Category Archives: Drug Crimes

Can I Be Arrested for Marijuana Possession in North Carolina?

Marijuana remains classified as an illegal drug on a federal level. However, many states have taken steps to legalize or decriminalize marijuana possession. In North Carolina, marijuana possession remains illegal. If you are caught with marijuana, here are some things that you should know.

North Carolina Laws for Marijuana Possession

Marijuana is considered a Schedule VI substance, which is the lowest of severity for controlled substances in the state. Often, marijuana possession has lighter sentences than more addictive or abused drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin. Despite this, there are still significant penalties for marijuana possession that should not be taken lightly.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession Vary

The penalties that you could expect to pay for marijuana possession charges in North Carolina depend on the amount found and whether the marijuana was for personal use or with the intent to distribute.

Can I be Arrested for Marijuana Possession in North Carolina?

Misdemeanor Charges

Most personal use marijuana possession charges are misdemeanors. If you’re caught with half an ounce or less, you can expect to pay a $200 fine. For half an ounce to 1.5 ounces, there is a $1,000 fine and up to 45 days of jail time. If you have more than 1.5 ounces, it is considered a felony with up to 8 months of jail time.

Felony Charges

Felony marijuana possession charges with the intent to distribute carry mandatory minimum jail sentences. This means that if convicted, there is a minimum amount of time that you will spend in jail. For this reason, it is important to consult with a drug crimes attorney in North Carolina to build a strong defense.

Some mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession in North Carolina:

● Between 10 pounds and 50 pounds has a 25-month minimum sentence and a $5,000 fine
● Between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds has a 35-month minimum sentence and a $25,000 fine
● Between 2,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds has a 70-month minimum sentence and a $50,000 fine
● More than 10,000 pounds has a 175-month minimum sentence and a $200,000 fine

Other Charges

There are other marijuana possession-related charges that carry hefty fines and jail time in North Carolina. These include:

● Sale or delivery of marijuana
● Sale of marijuana to a minor or a pregnant woman
● Sale of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a child care facility or public park
● Cultivation marijuana plants
● Possession of hash, concentrates, or paraphernalia

The Importance of Intent

Having a large amount of marijuana in your possession does not necessarily mean that you were planning on selling it. A charge for the intent to sell marijuana should include law enforcement officially finding other materials required to distribute marijuana such as plastic bags and scales. If a larger volume of marijuana was found without these other items, your drug crimes attorney could build a case that you did not have the intent to sell or deliver the drug and should have a lesser charge.

Prior Convictions

An important consideration when assessing the penalties for marijuana possession in North Carolina is whether you have a history of prior convictions. If this is your first offense, it will be easier to try to demand leniency than if you have a criminal record. No matter what your background is, you can discuss the impact of those convictions on your current case with a lawyer to determine how to best build a strong case.

Probation vs. Jail Time

The ultimate goal of having an experienced attorney by your side during sentencing is to get leniency. Ideally, you wouldn’t be convicted. However, if you are convicted, your lawyer will argue for probation instead of jail time in a state facility. This might make it possible to continue working and caring for your family even in spite of the conviction. For many people, spending months or years away from family is the worst part. This could potentially help to eliminate that concern.

Consult a Drug Crimes Attorney in North Carolina

All criminal offenses should be taken seriously. The sooner that you involve an experienced attorney in your case, the more options that you might have available to you legally. If you or a loved one have been charged with marijuana possession, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form. You can discuss your case and decide on what to do next during your initial consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley has experience fighting wrongful charges.

Can Social Media Posts Be Used As Evidence In Raleigh, NC Court Cases?

Many users post to social media without considering that their words, pictures, or other content could have adverse consequences. Most people like to post pictures of food, their pets, children, or discuss other everyday things. But sometimes what you post can have serious repercussions.

If you are involved in a court case—whether criminal, family law (including divorce and child custody cases), worker’s compensation, or personal injury, for instance—anything posted on social media is available to anyone who finds it. Many people have lost their cases because of something found on their social media.

Divorce lawyers are particularly devious when it comes to finding evidence on social media that can win the case for their clients. In any court case, content posted on social media can and likely will be used as evidence by opposing counsel. Technology means that unless you can prove that your account was hacked, everything can be authenticated before the trial.

Criminal Postings

It seems ridiculous, but many people have been caught and arrested after posting pictures of themselves on social media and even confessing to a crime.

Can Social Media Posts Be Used As Evidence In Raleigh, NC Court Cases?

