Busted for Possession? You Need a Drug Charge Lawyer

In North Carolina, possession of a controlled substance, often called simply drug possession, can have some serious consequences if you're convicted. The penalties for drug possession depend a lot on what type of drug is involved, how much you had on you, and having the best criminal lawyer you can find. Don't think that just because you only had a joint, you're in the clear either. Any controlled substance in any amount can get you in a lot of hot water. One of the dangers of being arrested for drug possession is that you don't really know what you're in for until you go to court. To give you an idea of how complex the charges and penalties for drug possession can be, you can read the statute for yourself. You could be charged with simple possession or something as serious as intent to distribute (deal drugs.) Just because you think marijuana should be legal and is pretty harmless, North Carolina still takes a hard stance against pot and all other controlled substances. What You Need to Know About Drug Laws in North Carolina In North Carolina, drugs are categorized into schedules from a 1 to a 6. Possession of a schedule 1 drug is the most serious, while possession of a schedule 6 drug would be the least serious offense. Drug possession schedules have been organized based on how addictive the drugs are and their effects on a person's health. Even if you're facing a schedule 6 possession charge, having a drug charge attorney on your side can save you a lot of grief. Drug possession charges are not limited to illegal drugs, though. You could be charged with drug possession for having prescription medication which wasn't prescribed for you or even for over-the-counter drugs in certain quantities. Here are some examples of drug possession schedules in North Carolina:

  • Schedule 1 – Includes but not limited to; Heroin, Peyote, and Ecstacy
  • Schedule 2 – Includes but not limited to; Cocaine, Morphine, and Methadone
  • Schedule 3 – Includes but not limited to; Anabolic Steroids, Ketamine, and some Barbiturates
  • Schedule 4 – Includes but not limited to; Valium, and Xanax
  • Schedule 5 – Includes but not limited to; Over the counter cough medicine containing codeine
  • Schedule 6 – Includes but not limited to; Marijuana, and Hashish

The penalties for drug possession can range from a fine and some community service to prison time and a criminal record. Again, without an experienced drug charge lawyer, you may be setting yourself for a big fall because of the nuances of the drug laws. A great example of these "grey" areas is how North Carolina defines "possession." So What Does "Possession" of Drugs Really Mean? Sounds like a loaded question doesn't it! But in North Carolina, "possession" is not defined simply as having a controlled substance on you. There are ways you can be charged with drug possession even if you don't have a controlled substance in your hand or in your pockets. Possession can be determined if the defendant has actual possession or constructive possession:

  • Actual Possession – A defendant is considered to have actual possession of a controlled substance if it is on his or her person, and he or she is aware of its presence, and has intent to control is, use it or dispose of it.
  • Constructive Possession – This is when the defendant, while not having actual possession, has the intent and capability to maintain control and dominion over the controlled substance.

For example, you can be charged with drug possession if there are drugs in a car you are just sitting in, even if you are just the passenger. For a drug possession charge in North Carolina, it does not make a difference in sentencing or severity if you were found in actual possession or constructive possession. Now that you see being charged with possession of a controlled substance in North Carolina may be more serious than you thought, don't leave your future to chance. If you or someone you know has been charged with drug possession, let the Law Offices of Jason H. Reece guide you through the process for the best possible outcome. Contact us today, and we'll get to work.