All states regulate and control the sale of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for sale. Nebraska classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as CDS, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.
This article discusses the manufacture and sale of CDS only. Possessing CDS for personal use carries different penalties. For more information on possession of CDS for personal use, see Possession of Controlled Substances in Nebraska.
Also, while marijuana is considered a CDS, this article does not cover Nebraska’s marijuana possession and sale laws. To learn more about that topic, see Nebraska Marijuana Laws.
How Nebraska Classifies CDS
Nebraska divides CDS into five “schedules.” Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse, and increase in recognized medical uses.
These classes are also used to determine the applicable penalties for illegally making or selling specific CDS (described in the next section). If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS production or sales, you’ll need to consult the Nebraska Code that lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-405) and find the substance you're charged with selling -- it will be listed under one of the five classes.
Penalties for Making or Selling CDS
It is illegal in Nebraska to make, sell, or possess CDS with the intent to do these things; with few exceptions, such as a doctor who legally prescribes a prescription medication. Penalties vary according to the type and amount of the CDS involved.
Schedule I, II, and III substances
Making or selling a CDS that is classified as an “exceptionally hazardous drug” under Schedule I, II, or III is a class II felony. Penalties include at least one year (and up to 50 years) in prison. Making or selling any other CDS classified under Schedules I, II, or III is a class III felony, punishable with a fine of up to $25,000, at least one year (and up to 20 years in prison), or both. (Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-416(2).)
Notwithstanding the penalties described above, increased penalties apply to specified amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, and marijuana. For example, selling 140 grams or more of cocaine is punished as a class IB felony; while selling at least 28 grams, but less than 140 grams is punished as a class IC felony. (Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-416(7)(a)-(c).)
Schedule IV and V substances
Making or selling a CDS classified under schedules IV or V is a class IIIA felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both. (Ne. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-416(2).)
Sales to a minor or within a drug-free zone
Making CDS with the intent to sell (or actually selling) to a minor (someone younger than 18); within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, youth center, public swimming pool or arcade; or employing a minor to help sell CDS, will be punished with the next higher class of penalty.
For example, while it is normally a class III felony to sell a schedule IV or V substance, if the defendant is convicted of selling it to a minor, the penalties will increase to those normally applicable to a class II felony. (Ne. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28-416(4)(a)& (5)(a).)
Talk to an Attorney
CDS manufacture or sale convictions incur both heavy fines and long periods of incarceration. A local lawyer who practices CDS defense will review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the possible consequences.