Facing a felony drug charge in Nebraska is a daunting experience. These charges usually involve serious accusations related to the unauthorized manufacture, distribution, or possession of controlled substances. A conviction can lead to severe consequences that may drastically change your reputation and life.

Here, Liberty Law Group will cover the nature of felony drug charges, the penalties that come with them, potential defenses, alternatives to jail time, and the major part a criminal defense lawyer plays in these cases.

Omaha Felony Drug Charge Defense Lawyers

Felony drug charges are complex, but our criminal defense lawyers are professionals at navigating the legal landscape. Our attorneys stay up to date with the latest cases to prepare the strongest defense for our clients.

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

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What is a Felony Drug Charge in Nebraska?

A felony drug charge in Nebraska, as defined by Nebraska Revised Statute 28-416, encompasses several illegal activities under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. These acts include the manufacture, distribution (trafficking), delivery, dispensation, or possession with intent to manufacture, dispense, or deliver a controlled substance. Additionally, it includes the creation, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute a counterfeit drug.

The law further specifies situations that elevate the severity of these acts. For instance, if these prohibited activities involve a controlled substance classified in certain schedules—categories of drugs with varying degrees of regulation and control—the offense is considered a felony. This includes substances deemed exceptionally hazardous.

Moreover, the law addresses the possession of controlled substances, prohibiting individuals from knowingly or intentionally possessing these substances unless they are obtained directly through or pursuant to a medical order issued by an authorized practitioner or under another specific authorization.

The law also considers the context and circumstances under which these acts are committed. For example, higher penalties are imposed if the offenses involve distributing controlled substances to minors or if the activities occur near schools, playgrounds, or other specified public areas.

In addition, Nebraska’s statute criminalizes using or coercing minors in the manufacture, transportation, or distribution of controlled substances.

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What Are Common Felony Charges Under Nebraska Law?

  • Manufacture, Distribution, or Possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, deliver, or dispense a controlled substance.
  • Dealing with Counterfeit Controlled Substances
    • includes creating, distributing, and/or possessing with intent to distribute a counterfeit controlled substance.
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
    • Knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a medical order or authorization.
  • Selling to Minors and Near Certain Locations
    • Selling to a person under the age of eighteen.
    • Selling within 1,000 feet of a school or playground.
  • Using Minors in Drug Offenses
    • Employing, hiring, or using a minor to manufacture, transport, distribute, deliver, or possess with intent to do the same.
    • Persuading, coaxing, inducing, enticing, seducing, or coercing a minor to aid in any of these activities.
  • Cocaine and Crack Cocaine Offenses
    • Possession with intent to distribute cocaine or crack cocaine
  • Heroin Offenses
    • Possession with intent to distribute heroin
  • Methamphetamine and Amphetamine Offenses
    • Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine or amphetamines.
  • Large Amounts of Marijuana
    • Possessing marijuana weighing more than one pound.
  • Possession of Firearms
    • Possessing a firearm while violating drug laws.
  • Possession of Money for Drug Transactions
    • Possessing money intended for use in drug transactions.

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What Are the Penalties for Felony Drug Charges in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, felony drug charges are categorized into different classes, each carrying specific penalties as outlined in Nebraska Revised Statute 28-105. These penalties vary based on the severity of the offense, reflected in the classification of the felony.

Class ID, IC, IB, IA, and I Felonies: These classifications represent increasingly severe offenses, often involving large quantities of controlled substances or aggravating circumstances. The penalties range from a minimum of 3 years in prison (for Class ID) to life imprisonment (for Class IA), with Class IB involving 20 years to life in prison.

Condition Conviction Penalty
Possession of a controlled substance Class IV Felony
  • Confinement up to two years
  • 9-12 months of post-release supervision
  • Fine up to $10,000
Possession of a controlled substance in certain quantities Class IIIA Felony
  • Confinement up to 3 years
  • 9-18 months of post-release supervision
  • And/or fine up to $10,000
Distribution or manufacturing of a controlled substance Class IIA Felony
  • Confinement up to 20 years
Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of a majorly hazardous drug Class II Felony
  • Confinement up to 50 years
Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of large quantities of controlled or aggravated substances Class ID, IC, IB, IA, and I Felonies
  • Confinement up to life


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What Are Some Defenses to a Felony Drug Charge in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, several defenses can be important in cases involving felony drug charges. One primary defense is asserting that the accused did not knowingly or intentionally commit the offense. Since the law requires the act to be done knowingly or intentionally, proving the absence of this knowledge or intent can be a strong defense. This might apply in situations where an individual was unaware of the presence of controlled substances in their possession or had no intent to engage in the prohibited activities.

