Possession of an Immediate Precursor Chemical

An immediate precursor chemical is any chemicals and solvents regulated by the DEA and the Office of the Attorney General for North Carolina’s Department of Justice (NC-DOJ). These chemicals are used or are likely to be used at any stage in the production of a controlled substance. Charges of drug and immediate precursor possession can lead to jail time, hefty fines, and a conviction on your criminal record.

The penalty for immediate precursor possession can be quite severe, depending on the type of substance involved and the number of offenses against the accused. The criminal defense attorneys at King Law can help you argue for a reduced sentence or, in some cases, attempt to avoid jail time altogether. Read on to learn more about the possession of immediate precursor chemicals in North Carolina.

Possession of an Immediate Precursor Chemical in North Carolina

Under North Carolina Criminal Law, it is unlawful to, among other things:

  • Possess an immediate precursor chemical with intent to manufacture a controlled substance
  • Possess or distribute an immediate precursor chemical knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the immediate precursor chemical will be used to manufacture a controlled substance
  • Possess a pseudoephedrine product if the person has a prior conviction (from any jurisdiction within the United States) for possessing an immediate precursor chemical, possession, and/or possession with the intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine, or trafficking, manufacture, sell, or deliver methamphetamine

The law highlights a list of immediate precursor chemicals until otherwise specified by the Commission. They can be divided into three categories:

  • Substances that are readily convertible to controlled substances and are subject to the strictest controls. Examples of these include Chloroephedrine, Chloropseudoephedrine, Ergometrine tartrate, Isosafrole, N-acetylanthranilic acid, Piperonal, Pseudoephedrine, and Safrole.
  • Substances extensively used in the chemicals industry are also essential for drug processing. Examples of these include Acetic anhydride, Red Phosphorous, Phenylacetic acid, Anthranilic acid, and Piperidine.
  • Reagents and solvents that are typically used in drug processing. Examples of these include Hydrochloric acid, Sulphuric acid, Toluene, Ethyl ether, Acetone, and Methylethylketone (MEK).

A detailed list of the immediate precursor chemicals can be found in this subsection of the law.

Penalties for Possessing an Immediate Precursor Chemical in North Carolina

Under North Carolina Law, immediate precursor chemicals are classified as controlled dangerous substances (CDS). It is illegal in North Carolina to possess Controlled Dangerous Substances without a valid medical prescription.

Penalties vary depending on the type of Controlled Dangerous Substance involved in the offense:

  • Methamphetamine precursors: class F felony
  • Other CDS precursors: class H felony

The State must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The defendant knowingly possessed and/or distributed an immediate precursor chemical.
  • The defendant knew or had reasonable cause to believe the immediate precursor chemical would be used to manufacture a controlled substance or intended to manufacture a controlled substance

Both these offenses are categorized as Class F felonies, punishable by up to 41 months in prison.

Defenses Against Violating North Carolina’s Possession of an Immediate Precursor Chemical Laws

Drug charges of this nature may put defendants in a state of panic as they struggle to understand their next steps. At King Law, that’s where we come in. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team of criminal defense lawyers have years of experience putting clients at ease as we defend their rights and fight for justice.

For this charge, the prosecution must prove possession as well as intent to manufacture. This makes it difficult to substantiate as both elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Our experienced legal team will work to highlight any holes in the prosecution’s arguments as well as show a legitimate justification for possessing these precursors. Likewise, we may attack the legality of the search warrant under which the substances were discovered and put into question the lab testing methods used to identify the illegal materials. For additional questions about your specific case, contact our team today.

Talk to a North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney at King Law

Controlled Dangerous Substance possession convictions often involve harsh fines and long incarceration periods, whether you have a prior criminal record or not. If you have been arrested for possession of an immediate precursor chemical, you need an experienced defense lawyer on your side. A King Law defense attorney will review the facts of your case, explain all legal avenues available to you, and advise you of the possible outcomes and consequences.

The experienced legal team at King Law defends clients against felony and misdemeanor charges in North and South Carolina, including cases of possession of immediate precursor chemicals and other controlled substances. We understand how daunting it is to be charged with a crime and go against the criminal justice system. We will help you identify the best course of action regarding your case and help you get the best outcome. Call us at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING. You can also fill out our contact form.