New Bern Lawyers Defend Against Allegations of Drug Crimes
North Carolina drug crimes lawyers refute serious charges
Drug abuse is taking a serious toll on America. Authorities are responding to this crisis with aggressive law enforcement tactics that often cross the line to entrapment and illegal searches, coupled with overcharging offenses and zealous prosecution of cases suited for diversion programs. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, you need experienced counsel to protect your constitutional rights and fight for the best possible outcome. The Carolina Law Group, led by seasoned trial attorney Tommy Kellis, is ready to provide a robust defense that safeguards your civil liberties while challenging every element of the case against you.
Common types of drug crime cases
The most common types of drug offenses prosecuted in North Carolina include:
- Simple possession — Knowing possession and control of an illicit drug for personal use
- Possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver — Possession of an illicit drug in such quantity that authorities can infer the intent to distribute to others
- Possession of drug paraphernalia — This law covers all equipment, products and materials used to facilitate violations of state drug laws
The penalties vary based on the quantity and type of drugs.
Schedules of drugs in North Carolina
North Carolina law categorizes Illegal drugs, called controlled substances, into the following five schedules:
- Schedule I — These substances have no accepted medical use, are unsafe and have a high potential for abuse. Examples include heroin, GHB, LSD and ecstasy.
- Schedule II — These drugs have medical uses but also a high potential for abuse and risk of severe dependence. Examples include cocaine, opium, OxyContin, amphetamines and methamphetamine.
- Schedule III — These drugs have accepted medical uses and carry a lower risk of abuse but are still addictive. Examples include Vicodin, ketamine and anabolic steroids.
- Schedule IV — Medicinal substances, such as Valium, have an even lower potential for abuse.
- Schedule V — Prescription drugs, such as cough syrup with codeine, contain narcotics.
The greater the potential for abuse, the greater the potential punishment under state and federal law.
Punishments for drug crime convictions in North Carolina
To illustrate the seriousness of a drug crime conviction, potential penalties can range from a few days in jail to decades in prison. Some crimes and their punishments include:
- Misdemeanor possession of marijuana — Less than half an ounce is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 20 days in jail.
- Felony possession of marijuana — If you are convicted of possessing 1.5 ounces or more of marijuana, that is a Class I felony punishable by up to 24 months in prison.
- Misdemeanor possession of a Schedule V substance — Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
- Misdemeanor Possession of Schedule II through IV drugs — Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail.
- Simple possession of a Schedule I drug — Class I felony punishable by up to 24 months in prison.
- Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Schedule III or VI substances — Class I felony, punishable by up to 24 months in prison.
- Manufacture of methamphetamine — Class C felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
- Misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia — This Class 1 misdemeanor draws a maximum penalty is 120 days in jail and/or a fine.
Given the severity of the penalties, you must have the best available defense counsel to protect your rights.
Potential defenses against drug crimes in North Carolina
If the authorities charge you with drug possession, you might have a viable defense if:
- You didn’t know the drugs were in your possession
- The police performed an illegal search
- You are the victim of entrapment
Even if the facts are against you, a skilled and determined attorney can still deliver a positive outcome by fighting to minimize the consequences of your arrest.
Contact our New Bern defense lawyers to fight drug charges
The Carolina Law Group, led by Tommy Kellis, builds robust defenses to drug charges in New Bern and Morehead City. Call us today at 252-636-3737 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.