What to Do After a Drug Possession Arrest in North Carolina
Drug possession crimes are serious charges and could lead to severe consequences in your life and on your record. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, on average, someone in the United States is arrested every eight minutes for a drug offense. It is crucial to have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in your corner.
With offices in Fayetteville, Lumberton, and Durham, NC, trust the attorneys at Cotton Law Firm to be your trusted criminal defense lawyers. Contact us today.
What Are the Types of Offenses & Schedules of Drugs in NC?
In North Carolina, drug charges are based on multiple factors. The type of drug and its classification, the quantity, and the intent to sell or distribute are all crucial determiners of the charge. Additionally, where the act occurs within proximity to a school may be an additional charge.
There are six schedules of drugs in North Carolina. They are ranked based on characteristics such as how much risk they are to the public, pharmacological effects, and addiction potential. Schedule I drugs are the most addictive, not used medicinally, and have the highest potential to risk the lives of yourself and others. Schedule VI drugs pose a low threat to public health and a low risk of abuse.
Schedule I drugs include highly addictive and mind-altering substances. Common Schedule I drugs include heroin, morphine, and mescaline. The first possession offense is considered a felony and can lead to imprisonment.
Schedule II drugs include highly addictive pain medications and stimulants. Schedule II drugs include opium, oxycodone, fentanyl, methamphetamines, and amphetamines. The first possession offense is considered a misdemeanor; however, subsequent violations will result in felonious charges. These charges can lead to a few weeks to a month in jail.
Schedule III substances include sedatives like barbiturates and ketamine and more significant amounts of the pain medication codeine. The first possession offense is considered a misdemeanor; however, subsequent offenses will result in felonious charges. These charges can lead to a few weeks to a month in jail.
Schedule IV drugs consist of a mix of stimulants and depressants. Common Schedule IV drugs include Xanax and Cathine. The first possession offense is considered a misdemeanor. However, subsequent violations will result in felonious charges. These charges can lead to a few weeks to a month in jail.
Schedule V drugs consist of small amounts of codeine and larger quantities of over-the-counter medications. The first and second offenses of possession will result in misdemeanors.
Schedule V drugs include marijuana, hashish, and synthetic cannabinoids primarily. The first and second offenses of possession will result in misdemeanors. However, it is essential to note that the trafficking of marijuana is a felony charge.
If you have any questions about the different schedules of drugs, the potential punishment for the crime, and how they apply to you or a loved one’s drug crimes case, consult with the attorneys at Cotton Law Firm.
What You Need to Do After a Drug Possession Charge
1. Know Your Rights
Know your rights when it comes to a possession charge. Many individuals believe that liability in the case is absolved if the drugs or paraphernalia are discovered in a home, vehicle, or apartment that is not yours. That is not the case.
Additionally, even if you have obtained the drugs from a state where they are legal, it is not a legal defense to drug crimes in North Carolina.
2. Hire A Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney
Knowing your rights when interacting with law enforcement and in the case of a possession charge is essential. Understand that anything you say may be used against you, so do not incriminate yourself further.
Hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney that prioritizes your rights and freedom. If you seek expert defense attorneys in Lumberton, Durham, or Fayetteville, NC, do not hesitate to contact Cotton Law Firm.
Learn More About Drug Laws in NC
Many individuals are charged with severe punishments for drug offenses in the United States. In 2020, the number of arrests in the U.S. for drug law violations was over one million. Having a competent and effective criminal defense attorney in your corner is more essential than ever.
If you or a loved one requires an attorney for drug possession crimes in Durham, Lumberton, or Fayetteville, NC, contact Cotton Law Firm today for an initial consultation.