When you’re facing a criminal conviction for drug-related charges, you’ll need the help of a skilled and aggressive legal defense. A drug lawyer in Raleigh can help you clear your name of all charges.
Drug charges have serious consequences, which is why most people facing such accusations will try to do all they may to clear their names before they are convicted. Depending on the gravity and nature of the charges you face, you could be looking at incarceration, fines, drug rehabilitation programs, or other punishments.
But it’s not too late—let a Raleigh drug lawyer review your case while a difference can still be made.
Types of Drug Charges You Could Be Facing
Drug-related charges are some of the most serious you might face in our criminal justice system. The nature and extent of your punishment can be impacted not only by the type of drugs involved, but by the nature of the offense, the quantity of the drug found, and your past criminal record.
Although all drug charges should be considered serious, some charges carry steeper punishments than others. For example, most people facing trafficking charges will seek the help of a drug trafficking lawyer in Raleigh due to the seriousness of those charges. Some examples of drug-related offenses that we are prepared to defend against are:
- Drug or narcotics possession
- Intent to sell illegal drugs
- Sales or delivery of illegal drugs
- Trafficking of illegal drugs
- Manufacturing illegal drugs
- Prescription fraud
How Are Drugs Scheduled in North Carolina?
The drug schedule in North Carolina explains the state’s classification of various illicit substances or drugs according to various factors, including the potential for abuse the drug presents, any accepted medical uses, and the lack of accepted safety for use in settings with medical supervision.
The higher up a drug sits on the state drug schedule, the more serious the charges that are likely to accompany it. The consequences for getting caught in possession of, selling, or committing any illegal activity with an illicit drug will increase the higher up the schedule you go. Some drugs found in each schedule include:
- Schedule I – Opiates, LSD, heroin, ecstasy
- Schedule II – Cocaine, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone
- Schedule III – Chlorhexadol, anabolic steroids, ketamine
- Schedule IV – Illicit stimulants, barbital, xanax
- Schedule V – Over-the-counter products including codeine
- Schedule VI – Marijuana, hash oil, and hashish
What Are the Punishments for Common Drug Crimes?
The punishment for a drug conviction can have serious consequences—even for relatively minor misdemeanors or offenses. Looking at the example of misdemeanor possession of marijuana, the punishment can include up to thirty days of jail time for possession of less than half an ounce. This is considered a Class 3 misdemeanor.
Class 1 misdemeanors, involving marijuana possession up to 1.5 ounces, can result in six months to two years in jail. If you’ve been caught with drug paraphernalia, a separate misdemeanor charge may apply, extending your jail time by anywhere up to two years more.
Felony possession of marijuana kicks in after 1.5 ounces, and may land you between four to six months in jail—the same punishment doled out for offenders caught in possession of schedule I drugs. Other charges that can potentially place you in felony territory include the sale of scheduled drugs, possession with intent to distribute, trafficking, or manufacturing.
Some of these charges could presumptively lead to sentences of several years in prison. In addition to the risk of incarceration and fines, a drug conviction could negatively impact your personal or professional life by making it difficult for you to find work and or housing. A drug possession trusted lawyer in Raleigh will work diligently to build you a strong legal defense.
Possible Defenses Against Drug Charges in Raleigh
Prosecutors are required to prove each element of the state’s case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney might attempt to introduce doubt about the underlying facts into the prosecution’s argument by questioning, for example, the authenticity or ownership of the drugs in question.
In other circumstances, there could be issues with the arrest itself that an attorney could use in your defense. It’s possible that an arresting officer failed to read you your rights, or failed to establish probable cause for pulling your vehicle over.
Regardless of the charges you’re facing, an experienced drug lawyer in Raleigh will investigate all aspects of your case in order to give you the best possible chance of reducing your charges or even beating them entirely.
Raleigh Drug Attorney FAQ
Drug charges can be confusing, and when your future is on the line, you can’t afford to be confused. Check out the questions and answers below to get a closer look at your case, or speak with a lawyer to get case-specific information.
Who decides if a case goes to trial?
In some cases, drug charges don’t have to go to trial. You and your defense attorney can negotiate a plea deal that helps you reduce the charges and sentence you may face for the offense. But your lawyer can also help you defend your case in court, working to get your charges reduced or dismissed completely.
Is it a crime to have drugs in your system?
Although signs of drug use may lead police to suspect you’re in possession of drugs, it doesn’t have the same penalties as possession. Drug use may not be a specific offense, but other offenses like drugged driving can lead to an arrest.
Can you be charged for selling drugs in the past?
Even if you haven’t used drugs in years, drug paraphernalia can still hold traces and residue of drugs from the past. That can be considered possession under the law. Fortunately, a drug attorney can help you fight these charges and get them reduced or dismissed.
Are drug laws state or federal?
Whether drug laws are a state or federal case depends on the details of the charges. For example, if your charges cover multiple states, the case may become a federal one. Because it can be difficult to determine what your case covers, our lawyers are here to help you determine the severity of your charges and your next steps.
What’s the difference between possession and trafficking?
Possession refers to being caught in possession of drugs. Trafficking refers to more than possessing drugs—it includes the making, selling, and distributing of drugs. Because of this, you may face more severe penalties for these charges.
Contact a Drug Lawyer in Raleigh Today
Facing drug charges is a scary, difficult experience. Don’t make the mistake of going in alone. The top-rated drug lawyers at The Chetson Firm can ensure you get the robust legal defense you’re entitled to.
Call 919-352-9411 or fill out the contact form below to schedule a consultation with a Raleigh drug lawyer from our firm today.