Different Schedules of Drugs in North Carolina
All controlled substances in North Carolina, both prescription and illegal drugs, are classified in the North Carolina General Statutes according to “schedules,” which describes their dangerousness and the need to be more tightly controlled. For example, Marijuana is listed as a Schedule VI drug, which is the lowest level of controlled substance, while heroin and fentanyl are listed as Schedule I controlled substances.
Misdemeanor drug offenses and even some felony drug charges might be able to be dismissed under certain conditions, specifically, for a first offense, and if a person takes drug education classes or performs community service by agreement with the District Attorney’s office.
Charging Decisions in North Carolina
All drug offense charging decisions are based on the total weight or amount of the drugs found to be in a person’s possession, meaning that the more you have, the more serious the charge will be. Certain drugs in higher schedules will automatically be charged as a felony, like cocaine or MDMA or heroin.
You could be charged with Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver (PWISD) or sell/deliver if the substances are packaged for individual sale, or if they exceed the amount that is allowed under the statute for regular possession offenses. Your prior record level at the time of a conviction will determine if you are eligible for probation, a split sentence (part jail/part probation), or a straight active prison sentence. If you are found to be in possession of a large quantity of a controlled substance, your case could be charged as “trafficking” in that substance. Trafficking offenses come with more severe consequences, such as mandatory prison terms, high fines, and forfeitures of any seized items (including cash) that were taken by law enforcement at the time of your arrest.
Our goals vary based on each individual case, but we always strive to reduce the severity of any drug offense our clients are charged with, and to seek any option that would allow for a pathway to a dismissal for our clients.