  • Mooresville NC— Jade Tyson Brannon, 44, was arrested in June of 2020 for posting threats of violence against law enforcement on social media.
  • Fayetteville, NC— Lacy Kornegay, 21, made social media posts with threats against an ethnic group and listed someone else’s address to lead a reader to someone else’s home.
  • San Diego, CA—bank employee Arlando Henderson, 29, is arrested by the FBI in December of 2019 after stealing over $88,000 from the bank’s vault. He posted multiple pictures of himself with stacks of cash on both Facebook and Instagram. He used some of the money to put a down payment on a new luxury vehicle, and committed loan fraud to pay the balance.

Last year, the FBI admitted that it searched through social media to try and identify “potential flashpoints for violence.”

Even if your settings are “private,” it’s not uncommon for law enforcement to connect with someone on your friend’s list to obtain evidence. Witnesses can also provide evidence from a social media page.

But doesn’t this come under free speech? Yes, it does—and it’s placed online for the world to see. Therefore, law enforcement may not need a warrant to get it, since discussing anything on social media is no different than discussing it in any public place.

A Real-Life Case

On 9/10/2012, a grand jury indicted Antonio Delontay Ford of involuntary manslaughter and obstruction of justice in the death of Eugene Cameron. The matter went to trial on 7/23/2014, and he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

In State Of NC vs. Ford (No. COA15-75, filed in the appellate court, 2/16/2016), the defendant appealed a decision based on the unlawful introduction of some of his social media postings from his MySpace page. The page included pictures of his dog, a pit bull named “DMX,” which attacked and killed Cameron unprovoked.

Neighbors reported previous encounters with this dog, including three incidents of bites. The dog was known to be vicious, and it had been allowed to run through the neighborhood unsecured and unsupervised. The owner of the home where Cameron was found suggested to detectives that they speak with next-door neighbor Ford, a dog owner.

Detectives questioned Ford, he admitted that DMX was his. DNA analysis of both the victim and DMX showed that the dog was responsible for Cameron’s injuries that led to his death.

The night before the trial, a detective discovered Ford’s MySpace page. In addition to pictures and videos of the dog, the page contained a video captioned, “DMX tha Killer Pit.” A second video contained the caption, “After a Short Fight, he killed that mut.”  One picture bore the description, “undefeated.” Screenshots of several videos were submitted into evidence, and a rap song sung by the defendant was played for the jury. The song was posted on his Myspace page, and the lyrics denied that the dog was the cause of death.

In his appeal, Ford stated that the court erred in submitting his rap song about the dog, evidence from his online presence, and committed an error in admitting opinion testimony. He attempted to stop the admission of his rap song as evidence but was denied. The jury heard the rap song in its entirety, including racial epithets and other profanities. Ford contended that the content offended the jury, which caused them to overlook the “holes in the State’s case.” Conversely, the prosecution showed that not only did Ford know that DMX was a dangerous and vicious animal, but he was also proud of it. Ford’s social media supported this assertion.

The court disagreed with Ford’s appeal:

“Pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes, section 8C-1, Rule 402, “[a]ll relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United States, by the Constitution of North Carolina, by Act of Congress, by Act of the General Assembly or by these rules. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 8C-1, Rule 402 (2013)

Your Criminal Defense Counsel In Raleigh

If you’ve been charged with a crime—any crime—the first thing to do is stay off social media, and avoid posting anything until you speak with a criminal defense attorney.

Even as a misdemeanor, any type of conviction can have long-ranging consequences that impact your life, including a permanent criminal record.

If you’ve been arrested and are facing any kind of criminal charges, call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us using our online contact form.

Facts and Penalties for DUID in North Carolina

While much attention is focused on the problem of alcohol-related driving and accidents, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) offers another possibility for arrest.

North Carolina law prohibits the operation of any motor vehicle while under the influence of “an impairing substance.” This includes alcohol as well as many types of drugs, some of which are legal.

Chapter 14(a) of the North Carolina statute states:

Alcohol, a controlled substance under Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, any other drug or psychoactive substance capable of impairing a person’s physical or mental faculties, or any combination of these substances.

The statute is far-reaching enough to include both legal and illegal drugs as well as alcohol.  North Carolina General Statutes Section 20-381.1 also states that an individual does not necessarily have to be intoxicated by a specific drug, only that the person has a Schedule 1 drug in his or her system at the time they were driving. However, the wide reach of the law may also include individuals who have chronic conditions that require certain types of drugs that could mimic the chemical structure of Schedule 1 substances.

