Drug Manufacturing Defense Attorneys in Charlotte

Manufacturing drugs, or controlled substances, is one of the more serious drug crimes in North Carolina. Manufacturing controlled substances is always a felony, punishable by over a year in jail. However, depending on the amount and the specific substance involved, a person convicted of manufacturing can face a lengthy prison sentence of far more than a year.

If you have been charged with this criminal offense, understanding North Carolina’s drug crime laws is essential. You need to understand the potential penalties you may be facing if you receive a conviction. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you protect your rights today.

Classifications for Controlled Substances in North Carolina

North Carolina’s criminal statutes divide drugs up into categories, or Schedules, of controlled substances. Schedule I controlled substances are the most dangerous drugs, while Schedule VI drugs are considered the least dangerous drugs. The penalties for crimes related to controlled substances depend on the amount of substance involved, the Schedule of substance, and whether the person was manufacturing; selling or delivering; possessing with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver; or simply possessing. A person’s criminal history level also plays a role in what sentence a convicted person will receive.

Schedule I drugs include methamphetamine, heroin, ecstasy, opiates, and peyote. Schedule VI drugs are those the North Carolina legislature has deemed the least serious in terms of potential for abuse. Examples of Schedule VI drugs include marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil.

What Does Manufacturing a Drug Mean?

Under North Carolina law, manufacturing a drug means taking the following actions:

  • Packaging or even repackaging the substance
  • Labeling or even relabeling the substance’s container
    • Repackaging or relabeling a controlled substance for which you have a prescription, for your own use, is excluded from this. A medical practitioner’s doing so in the scope of his or her professional conduct is likewise excluded.
  • The production, preparation, compounding, converting, or processing of a controlled substance by any means. This includes whether it was done chemically, or by extracting the substances from a natural resource.
Types and Examples of Drug Manufacturing Charges

Broadly speaking, drug manufacturing offenses in North Carolina can be divided into two categories: trafficking by distribution, and non-trafficking distribution charges. If the amount of the specific controlled substance involved exceeds a certain threshold amount, the offense jumps to being a trafficking charge.

Trafficking offenses, unlike other drug offenses North Carolina, involve mandatory minimum sentences. They are also divided up into different levels according to how much of the substance was involved. For example, if you manufacture more than 10 pounds, but fewer than 50 pounds, of marijuana, you would be charged with the lowest level of trafficking in marijuana, which is a Class H felony with a mandatory minimum of 25 months. If it involved 50 pounds or more, but fewer than 2,000 pounds, it would Class G felony trafficking with a mandatory minimum of 35 months, and so on.

By contrast, if you manufacture less than 10 pounds of marijuana, the charge would be non-trafficking manufacture of marijuana, which is a Class I felony, the lowest-level felony in North Carolina, and would not carry a mandatory minimum.

The threshold amounts for a “normal” drug manufacturing charge to become a trafficking charge also vary by substance. In contrast to the above marijuana example, manufacturing just 28 grams of methamphetamine is considered trafficking and is a Class G felony with a mandatory minimum of 35 months.

The classes of felony for non-trafficking manufacturing also vary by Schedule of substance. Read on to find out more.

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance With the Intent to Manufacture

If you are convicted of trafficking by manufacturing, your potential sentence is generally dictated by the mandatory minimum and maximum set forth by statute.

Non-trafficking manufacturing or possession with intent to manufacture a controlled substance is generally a Class H felony when the controlled substance falls under Schedule I and II. Certain types of methamphetamine manufacturing are an exception to this, which are Class C felonies. Depending on criminal history, a defendant convicted of a Class H felony can face up to 39 months in prison. A person convicted of a Class C felony can face up to 231 months, or over 19 years, in prison.

Non-trafficking manufacturing or possession with intent to manufacture is a Class I felony when the drug is a Schedule III, IV, V, or VI controlled substance. Those convicted of a Class I felony in North Carolina face penalties of up to 24 months in prison.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help

Drug manufacturing charges are extremely serious in North Carolina. If you or a loved one are facing drug manufacturing charges, it is essential to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer fight to defend your rights from as early on in the process as possible. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our attorneys are well-seasoned in guiding clients through the process of facing these specific types of charges. After evaluating the facts and circumstances in your case, we will develop an effective legal strategy that best represents your goals.

Our lawyers are trial-ready with all necessary courtroom experience you will need to provide a compelling legal defense. Contact our North Carolina criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.