Since the federal government declared war on drugs back in the 1970s, both the federal government and the individual states have consistently strengthened laws relating to the possession, sale, and distribution of controlled substances and increased the penalties for violations of those laws. As a result, if you were recently charged with the sale of cocaine in the State of Nebraska you can count on facing serious penalties if convicted. In case you are unaware of exactly how serious those penalties are, an Omaha drug defense attorney explains the penalties for selling cocaine in Nebraska.
Nebraska Revised Statute 28-416 governs offenses related to the manufacture, distribution, delivery, or possession of cocaine or base cocaine (crack). The severity of the charges you face, and consequently the penalties you face if convicted, depend on the type and quantity of cocaine involved. Subsection (1) of the N.R.S 28-416 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.
Violation of subsection (1) with respect to cocaine, base cocaine (crack), or any mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine is punishable as follows:
- Up to 10 grams – up to five years in prison
- At least 10 grams but less than 28 grams – Class ID felony – punishable by a mandatory three in prison and up to 50 years in prison.
- At least 28 grams but less than 140 grams – Class IC felony – punishable by a mandatory five years in prison and up to 50 years in prison.
- 140 grams or more – Class IB felony – punishable by a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.
If you were under the age of 18 at the time you committed the offense, you may also face the loss of your driving privileges if convicted.
Although the previous section covers the base level penalties you face if convicted of selling cocaine in Nebraska, there are a number of aggravating factors that, if present, can increase the potential penalties you face to those for the next higher level, such as:
- Selling to a minor and/or within 1000 feet of a school or within 100 feet of a public or private youth center, public swimming pool, or video arcade facility.
- If you employ, hire, use, cause, persuade, coax, induce, entice, seduce, or coerce a minor to help or transport sell the cocaine.
- Knowingly or intentionally possessing a firearm during the sale of cocaine.
How Can an Omaha Drug Defense Attorney Help?
If you are currently facing charges for the sale of cocaine in the State of Nebraska it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Omaha drug defense attorney as soon as possible. There are a number of possible defenses that could apply in your case. For example, if the police used an informant in your case, your attorney may be able to show that the informant was not reliable. Likewise, the police may have a problem with the chain of custody with regard to the contraband which could lead to evidentiary problems. Because every case involves a unique set of facts and circumstances, the only way to know what defenses may be available to you is to consult with an experienced attorney.
If you have been charged with the sale of cocaine in the State of Nebraska it is certainly in your best interest to consult with an experienced Omaha drug defense attorney right away to discuss what defenses might be available to you. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.