If you’ve been charged with drug possession, it’s in your best interest to fight the charge to avoid harsh punishments and the potential long-term impact on your reputation, job, and relationships. Hiring a King Law Asheville drug possession lawyer can protect your rights and give you the best chance of obtaining a positive outcome for your case.
How Serious Is a Drug Possession Charge?
The severity of your Asheville drug possession charge hinges on the type of drug you were accused of having. The federal government classifies drugs into five different groups, called schedules, and they inform North Carolina drug-related statutes and classifications. Schedule I drugs and controlled substances are the most dangerous and addictive, and each subsequent schedule is less addictive and dangerous.
Here is an overview of each schedule and examples of drugs categorized in each of them:
- Schedule I: The most addictive and dangerous category of drugs includes heroin, ecstasy, and LSD, and none have any medical uses. Although some lawmakers have fought to remove cannabis from Schedule I, the federal government continues to place marijuana in Schedule I.
- Schedule II: These drugs have some medical uses and include drugs such as methadone, opium, methamphetamine, Adderall, and Vicodin.
- Schedule III: These drugs are also addictive, but many have medical uses. Examples include testosterone, anabolic steroids, and ketamine.
- Schedule IV.:These drugs are primarily used for medicinal purposes and include prescription drugs such as sedatives and tranquilizers.
- Schedule V: Common prescription drugs used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes fall under Schedule V. Examples include cough syrup with low amounts of codeine, Lomotil, Motofen, and Lyrica.
North Carolina law differs from federal law. Although all forms of cannabis use are illegal, the state has decriminalized related crimes by categorizing marijuana as a Schedule VI controlled substance.
Constructive Possession in North Carolina Drug Possession Cases
Getting charged with drug possession when the drugs are not yours is one of the most difficult situations someone can find themselves in. The police want to hold someone accountable for the drugs, so they sometimes charge the wrong person. Telling law enforcement that the drugs are not yours typically does not work.
The state can still charge you with constructive possession when you have control or dominion and access to an illegal substance. A skilled Asheville drug possession lawyer can dig into your case and potentially find a way to fight your charges.
Penalties for Drug Possession in North Carolina
The schedule that a particular controlled substance is on determines the penalties that you could face if convicted of a drug possession charge. However, criminal records and the amount of a substance can also impact penalties in a drug possession case. Here is a broad overview of what penalties you might face if convicted on an Asheville drug possession charge.
Schedule I Drug Charge Penalties
Those who possess a Schedule I controlled substance, as long as they had no intent to manufacture or distribute, face a Class I felony conviction. If no prior criminal record exists, a conviction comes with three months to one year of prison time. The law includes an exception for MDPV (bath salts). Possession of less than a gram qualifies as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Schedule II, III, & IV Drug Charge Penalties
The conviction of a drug possession charge involving Schedule II, III, & IV controlled substances qualifies as a Class 1 misdemeanor under North Carolina law. Class 1 misdemeanors carry one to 120 days in jail. However, those who possess cocaine, methamphetamine, phencyclidine, or hydromorphone over a certain limit can be convicted of a Class I felony.
Schedule V Drug Charge Penalties
A charge of possession of a Schedule V controlled substance is a Class 2 misdemeanor under North Carolina law. A conviction is punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
Schedule VI Drug Charge Penalties
Possession of marijuana in North Carolina is a Class 3 misdemeanor in most cases. Those who possess more than one-half ounce of marijuana or one-twentieth of an ounce of resin or synthetic THC face a Class 1 misdemeanor. Over one and a half ounces of marijuana or three-twentieths of an ounce of resin qualifies as a Class I felony.
Contact the Experienced Asheville Drug Possession Attorneys at King Law Today
A drug possession conviction can prevent you from getting a job or renting a home, and it can cause damage to your reputation. You don’t have to fight your charges alone. It’s in your best interest to hire an Asheville drug possession lawyer to fight for you. An experienced Asheville drug possession lawyer can investigate your case. Having a drug possession lawyer in Asheville in your corner could be the difference between probation and a fine or serving time in jail.
King Law has been helping clients charged with drug possession and other drug-related crimes since 2002. Our skilled team of Asheville drug possession attorneys understands the challenges you face and prioritizes helping clients get the best outcome for their situation. If you have been arrested or charged for drug possession in Asheville, King Law can help you through this difficult time. Call us at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING to discuss the details of your case. You can also fill out our contact form.