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Omaha Criminal Defense Blog

How is intent to distribute determined?

Nebraskan residents like who who are accused of drug-related crimes will want to fight back against these accusations. This is especially true if you are being charged with the intent to distribute. Exactly how is this intention proved, and what can you do to defend yourself?

FindLaw defines possession with intent to distribute as a situation in which you are in possession of drugs, and intend to either give them to someone else to sell, or sell them for yourself. The drugs in your possession are not meant for you, but are meant for others. 

When can a police officer legally pull you over for DUI?

Generally, the police cannot lawfully stop a vehicle unless the officer has reason to believe that the driver has committed a crime or a traffic violation. But, what constitutes an officer's reasonable suspicion? And are there exceptions to this law in Nebraska?

What are plausible defenses for drug possession?

As a resident of Nebraska currently facing charges of drug possession, you could end up facing severe consequences if convicted. However, there are multiple ways that you can prove a drug possession charge should be dropped.

Findlaw lists a number of different drug possession defenses that have been used to help people facing the same charges you're up against today. Some of them include the way the drugs were found. For example, drugs may have been planted on your person or in your car in order to frame you, or so someone else could get away with the crime. In other cases, the search and seizure that allowed for law enforcement to find the drugs may have been unlawful.

Breath test weight left to jury

Many drivers in Nebraska may be aware that if they are charged with a drunk driving offense, the exact measurement of their blood alcohol content may likely become a critical piece of evidence used by prosecutors in the case against them. For this reason, it is important that the BAC data collected actually be accurate. In Lancaster County, a problem has been noted with the collection of breath samples due to a lying employee.

As reported by the Lincoln Journal Star, the woman who was tasked with the responsibility of calibrating at least 200 breath test units lied about having done so properly. To some, that may put the validity of the results obtained by these devices in question. One man today is facing felony charges for aggravated driving under the influence and the breath sample collected during his arrest was captured by one of the units not properly calibrated.

Can I refuse to submit to sobriety tests if I'm suspected of DUI?

Being pulled over can ignite a moment of panic. The anxiety intensifies when the cop tells you that she suspects that you're under the influence - even though you're sober. You're asked to step out of your vehicle and if you will submit to sobriety tests.

You're intimidated by her insistence that you consent and she tells you that you will only make the situation worse if you refuse. But are you required to submit to a field sobriety test? Can you legally refuse to undergo chemical testing for impairment?

Are drug diversion programs successful?

When you are arrested on charges involving drugs, conviction could mean facing severe penalties like jail time, large fines, and license suspension or revocation. However, in some cases, you may have the option of going for a drug diversion program instead.

Findlaw has a page defining deferred adjudication and pretrial diversion, in which someone will be given the option to take a rehabilitation program. Generally speaking, this choice is usually only offered to people during their first offense.

What are valid reasons for a traffic stop?

In Nebraska, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion in order to pull you over. What does this means? Basically, you can't just be pulled over because of a "gut feeling", or for no reason at all. But what are considered valid reasons for a traffic stop, in that case?

As stated by FindLaw, traffic stops usually occur because there has been a small violation of the law. Generally speaking, they'll be "common" violations, or things that would usually result in a ticket rather than an arrest. Examples include aggressive roadway behavior like speeding, running through red lights, or not stopping properly at stop signs. Related to that, one common issue that drivers under the influence have is weaving through lanes or being unable to keep up with the traffic flow. Sometimes they'll be pulled over for these behaviors, and may end up facing DUI charges after.

Presentence investigation in plea bargain case

Many people in Nebraska might think that once a person has been charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, the things that happen next are relatively routine. However, that is not necessarily the way it goes as every case is quite unique and may not encounter the same steps as another.

In the case of one man charged with stealing a bicycle and a utility task vehicle from a residential property, the judge has actually required that an investigation be conducted before the defendant is sentenced.

Future of DUI case uncertain

Many people in Nebraska might think that the prosecution of an alleged drunk driver is pretty standard with little room for a person to defend themselves. This, however, is not at all true. One of the factors that may contribute to this reality is that laws can change and the timing of these changes may well create different results for defendants and prosecution teams alike.

Such is the case for one man who was arrested for and charged with driving under the influence in late 2014 as reported by the Lincoln Journal Star. After originally being convicted of a DUI offense, the man eventually appealed the decision to a district court. It was there that the original conviction was overturned because of a new law that stated law enforcement officials must have search warrants before taking any blood draws in DUI cases.

Items that might be labelled as drug paraphernalia

When people in Nebraska find themselves faced with a drug-related criminal charge, they might be surprised to learn that no actual drug substance might be involved. Instead, a drug charge might relate to what is referred to as drug paraphernalia. This category of items can be quite broad and even include many everyday household items. Understanding the types of things that law enforcement teams and prosecutors might point to as drug paraphernalia is important.

As explained by Northpoint Recovery, a substance addiction treatment facility, an item alleged to be drug paraphernalia may be involved in any aspect of a drug's journey from inception to use. This include all forms of use like ingestion, inhaling, injecting and more. It may also said to be involved in making a drug and the terms related to this might include compounding, manufacturing, processing, preparing, producing or converting.

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