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What are the penalties for drug crimes in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Drug crimes |

In North Carolina, the possession or distribution of any controlled substance is illegal. If a court finds you guilty of a drug crime, a judge may impose sanctions to discourage future offenses.

The state has structured sentencing, with judges imposing harsher penalties for more severe offenses. Other factors that may impact the severity of the punishment include the number of prior convictions and the circumstances of the crime.

Penalties for drug crimes

Being in possession of Schedule I substances, such as hallucinogens or LSD, may result in a five-year prison sentence and a fine. Meanwhile, the distribution of these drugs has a maximum penalty of 10 long years of jail time.

A misdemeanor charge involving the possession of Schedule II drugs has a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a fine. However, a court may impose a longer prison sentence if the number of drugs found on you exceeds a certain amount. For example, if authorities find more than one gram of cocaine in your possession, you are facing a felony charge and could be jailed for up to five years.

Aside from cocaine, substances under this category include codeine, morphine, amphetamines and other opium derivatives. In North Carolina, it is a felony to distribute these medications, and the maximum penalty for this offense is ten years in prison.

A court may also punish you with jail time or a fine if you possess or sell barbiturates or marijuana. It is also illegal to distribute compounds that contain limited amounts of codeine or opium.

Know your rights if you’re facing a drug charge

A drug change can change your life and damage your reputation. If you face a drug charge in North Carolina, you have the right to hire a lawyer. An experienced attorney may help negotiate a lighter sentence for you in court.