Since the War on Drugs began almost 50 years ago in the United States, most states have increased the severity of their drug related criminal offenses as well as ramped up the potential punishments for violating any of those laws. If you were recently arrested and charged with violating Nebraska’s “dealing” laws, you likely face the possibility of being sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment if you are ultimately convicted of that offense. Only an experienced Nebraska drug defense lawyer can discuss the specific facts and circumstances of your case with you; however, you may find it helpful to learn some of the basic penalties for dealing in Nebraska.
Nebraska’s “Dealing” Laws
Although most people use the term “dealing drugs,” the law actually uses several other words in the applicable statutes. Nebraska Revised Statute Section 28-416 governs criminal offenses related to dealing drugs. Specifically, Section 28-416(1) reads as follows:
- Except as authorized by the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally: (a) To manufacture, distribute, deliver, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, deliver, or dispense a controlled substance; or (b) to create, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute a counterfeit controlled substance.
Penalties for Violating Section 28-416
Nebraska, like most states, has a rather complicated set of laws that determine the severity of the offense and the potential penalties you face for a violation of the state’s “dealing” statute. The default rules dictate that if the substance involved is a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III of section 28-405 as an exceptionally hazardous drug, you will be charged with a Class II felony. Any other substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III of section 28-405 will be charged as a Class IIA felony and if the substance involved is a controlled substance found in Schedule IV or V of section 28-405 you will be charged with a Class IIIA felony.
What makes things complicated is the fact that there are a number of exceptions to the above default rules. For example, if the substance involved is cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, or heroin and the amount involved is:
- 140 grams or more you can be charged with a Class IB felony;
- At least 28 grams but less than 140 grams you can be charged with a Class IC felony;
- At least 10 grams but less than 28 grams you can be charged with a Class ID felony.
Also, if you are over the age of 18, and you sell or attempt to sell a controlled substance to someone under the age of 18 “in, on, or within one thousand feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, vocational, or secondary school, a community college, a public or private college, junior college, or university, or a playground, or within one hundred feet of a public or private youth center, public swimming pool, or video arcade facility” you will be charged with the next higher penalty classification.
The potential penalties you face will depend on the severity level of the offense for which you have been charged. The most common offenses for dealing and corresponding penalties are:
- Class ID Felony – minimum of three years and a maximum of 50 in prison
- Class IC Felony – minimum of five years and a maximum of 50 years in prison
- Class IB Felony – minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison
- Class IIIA Felony – maximum of three years and 18 months post-release supervision and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- Class IIA Felony – no minimum but a maximum of 20 years in prison
- Class II Felony – minimum of one year and a maximum of 50 years in prison
Contact a Nebraska Drug Defense Lawyer at Petersen Law Office
If you have been arrested for dealing a controlled substance in Nebraska, consult with an experienced Nebraska drug defense lawyer as soon as possible. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case.