Category Archives: Drug Crimes

Can a Drug Possession Conviction Affect My Student Aid In Raleigh, NC?

A conviction for drug possession changes a number of things in your life. Anytime you’re asked about a criminal conviction, you’re required to answer, “yes.” Employment, housing, and other opportunities may change or be lost because of a drug possession conviction.

But if you’re a college student, or were planning to become one, your plans have radically changed. If you are already using student aid for college, you may lose it. And if you’re applying to college, your options could be limited for what you’re planning to study.

The FAFSA

Hands in Handcuffs after a Drug Possession Conviction In Raleigh, NC?The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) contains questions specific to drug convictions. It’s important that you answer the question truthfully and accurately.

The question specifically asks if your conviction occurred while you were receiving student financial aid. When you answer yes, you will be required to fill out a worksheet to determine if you are eligible for subsequent financial aid assistance.

If you have a drug conviction, complete the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet for the drug conviction question on the FAFSA to determine if your conviction will impact your aid eligibility. You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4- FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

If your conviction occurs after you submit the FAFSA, you may lose your eligibility, as well as be required to repay any financial aid you’ve already received.

What you state on the FAFSA is separate from what you state on your college admissions application, and must be truthful on both. If your college admissions form asks, you will be required to disclose a conviction.

Note that the issues arise only after a conviction for either the sale or possession of illegal drugs as an adult. If you were tried as a juvenile, and not convicted as an adult, you’ll still be eligible. This is also true if your conviction has been set aside or reversed, and you would answer “no” to the question.

Suspension Periods

The suspension period of federal student aid depends on whether the conviction was for sale or suspension, and whether it was a first or subsequent suspension.

  • First offense: one year for possession, two for sale
  • Second offense: two years for possession, indefinitely for sale
  • Third and subsequent offenses: indefinitely for both possession and sale

After your student aid eligibility is suspended by a drug conviction, there are two ways you can regain it:

  • Successful completion of an approved drug rehabilitation program
  • Agree to and pass two unannounced drug screenings by an approved drug rehabilitation program

Fighting Drug Charges

The best defense is a good offense. Take proactive stance against a potential drug conviction that could seriously impede your future.

If you’ve been arrested on drug charges, it’s important to have a strong, aggressive drug charge defense lawyer to defend you in court. Without good legal counsel, you may be at the mercy of the court, and find yourself making a guilty plea just to end it.

But pleading guilty may not be the right thing to do, especially if you’re not guilty. If you do, you’ll be a convicted felon, and end up with a criminal conviction that will follow you around for the rest of your life.

With an experienced drug charge attorney, you have a fighting chance against a conviction that will cause you problems long after you leave court, including going to college and having a career.

Drug Charges? Let Dewey P. Brinkley Will Defend You

A criminal defense attorney experienced in drug cases can defend you in court and protect your assets. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will make sure your rights are rights are respected and you receive a fair trial under the law.

 

What Does Aggravated Drug Possession Mean in Raleigh NC?

During an arrest or hearing, you may hear the term “aggravated drug possession,” but may not understand what it means as it applies to your case.

A prosecutor must prove that there was “possession” beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant knowingly had possession of the drug and knew it was a controlled substance. Any additional factors can turn a simple misdemeanor drug possession into something more serious.

Types Of Possession

As we’ve mentioned previously, North Carolina has two types of possession:

Raleigh NC Aggravated Drug Possession

  • Actual possession, where the drug is on your person and within your reach, and you’re aware of it

 

  • Constructive possession, where the drug is available to you but you don’t have actual possession, such as riding in a car but unaware that the drugs are available.

The level of drug possession in North Carolina depends on how much you were carrying at the time of arrest. Higher amounts of nearly any type of drug (including marijuana) or a combination of drugs and fillers can escalate charges to drug trafficking, a much more serious charge.

The Aggravating Factor

In the case of drug crimes, “aggravated drug possession” means that there are additional mitigating factors in the case (“aggravating factors”) that make the crime worse. Punishments such as jail time are increased with the “aggravating” aspects of the arrest.

There are multiple factors that may accompany a North Carolina drug charge that can elevate it to “aggravated drug possession” meaning more serious than it would be otherwise. Aggravating factors for drug cases in North Carolina include:

  • Sale or delivery of a controlled substance to a minor
  • Previous drug convictions
  • Manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of someone under 18, where the minor lives, or exposing the minor to meth, its ingredients or byproducts
  • Manufacturing meth in a dwelling that is part of more than 4 contiguous dwellings (such as an apartment or condominium complex)
  • A minor who has a previous arrest and/or conviction for an offense that would be a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, or E felony if committed by an adult.

