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Aggravating Factors for Cocaine Charges in North Carolina

Certain aggravating factors may make cocaine charges much worse in North Carolina. The truth is that not all cocaine charges are created equal, and a defendant may face much more severe penalties than someone who committed the same crime. Slightly different circumstances can make a major difference when it comes to sentencing, and this is something that defendants should be aware of in the Tar Heel State.


Defendant Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison Due to Aggravating Factors

On November 15th, the Justice Department announced that a man had been sentenced to 17 years in prison for cocaine charges. The severity of this sentence was largely due to several aggravating factors, including prior deportation and prior drug convictions. The individual had been deported back to Jamaica just a few years earlier for a previous drug trafficking offense, and it was later determined that he had re-entered the United States illegally. Investigators say that he was living under a false identity. This is a clear example of how aggravating factors can affect a cocaine conviction.

Overdoses Resulting in Death

Another potential aggravating factor involves overdose deaths. If you sell cocaine to someone who later overdoses on the drug, this may cause prosecutors and criminal courts to view your alleged crime much more seriously. Although cocaine overdoses are relatively rare, one must be aware of the danger posed by fentanyl. This substance is being “cut” with many drugs in the modern era – including cocaine. Often, the resellers of cocaine have no idea that their products have been laced with fentanyl by someone higher up on the supply chain. “Distribution resulting in death” is a legitimate crime in North Carolina. On November 13, 2023, the Justice Department announced that one defendant was facing a mandatory minimum of 25 years for this very offense.

Deadly Weapons

Whenever deadly weapons are involved in a crime, the penalties generally become more serious. Not only is it illegal to possess a firearm as a felon in North Carolina, but it may also lead to aggravating factors for any cocaine charges. Things become even more serious if you are caught with a firearm that is illegal in and of itself. These include fully automatic weapons, silenced firearms, and short-barreled firearms.


On November 9, it was reported that an individual in North Carolina had been charged with possession of a short-barreled, unregistered, sawn-off .22 rifle with a 110-round magazine. Not only did the defendant possess this firearm as a felon, but they also attempted to sell the weapon to an undercover agent while simultaneously trafficking drugs. Needless to say, the presence of this weapon made the drug trafficking charges much worse.

Where Can I Find an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in North Carolina?

If you have been searching for an experienced criminal defense attorney in North Carolina, look no further than Coastal South Law. While the existence of aggravating factors may worsen certain legal consequences associated with cocaine, an effective defense strategy is always possible. In many cases, defendants can show that these factors should not affect sentencing or that they do not even exist. Book your consultation today to discuss these options in more detail.

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