Cocaine Charges Defense
Cocaine is a strictly regulated controlled substance under North Carolina law. It is illegal to possess, distribute, sell, or manufacture cocaine in North Carolina. Defendants who are convicted of cocaine drug charges face serious penalties including jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. The severity of the penalties for drug crimes depends on several factors, such as the amount of drugs involved and the type of drug involved.
If you are facing a cocaine drug charge in North Carolina, hiring a skilled lawyer is essential. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our lawyers have the experience needed to skillfully represent clients facing cocaine drug charges. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.Cocaine Laws in North Carolina
The North Carolina Controlled Substance Act regulates all criminal drug charges. The penalties for drug charges depend on the type and amount of the drug involved. North Carolina divides drugs into different categories or schedules. Under North Carolina’s Schedule of Controlled Substances, cocaine is a schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse.
Schedule II drugs are the second most dangerous category or schedule of drugs. Cocaine may lead to physical or psychological dependence and bears a high potential for abuse. In North Carolina, all criminal charges involving cocaine are felonies with penalties that include, but are not limited to mandatory minimum sentences. Criminal cocaine charges range from simple possession to the serious crime of drug trafficking. Penalties can range from a few months in jail to a mandatory prison sentence of 20 years or longer.Cocaine Trafficking Charges in North Carolina
The most serious crime related to cocaine is trafficking cocaine. The penalties for cocaine trafficking depend on the amount of cocaine being trafficked. Defendants can face separate charges stemming from the same incident. For example, a defendant can face three cocaine charges, one for cocaine possession, one for transporting cocaine by driving it in your car, and one for selling cocaine. The penalties for cocaine trafficking are as follows:
- Level one trafficking offenses involve 28 to 200 grams of cocaine. A level one trafficking charge is a Class G felony charge. A Class G felony carries a mandatory prison sentence of between 35 and 51 months in prison and a fine of at least $50,000.
- A level 2 trafficking cocaine trafficking charge involves cocaine in the amount of 200 to 400 grams. This crime is a Class F felony that comes with a mandatory sentence of 70 to 93 months in prison and a minimum fine of $100,000.
- A level 3 cocaine trafficking charge is the most serious cocaine-related criminal offense. Level 3 cocaine trafficking is a Class D felony with a mandatory jail sentence of 175 to 222 months in prison. Additionally, the defendant must pay a fine of at least $250,000.
The crime of possession with the intent to sell or deliver cocaine includes the following elements:
- The suspect possessed cocaine
- The cocaine is packaged in a way that shows intent to sell the cocaine
- The suspect possessed a large quantity of cocaine
- The suspect possessed paraphernalia that indicates he or she intended to sell or deliver the cocaine
This crime is a Class H felony that includes a mandatory minimum sentence of between four to 25 months in prison.Sale of Cocaine and Delivery of Cocaine
A conviction of selling cocaine results in a Class G felony. Class G felonies come with a mandatory prison sentence between eight and 31 months in prison. Delivery of cocaine is a Class H felony. Class H felonies come with a mandatory minimum sentence of between four and 25 months in prison. Prosecutors often charge defendants with both the crimes of sale of cocaine and delivery of cocaine.Possession of Cocaine
Law enforcement officers can arrest a suspect for simple cocaine possession when they have any amount of cocaine on their person. When a suspect has under 28 grams of cocaine on his or her person, possession of cocaine is a Class I felony with a mandatory minimum sentence between three and 12 months in prison.Our Cocaine Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help
If you are facing a criminal cocaine drug charge, our lawyers can help. We have experience representing criminal defendants in all types of Cocaine-related charges, from simple possession to cocaine trafficking. Contact our criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.