Illegal Drugs

Facts and Penalties for DUID in North CarolinaThe usual Schedule 1 drugs are covered here:

  • Marijuana
  • Opiates such as heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Synthetic marijuana substances
  • Amphetamines and other stimulants
  • Other street drugs

Under other circumstances, these drugs also have other charges that could be levied. But during a traffic stop, they are not detectible with a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test.

Prescribed Drugs

Because of the state’s definition of a “psychoactive substance,” a range of drugs that are regularly and legally prescribed by a physician can also cause a DUID charge, including:

  • Antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs
  • Opiates prescribed as pain medications (i.e., Oxycontin, morphine, etc.)
  • Prescription antihistamines
  • Sedatives, such as Valium

This is just a shortlist of the many medications that can cause you to be impaired while driving.

Taking medication in a doctor’s office with the understanding that it could impair your ability to drive is not a defense and holds you to the same standard as someone driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. Law enforcement is also allowed to order chemical tests to detect drugs in the system.

Over The Counter Medications

You’ve probably seen the warning labels on medications about not operating heavy machinery while taking it. That’s because some drugs such as antihistamines (allergy medications) and cold and flu treatments (i.e., Nyquil, Theraflu) can make you tired and drowsy.

Over the counter (OTC) sleep treatments can be natural formulas such as melatonin and valerian, or they can be a combination of antihistamines and Diphenhydramine HCL (such as Unisom.) Other medications that cause fatigue include diarrhea/nausea medications. Some of these medications can leave you with drowsiness in the morning, just in time for you to head to work or school.

But even though you may consider them “safe” because they are readily available at any pharmacy, they can still cause you legal problems if you are in an accident while taking one of them.

Drug Interference

When taking prescription or OTC medications, it’s important to understand how they affect you before you ever get behind the wheel. This is particularly true of medications with warnings about drowsiness.

If you take more than one, it’s possible that the drug interaction can also cause drowsiness or even cause you to fall asleep while driving. Discuss your prescriptions and OTC meds with your doctor if you find yourself with the slightest bit of tiredness. It’s possible that they should be taken at different times of the day to avoid this side effect.

Consuming alcohol can also exacerbate the effects of a “sleepytime” medication if it’s taken around the same time. It may be wise to avoid alcohol altogether to prevent the interaction that could put you at risk of an accident, as well as avoiding the drug if possible to avoid times when you would be driving.

Penalties For DUID

Much like a DUI for alcohol, DUID can bring equally harsh penalties including:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment
  • License suspension of a year or more
  • Court costs
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Dramatic increase in car insurance rates
  • Vehicle seizures for habitual offenders

North Carolina has five levels of severity for DUI charges, from 1 through 5, with 1 being the most serious. Subsequent instances of DUI/DUID bring increased penalties, including a mandatory minimum jail time of one year, which can’t be suspended or waived.

Much like an alcohol-related conviction, a DUID means you’ll face other, more serious consequences, including issues with employment.

Call Raleigh’s Experienced DUID Attorney, Dewey P. Brinkley

Dewey P. Brinkley is a Raleigh attorney who can aggressively defend you against DUID charges and protect your rights in court. He will work with you to review all the evidence in your case and ensure that you have a fair trial.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your DUI case at (919) 832-0307. You can also use our online contact form.

Can You Be Charged For Possessing Drug Paraphernalia Without Any Drugs Present In Raleigh, NC?

During a routine traffic stop, a police officer finds that you’re in possession of some small, self-sealing clear plastic bags that are commonly used to hold jewelry and other small handmade items. Inexpensive, and purchased at a local craft store chain, they’re sold in packages of 150 and are available in sizes from 1½” x 2” to 4” x 6”.

But the officer doesn’t buy your explanation of your jewelry making business for craft shows and an Etsy store online, calling them “baggies.” Now, you’re facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia. What just happened?

Defining Drug Paraphernalia

In a literal sense, nearly anything that can be used in the production, packaging, or use of a drug can be considered “drug paraphernalia,” including everyday items like the aforementioned small plastic bags. The prosecutor must also prove that these items were intended for a drug-related use.

If the officer discovered drugs or drug residue on an item, this charge will generally accompany another one. Other ordinary items that could be considered drug paraphernalia include:

Can You Be Charged For Possessing Drug Paraphernalia Without Any Drugs Present In Raleigh, NC?

