Charlotte Drug Crime Defense Attorneys
Get the Legal Support You Deserve When Fighting Drug Charges
Drug crimes take many forms, including both misdemeanors and felonies at the state and federal level, but all are heavily stigmatized and can cause long-term problems for the offender. North Carolina laws surrounding drugs are also extremely convoluted and difficult to understand, leaving many defendants confused about what they are being charged with and how best to protect themselves.
Our Charlotte drug crime defense lawyers at Oakhurst Legal Group are ready to aggressively fight to defend you, no matter the severity or scope of the alleged offense. Our team can help you understand what forms of defense strategies and legal relief are available to you in addition to the specifics of how your case will be litigated. We always aim to get the possible result for our clients and are invested in protecting your immediate and long-term future.
What Is Considered a Controlled Substance in North Carolina?
North Carolina organizes dangerous controlled substances into six “schedules:”
Understanding the Basics of North Carolina’s Drug Laws
Like much of the United States, North Carolina has a set of laws targeting “controlled dangerous substances.” While other states have moved to relax their drug statutes in recent years, North Carolina’s laws remain fairly strict. Possessing or selling marijuana in North Carolina is still unlawful under state law, for example.
It can be challenging to predict what you may end up ultimately being charged with if you are arrested for a drug-related crime. The exact charges will generally depend upon the quantity and types of substances involved and any other circumstances surrounding the incident.
The involvement of Schedule I or some Schedule II drugs tends to trigger more severe, aggressive sentences, including felony charges. Even simple possession of a Schedule I or some Schedule II drugs is considered a felony.
North Carolina law forbids the following actions involving controlled substances:
Being suspected of any of these actions can result in your arrest and criminal charges. Simple possession of a Schedule III, IV, V, or VI substance – meaning you only have a small amount of the drug did not intend to give it or sell it to someone else – will likely only result in a misdemeanor charge, especially if you are a first-time offender.
You can get into more serious trouble if you are found with a large quantity of a controlled substance. Law enforcement will often assume you are intending to sell or distribute a drug if you have a large enough amount of it, or if they also discover tools or equipment that suggests substances are being manufactured. These types of scenarios can result in felony charges.
It is important to understand that there are both federal and state laws regulating controlled substances. This means that the federal government can choose to prosecute you instead of the state. This tends to be more relevant in states where certain drugs have been decriminalized or legalized at the state level. However, federal agencies still sometimes choose to get involved in large cases involving major trafficking operation, especially if substances are crossing state lines. Our drug charge attorneys in Charlotte are prepared to defend you at both the state and federal level.
Why You Need an Attorney to Defend You from Drug Charges?
The unfortunate reality is that even a minor drug crime conviction can dramatically damage your future. Because drug crimes are so societally stigmatized, even a single count on your record could severely limit your ability to find employment. Many North Carolina companies require background checks that will flag previous drug crime issues. You could even lose the job you already have.
That is why it is so essential to fight every type of drug charge. While a misdemeanor conviction will typically only result in a limited fine and up to 45 days in prison, the harm it can do to future opportunities is incalculable.
Felony drug crime charges are even more serious. If prosecuted at the state level, you face a prison sentence of over 23 years if convicted. If you are up against federal charges, an initial conviction holds a minimum sentence of 5 years of jailtime. A subsequent federal conviction could lead to life in prison.