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Omaha Criminal Defense Blog

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.

Reasons for case dismissal unknown

People in Nebraska who find themselves facing criminal charges should know that there may be many different scenarios and outcomes for a given case. Defense options can vary from case to case and sometimes may even leave people a bit surprised. While some information may be reported publicly, other information may not be or may be harder to find or determine.

Such is the case today in a situation involving a former state patrol officer who had been charged in the case of the death of a motorist after a high-speed chase in 2016. According to a reports by NetNebraska.org, the officer allegedly drove in a manner that may have forced the driver who was being pursued to go off the road. That driver died in the resulting accident. The defendant, who has since lost his job with the Nebraska state patrol, still today asserts that his actions were in line with state patrol procedures and policies.

The future of marijuana in Nebraska

As attitudes toward marijuana have shifted considerably in recent years, so, too, have the laws that surround the drug. While many areas of the country are still in a state of limbo, an increasing number of states have lifted the barriers that made both medical and recreational marijuana illegal. Nebraska is not one of those states, but the popular voice reflects an optimistic outlook on this issue.

As KPTM News shared, countless Omahans rallied for legal medical marijuana in attempts to gain attention from lawmakers this past April. Just months prior to the rally, Iowa approved of five medical marijuana shops in the state -- a definite step forward in the eyes of advocates nationwide. The best-case scenario that advocates hope to see in the near future involves ballot access during the current election cycle, which would give marijuana supporters across the state a voice on the controversial matter. Many predict that Nebraska will eventually legalize the drug, since neighboring states have already made forward movements.

Defendant accepts plea bargain

After being charged with even one let alone with multiple criminal offenses in Nebraska, defendants often and understandably start to assess their options for how to defend themselves. Some of the time, a defense may focus on proving a person's innocence. In other cases, it may focus on achieving an agreement with a prosecution team so that a different set of charges is faced that carries with them a reduced set of penalties

One man who was involved in a case heard in Hall County is said to have recently reached such a deal. The man was accused of shooting and injuring a woman last autumn and as a result had been charged with numerous crimes. The original list of crimes included attempted second degree murder, first degree assault, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and use of a firearm to commit a felony.

Sentence handed down in robbery case

From the moment that a person is questioned by police all the way through an arrest and the ensuing criminal defense process, people in Nebraska accused of crimes should be able to trust that they will receive just and fair treatment. In some cases, this may mean being found innocent of the charges levied against them. In other cases, it may mean being fairly sentenced for acts they may have been involved in.

The case of one man who was charged in a robbery at a general store in Fremont last autumn offers a very good example of this. After the man's arrest, he was eventually convicted of two different felony charges. One, a Class IIA felony, was for making terrorist threats. The second, a Class II felony, was for the robbery. For both charges, the defendant could have been sentenced to a maximum of 70 years in prison as the first charge carried a 20-year maximum sentence and the second charge a 50-year maximum sentence.

4 grounds for appeal in a Nebraska criminal case

The prosecution wins the Nebraska criminal case, and the defendant faces the penalties related to the conviction. Is this the end of the road? Fortunately, according to the Nebraska Legislature, there may be an opportunity to appeal the decision.

FindLaw explains the four reasons that a defendant may file an appeal:

Problem identified with breath test equipment certification

People in Nebraska who are questioned by police and eventually charged with a drunk driving offense are commonly asked to provide a breath sample. This sample is used to determine the amount of alcohol in a person's system. This may also be determined by taking a blood sample but doing so during a drunk driving investigation now requires a search warrant per a ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Only breath samples collected at jails or detox facilities are able to be used against defendants in court by prosecutors. Recently, it was discovered that the person who reportedly signed a calibration certification for a breath test unit never actually performed the tests that were required. This has called into question the overall ability to rely on data from these units if they are not actually being calibrated properly or tested appropriately.

What is a drug tax stamp?

Over 20 states legalized medicinal marijuana, and they are seeing the financial windfall. Taxing the formerly illegal drug has become big revenue.

However, some states have a more unconventional method of getting revenue from illegal substances.

What does a routine traffic stop entail?

Nebraskan residents may have heard the term "routine traffic stop" before. Perhaps you have even experienced one yourself. But what should you really know and understand about these traffic stops and what they can mean for drivers like you?

FindLaw defines a routine traffic stop as any stop in which a police officer pulls you over for smaller violations. This can include speeding, running a red light, or not stopping properly at a stop or yield sign. It could even include issues that aren't related to your driving at all, such as having a broken taillight or expired stickers on your license plate.

Drug possession lands pair of actors in jail

Being arrested for drug possession in Omaha may be viewed as being indicative of several different scenarios. Authorities may believe that one was in possession of the illicit substances with an intent to distribute or sell them. In other cases, it may be suspected that those allegedly found with them intended to transport them elsewhere. In either case, subsequent charges may often surface that imply that those facing them were also involved in related criminal activity. However, there may also be instances where one allegedly possessing drugs serves as an indicator of his or her personal struggles with addiction. 

This could certainly be the case with a pair of actors who were recently arrested by Hamilton County authorities. The boyfriend and girlfriend were said to be in possession of mushrooms, methamphetamine and marijuana. Their encounter with authorities was initiated by a traffic stop for a failure to use a turn signal. Both were booked into Hamilton County Jail on felony charges. 

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Success Stories

  • Defendant was charged with sexual assault of a minor. At the deposition of the alleged victim, our firm got the alleged victim to confess that she made the whole thing up. Charges were dropped against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with possessing a large quantity of marijuana. Following a complete investigation by our firm, the State agreed to dismiss all charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with embezzling more than $300,000.00, from a previous employer. At the deposition of the alleged victim, our firm highlighted a number of inconsistencies and questionable statements. The State agreed to dismiss all charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with child abuse resulting in death. Following the investigation of our firm, depositions of key witnesses and presentation of our findings to the prosecutor, the State agreed to dismiss the charges against our client.
  • Defendant was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. The matter proceeded to trial and the jury found our client Not Guilty.

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