However, each state maintains its definition of what qualifies as a CDS. Understanding Nebraska’s drug possession with intent to sell charge is critical to developing a viable defense.
Illegal possession of drugs in Nebraska carries many significant penalties and long-term collateral consequences.
Nebraska Laws for Drug Possession with Intent to Sell
Nebraska Revised Statute § 28-416 governs the state’s laws surrounding the distribution of controlled substances.
Under the federal Controlled Substance Act and Nebraska state law, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, possess, or possess with the intent to sell or distribute controlled substances.
How Does Nebraska Classify Controlled Substances?
Nebraska classifies CDS into five “schedules.”
- Schedule 1: Drugs with a high potential for abuse that do not have a currently accepted medical use in the United States. Examples include heroin, LSD, and peyote.
- Schedule 2: Drugs with a high potential for abuse but have some limited medical uses. Examples might include hydromorphone, methadone, and oxycodone.
- Schedule 3: Drugs with less potential for abuse than the above categories but still present a moderate risk of dependency. Examples might include Tylenol with codeine and Suboxone.
- Schedule 4: Drugs with a low potential for abuse with legitimate medical uses and limited risk of dependency. Examples might include Xanax, Soma, and Valium.
- Schedule 5: Drugs with the least potential for abuse which are often sold over the counter. Examples might include Robitussin AC or cough medications containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine.
Judges typically use a drug’s classification to determine the severity of the potential penalties.
Nebraska Marijuana Charges
Despite the growing medical use of marijuana and Nebraska’s decriminalization of small amounts of this plant, Nebraska continues to charge cannabis crimes according to the weight the suspect possesses at the time of their arrest.
In light of the legalization of marijuana in neighboring states, Nebraska has increased its law enforcement presence along Interstate 80.
As a result, many Nebraska residents and out-of-state drivers have come under law enforcement scrutiny for possessing varying amounts of marijuana, as discussed below.
- Possession up to 1 ounce: Citation, fines up to $300 for a first offense. The fine is increased to $400 and up to 5 days in jail for a second offense. For a third offense, a $500 fine and up to 7 days in jail may be imposed.
- Possession of more than 1 ounce to 1 pound: Class III misdemeanor, $500 fine, up to 3 months in jail.
- Possession of more than 1 pound to any quantity of concentrated THC: Class IV felony, $10,000 fine or up to 2 years in prison or both.
- Distribution or possession with intent to distribute: Class IIA felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Like Nebraska’s marijuana laws, the punishment for intent to distribute drugs such as heroin, meth, and cocaine depends on the amount in your possession at the time of your arrest.
Enhanced Punishment for Certain Drug Possession Charges in Nebraska
In Nebraska, penalties and sanctions for drug possession charges increase if police arrest you with a high amount of the substance or if you sell the substance to another person under 18.
Further, the court may impose increased penalties if the court finds that you possessed drugs with intent to distribute within a certain distance of the following locations:
- Educational institutions,
- Youth centers,
- Public swimming pools, or
- Video arcades.
Additionally, offenders with prior drug charges may experience harsher punishments than first-time offenders.
Defenses to Drug Charges in Nebraska
An experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney can help those facing intent to sell charges.
A drug defense lawyer may be able to craft a defense based on constitutional violations, evidence mishandling, innocence, or a combination of defenses, depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
Are You Facing Nebraska Drug Charges?
If you were recently arrested and charged with a drug crime in Nebraska, having an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner can make the difference in your case.
At Petersen Criminal Defense Law, we have more than 25 years of experience aggressively defending the rights, freedoms, and futures of clients charged with drug possession and possession with intent to sell.
Regardless of your prior record or the evidence against you, we can help create a compelling defense.