Possession of controlled substances is an offense seen frequently in Seward. Because these charges are so common, some people may believe that it is not a serious matter. However, if the police catch a person with an illegal substance, whether it be cocaine, heroin, or marijuana, the consequences can be severe. Less serious drug offenses can be prosecuted as misdemeanors, meaning the penalty isn’t quite as harsh. Nebraska has the most classification categories for misdemeanors with seven different classification levels. Felony drug offenses carry harsher penalties, typically including both a fine and incarceration.
A Seward drug possession lawyer could help you figure out the best course of action, potential defenses, and how to deal with the government in the event of a criminal case. With the help of a skilled drug lawyer, you can ensure your rights and future are protected when fighting the charges you are facing.
Seward Drug Possession Laws
In Nebraska, the legislature created a general law dealing with prohibited acts in Statute 28-416. The latter part of the statute explains the different penalties associated with the possession of different quantities of controlled substances. There is a difference between simple possession and possession with intent to distribute, also known as drug dealing. The punishment for simple possession is generally less harsh than the punishment for dealing drugs.
If the police catch a person with more than one ounce, but not more than a pound of marijuana, the court can convict him or her of a Class III misdemeanor. However, if the police find the person with more than one pound of marijuana, the court can convict him or her of a Class IV felony.
What is Constructive Possession?
To be charged with drug possession in Seward, a person must knowingly be carrying narcotics. Nebraska law imposes a constructive knowledge doctrine, meaning a person who is aware of or should be reasonably aware of his or her role in criminal activity can be charged for involvement in that crime.
For example, if a driver has large amounts of marijuana in his or her car, a passenger could be charged for possession of drugs if a jury determines that he or she should have known about it. Prosecutors may argue that if the passenger has access to the marijuana, he/she is in constructive possession of the drug.
However, if the marijuana was stored in the trunk and the passenger did not have access to it and did not know that it was in the car, he or she may be able to defend charges with the help of a Seward drug possession attorney. If law enforcement finds a controlled substance in a car full of people, they will typically charge every person with possession, with a few exceptions.
How Are the Penalties Determined?
If the court convicts a person of drug possession, the penalty can include jail time, fines, probation, and parole. A convicted person may have a permanent record and lose certain rights, especially if the court finds the person guilty of a felony. Many jobs require new hires to disclose if they have ever been convicted of a felony. So, it is important that you contact an experienced drug attorney in Seward if you are facing a felony drug charge.
In general, the punishment involved depends on:
- The amount of drug in possession
- Whether the court believes there was intent to sell or distribute the drug
- The presence of a firearm
- The location where the person possessed the drugs
- The presence of cash the person means to use for buying or selling drugs
- The type of drug in possession
- Previous drug-related convictions
Law Enforcement Prioritizes Drug Crimes
Drug possession is a priority for Seward law enforcement. People who are stopped for driving under the influence or for other traffic offenses can also be searched for narcotics under certain circumstances. Law enforcement can stop someone for a minor offense and expand the search based on their arrest to cover their entire vehicle if reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is justifiably present
One of the main problems with drug offenses in Seward is the high amount of people who bring edibles from neighboring states. However, edibles are treated as hash, and possession of hash is a felony in Nebraska. A person found with up to an ounce of marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor offense, but if they are in possession of even a small edible with a low amount of THC, they can be charged with a felony.
Talk to a Seward Drug Possession Attorney Today
If the police accused you of possessing a controlled substance, it is important to start creating a plan to fight back. A knowledgeable Seward drug possession attorney could advise you of your rights, the legal process, and what defenses may be available to you. To get the help necessary to fight such offenses, call Berry Law today for a confidential consultation.