12Jul, 2017

Guide to the Penalties for Trafficking Drugs in North Carolina
Posted By: Michael Schlossser

Guide to the Penalties for Trafficking Drugs in North Carolina

There are numerous drug crimes you can be charged with here in North Carolina, including:

  • Possession, selling, distribution, transporting, cultivation, and manufacturing of a multitude of different types of drugs;
  • Possession of paraphernalia;
  • Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery;
  • Maintaining a dwelling or motor vehicle to store drugs; and
  • Trafficking

While all drug charges should be taken seriously, trafficking is one of the more serious crimes. Our state has even come up with its own guidelines for drug trafficking offenses instead of using the regular Structured Sentencing grid.

So let’s explore what a drug trafficking charge means here, and what the potential penalties are if you’re convicted of this crime.

What Is Drug Trafficking?

When many people think of drug trafficking, they automatically assume that drugs are being transported from one place to another. While that could possibly be part of a drug trafficking charge, the actual crime of trafficking relies more on the amount of the controlled substance – in this case, a large amount – in addition to selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing it.

For example, if you’re caught with one gram of cocaine, you will only be charged with possession of cocaine, whereas if you’re caught with 28 grams or more, you can be charged with trafficking.

Drug Trafficking Sentencing

Because North Carolina takes drug trafficking crimes so seriously, there are a number of drug trafficking guidelines when it comes to punishment.

On top of the actual prison terms and fines, drug trafficking offenders cannot be put on probation unless the defendant has provided substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of another drug crime offender.

All drug trafficking offenses are felonies, but the class of felony is dependent on the type of drug and the amount of the drug. Let’s look at a few of the most common drugs that are trafficked in our state, along with the penalties they carry.

North Carolina Drug Trafficking Lawyer

Marijuana

  • 10 to 49 pounds: Class H felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $5,000 and 25 to 39 months in jail.
  • 50 to 1,999 pounds: Class G felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $25,000 and 35 to 51 months in jail.
  • 2,000 to 9,999 pounds: Class F felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $50,000 and 70 to 93 months in jail.

Cocaine

  • 28 to 199 grams: Class G felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $50,000 and 35 to 51 months in jail.
  • 200 to 399 grams: Class F felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $100,000 and 70 to 93 months in jail.
  • 400 or more grams: Class D felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $250,000 and 175 to 200 months in jail.

 Methamphetamine

  • 28 to 199 grams: Class F felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $50,000 and 70 to 90 months in jail.
  • 200 to 399 grams: Class E felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $100,000 and 90 to 120 months in jail.
  • 400 or more grams: Class C felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $250,000 and 225 to 282 months in jail.

 Opium or Heroin

  • 4 to 13 grams: Class F felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $50,000 and 70 to 90 months in jail.
  • 14 to 27 grams: Class E felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $100,000 and 90 to 120 months in jail.
  • 28 or more grams: Class C felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $500,000 and 225 to 282 months in jail.

LSD

  • 100 to 499 units: Class G felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $25,000 and 35 to 51 months in jail.
  • 500 to 999 units: Class F felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $50,000 and 70 to 93 months in jail.
  • 1,000 or more units: Class D felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $200,000 and 175 to 200 months in jail.

MDMA

  • 28 to 199 grams: Class G felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $25,000 and 35 to 51 months in jail.
  • 200 to 399 grams: Class F felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $50,000 and 70 to 93 months in jail.
  • 400 or more grams: Class D felony punishable by a mandatory fine of $250,000 and 175 to 200 months in jail.

Greensboro Drug Lawyer

As you can see, our state follows very specific and strict guidelines when it comes to drug trafficking offenses. A conviction not only means expensive fines and lengthy jail terms, but it can affect all aspects of your life. That’s why it’s essential to reach out to an experienced North Carolina drug trafficking attorney who can help you defend your rights and get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed

 

About the Author:


Jan Elliott Pritchett
 is Managing Partner at the Law Firm of Schlosser & Pritchett and one of North Carolina’s top rated criminal defense attorneys. With a practice dedicated 100% to litigation, Mr. Pritchett protects the legal rights of clients who have been charged in federal and state criminal matters, as well as DUI/DWi, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, and traffic violations. In practice since 1995, Mr. Pritchett has earned a reputation as a highly talented and fearless lawyer, being listed among the state’s “Legal Elite” and recognized as one of the Top 100 DWI Lawyers in North Carolina by the National Advocacy of DUI Defense.  He currently serves as the Co-Chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Legal Specialization, Criminal Law Specialty, and Vice-Chairman of the North Carolina Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section.