Raleigh, North Carolina is an amazing city of nearly 500,000 citizens. Recently, though, they had over 12,000 arrests for marijuana, cocaine, synthetic drugs, heroin, and other illegal substances.
Are certain prescription drugs considered controlled substances? What happens if you’re arrested and charged with possession?
What are the different charges you can get when convicted? How do the penalties associated with the charges affect your life?
Here’s a guide to North Carolina drug laws to keep you informed of what’s going on in your state.
Six Schedules of Drugs
Drug schedules are categories that outline their uses. The categories are defined by medicinal use, the potential for abuse, and the potential for dependency.
North Carolina laws on controlled substances have six different schedules. In order, they are:
Schedule I: Illegal to possess, use, and/or sell as they are highly addictive and have no medicinal use
Schedules II – V: These drugs are typically medicines prescribed by a doctor, like Vicodin or Xanax. You can possess them with a note from a doctor, but can’t sell them.
Schedule VI: For North Carolina, marijuana falls into a sixth category. The law views it as having no medicinal use yet a low possibility of abuse.
Now that you understand drug schedules, let’s look at the offenses.
Categories of Drug Offenses
There are two types of drug offenses: trafficking and possession. Penalties are stronger for trafficking, but there are other factors that go into figuring out offenses.
For example, the schedule and amount of substance determine the harshness of the penalty issued. Intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia, and having a vehicle or home for distribution plays a role too.
Distribution of Penalties
What kind of penalty can you expect? North Carolina drug penalties have a lot of different factors that affect them.
Schedule I drugs receive the harshest penalties. It’s considered a felony and will result in prison time for offenders.
For schedules II through VI, the first offense is considered a misdemeanor. While not as strong as a felony, you should still expect up to a month in jail.
For second offenses, you can expect to get a felony for most schedules of drugs. Schedules V and VI are still considered misdemeanors on the second offense, though.
For those that are convicted of trafficking marijuana, the offense gets bumped up to a felony.
North Carolina Drug Laws Effect
Being convicted of possession, trafficking, or anything else can have a huge impact on your life. All penalties carry with them jail time, which potentially leads to the loss of your job.
The ability to receive housing assistance or financial aid can be taken from you if you’re convicted of a felony.
Being convicted of possession or trafficking sets in motion a domino affect that can impact you your entire life. It pays to obey North Carolina drug laws.
If you’re arrested on drug charges and need bail, it can be a scary, difficult time. Reach out to us today to get all the facts from one of our agents.