State Methamphetamine Offenses
Possession of any illegal drug or controlled substance with in the United States is a crime. All drug charges are serious in nature and can lead to very stiff fines and penalties. North Carolina considers methamphetamine a dangerous illegal substance and as a result if you are charged with possession the potential penalties can be life changing.
In 2005, the federal government passed the Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, in an attempt to place tougher restrictions on legal uses of meth as well as harsher penalties on illegal uses. Since then, even possessing some of the drugs chemical make-up, or otherwise known as “Precursors” any over-the-counter drugs or chemicals used in the production of meth, may still lead to a drug charge for possession of methamphetamine.Methamphetamine is Classified as a Schedule II Controlled Substance
Methamphetamine, or otherwise known by its common name, meth, is an extremely addictive stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamine. Also called crystal, chalk, or ice as it is a white, odorless crystalline powder. Methamphetamine can also be prescribed by a doctor, however, because its medical uses are narrow, the doses prescribed are much lower than those that are typically abused and the prescription cannot be refilled. Possession of methamphetamine in any form without a valid prescription, is a punishable offense in North Carolina.
As noted in N.C. Gen Stat. § 90-90(1) (d) to be classified as a Schedule II controlled substance the substance must have:
- High potential for abuse.
- A currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
- The abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychic or physical dependence.
Schedule II is the second most dangerous classification for illegal substances and includes drugs like opium, oxycodone, and cocaine in addition to Methamphetamine.What are the Punishments for Methamphetamine Possession?
N.C. Gen Stat. § 90-95 outlines the violations and penalties for mere possession as well as for the sale, manufacture, and distribution of meth. The penalties for illegal distribution of methamphetamines are much more severe than those for possession. As a result, the illegal trafficking/distribution of meth listed below describes the smallest amount of controlled substance one must have in order to be charged with trafficking.
The punishments for methamphetamines are:
Possession: Any possession of meth is considered as a Class I Felony. If any amount of meth is found on a person they are subject to a charge for possession, Class I felony and potentially 6 to 12 months in prison along with fines and a potential loss of license.
Possession with the intent to Sell/Manufacture meth: This is a higher charge and punished as a Class C felony unless the offense included packaging or repackaging meth, or labeling or relabeling the meth container, if so, then the charged is punished as a Class H felony. Class C felony carries a sentence of 44 to 182 months in prison and a Class H felony is 4 to 25 months in prison.
Distribution/Trafficking: Again, this is the most severe charge but only comes into play if an individual is found with 28 grams or more of methamphetamines. Possessing between 28 to 199 grams is a Class F Felony and carries a penalty of 70 to 84 months in prison and a $50,000 fine. Having 200 to 399 grams is a Class E Felony and carries a penalty of 90 to 117 months in prison and a $100,000 fine. Finally any amount over 400 grams is a Class C Felony, 225 to 279 months in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Although, these penalties are the usual sentence structure, repeat offenders may be subject to harsher sentencing due to previous violations.Why Should I consider Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney for my Drug Charge?
Drug offenses, and more specifically possession of meth within the state of North Carolina, is a serious crime. Facing such a drug charge could have a substantial impact on an individual and his/her entire family. The attorneys of Arnold & Smith, PLLC have the legal knowledge needed to represent your interests and protect your rights throughout the whole process. An experienced criminal lawyer can investigate the circumstances of the case, make certain the individual’s constitutional rights were not violated through an illegal search, may hold law enforcement accountable if found to have acting unreasonably, and ultimately work towards reducing any long term negative consequences as a result of the charge.
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are prepared to help with any and all charges. Call today at (704)-370-2828 or click below to contact us now, for a free consultation.