Controlled substances are illegal in every state because of the effects they have on the mind and body. A common drug offense in Lincoln, Nebraska, is intent to distribute, which can carry various penalties.
Overview of Nebraska drug possession laws
The Controlled Substances Act makes manufacturing, distributing, possessing and possessing with intent to sell illegal drugs against the law. Drug charges are grouped into Schedules I to V according to abuse risk, with Schedule I carrying the stiffest penalties.
Possession means having drugs on the person, such as in a wallet, but it can also include having control of the substance. Simple possession is having the substance on the person for personal use, which commonly counts as a misdemeanor. Possession with intent to distribute involves the possession of the drug with intent to sell, which is a felony.
Penalties can vary based on the type of drug, prior convictions, the amount of the drug and the place of arrest. For example, getting caught within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone, such as a playground, or a second conviction commonly increases penalties. Penalties for the intent to distribute less than 10 grams of cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin include up to a 50-year jail term.
The intent to distribute 10 to 28 grams of cocaine or heroin carries up to a 50-year jail term with a minimum of three years. The intent to distribute all other controlled substances under Schedules I to III includes up to a 20-year jail term. The intent to distribute more than 140 grams of a controlled substance counts as a felony and could lead to a sentence of 20 years to life in jail.
Drug charge convictions also come with paying some fines and court costs. First offenders may get some leniency, such as a diversion program instead of a jail term.