Any aggravating factors can also bring additional charges, such as child endangerment if arrested with drugs near a school.

What an Aggravated Drug Possession Charge Can Mean In Court

Aggravating factors can turn a misdemeanor into a felony, especially increase your jail sentence as well as other penalties, such as fines. Instead of the standard time periods for jail time, the “aggravated range” is longer than standard range for the crime and conviction.

Prior drug convictions may also be considered “aggravating factors,” increasing penalties and jail time. This will depend on how many prior convictions you may have, and what type of convictions.

Aggravated Drug Possession Defense In Raleigh, NC

In his previous role as a Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley oversaw the conviction of individuals accused of criminal charges including aggravated drug possession. Now as an experienced Raleigh criminal defense attorney, he can aggressively defend you in court and fight for a better outcome. He can defend you against North Carolina drug charges, fight any wrongful charges and work for a more reasonable sentence if convicted. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form.)

Is There Such a Thing as “Attempted Drug Possession” in Raleigh, NC?

Drug possession as a charge can bring a number of outcomes depending on the type and quantity. North Carolina’s scheduling of drug severity spells out the penalties and specifics of the different charges, including possession.

But what if you attempted drug possession? Here we’ll discuss the types of possession and what that may mean to you if you’re arrested and charged.

NC’s Drug Possession Schedules

The state uses categories to distinguish Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) and rate their seriousness. Included in the schedule are the substances used to create the drugs.

Is There Such a Thing as "Attempted Drug Possession" in Raleigh, NC?

  • Schedule 1 – Includes but not limited to; Heroin, Peyote, and Ecstasy

 

  • Schedule 2 – Includes but not limited to; Cocaine, Morphine, and Methadone

 

  • Schedule 3 – Includes but not limited to; Anabolic Steroids, Ketamine, and some Barbiturates

 

  • Schedule 4 – Includes but not limited to; Valium, and Xanax

 

  • Schedule 5 – Includes but not limited to; OTC cough medicines that include codeine

 

  • Schedule 6 – Includes but not limited to; Marijuana, and Hashish

 

  • The entire schedule is available, including the penalties for possession. Trafficking is different than possession and therefore carries much higher penalties.

Types Of Possession

North Carolina has two types of possession:

·        Actual possession, in which the drug was on your person, you’re aware of it, the drug is readily available and you had the intent to use or dispose of it. For instance, you’re considered to be in actual possession if the drug is found in your pocket, in a wallet, bag, or another accessory.

·        Constructive possession, where you didn’t have actual possession, but you have intent and the capability to have control over the drug. This would include a drug in a car you were sitting and/or riding in, even if you were just a passenger and were not aware of the presence of the drugs.

Marijuana possession carries the least amount of penalties. The amount of sentencing you receive all depends on the amount you had in your possession:

  • For 0.5 oz or less—no jail time, but a fine of up to $200
  • For 0.5 – 1.5 oz—1 to 45 days jail time and a fine of up to $1,000
  • For 1.5 oz – 10 lbs—3 to 8 months of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000

Larger amounts of marijuana, or anything that looks like it’s packaged for sale or distribution, can upgrade your charges to a felony called Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver (PWISD). You could also be charged with drug trafficking.

North Carolina’s drug laws, including possession and trafficking, are available in their entirety online.

Fight Your Drug Possession Charge

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley is now an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend you and work towards the most favorable outcome. He can defend you against drug charges, fight any wrongful charges and work for a more reasonable sentence if convicted. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form.)

Effective Defenses Against a Raleigh Drug Charge

Drug charges—of any type—are always a serious matter. Since most drug charges can end in a conviction, you’ll need an attorney who knows what the state will go through to get it.

How can you defend yourself against a drug charge in Raleigh? Here are some ways an attorney can offer a defense:

Effective Defenses Against a Raleigh Drug Charge

·         Illegal search and seizure—the Fourth Amendment guards all citizens from being searched for no reason, and requiring probable cause. Generally, authorities need a search warrant to search your home, but in a car, drugs in plain view of the officer are an exception. But if your car was searched without a warrant or without your consent, your Fourth Amendment rights may have been violated. The drugs would then be inadmissible in court, and the charges will likely be dropped.

·         Proving possession—the state must prove that any illegal substances found actually belonged to you. For instance, if you were riding in a car with a number of people, proving possession will be more difficult. Being near the drugs may not be enough to convict, and a defense attorney can cast doubt on you being in possession.

·         Proving that it was drugs—a “mysterious white powder” must be analyzed by a crime lab to determine whether it’s baking soda, over-the-counter medication or an illegal controlled substance. If it isn’t, your attorney can argue that there’s no way to prove that the “powder” was a controlled substance or not.

