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North Carolina Drug Possession Laws

Since the 1980s the United States of America has gone to war against drugs and the Charlotte, North Carolina area is no different. In fact, whether you agree or not, our lawmakers in North Carolina have decided to attack the ever-growing drug problem by increasing the penalties for drug related crimes. As a result, the citizens of the Charlotte, North Carolina area who are facing drug possession charges must take their situation very seriously.

Regardless of the details of a drug possession charge, being arrested for possession of drugs not only wreaks havoc on the offender but also affects all family members and friends. At Remington & Dixon, we have experience representing many clients facing drug charges, and in every instance, we realize that it is not only our client that we are representing, but all of the people who love our client are depending on us as well.

Drug possession charges are a serious offense. As such, you need a law firm that understands just how serious your situation is.

Understanding How Drug Possession Charges Are Organized in the North Carolina

The laws and penalties concerning drug possession are in the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act. Sections 90-89 thru 90-94 define the different categories of drugs and Section 90-95 details the penalties involved with possessing a controlled substance.

The logic behind categorizing drugs into separate levels is the same reasoning used to view accidentally killing someone with a car different from killing a store clerk during a robbery to make sure there are no witnesses. Both scenarios are the same in as much as someone has been killed, however, the law justifiable views the accidental death less serious than the murder of the store clerk. The same is true for drugs. North Carolina’s lawmakers view the possession of certain drugs as less serious than others. As such, separating drugs into categories allows for different punishments for the possession of different drugs.

Schedule I controlled substances are defined in Section 90-89 of the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act and are considered the most dangerous of all the different categories.  North Carolina law defines these drugs as having a very high potential for abuse with no acceptable medical usage. Schedule I drugs include, but are not limited to, mescaline, ecstasy, LSD, and heroin.

Schedule II controlled substances are defined in Section 90-90 of said act and are considered less dangerous than Schedule I and more serious than Schedule III. North Carolina law defines these substances as having a potential for abuse as well as having an acceptable medical use. Moreover, the law says that the abuse of these drugs may lead to severe physical and psychic dependence. Some drugs in this category are cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines, opium and methadone.

Schedule III is defined in Section 90-91. The law says that these drugs have a potential for abuse rather than a high potential as in Schedule I and II. Moreover, the definition of this category states that the abuse of these drugs may lead to moderate or low physical and psychic dependence. This category includes anabolic steroids, some depressants, ketamine, and testosterone.

Schedule IV substances are found in Section 90-92, and these drugs have a low potential for abuse, accepted medical usages, and limited dependency. Drugs in this category include Valium, sedatives, tranquilizers, and Xanax.

Schedule V drugs are found in Section 90-93 which basically states that these drugs have less of a potential for abuse and are less addictive than Schedule IV substances. Drugs in this category include drugs like Tylenol with Codeine.

Schedule VI drugs are found in Section 90-94 which basically says that these drugs have no medical use and a very low risk of dependency. Marijuana is in this category. It is noteworthy how the state of North Carolina does not recognize the medical usage of Marijuana as in other states.

North Carolina Drug Penalties

All drug possession charges except for Schedule I are misdemeanors. Moreover, jail sentences range from 0 days to over one year depending on the Schedule of the substances, the number of prior offenses, and the circumstances involved in the drug offense. Discussing all the sentencing variations is beyond the scope of this article. Nonetheless, the considerable range in penalties and the various factors that come into play highlight the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Defeating a Drug Charge

At Remington & Dixon, our first goal is to have all drug charges dismissed. We do this by using our experience to recognize opportunities to suppress evidence or to capitalize on errors made by the arresting officers either at the time of the arrest or during a subsequent hearing.

Reducing the Drug Charge

If getting the drug charges dismissed is not an option, the attorneys at Remington & Dixon aggressively negotiate with the prosecutor to get drug charges reduced. Not only do you need an experienced attorney to know the laws when negotiating, but you need an attorney that understands the need to represent the best side of their client to the prosecutor. The attorneys at Remington & Dixon know that it is not enough to simply say our client has learned his or her lesson. Instead, we take the time learn about our client’s lives and become aware of the good they have done in their family and community. It is this good that we accentuate when negotiating with the prosecution.

Negotiating the Best Sentence Possible

Many times, it becomes impossible to get the charges dismissed or reduced. When this happens, the attorneys at Remington & Dixon use the same negotiating strategy described above in seeking a sentence with no jail time or as little jail time as possible.

What to Expect from Remington & Dixon

At Remington & Dixon, our skilled Charlotte, NC criminal defense attorneys fight hard for our clients. Our goal is to get our clients past this period in their life as quickly and painlessly as possible. Moreover, we constantly communicate with our clients to see what deal they are hoping for and what deal will they accept. And, if no deal is acceptable, we have plenty of experience in taking a criminal defense case to the jury.

At Remington & Dixon, we do not charge for the initial consultation. So, if you or someone you know is facing drug charges, you have nothing to lose by telling us your story and listening to us tell you about our experience.

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