When you are facing criminal charges, it can impact nearly every part of your life, from your job prospects to your personal relationships. This is particularly true for those facing drug charges in North Carolina, such as possession with intent to distribute, because the drug laws in the state are very harsh. If you are convicted of a drug charge, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, you could face several years in jail. The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford has nearly thirty years of experience with criminal defense and can help you understand any drug possession charges, make a plan for how to approach your case, and fight diligently for the ideal outcome for you. If you are arrested for a drug crime in Bessemer, it is important to understand how drug charges are classified in North Carolina.
There are many types of drugs and substances that can be created and distributed illegally, but they do not all have the same effects when they are used. Some substances, like opiates and amphetamines, have a very high potential for addiction and abuse, so the regulations surrounding them are much stricter. Others, like marijuana, have a very low potential for abuse, so penalties for possession or distribution will be less severe.
The danger and potential for abuse of each drug are classified by a certain schedule. There are six schedules in total, with each including various substances. Some are entirely illegal, like MDMA, while others can be prescribed by a doctor, like oxycodone. The drug schedules in North Carolina are as follows:
If you are caught with drugs of any kind in your possession, you may face either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. You can be charged with possession in two scenarios. First, if you are found with illegal substances on your person, that is considered actual possession. If you are caught with the drugs in a place that is easy for you to access, that is considered constructive possession.
The type of charge that is handed down will depend heavily on what type of drugs you had, how much of the substance you were carrying, and what you planned to do with them. There are two primary types of drug possession charges: simple possession and possession with intent.
The laws surrounding the possession of drugs in North Carolina are very strict and often carry harsher penalties than in other states. It is important to understand the laws in place, and the penalties you may face, if you are facing a possession charge. The ideal way to beat the charge is to work with an experienced drug possession lawyer. They have a firm understanding of the laws and can create an aggressive defense for your case.
North Carolina has harsh penalties for drug offenses in many cases, but the severity of your punishment is often linked with what type of charge you are facing. Drug possession charges can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on factors such as how much you possessed and whether you intended to manufacture or sell to others. If you are convicted, you may face several days in jail for a misdemeanor or several years if you are convicted of a felony.
The laws that govern drug offenses in North Carolina are strict and can be difficult to fight. If you are facing drug possession charges in North Carolina, it is essential that you have an experienced legal defense team. They can determine whether law enforcement acted within their rights when you were arrested and, if they did not, they may be able to get your case dismissed.
If you are charged with drug possession in North Carolina, it is not automatically a felony, though some charges may be felony charges. In many cases, the schedule of the drug that you were in possession of will determine whether you will face a felony charge. For example, if you are caught with any amount of a Schedule I drug, like heroin, MDA, or LSD, then you will face a felony charge and up to five years in prison.
Criminal drug charges of any kind can have a major impact on your life, from having limited job opportunities to spending time in jail. The guidance and support of an experienced drug possession attorney can be invaluable. The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford has been practicing law for over 25 years and can listen to your story, provide personal attention during your case, and craft the criminal defense you deserve. Contact the office today to get started.