·         Where are the drugs?—a defense attorney can require the prosecution produce the substances in question that are being used to bring you to trial. If the prosecution doesn’t keep track of what the police recovered, and can’t produce the evidence at trial, your attorney will have a strong case to have the charges dropped.

·         Planted drugs (aka “entrapment”)—it’s not unheard of for an individual to “plant” drugs on an innocent individual, including the occasional law enforcement officer. While this scenario is rare, your attorney can raise this defense if there is evidence that points to the possibility that someone had the motive. The prosecution is then required to prove that the substances were not planted and belonged to the defendant.

An attorney who understands drug charges, the court process and how to create a strong defense is your best chance of success in the courtroom.

Your Drug Charge Defense Attorney

Offenses involving any form of drugs—from a small amount of marijuana to a saleable quantity of anything else—can land you in jail. Drug charges can ruin your life forever, even if you’re innocent. Don’t plead “guilty” just because you think you should. Find a drug charge attorney who will fight for your rights.

Whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, your defense is critical to the outcome.  A criminal defense attorney experienced in drug cases can defend you in court and make sure your rights are protected. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law.

Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation.

Do You Need A Raleigh NC Drug Possession Attorney?

Drug possession — two words that can mean the end of your life as you know it. Like DUI, North Carolina has some of the strictest laws and harshest penalties in the country. One mistake can mean lifelong consequences—even jail time.

Do You Need A Raleigh NC Drug Possession Attorney?Possession of drug paraphernalia can also see you arrested, whether or not you intend to use it for drug consumption. Even everyday items like a scale and small bags can be considered “paraphernalia” for either using or selling.

Drug trafficking (sale, distribution, and possession of large amounts for those purposes) are more serious charges that can get you long-term jail time and heavy fines.

Even a misdemeanor drug conviction can negatively affect your life for years to come. It can be even worse if you’re actually innocent.

The North Carolina Controlled Substances Act

North Carolina divides different drugs into categories, or “schedules,” and the penalties differ with each classification, depending on their potential for abuse. The state’s Controlled Substances Act spells out each category and grades each substance. Penalties and jail times vary with the severity of the charges.

  • Schedule I: this is a class I felony for drugs like opiates, heroin, ecstasy, and peyote, among others, with no “accepted medical use” and are at high risk for addiction and abuse.
  • Schedule II: this is a class 1 misdemeanor for drugs that have a medical use, but also have the potential for addiction, such as opium, cocaine, morphine, Oxycodone, Methadone, and others.
  • Schedule III: this is a class 1 misdemeanor for addictive substances that also have a medical use, such as anabolic steroids, ketamine, Lysergic Acid and Nalorphine with a lower potential for addiction.
  • Schedule IV: this is a class 1 misdemeanor for prescription drugs with an accepted medical use but a lower risk of abuse and addiction. This class includes prescriptions such as Xanax, Darvon, Valium, Clonazepam, and others.
  • Schedule V: this is a class 1 misdemeanor for prescription narcotic drugs that aren’t as addictive, but still have the potential for abuse. This includes over-the-counter medications such as cough syrup with codeine.
  • Schedule VI: this is a class 3 misdemeanor for drugs with no recognized medical use in North Carolina, have a low potential for addiction and abuse, including marijuana, hashish oil, and hashish.

A Note About Marijuana

Having marijuana in your possession is still a crime in North Carolina. “For medicinal purposes” is not a valid defense.

Many states have passed varying amounts of marijuana legalization for different reasons. One of the latest, Louisiana, has only legalized marijuana for medical uses, not in smokeable form or for recreational use. North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, as well as neighboring Kentucky and Tennessee, have not passed any laws legalizing it, and you can still be charged.

North Carolina state lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation this year to allow medical marijuana in the state of North Carolina this year, and some doctors now have the limited ability to prescribe it.  This map shows which states have legalized marijuana, and in what capacity.

Until then, marijuana is still illegal in North Carolina. You can still be arrested for having it, even in small amounts.

Call A Strong Criminal Defense Attorney in Raleigh, NC

Do you need an attorney to defend you for drug charges in North Carolina? Absolutely, or you could risk even more jail time, fines and other penalties. Hiring the right Raleigh drug possession attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.

Whatever you do, don’t just plead guilty because you’re not sure what you should do (especially if you’re innocent.) You have the right to have an attorney who can aggressively defend you and make sure your rights are protected.

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley is now an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend you and work towards the most favorable outcome. He can defend you against drug charges, fight any wrongful charges and work for a more reasonable sentence if convicted. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your child’s case at (919) 832-0307.