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Does Lacing Cocaine With Fentanyl Result in Higher Penalties?

Fentanyl has emerged as a major buzzword in the so-called “war against drugs,” and many states have taken a strict stance against anyone caught with this substance. North Carolina is no exception, and those suspected of dealing in fentanyl can face serious offenses. Drug dealers today are routinely accused of lacing cocaine and other substances with fentanyl. What kind of consequences could you experience for this? Is there any difference between this and dealing in pure cocaine?

North Carolina Has a History of Strict Penalties for Fentanyl-Laced Drugs

If you want to know how North Carolina prosecutes those accused of lacing their drugs with fentanyl, it makes sense to examine a few recent cases involving this situation. In June of 2023, it was reported that a man had been sentenced to 16 years in prison for distributing crack cocaine that had been laced with fentanyl. This case was especially serious because his drugs had been linked to at least four deaths. It is worth mentioning that he was charged with two separate offenses – distribution of cocaine and distribution of fentanyl.

In a more recent case, four men were arrested in October of 2023 for possession of fentanyl-laced cocaine. These individuals were apparently also in possession of heroin and various firearms. The authorities were convinced that these individuals and their illegal possessions were involved in drug trafficking.

What if You Did Not Know Your Drugs Were Laced With Fentanyl?

Sometimes, individuals unwittingly purchase drugs that have been laced with more serious substances. Often, there is no way to tell the specific chemical content of a substance without sophisticated lab testing technology – and many drug dealers do not have access to these resources. So, can people be charged with fentanyl if they did not even know that their drugs were laced with such substances?

The answer may depend on the unique circumstances of the case. If the prosecution can show that you intentionally obtained the fentanyl and the cocaine separately before mixing the two substances together, you may be charged with two separate offenses. But if you purchased cocaine that was already laced with fentanyl, a criminal defense lawyer may help you show that you lacked the intent to distribute fentanyl. This is known as the “unwitting possession” defense, and it has experienced a fair degree of success in various criminal cases.

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. We know that facing cocaine charges is bad enough in the Tar Heel State, and adding fentanyl to the mix can complicate matters considerably. Although the consequences may seem daunting, defendants still have the right to fight for their freedoms with assistance from an attorney. Book your consultation today to begin fighting for these rights effectively.

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