Drug possession is a criminal offense in the state of North Carolina. It may be a felony or misdemeanor charge, depending on the classification of the substance. Penalties can include jail time and fines. The North Carolina drug possession schedule elaborates on the consequences of each type of substance. A criminal charge can significantly impact your life. If you are facing this type of legal action, here are five things you should know.
1.Drug Possession Includes More Than Illegal Substances.
Drugs and paraphernalia are organized into six schedules, or categories. This includes a wide range of substances that may be abused. Prescription medication and over-the-counter medicine containing narcotics are also included. Paraphernalia is a broad term that includes anything that could be used to cultivate, distribute, or consume these substances.
- Possession may be Actual or Constructive.
Actual possession is simple. The illegal substance must be found on a person, such as in a pocket. Constructive possession involves personal property or nearby proximity. It is contingent on the accused knowing that the drug is present and having intent to take actual possession of it. Constructive possession can be more difficult to prove in certain circumstances. On private property with a single owner, such as a home or vehicle, the conclusion is more straightforward. If other parties are commonly present, the answer is not as simple.
- The Amount in Possession Matters.
For all substances, the penalty depends on the amount that is found. Small amounts come with milder penalties. Cocaine is considered a felony when the amount is over 28 grams.For schedule six drugs such as marijuana, often the sentence includes only a fine. An amount over 1.5 ounces of marijuana implies an intent to sell or distribute. For this, the penalty is much more severe.
- Drug Charges Go On Record.
Most employers perform a background check on potential new hires. A criminal charge will be part of this record, effectively reducing your chances of being hired. This stays on your criminal record forever. However, an attorney may be able to get it expunged or sealed if certain requirements are met.
- A Good Attorney Makes a Difference.
If you believe the case is straightforward, it might seem unnecessary to hire a defense attorney. However, an attorney is experienced in the law and can have a significant impact on your case. He or she will consider every angle of defense to have your charges reduced or dropped. It is critical to the case that the search was performed legally and the evidence handled properly.
Raleigh Drug Possession Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with drug possession or anticipates charges being filed, contact DeMent Askewat 919-833-5555. An attorney can provide a consultation to evaluate your case. It is important to act quickly to build your defense. There are many circumstances that can affect the outcome. Additionally, if you need a criminal drug possession expunged from your record, the legal team at DeMent Askew may be able to help.