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What are the different classes of felonies in Nebraska?

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You likely know from having heard news stories in Lincoln or seen in other forms of popular media that not all criminal offenses are created equal. Yet if you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with a felony offense, are you aware of what may in store for you and your family or friends? Having that knowledge may help better prepare you for the actions that could be to come.

Nebraska categorizes the different types of felony offenses its laws recognize into classes. These classes (along with the types of crimes that they describe) are as follows:

  • Class I: Certain cases of first degree murder
  • Class IA, IB, IC and ID: Murder, kidnapping and arson; manslaughter, sexual assault of a child, aggravated assault and burglary; crimes involving the use of a deadly weapon, possession of certain types and amounts of drugs, and robbery; assault of a police officer or a healthcare professional, child pornography manufacturing or distribution, possession of illegal controlled substances
  • Class II: Human trafficking, first degree assault and sexual assault, robbery
  • Class III and IIIA: Second degree assault or sexual assault, strangulation, manufacturing and/or distributing certain types of drugs, and first degree forgery; criminal enticement of a child
  • Class IV: Assisted suicide, second degree forgery

The potential penalties that accompany such crimes can be found in Section 28-105 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes. Class III, IIIA and IV felonies can result in fines between $10,000-$25,000, as well as prison terms between three to four years. A maximum of 20 years in prison can be the result of Class IIA felony, while Class IC, ID and II can net maximum sentences of 50 years. Class IA and IB felonies could result in a life sentence, while Class I offenses may leave one sentenced to death. 

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