Were You Charged With A Drug Crime?
Charges involving drug possession and intent to sell can be complicated in North Carolina. The quantity, type of controlled substance and circumstances surrounding the incident can make a difference in facing felony or misdemeanor, state or federal drug crime charges.
It’s important that you have an experienced seasoned and, wise criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and defend against these charges in both state and federal court. At Bull & Reinhardt, PLLC, we have more than 45 years of combined experience defending people against such allegations.
Drug Charges And Classifications
The state categorizes a variety of controlled substances based on the threat they pose to the public. Part of that classification involves the addictiveness of the drug. The severity of drug possession or trafficking charges tends to be considered in light of these six “schedules.”
- Schedule I: This class of drugs is considered to pose the greatest public health risk. It includes addictive drugs such as heroin, ecstasy and LSD. These substances tend to have little legitimate medicinal value.
- Schedule II: This class includes opioids, cocaine and amphetamines. The drugs tend to be addictive but retain some medical use.
- Schedule III: These tend to have a lower risk of addiction and moderate abuse. They include steroids and depressants.
- Schedule IV: Generally, drugs such as Valium, sedatives and tranquilizers fall into this group. They have common medical uses when prescribed by a physician.
- Schedule V: Medications such as prescription codeine and Tylenol fall into this category.
- Schedule VI: Low-risk substances, including marijuana, fall into this category.
In terms of possession, Schedule I drugs generally carry felony charges. The other categories may involve misdemeanor charges. However, large quantities open the door to more severe charges based on an “intent to sell” theory. Drug trafficking, distribution and manufacturing usually rise to the felony level and can be charged out as federal offenses.
We also defend college students who have been charged with a drug crime, helping them minimize damage to their education and their future.
Criminal Defense With A Backbone
Any time you are charged with a drug offense, it’s imperative that you have an experienced lawyer to mount a strong defense. The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense. Several defenses can be used, depending on the state’s claims. These may include:
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Medical marijuana exceptions
- Failure to demonstrate possession (e.g., someone else’s medication)
- Inconclusive lab analysis
- Planted drugs