Mount Holly Drug Possession Attorney
In North Carolina, possessing, using, manufacturing, selling, or distributing controlled substances is illegal. These substances are known as “drugs” and have dangerous effects on the human body. You could face serious charges and penalties if you are caught with drugs in your possession. However, people are sometimes wrongly accused of drug possession, or they may not have known that the drugs were in their control. If you have been contacted by authorities and are facing charges for drug possession, you should talk with a Mount Holly drug possession lawyer as soon as possible.
At The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford, our Mount Holly drug possession attorneys are dedicated to protecting the reputation of those who have been inaccurately accused of drug possession. Every citizen has a right to a fair trial under the guise of innocence until proven guilty. We operate on this belief, and we fight to ensure you receive a fair trial. We provide a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding your arrest and work to build a strong defense on your behalf that gives you the best chance of avoiding a conviction and returning to your life.
What Drug Possession Charges Could a Person Face in Mount Holly, NC?
North Carolina maintains three different types of drug possession charges that a person could face. These include:
- Possession for personal use. This is the most common drug possession scenario that a criminal defense lawyer encounters. It describes scenarios where an individual has a small amount of drugs in their possession that is only meant for personal use and not for sale or distribution. Whether the amount is for personal use can be disputed and is based on a variety of factors such as the type of drug, how it is packaged, and other details surrounding the arrest.
- Possession with intent to sell or distribute. This is a more serious charge that alleges someone had illegal drugs in their possession with the primary intent to sell or distribute them. In North Carolina, the amount of drugs you have in your possession does not matter when it comes to this type of charge. Even if you were only found with a small amount, you could still be facing serious penalties if the state believes you were drug trafficking.
- Intent to manufacture. This is the most severe type of drug possession charge in North Carolina. It alleges that an individual had drugs in their possession with the intent to manufacture them. This is when someone has the ingredients to make drugs or is in the process of making them. The penalties are severe and can include lengthy prison sentences.
For anyone to pursue any of the above charges against you, they will have to prove in court that you knowingly and intentionally possessed the drugs in question. If the drugs were found in your car or home, the prosecution is going to have to show that you knew they were there and that you had control over them. If they cannot do this, then the charges against you should be dropped. With the help of a Mount Holly drug possession lawyer, you can challenge the prosecution’s case against you and try to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether by proving you are not what they say you are.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Mount Holly, NC?
Varying consequences to a drug possession conviction in Mount Holly, NC exist depending on the nature of the accused crime.
Some of the most common include:
- The suspension of a driver’s license. Driver’s license suspension is one of the lightest penalties someone convicted of drug possession could face. This is especially true in cases where an individual was caught under the influence while driving.
- Fines. Those convicted of drug possession will likely have to pay a fine. The amount of the fine is calculated based on what type of drug was involved as well as the amount in question.
- Probation. This is when a person is sentenced to a period of time where the court supervises them. This usually lasts around 12 months, but it can be longer depending on the circumstances of the case. An individual could also be released on unsupervised probation, which is when they are not monitored by the court as closely.
- Community service hours. A person convicted of drug possession could be sentenced to a certain number of community service hours. Some common places where community service is often required include local soup kitchens, animal shelters, or schools. This consequence is designed to give back to the community in a positive way as well as teach responsibility.
- Drug therapy and treatments. This is a common sentence given to first-time offenders. An individual is required to attend drug therapy and treatment courses to try and address the root of the problem. This could include attending AA meetings or going to counseling.
- Time in prison. This is the most severe penalty someone could face if convicted of drug possession. Prison is more likely if large amounts of drugs are involved or if this is the second or third time an individual has been caught doing the same illegal activity.
While the list above provides some of the more common penalties for a drug possession conviction in North Carolina, it is by no means an automatic sentence. The presiding judge must hear from both the prosecution and your Mount Holly drug possession lawyer before deciding on your sentence. They also consider your criminal history and the severity of the current charge before making a decision. Working directly with criminal defense lawyers can give you the best chance of having these penalties reduced or even dismissed altogether.
What Criminal Defense Positions Could Be Taken to Fight Drug Possession Charges in Mount Holly, NC?
When you work with a Mount Holly drug possession lawyer, they analyze every detail of your case to build the strongest criminal defense possible. This could involve a number of different positions, some of which are listed below:
- The drugs were not yours. This is the most common defense for drug possession charges. If the drugs were found in your car or home, the prosecution is going to have to show that you knew they were there and that you had control over them. If they cannot do this, the charges against you should be dropped as it is not clear that the drugs belonged to you.
