understanding of state law and criminal procedure to fight your drug possession with intent to distribute charges.
Investigating Intent to Distribute
There are ways a case can be investigated to specifically assess intent as it relates to drug possession. Police investigations, for example, look for things that can be associated with the drug trade such as scales, bags, and large amounts of money.
Law enforcement could try to get a search warrant to go through cellphone records, text messages, and emails for evidence of drug deal negotiations. The police can also look at bank records to see if there are large amounts of money coming in and going out. Police search for indicators of something more than just a user’s amount of the controlled substance.
Call an Omaha Drug Possession with Intent to Distribute Attorney
It is important to have an attorney when facing drug charges because the penalties are incredibly severe and can have a significant impact on the rest of your life. Do not hesitate to contact an Omaha drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer from Berry Law today to schedule a free consultation.