  • Plastic food storage bags of any size with a zipper-lock (i.e., “baggies”)
  • Scales of any kind, including kitchen food scales to measure small amounts
  • Items that can be used in drug processing such as:
    • Bowls
    • Blenders and other mixing tools
    • Spoons
    • Containers, such as balloons, envelopes, capsules and other items for compounding
    • Small-scale containers for storing
  • Containers used to store and/or conceal controlled substances

Other items that are considered drug paraphernalia include:

  • Pipes used for inhaling
  • Grinders
  • Bongs
  • Rolling papers (which can also be used for tobacco)
  • Planting/cultivation kits and equipment, including grow lights
  • Separation gins and sifters (to clean and remove twigs and seeds from marijuana)
  • Hypodermic syringes and needles for injecting controlled substances
  • Objects that assist with ingesting controlled substances, such as pipes and masks

The North Carolina Drug Paraphernalia Act has a complete listing of these items, as well as a description of different related charges.


Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by a jail term of 120 days and possibly fine at the judge’s discretion. However, this also depends on one’s past criminal history.

This charge is frequently combined with other drug-related charges, such as:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.)
  • Sale/intent to sell and deliver
  • Drug cultivation
  • Drug manufacturing
  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug distribution

A charge of marijuana paraphernalia (items used with marijuana consumption) is a Class 3 misdemeanor with lesser penalties.

Even though possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. A criminal defense attorney can defend you against the charge or charges, as well as:

  • Challenge the circumstances of the search and arrest
  • Request the search warrant involved
  • Request if the officer had reason to believe that the items were used with or intended for use with drugs
  • Ensure that your rights are protected in court

Your charges may be dropped or reduced when your defense attorney raises these defenses.

Contact Dewey P. Brinkley For Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Raleigh

If you’ve been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, call us! It’s important to have strong legal counsel to help you fight the charges. Going to court without legal representation raises the odds that you will lose your case and see jail time that will affect every aspect of your life.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial. He has considerable experience defending those charged with drug-related offenses and works for the best possible outcome. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation.

How Serious Are Drug Related Charges In Raleigh, NC?

More than 45% of imprisoned people in the US are in jail because of drug charges, about half a million people nationwide, roughly one in five. Drug charges are also one of the main reasons for incarceration in North Carolina.

When most people think of drug charges, they usually think of felony charges such as production and distribution. But since North Carolina law contains very harsh penalties for drug charges, even a misdemeanor can be a serious offense.

Types Of Charges

How Serious Are Drug Related Charges In Raleigh, NC?Generally, North Carolina has two types of drug charges: trafficking and possession, which are also graded by the type of drug involved. Possession is a lesser charge than trafficking, but both can carry very strict penalties, including fines. Possession of drug paraphernalia is also a reason you can be arrested, even if you have no drugs at the time of your arrest.

Misdemeanors are usually considered “minor,” such as simple possession of marijuana, and can lead to smaller fines and the potential for short jail sentences for first offenses. However, subsequent misdemeanors can bring additional jail time.

Charges and jail time are also related to the amount of a drug on your person at the time of your arrest. For instance, if you are carrying less than 28 grams of cocaine, a Schedule II drug, you’ll be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, and can spend six to twelve months in jail. But if you have more than 28 grams of cocaine, you’ll be charged with drug trafficking instead, which can also lead to federal charges, steeper fines and much longer jail sentences.

Schedule of Drugs

North Carolina divides drugs up into schedules, set out by the Controlled Substances Act. At the top of the schedule is Schedule 1 for the most serious of drugs that have no medical use and a high risk of abuse and addiction (opiates, ecstasy, and others) and are charged as a Class 1 Felony. On the bottom, Schedule VI drugs are a Class 3 Misdemeanor, and are for low-level substances such as marijuana and hashish, with a lower potential for addiction and abuse.

However, even small amounts of marijuana are grounds for arrest, and a misdemeanor conviction can lead to jail time, as little as 30 days or as long as six months. Felony drug charges can mean years of prison time, as well as high fines.

Consequences Of Drug Charges

An arrest and conviction for drug charges can lead to serious consequences, including:

  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of professional licensure (i.e., doctor, nurse, lawyer, pilot, etc.)
  • Difficulty finding employment
  • Difficulty finding housing (i.e., renting an apartment)
  • Inability to obtain federal benefits such as student financial aid for tuition and housing assistance
  • Child custody issues, including loss of visitation

Anywhere you are asked, you will be required to state that you have an arrest record, even for a misdemeanor.

