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.
- 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.)