Drug Crime Charges
Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
There is nothing routine about drug charges in Nebraska. In fact, the law is written to make practically all drug crimes felonies. Your future and freedom depend on what you do after you have been arrested. Your first step should be to contact a drug crime lawyer to aggressively and sensibly defend you. Call today to learn more.
Possession of Controlled Substances
Nebraska law imposes serious punishments when you are convicted of drug crimes. Nebraska treats possession of a controlled substance as a Class IV Felony. The law provides a list of nearly 100 substances that are considered controlled. These can include:
Certain prescription medications (without a valid doctor’s prescription)
More than one ounce of marijuana
Conviction of this crime can be punished with a jail sentence of up to two years. In addition, you would be subject to supervised release and a potentially large fine.
Possession of Controlled Substances with Intent to Distribute
The penalties escalate if you are convicted of possession with intent to distribute. Prosecutors do not need an explicit admission on your part or even evidence that you were actually distributing drugs. Instead, they can persuade a jury to convict you based on largely circumstantial evidence that could show an intent to distribute. For example, if they allege that they have found large amounts of money with the drugs, it could be evidence of intent to distribute. Nonetheless, contesting the intent part of the alleged crime may be your best chance to fight the charges against you.
Possession with intent to distribute is considered a Class II felony, and it will be punished with a minimum sentence of one year in prison.
Depending on the type of drug involved, the penalties for distribution can increase even further. Those convicted of distributing “exceptionally dangerous” substances can be charged with a Class II felony, and the penalty can reach up to 50 years in prison.
While the law gives a broad range of potential sentences for drug crime convictions, a judge may consider some of the following factors in imposing a punishment:
The amount of controlled substance allegedly involved
Where the alleged crime took place
Your prior criminal record, if any
The type of drug involved
The Consequences of a Drug Crime Conviction
In addition to the legal punishment for drug convictions, you would also face collateral consequences in your life. Especially if you have been convicted of a felony, there are numerous post-release restrictions and continued punishments. You may face the following effects:
Difficulty finding a job (or termination from your existing job)
Negative impacts on your custody situation if you have children
Reputational effects of having a criminal record
Restrictions on your ability to own firearms
The loss of your right to vote and hold public office
The passage of time and completing your sentence does not fully erase the effects of a drug crime conviction. Nebraska law does not permit the expungement of any misdemeanors or felonies from your record. In other words, a criminal record is permanent.
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Drug charges will always turn under strength and the validity of the evidence against you. The prosecutor has a legal obligation to prove every element of the crime. When you are on trial for a drug charge, one of the key elements is intent. You cannot be convicted of a drug charge when the prosecutor cannot prove that you did not fully know what you were doing.
In addition, the evidence that is being used against you must have been legally seized. Law enforcement must either have had a search warrant that was based on probable cause or have used a valid exception to the Fourth Amendment requirements. In some cases, police may have conducted an illegal search or seizure. Your attorney would review the evidence being used against you to determine whether there is a possibility to challenge it in court. If the evidence was illegally seized, the judge may suppress it as the “fruit of the poisonous tree.”
Why You Need a Drug Crimes Attorney Immediately
What you do after you have been arrested can determine both whether you are convicted and your future. Law enforcement may try to pressure you or gain a confession from you. Every defendant has legal rights that law enforcement cannot violate. One of your major rights is to have an attorney and get a legal defense. If you invoke your right to a lawyer, law enforcement cannot speak to you without your lawyer present. The sooner you hire a lawyer after being arrested, the more confidence you can have that your legal rights will not be violated.
Here is what a drug crime defense lawyer can do to help your case:
A drug defense lawyer can help protect you if law enforcement tries to coerce you into making a statement or confessing
A drug charge attorney will learn the facts of your case and explain your legal options
A drug defense attorney will review the case against you and help you determine whether there are grounds to fight the charges
If you choose to negotiate with the prosecutor, your drug defense lawyer will seek the best possible legal outcome for you
The stakes are far too high to try to handle legal matters on your own. The prospect of time in prison Is reason enough to take action to protect your legal rights. While many things are out of your control, the one thing that you do control is hiring an attorney and choosing an experienced and aggressive advocate for your case.
Contact a Drug Crime Lawyer in Omaha Today
I am a former prosecutor who knows the law enforcement playbook in drug cases. I know how prosecutors think and how they may approach your case. When you call to defend you from drug charges, I will immediately get to work to fight for your legal rights. I will understand you and the specific situation that you are facing. To schedule your initial consultation, call today or reach out online.