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Drug Crimes in Iredell County

Drug crimes are among the most common type of crime committed in North Carolina. Drug laws cover a wide variety of different substances, and the penalties for drug offenses can be severe. Various types of controlled substances are banned by law and each comes with penalties if convicted of possession or intent to sell. Both state and federal laws ban controlled substances. Drug charges are serious, if found guilty you might have to pay fines, spend time in jail, participate in a drug rehab program, and you will have a criminal record. An experienced Iredell County criminal attorney will help protect your rights and be your advocate to fight drug charges.

What are the Drug Classifications?

Drug charges and penalties are based on the classification of the substance and the amount of the substance that is found. There are six distinct drug classifications that are used to determine charges. In general, substances are ranked on their characteristics such as the potential for abuse, pattern of abuse, public risk and whether the drug is considered a gateway to other harmful substance abuse. These classifications include:

  • Schedule I: Schedule I drugs are considered the most serious. They include opiates, hallucinogens, mescaline and psilocybin. These substances are better known as heroin, morphine, MMDA, MDMA, peyote, and mushrooms.
  • Schedule II: Schedule II drugs include opium, oxycodine, fentanyl, amphetamines, and methamphetamines.
  • Schedule III: Schedule III drugs include barbiturates, ketamine, codeine, and testosterone.
  • Schedule IV: Schedule IV drugs are depressants such as Xanax and stimulants such as Cathine, also known as Khat.
  • Schedule V: Codeine is a schedule V drug when it is in lower concentrations. For example, codeine is available in retail stores without a prescription.
  • Schedule VI: Schedule VI drugs include marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids.
How are Drug Offenses Charged?

Possession of an illegal substance is against the law in Iredell County, as it is across the state. If you are found to possess any type of illegal substance, you can face charges and penalties if convicted. The most serious charges are for Schedule I drugs and the least serious are for Schedule VI drugs. However, the amount of drugs that you have can make a difference in the charges and penalties that you will face.

Drug possession penalties depend on the classification and amount of drug. Possession of Schedule I drugs is generally a felony. Possession of Schedule II, III or IV drugs is a Class 1 misdemeanor as long as the person is in possession of roughly four doses or less. If more than four doses are in your possession, the charges will be Class 1 felony. Schedule V drug possession is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Possession of Schedule VI drugs, including marijuana, is a Class 3 misdemeanor if the amount is under a half ounce. If the amount of marijuana is between a half ounce and one and a half ounces, the charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If more than one and a half ounces, the charge is a Class 1 felony. Therefore, the amount of drugs found in your possession is of utmost importance with both charges and penalties.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

If you are found to be in possession of a controlled substance, it is likely that you will also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia covers a wide range of items and includes anything that can be used to hold or facilitate the use of drugs. For example, baggies, pill bottles, rolling papers, pipe, syringes, needles, steel wool, scales, and roach clips are all considered drug paraphernalia.

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is a separate charge from drug possession charges. It is important to note that some items that are considered drug paraphernalia may be perfectly legal to own. Therefore, it may be possible for your attorney to argue this point and try to reduce or remove this charge.

Drug Trafficking Charges

The amount of drugs that you have in your possession will determine whether you face drug trafficking charges. This means that you were in possession of drugs with the intent to sell, manufacture, or distribute them. Drug trafficking charges are very serious and are often prosecuted as federal drug crimes. The DEA may have you under surveillance or use undercover operations to build a case for drug trafficking. There are mandatory penalties in place if convicted.

Marijuana production and distribution is illegal activity, and the penalties for it are based on the amount of drugs that were seized. For example, less than 10 pounds of marijuana comes with a $5,000 fine and/or a year in prison. If you have more than 10,000 pounds in your possession, you will be facing a $200,000 fine and/or up to 219 months in prison.

If you have been charged with a drug offense of any type, you need to take it seriously and seek legal assistance quickly. There are many repercussions that you will experience for the rest of your life if you are convicted. Get legal help from an attorney with the experience to resolve your problem. There are many ways that an aggressive attorney will work to fight drug charges. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to discuss your charges today.