In North Carolina, possessing, manufacturing, delivering, or selling controlled substances is illegal. Marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, crystal meth, heroin, and LSD are all controlled substances in North Carolina. Defendants who are convicted of criminal drug charges can face significant penalties such as jail time, fines, and probation. Several other states have made the possession of recreational marijuana legal. North Carolina has not, and those caught with one-half an ounce of marijuana may be charged with a misdemeanor.Our Drug Defense Lawyers Will Aggressively Defend Your Rights
If you are facing drug charges in North Carolina, you need an experienced defense attorney. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our lawyers are experienced criminal defense trial lawyers. Our lawyers will meet with you to review your North Carolina drug charges and explain your options for resolving the charges. Our criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout North Carolina in both state and federal courts. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation.North Carolina’s Criminal Drug Laws
North Carolina’s criminal drug laws are outlined in the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act. The law categorizes the different types of drugs into seven different schedules. Schedule 1 drugs are the most serious and Schedule VI drugs are the least serious. North Carolina drugs divide up drugs into the following categories or schedules:
- Schedule I drugs have the greatest potential for addiction and abuse. They include heroin, ecstasy, peyote, methaqualone, opiates, and heroin
- Schedule II drugs have accepted medical uses but also have a high potential for abuse and dependency. They include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, cocaine, opium, Ritalin, and cocaine.
- Schedule III drugs have some potential for dependency and abuse but also have currently accepted medical purposes. Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids, ketamine, and some barbiturates.
- Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for addiction or abuse. Schedule IV drugs have current accepted medical uses. Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, valium, barbital, and Rohypnol.
- Schedule V drugs have a low potential for abuse and a low potential for dependence and abuse. Over-the-counter cough medicines with codeine fall into the Schedule IV category.
- Schedule VI drugs have no accepted medical uses and a low potential for abuse. Schedule VI drugs include hashish, hashish oil, and marijuana.
The severity of drug charges in North Carolina depends on the schedule or category of the drug involved, and the amount of the drugs in the defendant’s possession, the defendant’s intent, and the actions related to the drugs. Under North Carolina law, it is illegal for anyone to:
- Manufacture, sell or deliver, or possess drugs with the intent to do so
- Create, sell, or deliver, or possess drugs with the intent to do so, or
- Possess a controlled substance
Drug possession is one of the most commonly charged drug crimes in North Carolina. What actions constitute drug possession in North Carolina? Prosecutors must prove that the defendant had drugs on his or her person and that the defendant was aware of the drugs. Actual possession can include keeping a controlled substance in a person’s purse, backpack, or pocket. For example, if law enforcement discovers marijuana in a person’s pocket, prosecutors will likely charge the defendant with actual drug possession.
Even if the drugs are not on the person of the defendant, the defendant may still face drug charges. Constructive possession occurs when the defendant had the intent to control a drug and the ability to do so even if the drugs are not within reach. For example, when law enforcement discovers heroin in a person’s office at his or her workplace, prosecutors can bring drug possession charges.Drug Manufacturing, Selling and Delivering Drugs Charges in North Carolina
The North Carolina Controlled Substances Act makes it illegal to manufacture, sell, or deliver drugs with the intent to do so. For Schedule I and II controlled substances, defendants can face charges for Class H felonies. The sale of a Schedule I or II substance is a Class G felony. Additionally, manufacturing methamphetamine is a Class C felony. Packaging meth or labeling meth containers is a Class H felony. Defendants charged with creating, selling, delivering, or possessing counterfeit substances is a Class I felony.Our Lawyers can Help
If you are facing drug charges in North Carolina, our lawyers can help you defend your rights. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.