Drug Charges Attorney in Gastonia, North Carolina
One-third of the more than 100,000 felony charges in North Carolina each year are drug-related. There are also more than 100,000 more drug-related offenses charged as misdemeanors. Misdemeanor or felony, guilty or innocent, a conviction can destroy your life.
If you have been confronted with drug charges, this is no time to face them on your own. You need an experienced, tenacious criminal defense attorney in your corner.
I began my legal career prosecuting drug crimes. At The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, I use that knowledge and experience to defend clients facing misdemeanor and felony drug charges, striving for the best result available. If you have been charged in Gastonia, North Carolina, or the surrounding areas of Charlotte, Lincolnton, or Hickory, put me in your corner today.
When is a Drug Crime a Federal Offense?
It is against federal law to manufacture, distribute, or possess controlled substances, or to intend to commit any of these actions. The threshold for being charged by the state of North Carolina or facing federal charges is typically determined by such factors as crossing state lines, the amount of drugs in question, and the commission of drug crimes on federal property.
Common Drug Charges in North Carolina
There are four broad drug-charge categories in North Carolina. State law prohibits all of the following drug-related activities:
Manufacture: Possessing chemicals or cultivating plans needed to make drugs or completing the manufacturing process of drugs.
Delivery: Delivery or distribution is giving drugs to someone else, selling them, or intending to do so.
Selling: Possessing more drugs than what may be assumed for personal use. If you have more than what would be used personally, the assumption is that you plan to sell the rest.
Possession: Having or using illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.
Drug Schedule Classifications in North Carolina
North Carolina places controlled substances into six categories — called “schedules” — based on the likelihood of abuse, the likelihood of developing a dependency on them, and whether they have any medical value if used legally. The lower the schedule number, the more serious the substances, because they are often abused, users become dependent on them, and they lack any medical benefit.
Following are some examples of what is included in each of the six schedules:
Schedule I: MDA, LSD, quaaludes, heroin, and peyote
Schedule II: Opium and opium extracts, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, Percocet, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and hydrocodone
Schedule III: Amobarbital, codeine-based cough suppressants, and anabolic steroids
Schedule IV: Darvocet, Valium, Librium, lonamin, and other barbiturates, narcotics, and stimulants
Schedule V: Cough medicines containing small amounts of codeine, atropine, and opium
Schedule VI: Marijuana, hash, and THC
Potential Penalties for Drug Convictions
How you may be penalized if found guilty is based on the schedule classification of the drug, the amount involved, whether there is intent to sell or distribute, and criminal history.
A felony conviction for heroin possession could result in up to five years in prison and a fine. A conviction for heroin trafficking doubles the potential incarceration penalty.
A misdemeanor conviction for possession of less than one-half of an ounce of marijuana could result in up to 30 days in jail and a $100 fine. Trafficking marijuana is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine.
Choose a Skilled Attorney
North Carolina is tough on drug-related crimes. Even a misdemeanor conviction can harm your employment, put professional licenses at risk, bar you from applying for jobs in certain fields such as education and law enforcement, and ruin personal relationships. Most of all, drug convictions can take away your freedom.
Drug Charges Attorney
Serving Gastonia, North Carolina
As a former prosecutor of drug crimes, I have unique insight into how people are convicted of them. In turn, I have unique insight in knowing how to defend my clients against them. If you are facing drug charges in Gastonia, Charlotte, Lincolnton, or Hickory, North Carolina, call me at The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks for help today.