Drug crimes are not taken lightly. Drug trafficking charges are the most severe drug charges that a person could face. Penalties for these charges could include lengthy prison terms, hefty fines, and a lifelong criminal record that can impact employment, housing, and much more. In many states, drug trafficking encompasses the large-scale cultivation, distribution, or sale of controlled substances. However, in North Carolina, some instances of simple possession could be considered a trafficking charge.
In addition to prosecution at the state level, drug trafficking charges often lead to federal charges as well. These carry additional penalties on top of any you may receive from the state. For a conviction at either level, you could be found guilty for simply conspiring or attempting the crime as opposed to actually committing it.
Drug trafficking charges in North Carolina can be confusing and vague. If you are facing charges for drug trafficking, you should seek the help of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. At Doug Edwards Law, we are ready to help defend you at both the state and federal level. You deserve a defense team that looks out for your best interests. Our team is ready to work towards your acquittal, your reduction in charges, or an outright dismissal of your case.
For drug trafficking charges in North Carolina, there does not have to be any evidence there was intent to distribute or transport drugs. Many drug trafficking charges stem from possession. To be convicted of drug trafficking, there must be proof that you sold, delivered, or possessed drugs knowingly and intentionally.
To be charged with drug trafficking, you must possess at least:
These amounts would result in minimal felony charges for drug trafficking. As the quantity of drugs in possession grows, so does the felony classification.
Every alleged crime is surrounded by varying circumstances that make the facts of that particular case unique. Because there are many variables, drug trafficking charges could be charged as a Class C, D, E, F, G, or H felony. Variability can include the amount of possession, the type of drug in possession, and the intent. Convictions for these felonies will range from 2 years in prison up to 18 years and include fines of up to $250,000.
In addition to the large fines and lengthy prison sentences, a conviction has lifelong consequences. This can include difficulty finding a job or housing, losing your right to vote, and being disqualified from certain government assistance programs.
Not only could you face state-level charges but also federal charges. Under federal legislation, it is a crime to manufacture, distribute, or possess any controlled substances. To be charged under federal laws, considerations of the case must be made, including the amount of drugs in possession, the people involved, whether or not the drugs crossed state lines, and whether any other federal violations occurred.
The penalties you could face for federal charges are much more severe than state-level charges. In addition to longer prison terms and larger fines, there is also no parole available for federal charges. When federal charges are introduced, the case becomes more complex. The process can increase significantly, as can the costs of your case. Your case will require double the work if you do not have an attorney who can represent you in both venues.
People who believed that they would only be charged with simple possession may be surprised to find themselves facing trafficking charges. Unfortunately, possession is enough to bring trafficking charges against you. However, trafficking charges do not mean that you will receive the most severe consequences. Not only do the circumstances of your case play a role, but so does the type of defense your criminal defense attorney chooses to use. There are several common defense strategies for drug trafficking.
Facing drug charges can be extremely difficult, but with the right attorney, you will be able to challenge the charges and ultimately have your charges reduced, dismissed, or acquitted. No matter what difficulties your case faces, the team at Doug Edwards Law is here to help. Call our offices today and let us help you reach the best outcome for your case.