- The drugs were for personal use. Even if the drugs were found in your possession, the prosecution will still have to prove that you intended to sell or distribute them if that is what you are being charged with. A criminal defense attorney can point to the small number of drugs you had in your possession as one form of evidence that you did not intend to sell or distribute. Another form of evidence that can be used is the lack of drug paraphernalia, such as scales or baggies that are often associated with drug dealers.
- The search and seizure of the drugs was illegal. For the police to search your car or home, they must have a warrant or probable cause to do so. If they did not have a warrant, your criminal defense attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence against you as it was illegally obtained. This could result in the charges against you being dropped as the prosecution would no longer have any evidence to use against you.
- The drugs were planted. Unfortunately, there have been cases where the police have been caught planting evidence on suspects. If you believe the drugs were planted, your criminal defense attorney can have them tested for fingerprints or DNA to try and prove that they were not yours. Other forms of evidence that can be used to support this defense are video surveillance of where the drugs were found or witnesses who saw an individual plant the drugs.
These are some possible defenses that can be used to fight drug possession charges in Mount Holly, NC. The best way to determine which defense is right for your case is to work directly with a criminal defense attorney with experience handling these cases.
What Value Can a Mount Holly Drug Possession Attorney Bring to My Case?
The value that a Mount Holly drug possession attorney can bring to your case is immeasurable. They are ready to work tirelessly to build the strongest defense possible and ensure your rights are protected at every step of the process.
Some of the specific ways that a Mount Holly drug possession lawyer can help you are:
- Investigating the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Your attorney will work to gather all of the evidence surrounding your arrest. This could include speaking to witnesses, reviewing video footage, and looking for any other evidence that could help your case.
- Analyzing the evidence against you. Once all of the evidence has been gathered, your attorney will carefully review it to look for any holes in the prosecution’s case. This could include challenging the search and seizure of the drugs or questioning the credibility of witnesses.
- Negotiating with the prosecution. If your attorney can find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, they will use this to try and negotiate a reduced sentence or have the drug charge against you dropped altogether.
- Fighting for your rights in court. If a plea deal cannot be reached, your case will go to trial. Your attorney will spend each day in the courtroom as your strategic legal partner, fighting for a not guilty verdict.
A Mount Holly drug possession lawyer can do everything in their power to help you avoid a conviction. If you are being unjustly accused of drug possession, do not hesitate to contact an attorney today to discuss your case.
FAQs About Mount Holly, NC Drug Possession Lawyer
How Long Does Drug Possession Stay on Your Record?
Possession of drugs stays on your criminal record forever. The only way to have it removed is through expungement, which is an option in scenarios where you were officially judged not guilty, the drug charges were dismissed, or if you successfully completed a drug diversion program that was a part of your sentence. These are all options that your criminal defense lawyer can discuss with you in further detail.
How Do You Beat a Possession Charge?
The best way to beat a possession charge is by working with a criminal defense attorney who handles these exact criminal defense cases in Mount Holly, NC. The average citizen does not have the legal background or knowledge to defend themselves against these charges properly. A Mount Holly drug possession lawyer knows what defenses to use and how to best approach your case.
How Long Do You Go to Jail for Drug Possession?
The total amount of time you could be sentenced to serve in prison varies depending on the type of drug involved and the amount found in your possession. For instance, if you were found guilty of marijuana possession in a small amount for the first time, you may only be sentenced to a few days in jail. However, if you are found to be in possession of a large amount of a substance such as cocaine, you could be facing years in prison.
What Are Some Types of Drug Crimes?
Some of the most common types of drug crimes include possession, manufacturing, trafficking, and driving under the influence. These are all activities labeled as crimes because they put other people’s lives at risk, are seen as a threat to society, and/or are associated with illegal activity.
Contact The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford Today
If you are facing drug possession accusations in Mount Holly, NC, you must contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford, we have successfully represented clients unjustly facing drug possession charges, and we can put our experience to work for you. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.
Contact The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford Today
I have more than 25 years of experience representing clients in North Carolina traffic courts. Contact my law firm by email or at 704-868-3434 for a free initial consultation. I stand prepared to do all I can to minimize the negative effects of a drunk driving charge or traffic violation on your life.