Being arrested for drugs in the state of North Carolina can be complicated. There are many laws on how you can be charged, the severity of the charge and what happens to you thereafter.
What makes the difference in the charges and penalties all revolves around the types of drugs and how much you have on your person at the time of arrest. We’re sure that what you really want to know is how soon you can be released from jail and if you’ll have to return.
Until an attorney is involved, you won’t know your fate in the criminal justice system. Before being found guilty, you may be allowed to leave jail on bond. Read on to find out the differences in drug charges and what can possibly happen based on state law.
Arrested for Drugs: A Misdemeanor
First off, let’s figure out what a misdemeanor charge is. A misdemeanor is any offense that carries a penalty of a fine and/or less than a year in jail. They are typically tried in the lowest level court.
If arrested for a misdemeanor charge, no matter if it is a Class 1, 2, or 3, you had a small amount of a schedule II, III, or IV drug or an amount of marijuana less than 1.5 ounces. Your sentence depends on your criminal history and what your attorney negotiates with the judge.
A felony is clearly a much more serious crime than a misdemeanor and the penalties are more severe. Typically you will deal with two classes of felonies when you are arrested for drugs: G and H. The biggest difference between the two is the seriousness of the offense and if anyone was hurt or injured.
When the district attorney is deciding on which class of felony to charge you with, he will take into consideration the amount and type of drug that you were arrested with. Both are still punishable by a year or more in prison as well as fines and court costs, but this isn’t set in stone.
Keep in mind that the sentence can sometimes be pleaded down so you can participate in substance abuse counseling, community service, or both. Remember, as with any felony, a conviction means loss of second amendment and voting rights.
Possession of ANY schedule I drug, in any amount and even on your first offense is a felony and can carry 4-5 months in jail. Schedule I drugs can include ecstasy, heroin, and LSD. The reason for this severe penalty is because they are highly addictive and generally are considered to have no medical use.
What to Do
Hopefully, you never find yourself arrested for drugs in the Wilmington area. However, if you do find yourself in this predicament, call a criminal defense attorney and then contact us. We offer affordable rates as well as payment plans and can help get you out of jail faster.
Of course, the easiest way to avoid jail is to not get caught or avoid partaking in precarious activities altogether.