North Carolina hasn’t been spared. Drug-related offenses, from minor misdemeanor possession charges to possession of drug paraphernalia and drug trafficking, are on the rise in most Charlotte metro towns.
Amounts of Drugs Required to Be Considered Trafficking in Charlotte
Under the N.C. Controlled Substance Act, drug trafficking is defined as the unlawful possession of a stated amount of marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, LSD, etc. Because various controlled substances are categorized into different penalty classes, the weight of the drugs found by law enforcement will determine whether it’s a drug trafficking offense. Case in point, the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act states that if you’re caught with more than 10 pounds of marijuana, it’s considered drug trafficking.
Contrary to popular belief, drug trafficking does not mean you have copious amounts of illegal substances stashed in secret warehouses. The quantity of illegal substances constituting drug trafficking in Charlotte, even without direct evidence of manufacture, delivery, and distribution, is much less than one can expect. Nonetheless, conviction consequences are incredibly harsh. You potentially face imprisonment and hefty fines if caught with more than:
- 100 LSD pills
- 4 grams of heroin, including opium
- 1,000 tablets or more of methaqualone
- 20 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamines
In Charlotte, numerous charges can be brought up against you based entirely on the weight of the illicit substance found in your possession. With mandatory minimum imprisonment involved in this kind of violation, you need a competent Charlotte drug trafficking lawyer to handle your case and secure a favorable outcome.
How Is Drug Trafficking Proven?
The circumstances of a drug trafficking charge are more severe and complicated than most people would like to admit. For example, even if you were ‘holding’ the drugs for a friend and had no knowledge of a sale, a judge will pass a harsher sentence if the intent involved trafficking to minors. Note that there’s a difference between drug trafficking and intent to distribute. For possession with intent to distribute charges to stick, a prosecutor must prove you knew you were in possession of schedule I-II or III-VI drugs and knowingly sold illicit substances.
Possession with intent to distribute offense may result in 24 to 39 months of jail time, and if you’ve been convicted of prior drug charges, it may affect the outcome of your case. Instead of waiting for a drug trafficking felony to ruin your life, hire a qualified criminal defense attorney who can avail every resource they have to fight your case, reduce the possible penalties, or even obtain a dismissal. While evidence of felony drug possession is relatively straightforward, the police must prove specific elements of a drug trafficking offense beyond reasonable doubt.
Investigating officers must demonstrate that you intentionally trafficked or attempted to traffic a drug of dependence or conducted a drug trafficking operation. In addition to the drugs found in your possession, the prosecution will use witness testimony of drug trafficking to establish evidence or indicia of sale, such as scales, ledges, drug baggies, and large sums of cash.
Can I Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge in North Carolina?
Beating a drug trafficking charge in Charlotte, NC, is no easy feat, as the felony carries harsh penalties and hefty fines. However, an experienced team of King Law attorneys can help you argue various defenses and present your case in a positive light. Some of the most effective defenses that may dispute a drug trafficking conviction include the following:
- A motion to suppress or exclude illegally obtained evidence. Perhaps the police did not have probable cause to search or handled you incorrectly during the criminal process
- Your legal team can prove you were unaware of the illegal substance and were not tied to the drugs in any way
- A criminal defense attorney can present mitigating factors such as a drug smuggling ring that has used you to traffic illicit substances
In North Carolina, opioids such as oxycodone and heroin fall under the highest penalty range as far as drug crimes are concerned, meaning if you’re caught with even a minimal amount, it can result in a drug trafficking charge. Also to consider is that cocaine and heroin contain mixers and filler agents that may not be considered mitigating factors when determining the total weight of drugs in your possession.
For example, if you were seized with 20 grams of cocaine, it won’t matter if the drug is not 100% pure and how much of it is a mixer and filler agent. You will still face the consequences of a drug trafficking felony in North Carolina. If you have no prior criminal history, even a first-offense charge in Charlotte can have a permanent and damaging impact on your spotless record. Such charges are best left to a seasoned Charlotte drug trafficking attorney to address them.
Consult an Expert Charlotte Drug Trafficking Attorney at King Law
Drug-related crimes are among the most common reasons for arrests in nearly all Charlotte metro towns. We want to help you because, depending on the severity of the crime and the evidence against you including prior convictions, such charges can have long-term ramifications and even lead to imprisonment if you’re convicted.
If you have a drug-related crime that involves trafficking felony indictments, our experienced team at King Law knows how the system works and takes your liberty protection very seriously. We have offices in North and South Carolina as well as a team of experts ready to provide a comprehensive consultation. Our defense attorneys will investigate your charges, and once we establish all relevant facts of your case, we’ll advise you of what’s involved with taking your case to trial. Learn how our drug trafficking defense attorneys can help by calling (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING. You can also fill out our contact form.