Why You Need a Drug Charge Lawyer for Possession Charges

One of the consequences of being arrested for drug possession is you don't know how severe the penalties can be until you go to court. To understand how complex the charges and penalties for drug possession can be, you can read the statute for yourself or reach out to a drug charge lawyer in Charlotte, N.C. Your charges can range from simple possession to intent to distribute and it's easy to underestimate the penalties for what may seem like a minor violation. You may think marijuana should be legal and is pretty harmless, but North Carolina has strict laws against pot and all other controlled substances.


In North Carolina, even simple drug possession can have serious consequences if you're convicted. The penalties depend on the type of drug involved, the quantity, and having the best drug charge lawyer you can find. Don't think that just because you only had a joint, you're in the clear either. 


A Drug Charge Lawyer Knows the Laws for Drug Possession in North Carolina


Did you know you can be charged with drug possession for having prescription medication prescribed for someone else and even some over-the-counter drugs in certain quantities? An experienced drug charge lawyer does!


The penalties for drug possession can range from a small fine and/or community service to incarceration and a criminal record. Without an experienced drug charge lawyer, you may be setting yourself up for more trouble than you bargained for because of the complexity of North Carolina drug laws. From schedules to different degrees of possession to mitigating circumstances, there's a lot more to a drug possession charge than meets the eye. 


The drug schedules in North Carolina sort drugs by their potential harm:


  • 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


Possession of a schedule 1 drug is the most serious, while possession of a schedule 6 drug would be the least serious. Even if you're facing a schedule 6 possession charge, having a drug charge attorney on your side can prevent serious consequences. 


How North Carolina Defines Drug Possession


Drug possession in North Carolina is not defined simply as having a controlled substance on your person. There are circumstances when you can be charged with drug possession even if you don't physically have a controlled substance on you.  


Possession can be charged 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 use it.


  • Constructive Possession – This is when it's determined that 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 and you are just the passenger. For a drug possession charge in North Carolina, it does not make a difference in sentencing if you were found in actual possession or constructive possession.


Now that you can see being charged with possession of drugs in North Carolina may be more serious than you thought, don't risk going it alone. If you or someone you know has been charged with drug possession, let the Law Offices of Jason H. Reece guide you to the best possible outcome. Contact us today, and we'll get to work.