Nebraska Drug Crime Defense Attorney
The drug laws in Nebraska are among the strictest in the country. Even the possession of the smallest amount of some substances can result in incarceration, and even a first drug dealing offense can lead to years behind bars.
Nebraska has become a conduit for the transit of legally acquired cannabis traveling east due to its proximity to Colorado, where marijuana use is now legal. Massive drug hauls are often discovered during traffic stops on Interstate 80, including in vehicles operated by out-of-state citizens.
If you were detained for a drug violation then you need effective legal guidance. The drug defense attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm know each case’s best course of action and what is required to secure a successful result.
Drug Crimes in Nebraska
Like in every state, the amount of any illegal substance that is found in your possession at the time of your arrest will determine the precise charges that get filed and the penalties that can come with a conviction.
For example, simple possession of marijuana can result in a ticket and a $300 fine, while certain other hard drugs, including opiates, can result in a two-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. Drug possession with the intent to distribute, drug trafficking, or drug manufacturing convictions can result in lengthy jail sentences, even up to life in prison for repeat offenders or extremely big drug seizures.
At The Criminal Defense Firm, we will tenaciously fight to keep a conviction off your record regardless of the specifics of your case. We can also defend you against state or federal charges. To ensure that your rights and future are safeguarded, we will conduct a thorough investigation to decide the appropriate course of action.
Potential Defense Strategies for Drug Charges
Law enforcement has wrongfully violated the civil rights of many suspect because of their excessive zeal. This includes situations where someone was illegally searched and taken into custody after a traffic stop, a stop that was based on unfounded accusations or without probable cause, and then subjected to a drug dog search. Drivers from other states are being targeted more frequently just for using a rental car. Many of them get pulled over for the slightest traffic infractions in pretextual stops.
A state drug accusation may turn into a federal case if it goes beyond simple possession or a relatively minor case of possession with intent to distribute. It is not uncommon for these cases to spiral into accusations of drug manufacturing and trafficking that involve substantial quantities of seized drugs.
Federal investigators rarely investigate marijuana charges in Nebraska unless they uncover extremely large quantities or if they think that the suspect is part of a larger enterprise that they can bust. Federal law enforcement will frequently intervene in cases that surpass much smaller amounts of more hazardous substances, including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, or fentanyl, especially if they believe that it may lead to other people being involved in a conspiracy. In these circumstances, agents strive to convince arrestees to plead guilty to lesser offenses and participate in the investigation as they go up the chain of command to reach the more prominent players.
Due to mandatory sentencing guidelines, federal drug charges can be more severe than state crimes, so reaching a reasonable agreement with prosecutors might be challenging.
You must hire a top defense lawyer who is familiar with the state and federal systems if you are charged with a serious drug offense and want to protect your future.
How The Criminal Defense Firm Fights Drug Charges in Nebraska
There are numerous potential defense strategies to combat allegations of a drug crime in Nebraska. Determining which one is the best for your case is not always easy.
Our team of defense lawyers will first determine if your rights were violated due to an illegal drug dog search, an illegal search and seizure, or another aspect of the investigation. This can be the case regardless of whether you were investigated by local police, Nebraska state troopers, or federal agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or another law enforcement agency. If there was a violation of your rights and that violation led to the discovery of incriminating evidence, we will demand that the evidence be excluded from trial. This can completely undermine the prosecution’s case against you.
Even if the investigation did not violate your rights, police may still have overreached. Entrapment is a common defense to drug charges in Nebraska. Police can entrap you if their conduct coerces you into committing a criminal offense that you would not have done were it not for their encouragement and active support.
These are just a couple of the potential defenses that you can raise against a drug allegation in Nebraska. A few others include:
- Faulty lab work misidentified the drug as a controlled substance
- You had a prescription for the drug at issue
- You did not know that the substance was in your possession
- You were acting under duress
- The drug dog that alerted police to the controlled substance was incorrectly trained
Raising the best defense for your circumstances often takes a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. At The Criminal Defense Firm we vigorously defend the rights of people who are accused of drug trafficking, manufacturing drugs, or possessing them with the purpose of distributing them.
Avoiding the Penalties of a Conviction is Key
You can be accused of simple possession, drug possession with intent to distribute, drug production, or drug trafficking depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. The weight of the substance that the police seized and whether it was marijuana, which carries less severe fines, or more potent drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin, determine the severity of the potential penalties.
For example, the penalties for a first-time conviction for marijuana possession are:
|Amount||Classification||Maximum fines||Maximum sentence|
|1 ounce or less||Infraction||$300||Drug education course|
|Between 1 ounce and 1 pound||Class III misdemeanor||$500||3 months in jail|
|1 pound or more||Class IV felony||$10,000||5 years in prison|
Subsequent convictions for trace amounts also increase the penalties to:
- $500 fines for a second conviction of possession of 1 ounce or less, and
- $500 fines and up to 7 days in jail for third and subsequent convictions.
The penalties are far higher for other controlled substances, like meth or cocaine.
The penalties increase still more if you are accused of selling drugs or attempting to sell drugs. These penalties are heightened further if the offense occurred on or near school property or involved the sale of drugs to a minor.
Drug production and distribution offenses carry sentences ranging from one year to life in prison. Repeat drug offenders who commit crimes face vigorous prosecution and severe punishments.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Offenses in Nebraska and The Criminal Defense Firm
What are the Penalties for Possession of Marijuana Hash, Oil, or Edibles?
Nebraska treats these types of marijuana the same as it treats over a pound of marijuana – which is also the same as the possession of cocaine or heroin: It is a Class IV felony that carries up to 5 years in prison. Nebraska justifies this sentence by pointing to the higher amounts of THC in the products.
In Nebraska, is Marijuana Legal?
No. Cannabis is still illegal in Nebraska, despite being decriminalized in neighboring Colorado and several other states. For first-time possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, the penalty is a citation and a $300 fine. For distribution, trafficking, or cultivation of marijuana, the penalties are far higher.
What Should an Out-of-State Resident Do if Arrested in Nebraska on Drug Charges?
As police target rental cars and out-of-state drivers, this is becoming a more frequent occurrence. First, in compliance with your Miranda rights, you should refrain from answering any questions until you have spoken with an attorney. Then, actively invoke your right to an attorney by demanding one in no uncertain terms. The chances are high that you will be facing serious drug offenses, likely for trafficking, so getting one on your side before you talk to police is extremely important.
Can I Bring Legal Marijuana into Nebraska if I Purchase it in Another State?
No. This is a common misconception that people have. State drug laws apply throughout the state and do not stretch into neighboring states. Just because a neighboring state has legalized marijuana for recreational use, that does not mean that you can buy it there and bring it back to a state that has not legalized it. Lots of people in Nebraska are getting into trouble for doing this.
Will I Go to Prison for Possession of Drugs?
It depends on the circumstances, including the type and amount of drug at issue and what the specific conduct allegedly included. Many drug crimes do involve prison time.
However, for minor offenses by first-time defendants, Nebraska has a diversion program that could keep you out of jail and wipe your criminal record if you complete the program’s requirements.
Why Don't You Call Yourself the Best Nebraska Drug Defense Firm?
Because it means far more when our prior clients leave testimonials to this effect.
The Criminal Defense Firm: Drug Defense in Nebraska
If you have been arrested and accused of a state or federal drug offense anywhere in Nebraska, you need experienced legal representation. Call The Criminal Defense Firm at (866) 603-4540 or contact us online to get started on your defense.