Tag Archives: criminal lawyer

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.

When Does Drug Possession Become A Felony?

If you find yourself facing a drug charge—especially if it’s your first—you may not understand everything that’s involved. There are varying degrees of drug charges based on how much you were found to be in possession of, as well as the type of drug you were carrying.

While it doesn’t take much to trigger a drug charge, it’s always a serious offense, and should never be taken lightly. Instead of a public defender, hiring a experienced Raleigh drug possession defense attorney to defend you may be the difference between jail and probation, or a long sentence vs. a short sentence.

How Will You Be Charged?

When Does Drug Possession Become A Felony?

There are four possible classes of law that may be used:

• Misdemeanor Drug Laws
• Felony Drug Laws
• Felony Drug Trafficking Laws
• Federal Drug Laws and Federal Drug Trafficking Laws

Everything depends on what you were arrested with, how much, and how the substance is classified.

Marijuana Is Still Illegal In North Carolina

Nine US states have legalized marijuana for personal use, and 29 states allow marijuana to be prescribed by a doctor for medicinal use. While medical evidence shows the benefits of cannabis therapy for a number of conditions, North Carolina isn’t in either “pot-friendly” group. You can still be stopped and arrested for its possession and/or distribution in the state, and a “doctor’s note” or prescription is not acceptable as a valid defense.

Class 1/Class 2 Misdemeanor

This includes:

• Possession of drug paraphernalia (N.C.G.S. § 90-113.22): any kind of tools or equipment used in the production, sale, or use of controlled substances.
• Possession of marijuana, up to 1.5 ounces, and may include up to 45 days of jail time.
• Possession of Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV drugs (opioids, codeine, cocaine, marijuana.)

Class 3 Misdemeanor

Very small amounts of marijuana, less than a half-ounce, is called “simple possession of marijuana.” This includes derivatives hashish and hashish oil. Simple possession incurs a $200 fine, but a first offense doesn’t usually include jail time. A second offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which can include 30 days in jail.

Schedule I

Any charge for these substances is a felony on the first arrest. Schedule I is the class of drug that includes:
• Heroin
• Ecstasy
• Methaqualone
• Peyote
• Opiates

Other “harder” drugs may be included. A first arrest for one of these substances is always a felony with at least 4 months of jail time, as is the second.

Schedule II-VI

A first offense for these drugs is a Class 1 misdemeanor charge, but a second offense becomes a Class 1 felony:

• Cocaine
• Raw Opium
• Opium Extracts, Fluid and Powder
• Codeine
• Hydrocodone
• Morphine
• Methadone
• Methamphetamine
• Ritalin
• Ketamine
• Anabolic Steroids
• Some Barbituates
• Valium
• Xanax
• Rohypnol
• Darvon
• Clonazepam
• Barbital

Felony Drug Laws In North Carolina

Harsher penalties are involved with stronger and larger amounts of drugs, turning drug possession into a felony. North Carolina drug felonies are classified as Class G, H, or I, and include:

  • The sale of any Schedule I or Schedule II drugs (Heroin, Opium or Cocaine) are considered Class G felonies.
  • The manufacture of methamphetamine (Meth) is a Class C felony. If “manufacturing” is found to be only packaging and/or labeling meth, it’s a Class H felony.
  •  The sale of Scheduled III, Schedule IV, Schedule V, and Schedule VI drugs are punishable as Class H felonies. This includes marijuana, a Scheduled VI drug; it’s punishable as a Class H felony.
  • Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver (PWISD) of Schedule III through Schedule VI drugs, (except cocaine and heroin), a Class I felony.
  •  Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver (PWISD) or sale of any counterfeit drug, a Class I felony.

Drug Trafficking

Possession, sale, transportation, warehousing or distribution of prohibited substances always comes with prison time. Providing “substantial assistance” to authorities can help reduce your sentence, and the judge has some leeway in sentencing. But you’ll need to speak a lawyer right away in order to ensure that your case is handled properly.

While the laws generally address large amounts of illegal drugs, sometimes the amount involved is relatively small. There are multiple levels of punishment for each type of drug, varying from 2 years (25 months) to more than 18 years in prison. This includes (but isn’t limited to) marijuana, meth, cocaine (crack or powder), heroin/opium, LSD and MDMA.

One would be able to see a  full schedule system of North Carolina’s controlled substances and possession penalties .

Drug Charge Defense

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.