The Penalties for Cocaine Possession in North Carolina
Cocaine is considered a controlled substance in North Carolina. Schedule I substances are the most dangerous and addictive, while Schedule VI substances are the least addictive and dangerous. An example of a Schedule VI controlled substance would be marijuana. Cocaine Is categorized as a Schedule II substance because it is not as dangerous as methamphetamine and other Schedule I drugs. However, it is still seen as having a high potential level of abuse.
The Penalties for Simple Possession of Cocaine
The penalties for drug-related crimes depend on multiple factors, including the classification of the controlled substance and the amount the defendant has in their possession. In North Carolina, possessing a small amount of cocaine is classified as a Class 1 felony. Class 1 felonies are the least severe class of felonies and carry up to six months to one year in prison, but it is rare for a first-time drug offender to receive prison time if convicted.
Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Cocaine in North Carolina
Possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine is a more serious Criminal offense. When law enforcement officers find drug paraphernalia near the cocaine, a charge that would otherwise be simple possession can be elevated to possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine charge (PWISD). Drug paraphernalia can include everyday items like empty sandwich bags, scales, large sums of cash, and cocaine found in multiple bags.
PWISD is considered a class H felony in North Carolina. The penalty includes a possible jail sentence of up to 10 months for a first-time offender. The penalty could be up to 30 months in jail for those with previous drug crimes. In some cases, law enforcement will investigate over time and use confidential informants or surveillance to prove that a person is selling or delivering drugs.
Sale or Distribution of Cocaine in North Carolina
The penalties for the sale or distribution of cocaine are even more serious. Under North Carolina law, this crime is considered a class G felony with fines and up to 31 months in prison. If the suspect is found with over 28 grams of cocaine, the activity will be considered trafficking. Trafficking 28 to 200 grams of cocaine is sentenced differently than other non-trafficking offenses and could result in 70 months in prison. Trafficking 200-400 grams of cocaine is considered a Class F felony and results in 93 months in prison. When the amount of cocaine is over 400 grams, the classification is a Class D felony that carries between 175 and 219 months in prison.
Discuss Your Case with an Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney in Southeastern NC
If you have been charged with a cocaine-related crime in North Carolina, it is crucial that you reach out to an aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The penalties for drug crimes are serious, even if this is your first time being charged. At Coastal South Law, we know how to fight on behalf of our clients aggressively and will provide you with an excellent legal defense. Contact Coastal South Law to schedule a case evaluation and learn how we can fight for you.