Charlotte Heroin Defense Lawyers
Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs out there, and North Carolina law takes heroin drug charges seriously. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin use has increased in the United States. The increase in heroin use has been seem equally in both men and women, across almost all age groups, and across all levels of income. People now often use heroin in addition to other controlled substances, especially prescription painkillers and cocaine. Along with the increased use of heroin, the deaths from heroin-related overdoses nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013. The strongest risk factor for addiction to heroin is an addiction to prescription opioid painkillers.Our Heroin Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand that heroin addiction is a serious and challenging problem. Many North Carolina residents struggle with drug addiction. Perhaps a recreational use of a less serious drug, or the recreational use of prescription drugs led to a dependence on heroin. Getting clean is often extremely challenging without the necessary help. If your heroin addiction led to an arrest for possession or distribution of heroin, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation. The more time you have to prepare your defense, the better.North Carolina Heroin Laws
North Carolina's General Statutes criminalize certain actions involving heroin. North Carolina law considers heroin to be a Schedule I controlled substance, which is the most serious schedule or category. Schedule I controlled substances do not have a medically accepted use and have an extremely high potential for abuse and dependence. Thus, the penalties involving heroin possession or distribution are the most severe when it comes to drug crimes. Per the statute, it is illegal for a person to do any of the following:
- Manufacture, sell or deliver, or possess with the intent of manufacturing, selling, or delivering heroin, or any other controlled substance
- Create, sell or deliver, or possess with the intent of selling or delivering heroin or any other controlled substance
- Possession of heroin or any other controlled substance
Many defendants who are charged with a crime involving heroin are also in possession of other opiates, to include codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, or Vicodin. Defendants are usually charged with a felony for possession of a Schedule I controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute in North Carolina. The most serious drug offense involving heroin is drug trafficking.
In order to prove heroin possession charges, the North Carolina prosecutor must prove that you had actual or constructive possession of the heroin. When prosecutors can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had actual or constructive possession, you will face a Class I felony. The penalty for heroin possession depends on the class of the felony charge and on your previous criminal record. Under North Carolina's sentencing guidelines, the judge calculates points based on any criminal history and the class of the offense. Those defendants convicted of a Class I felony for heroin possession face between three and 12 months in prison.Fighting Charges for Possession With Intent to Sell or Deliver Heroin
When defendants are arrested for possession of a significant quantity of heroin, they may face charges for possession with intent to sell or deliver the drug. This crime is a serious Class H felony. When prosecutors have evidence that you did sell heroin, you will be charged with an even more serious class G felony. Those convicted of class H felonies may get between four and 25 months of jail time. For class G felony convictions, you may receive a prison term of eight to 31 months.Fighting Heroin Trafficking Charges
There is a difference between possession of heroin charges and heroin trafficking charges in North Carolina. The quantity of the drug in your possession will have an effect on whether or not you face trafficking charges. If you have over four grams of heroin on you when you are arrested, you could face heroin trafficking charges, where the penalties vary on the amount of heroin in your possession.We can Help
If you are facing drug charges related to heroin, we can help. Our lawyers are trial-ready and have extensive courtroom experience defending clients from criminal drug charges. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation with Arnold & Smith, PLLC and learn how we can fight for your rights.