Drug trafficking involves the illegal handling of controlled substances, a serious offense with potentially severe legal consequences in Nebraska. Below, Liberty Law Group explains drug trafficking laws, outlining the activities considered illegal, the penalties for various offenses, possible defenses, and the role of a criminal defense lawyer.

Omaha Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer

Specializing in Nebraska law, our seasoned team combines their expertise to navigate the complexities of drug-related cases. Trust us for a robust defense, tailored strategies, and unwavering advocacy in tackling the challenges associated with Drug Trafficking charges in Nebraska.

If you or a loved one has been charged or is under investigation for Drug Trafficking, call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Drug Trafficking in Nebraska

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What is Drug Trafficking in Nebraska?

Nebraska law defines drug trafficking as several unlawful activities related to controlled substances, which are drugs whose manufacture, possession, and use are regulated by the government. Specifically, Nebraska Revised Statute 28-416(1) outlines the illegal activities under this law.

  • Distributing Controlled Substances: The act of supplying or delivering controlled substances to others is considered drug trafficking. This includes both selling drugs and giving them away without any monetary transaction.
  • Delivering Controlled Substances: This activity is similar to distribution but focuses on the physical act of transferring the drug from one person to another.
  • Dispensing Controlled Substances: Dispensing involves giving out controlled substances, typically in a professional setting, like a pharmacy. Doing this without proper authorization is illegal.
  • Distributing Counterfeit Controlled Substances: This includes making fake drugs that resemble controlled substances or distributing such counterfeit items.

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What are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Nebraska?

The classification of drug trafficking offenses ranges from Class IV Felony to Class IB Felony, each carrying distinct penalties.

    • Class IV Felony: This classification applies when the trafficking involves a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV or V. The penalty for a Class IV Felony in Nebraska includes 0-2 years in prison, followed by 9-12 months of post-release supervision, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
    • Class IIA Felony: If the trafficking involves a controlled substance not deemed exceptionally hazardous and classified in Schedule I, II, or III, it falls under Class IIA Felony. The punishment for this classification includes 0-20 years in prison.
    • Class II Felony: For trafficking hazardous drugs classified in Schedule I, II, or III, the offense is classified as a Class II Felony, carrying a penalty of 1-50 years in prison.
    • Higher Classification Penalties: Certain circumstances warrant a higher penalty classification than the ones mentioned above. For instance, if the trafficking occurs near schools, playgrounds, or involves minors, the penalty classification increases. The exact increase depends on the specific controlled substance involved and the details of the offense. In these cases, the penalty can escalate up to a Class IB Felony, which is punishable by 20 years to life in prison.

In Nebraska, individuals charged with drug trafficking may have limited options for avoiding jail through probation or diversion programs. Probation is generally available for various offenses but is contingent on the court’s judgment and the nature of the crime. For drug trafficking, eligibility for probation is less straightforward, especially when mandatory minimum sentences are involved or if the offense is classified as a serious felony.

Regarding pre-plea and post-plea programs, such as problem-solving courts or Lancaster County’s diversion programs, eligibility for individuals charged with drug trafficking is limited. For example, distribution of narcotics is listed as an ineligible offense for several diversion programs, including the Veterans Diversion Program and the Mental Health Diversion program.

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What are Some Defenses to Drug Trafficking in Nebraska?

A fundamental defense is asserting that the accused lacked knowledge or intent regarding the trafficking activities. Since the statute requires the individual to “knowingly or intentionally” engage in prohibited activities, proving a lack of awareness or intention can be a valid defense. For example, if someone unknowingly transported a controlled substance, they might argue they did not have the intent or knowledge required for trafficking.

A defense may arise from violations of constitutional rights, such as illegal search and seizure. If the evidence against the accused was obtained in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights, this could lead to its exclusion from the trial, weakening the prosecution’s case.

The law exempts actions authorized under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Therefore, if the accused can demonstrate that their actions involving controlled substances were legally authorized (for instance, if they were a licensed pharmacist or medical professional acting within the scope of their profession), this can serve as a defense.

In Nebraska, entrapment is when police induce someone to commit a crime they wouldn’t have otherwise committed. If the accused can prove that they were coerced or persuaded by law enforcement to engage in drug trafficking, this could constitute a defense.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Someone Facing Drug Trafficking Charges

A criminal defense lawyer plays a key role in supporting and representing someone charged with drug trafficking or other drug offenses in Nebraska. They start by thoroughly examining the details of the case, including how evidence was obtained and the circumstances of the arrest.

Their knowledge of legal procedures enables them to identify any procedural errors or rights violations that occurred during the investigation or arrest, which can be important in building a defense strategy. The lawyer also engages in discussions with prosecutors, potentially negotiating plea bargains or lesser charges.

This could result in reduced penalties or alternative sentences. Furthermore, they provide clear guidance on legal options and the possible outcomes of different choices, helping their client make informed decisions. Throughout the legal process, the defense lawyer ensures their client’s rights are protected and offers representation during court appearances, advocating on their client’s behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.

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Additional Resources

Office of National Drug Control Policy – National organization dedicated to reducing illegal drug use and drug trafficking, among other goals. Visit their site for information on how the ONDCP influences drug policy.

Nebraska Drug Trafficking Laws – The Nebraska State Legislature’s online statute concerning drug distribution and trafficking. The law focuses only on Nebraska state crimes and not federal crimes. Possible penalties, definitions, and elements of the offense are detailed.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – National non-profit organization whose stated purpose is the reform of drug laws in the U.S., specifically the repeal of the prohibition against certain drugs. The organization is made up of former law enforcement officers who are seeking reform of the criminal justice system. Information concerning police-community relations is available on the website.

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Find a Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer in Nebraska | Liberty Law Group

Drug trafficking differs from possession with intent to distribute. While intent to distribute can carry strong consequence, drug trafficking is a much more severe offense that often incorporates investigations from the FDA.

The criminal defense attorneys at Liberty Law Group are well-equipped to provide class defense against drug charges, including trafficking.

Our firm proudly serves Omaha in Douglas County, including Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, Fremont in Dodge County and Council Bluffs in Pattawattamie County, Iowa and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one has been charged or is under investigation for a drug crime crime, call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.