Drug Crimes: Defenses

Federal, state and local governments take drug offenses very seriously. If you’ve been charged or are under investigation for any drug-related offense, it’s important that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Drug crimes carry harsh penalties and can permanently affect your record, making it difficult or impossible to find a job, buy a home, or apply for a loan. A conviction will also likely stick with you the rest of your life. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have extensive experience defending individuals charged with drug-related crimes at both the state and federal level, including:

  • Possession (marijuana, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, hallucinogens, ecstasy, GHB, opiates, narcotics, prescription drugs, etc.)
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Selling, Distributing, or Transporting
  • Cultivating or Manufacturing
  • Maintaining a dwelling or motor vehicle to store drugs
  • Trafficking

For any of these offenses, you face harsh penalties such as jail time, fines, and loss of property. The opposing counsel has numerous resources at its disposal in prosecuting its case against you. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we can shift the scales back in your favor with our own resources, insight, and extensive experience in criminal trials. In fact, Arnold & Smith, PLLC boasts the experience of a former prosecutor, which provides a unique understanding and insight into your opponent’s strategies--an incredibly valuable tool in your defense. If you want the best defense possible, don’t hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for an initial consultation.

A Powerful Defense

Our firm’s extensive experience defending a wide variety of criminal cases allows us to take a hands-on approach in analyzing your particular circumstances to develop a powerful defense. We will fight to have your case dismissed or reduced by pursuing every possible angle to vindicate your rights.

What your attorney will need to know:

  • Where did the offense occur? Was it on your property or someone else’s?
  • If it occurred in a car, was it yours? Were there other passengers?
  • Exactly where were the drugs found? How close were you to the drugs? Could you reach them?

What your attorney will demand of the prosecution:

  • What exactly was the officer’s justification for stopping you? Is that reason valid?
  • Did the officer have a legitimate justification to search you, your property, home or vehicle?
  • Did the officer intimidate you into consenting to the search?
  • Were you fully explained all of your rights?
  • Can the Government prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in possession of the drugs or paraphernalia?
  • Did the officers have a search warrant?
  • Did the police or prosecutor make any mistakes?

Beyond these preliminary inquiries, our attorneys are fierce advocates who will fight for you from beginning to end. We pride ourselves on hard work, intelligence, and creativity in developing and employing successful tactics to win your case.


Simply possessing a controlled substance, such as marijuana, can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. In addition, possession of anything used to facilitate the use or transfer of a controlled substance can also result in a misdemeanor. People often underestimate the seriousness of a possession charge, which is a mistake. Possession of illegal drugs can result in up to six months of incarceration and/or substantial fines. Moreover, a conviction will stick with you for life and can affect your future significantly.

Unfortunately, under North Carolina law, it often doesn’t matter if the drugs were yours, or even if you knew there were any drugs around you. Everyday North Carolinians are charged with “constructive possession” that allows officers to arrest anyone with the intent and capability to maintain control and dominion over the contraband that could possibly use, move, or control illegal drugs in any way. These charges are on thin ice when it comes to your Constitutional rights—let our attorneys fight for you.


Drug Trafficking is a Federal offense. This means stricter requirements, less leniency, and tougher penalties—the Fed’s don’t mess around. In fact, Federal law sets forth mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. If you’ve been charged with a federal offense or are being investigated by the FBI, DEA, IRS, SEC, ATF, or any other federal agency, you need to seek skilled legal counsel immediately. For more information on the differences between a state versus a federal case, go to our Court Process page.

Federal crimes involve an entirely different and more complex process than state offenses. You will need an attorney with Federal experience to make sure you have a complete and powerful defense. Often, the Feds will ask you to cooperate with the investigation, offer deals, and seek your plea while promising a lesser sentence. Rest assured that during a Federal investigation, every move you make will have major implications. So contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to consult with a skilled and experienced attorney who can guide you through the process, because the clock is ticking.