Drug Crimes Attorneys in Omaha, Nebraska
Even though neighboring Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana use, including both weed and edibles, that is not the case in Nebraska. In fact, police patrol I-80 came in from Colorado to see if any cannabis products were being smuggled into the state. Nebraska still maintains strict laws concerning not only marijuana but all controlled substances, and penalties can be stiff.
When it comes to drug and controlled substance enforcement, not only are state authorities involved, but so also are federal officials when the crime involves interstate activity or occurs on U.S. government property, including national parks.
If you or a loved one is being investigated for or being charged with a drug-related crime in or around Omaha, Nebraska, contact us at Hug and Jacobs LLC. Our criminal defense attorneys have decades of combined experience and will work collaboratively with you to develop a strategy to arrive at the best possible result. We also proudly serve clients in Fremont, Lincoln, Papillon, and Wahoo.
Federal Drug Crimes
Authorities at both the state and federal level police for drug crimes in Nebraska. Possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs is prohibited by federal law, as are manufacturing, selling, and trafficking. The federal code is based on the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which lists various drugs according to what are called Schedules:
Schedule I drugs include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), peyote, methaqualone, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("Ecstasy"). Schedule I is considered the most liable for abuse and severe negative consequences.
Schedule II (“high potential for abuse”) includes hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), methadone (Dolophine®), meperidine (Demerol®), oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®), and fentanyl (Sublimaze®, Duragesic®). Other Schedule II narcotics include morphine, opium, codeine, and hydrocodone, among others.
Schedule III (“may lead to moderate or low physical dependence”) includes products containing not more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with Codeine®), and buprenorphine (Suboxone®).
Schedule IV (“low potential for abuse”) includes alprazolam (Xanax®), carisoprodol (Soma®), clonazepam (Klonopin®), clorazepate (Tranxene®), diazepam (Valium®), lorazepam (Ativan®), midazolam (Versed®), temazepam (Restoril®), and triazolam (Halcion®).
Schedule V (potential abuse lower than Schedule IV) includes cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC®, Phenergan with Codeine®), and ezogabine.
Note that many of these substances are available by prescription, but if they are manufactured, sold, or distributed outside of pharmaceutical protocol, they can lead to federal charges.
For instance, drug trafficking in substances listed in Schedules I and II (except marijuana) can lead to not less than 5 years in prison and not more than 40 for a first offense. If someone is seriously injured or dies as a result of the trafficking, the prison term is not less than 20 years up to life. In addition, a fine of between $5 million and $25 million may be levied.
If you have been accused of or charged with a criminal offense, get in touch with our criminal defense attorneys today.
Drug Charges and Potential Penalties in Nebraska
Nebraska’s drug laws prohibit manufacturing, delivering, dispensing, or possessing any substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The penalties, all felonies, hinge largely on the intention of the person involved and on the hazardous nature of the controlled substance.
Committing any prohibited act is a Class II felony if the substance is an “extremely hazardous drug” such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine and is listed in Schedules I, II, or III. If the substance is not an “extremely hazardous drug” but is listed in the first three schedules, then it is a Class IIA felony. It is a class IIIA felony if the substance is marijuana or is listed in Schedules IV or V.
Simple possession of any drug except marijuana is a Class IV felony. Possession of one ounce and up to one pound of marijuana is a Class III misdemeanor. Possessing less than one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a fine.
A Class II felony is punishable by up to 50 years in prison with a one-year minimum mandatory sentence. A Class IIA felony is punishable by up to 20 years with no mandatory minimum. A Class IIIA felony is punishable by a maximum three-year prison term with a maximum of 18 months of supervised release.
A Class IV felony can result in a maximum two-year prison term and up to one year of supervised release. Class III misdemeanors are punishable by up to three months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
In addition to imprisonment, a convicted drug trafficker can lose their driving privileges, have any professional license suspended, and if not a citizen, face potential removal proceedings. There are also federal consequences for a felony conviction, including losing gun ownership rights.
If a drug charge is looming, reach out immediately to our legal team at Hug and Jacobs LLC. Let’s work together to develop a strategy that leads to the best possible result.
Drug Crime Defense Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
Drug laws at both the state and federal levels can carry severe consequences. The moment you’re taken in for questioning, you need to begin your defense. The best way to begin is by heeding your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and exercising your Sixth Amendment right to be represented by legal counsel. Don’t answer questions until you’ve contacted us, and we can advise and represent you.