Winston-Salem Drug Charge Lawyer

Drug charges can encompass several different crimes that vary in seriousness. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties for a drug-related conviction can range from a small fine to a lengthy jail sentence. Possessing small amounts of most drugs is usually a misdemeanor, while selling or manufacturing drugs is often a felony in North Carolina. 
Facing drug charges can be overwhelming whether you made a one-time error in judgment or were involved in an ongoing situation. Even a misdemeanor conviction can disrupt the rest of your life. This is why hiring a Winston-Salem drug charge lawyer to defend you is so important. Your drug charge lawyer in Winston-Salem can help you understand the specific charge you’re facing and the potential penalties while putting together the best possible defense. 

What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Winston-Salem?

You can be charged with possession if the police find illegal drugs either on your person or in an area under your control, like your home or car. The consequences for drug possession depend on both the type of drug and the quantity involved. Possessing any amount of a Schedule I drug, like heroin or LSD, or a larger amount of a Schedule II drug, like cocaine or amphetamines, is generally a felony. Possessing smaller amounts of a Schedule II drug or any amount of most other drugs is generally a misdemeanor. 

Felony drug possession can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine. Sentences for misdemeanor possession usually range from six months to two years. While marijuana is illegal in North Carolina, including for medical purposes, possessing a small amount is usually treated less seriously than possessing other drugs. While you can be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail, a fine is the most common penalty. 

What Are the Penalties for Selling Drugs in Winston-Salem?

The consequences for selling drugs in North Carolina are much more serious than those for simple possession and may require the support of a criminal defense lawyer. If you’re found to be in possession of a larger quantity of drugs, you can be charged with possession with intent to sell. As with simple possession, the penalties for possession with intent to sell or distribute depend on the drug involved. This charge is based on the quantity of the substance, so the court does not need to prove that you have actually sold anything. For example, possessing a small amount of a Schedule II drug is a misdemeanor. However, possessing more than 100 tablets or other dosage units is a felony carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison. 

Penalties for selling drugs in North Carolina also depend on both the type of drug and the person it was sold to, as well as some other details. For example, selling Schedule I or II drugs like heroin and cocaine is a Class G felony, with a sentencing range that starts at around one year in prison. However, some circumstances elevate the offense to a Class E felony, with a sentencing range that starts at around two years in prison. These include: 

  • Selling to a pregnant woman 
  • Selling to a minor younger than 16 
  • Selling within 300 feet of a school 

Selling marijuana is a less serious Class I felony with a starting sentence of around six months. You’ll usually only be charged with selling marijuana if more than five grams of the drug are involved. These penalties usually apply if you’re charged with possessing or selling a moderate amount of a drug. If your case involves larger quantities, you could be dealing with a trafficking charge instead. 

What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking and Manufacturing in Winston-Salem?

Drug trafficking refers to transporting or importing an illegal substance, and it comes with more serious penalties than possession. Like most North Carolina drug charges, the penalties for trafficking vary depending on both the amount and type of drug involved. If you were involved in moving drugs across state lines or internationally, you could be charged with drug trafficking at the federal level. If everything occurred within North Carolina, you’d be dealing with the state’s laws. North Carolina law counts selling or possessing more than a small amount of a drug, transportation, and manufacture as trafficking. 

For example, there are three tiers of trafficking heroin or opioids: 

  • Trafficking between four and 14 grams is a Class F felony, which carries a prison sentence of 70 to 93 months and a minimum fine of $50,000. 
  • Trafficking between 14 and 28 grams is a Class E felony, which carries a prison sentence of 90 to 120 months and a minimum fine of $100,000. 
  • Trafficking 28 grams or more is a Class C felony, which carries a prison sentence of 225 to 282 months and a minimum fine of $500,000. 

Most drugs have a similar penalty structure with three tiers of severity, but the quantity limits depend on the drug. 

Manufacturing falls under the trafficking umbrella, so the possible penalties will be the same as those for transporting or selling the drug. If you’re unsure which set of penalties applies to your case, your Winston-Salem drug charge lawyer can ensure you understand the specific charges you’re facing and the potential sentences if you’re convicted. 

Discuss Your Case With a Winston-Salem Drug Charge Lawyer

Whether you’re facing felony or misdemeanor drug charges, strong legal representation will help you present the best possible defense. Because the details of your case have such a strong effect on the potential penalties, having a dedicated Winston-Salem drug charge attorney from King Law with experience in this area is essential. Your drug charge attorney in Winston-Salem can ensure the evidence is documented correctly, present any information that lessens your guilt, and generally advocate for you. They can also help you avoid saying anything that could hurt your case. 

If you’ve been charged with a drug-related crime, it’s important to get in touch with a Winston-Salem drug charge attorney as soon as possible. Call King Law at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING today to schedule your consultation. You can also fill out our contact form