Prior drug arrests can also increase fines and jail sentences. Convictions will permanently disrupt your life, and prevent you from seeking and accepting opportunities that you might have had otherwise.

Having a Raleigh drug charge defense attorney to represent you will ensure that you receive a fair trial. If you’re innocent, it’s vital that you are represented in court by an experienced lawyer who can mount an aggressive defense and ensure that your rights are protected.

Dewey P. Brinkley For Drug Related Charges in Raleigh

North Carolina drug laws are complex, and no two cases are alike. Handling drug charges yourself, without legal representation, increases your chance of losing your case and potentially receiving considerable jail time. No matter what kind of drug charges you’re facing, it’s important to have strong legal representation when you’re facing a judge and possible jail time.

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. He has considerable experience defending those charged with drug offenses and works for the best possible outcome. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation.

How Are The New Marijuana Drug Laws Affecting Those With Past Drug Convictions?

Have you been charged with or convicted of possession small amounts of marijuana in the past? If so, you may be interested to learn about the latest in marijuana drug law changes.

The legalization of marijuana in some states creates a quandary: if marijuana is now legal, what does it mean for people with past convictions, especially for small amounts? New Yorkers are currently asking this same question.

NC State House Bill 766

Even with the legalization of both medical and recreational use in several states, North Carolina still considers marijuana possession a crime for which you can be arrested. Possession of a half-ounce or less is decriminalized but incurs a fine of $200.

Hemp is decriminalized only for medicinal use by patients with intractable epilepsy, the type that does not respond to medication and treatment.

However, House Bill 766 that was introduced in 2019 aims to change that just a little. If passed, it would decriminalize four ounces or less for personal use, and anything under 16 ounces would become a misdemeanor. (Currently, possession of 1½ ounces to 16 ounces is a Class 1 felony offense.) The bill would also allow for expunctions (removal) of criminal records related to “certain convictions for possession” of marijuana.

Under another bill, Senate Bill 58, if you have a prior conviction for less than 3 ounces, and no additional aggravating circumstances, a criminal defense attorney can file a petition for expungement with the court that issued the conviction. If the DA and your probation officer agree (or do not contest,) the judge will likely sign and approve it.

The idea behind these bills is to clear out a number of criminal records and relieve a large number of people from criminal records for small amounts of marijuana purchased for personal use.

One other bill regarding the revamping of North Carolina’s marijuana laws was introduced recently, House Bill 401, the “Enact Medical Cannabis Act.” Unfortunately, all three of revisionist bills are currently stuck in committee.

Cook County, IL—Reparations For Past Convictions

The state of Illinois has a new law that takes effect on January 1, 2020 that allows residents over the age of 21 to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis (just over one ounce.) Individuals with convictions of 30 to 500 grams (just over 17½) ounces of cannabis can petition the court to have their conviction expunged.

Cook County’s partnership with Code For America, a nonprofit organization, to expedite the expungement process by sifting through thousands of records to find the individuals convicted of less than 30 grams. Using their Clear My Record service (at no charge to the county), they will sort through records and complete the paperwork necessary for prosecutors to submit to judges for expungement. Code For America is dedicated to helping state and local governments better serve their constituents through the use of updated technology.

This means that for thousands of individuals in Cook County, old convictions for small amounts will be removed from their records as well as law enforcement databases. This will allow these individuals the opportunities that they were previously prevented from accessing, such as education, housing, and certain types of employment.

The Disparity Of The Green Economy

The irony of the new “green economy” is that while people around the US are able to take advantage of some of marijuana and hemp’s medicinal benefits, others are sitting in jail for possession of them for much the same substance. Individuals with these convictions are disproportionately Latino and African-American, and many states have laws that prohibit anyone with a felony drug conviction from entering the legal cannabis industry.

Additionally, legal marijuana companies have another question to answer: whether they should hire an individual with a prior conviction for marijuana. Another ironic twist is that this escalating industry can benefit from the experience of the individuals who previously handled it.

Changes in state laws throughout the nation could bring more experience and expertise into the green economy for the benefit of everyone, as well as open up more job opportunities.

Defense For Marijuana Charges

Even a small amount of marijuana can have lifelong implications, whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or a felony drug charge. That’s why it’s vital to have the best defense available. A criminal defense attorney experienced in marijuana cases can defend you in court.

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.


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.


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.