Drug trafficking is a generic term used to refer to a state’s most serious drug offenses. Convictions for drug trafficking crimes often result in long prison sentences, large fines, and lengthy terms of supervised release once released from prison. Other legal consequences flow from a drug trafficking conviction in Nebraska that can make your road to recovery difficult as well.
You will need a tough, dedicated, and experienced drug defense lawyer if you face drug trafficking charges in Nebraska. Each case is different. Therefore, an experienced drug trafficking defense lawyer could help develop a comprehensive defense strategy that gives you the best chance of success.
Drug Trafficking Charges in Nebraska
Nebraska’s drug law prohibits manufacturing, delivering, dispensing, or possessing with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or dispense any substance under the Controlled Substance Act. The weight of the drug is not relevant. Instead, the person’s intention determines the severity of the crime.
The law indicates that committing any prohibited acts is a Class II felony if the substance is an “exceptionally hazardous drug,” such as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine, as defined by Schedules I, II, or III of Nebraska’s drug laws. Otherwise, the crime is a Class IIA felony if the drug is listed in Schedules I, II, or III but is not an “exceptionally hazardous” substance.
A person is guilty of a Class IIIA felony if the substance appears in Schedules IV or V, including marijuana.
Simple possession of any controlled substance, except marijuana, is a Class IV felony. “Simple possession” refers to having a controlled substance for personal use rather than with the intent to transfer it to another person. Possessing marijuana between one ounce and one pound is a Class III misdemeanor. Possessing less than one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a fine.
Drug Trafficking Penalties
Trafficking of narcotics refers to possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute drugs based on the weight of the substances. Nebraska’s drug trafficking statute provides for more severe penalties based on the drug’s weight. The statute creates three tiers of weight for trafficking in narcotics:
- Possessing 10 to 28 grams of cocaine, crack, heroin, or methamphetamine is a Class ID felony;
- Possessing 28 to 140 grams of cocaine, crack, heroin, or methamphetamine is a Class IC felony; and
- Possessing greater than 140 grams of cocaine, crack, heroin, or methamphetamine is a Class IB felony.
The total weight of the substance includes another substance mixed with the narcotics. The prosecution must prove that the alleged offender possessed these drugs with the intent to transfer them to another person to obtain a conviction for trafficking.
Drug Trafficking Sentences
Nebraska, like many other states, divides crimes into classes. The potential drug trafficking sentences, along with any minimum-mandatory penalties, are:
- Class IV felony—maximum two-year sentence and up to one year of supervised release;
- Class IIIA felony—maximum three-year sentence with a maximum of 18 months supervised release;
- Class III felony—maximum four-year sentence with two years of supervised release;
- Class IIA felony—maximum 20-year sentence with no minimum-mandatory sentence;
- Class II felony—maximum sentence of 50 years with a one-year minimum-mandatory sentence;
- Class ID felony—maximum sentence of 50 years with a three-year minimum-mandatory sentence;
- Class IC felony—maximum sentence of 50 years with a five-year minimum-mandatory sentence; and
- Class IB felony—maximum sentence of life in prison with a 20-year minimum sentence.
In addition to facing these harsh prison sentences, a person charged with drug trafficking in Nebraska faces driver license revocation, immigration consequences if not a citizen, and suspension of any professional license.
How Can a Lawyer Help with My Drug Trafficking Charges?
A knowledgeable and seasoned Nebraska drug trafficking lawyer understands how to mount an aggressive defense. Depending on your case, a tough drug trafficking defense lawyer may:
- Argue to suppress evidence because the police violated your rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures;
- Move to dismiss the case for lack of evidence;
- Present evidence at trial that shows you had no connection to the drugs;
- Show that you possessed the drugs for personal use because of a drug habit; or
- Reach a plea bargain with the prosecution to avoid prison time and get you the help you need to beat your addiction.
It would be best if you spoke with a Nebraska drug defense attorney to decide which defenses are the best for you.
Aggressive Defense for Nebraska Drug Trafficking Charges
Nebraska’s drug trafficking laws are harsh and unforgiving. That is why you should speak with Tom Petersen and his team with Petersen Criminal Law. Tom offers no-obligation, free consultations to anyone facing criminal charges. Call Tom today at 402-509-8070 to protect your future.