A significant defense is the authorization under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. If the accused can show that their actions were authorized under this act, such as possessing the controlled substance because of a valid prescription from a licensed practitioner, this can serve as a valid defense.

In some cases, the defense may revolve around mistaken identity or false accusations. Proving that the accused was wrongly identified as the person who committed the offense, or that the accusations were baseless, can nullify the charges.

The defense may also challenge the legality of the search and seizure that led to the discovery of the controlled substance. If it can be shown that the search was conducted without a warrant or probable cause and did not fall under any of the exceptions to the warrant requirement, the evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court.

Entrapment occurs when law enforcement induces a person to commit a crime they would not otherwise have committed. If the defense can prove entrapment by law enforcement, this can be a viable defense against the charge.

Other defenses may apply based on the individual’s situation.

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Can I Avoid Jail for a Felony Controlled Substance Offense?

Probation allows an individual to remain in the community under specific conditions set by the court. The key requirements often include avoiding unlawful behavior, fulfilling family responsibilities, maintaining employment or education, and possibly attending rehabilitation or counseling sessions. This option is given based on the court’s judgment and is not available for habitual criminals or for individuals who are convicted of a felony where a mandatory minimum sentence is imposed.

The Adult Treatment Court, for example, is designed to address the challenges faced by non-violent felony offenders with substance abuse issues. Participants engage in a highly structured program that may span 18 to 24 months. The participants who complete Adult Court generally benefit from having their charges dismissed.

Diversion programs in Nebraska such as the Treatment Diversion Program and the Veterans Diversion Program offer structured interventions focusing on addressing underlying causes of criminal behavior, especially for non-violent offenses related to substance abuse or mental health issues. Successful completion of these programs can result in charges being dismissed or reduced. Individuals with Class ID felony drug charges are potentially eligible.

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How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Someone Facing Charges?

A criminal defense lawyer provides essential support to someone in Nebraska facing felony drug charges. Their role includes examining the details of the case and evidence, ensuring that your legal rights are protected throughout the process. They offer guidance on the entire legal case and help in making informed decisions, such as whether to accept a plea deal or proceed to trial. The lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce charges or penalties and represent you in court.

They also assist in preparing and filing necessary legal documents and can advocate for alternatives to incarceration, like probation or diversion programs. Their support extends to advising you on the potential impacts of the charges on your life and future.

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Nebraska Felony Drug Laws
 Nebraska law defines illegal activities related to controlled substances. Namely, in Nebraska, it’s against the law to make, give out, sell, or have drugs with the plan to sell them. The law sets severe penalties based on the type of drug and the amount involved.

Lancaster County Drug Court
 Lancaster County Drug Court offers a program aimed at reducing repeat offenses by addressing substance abuse problems. This court combines treatment and strict monitoring instead of jail time. It works closely with local services to help people get back on track and avoid further legal issues.

Felony Cases in Nebraska
 This resource provides information about how felony cases are handled in Nebraska. The process typically starts with an arrest, and the courts will decide if there is enough evidence to charge the person. If charged, the case goes to court where a judge or jury decides the outcome.

Career Offenders
 The Career Offenders page describes people who have repeatedly committed serious federal crimes. These individuals are often sentenced under stricter guidelines because of their past actions. This page provides statistics about their demographics, the nature of their offenses, and the typical punishments they receive.

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Find a Felony Drug Charge Lawyer | Liberty Law Group

At Liberty Law Group, our attorneys blend extensive legal expertise with a client-centered approach, ensuring you as our top priority. Rely on us to navigate complex legal matters and provide a robust defense against drug and controlled substance allegations.

We proudly serve Omaha in Douglas County, Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillon in Sarpy County, Fremont in Dodge County, and Council Bluffs in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, as well as the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one is facing charges or is under investigation for felony drug charges don’t hesitate. Call us immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation and discuss the specifics of your case.

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