In North Carolina, possession of a controlled substance (drug possession) has varying degrees of severity and many different types of consequences. The severity of the charges and the potential consequences are influenced by which drug is in question and how much of it was found in the “possession” of the defendant.
Possession in North Carolina is defined by statute.
North Carolina Drug possession Schedules
- In North Carolina, drugs are categorized and classified into schedules, and the schedules are listed between 1-6. possession of a schedule 1 drug is considered the most serious, while possession of a schedule 6 drug would be the least serious offense.
- Drug possession schedules have been organized generally based on how addictive the drugs are and how harmful to a person’s health they are.
- Drug possession charges are not limited to illegal drugs; someone can be charged with drug possession by having prescription medication which they don’t have a prescription for, or over the county medicines in certain settings.
Example of drug possession schedules in North Carolina
- 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 county cough medicine containing codeine
- Schedule 6 – Includes but not limited to; Marijuana, and Hashish
What is considered drug possession
Being charged with drug possession is not merely as simple as having a controlled substance on your person. There are ways you can be charged with drug possession even if you do not have a controlled substance in your hand or in your pockets. Possession can be found 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 control is, use it or dispose of it.
- Constructive Possession – exists when the defendant, while not having actual possession, has the intent and capability to maintain control and dominion over the controlled substance.
- Example: you can be charged with drug possession if there are drugs in a car you are sitting in, even if you are just the passenger.
- For the purposes of a drug possession charge in North Carolina, it does not make a difference in sentencing or severity if you were found in actual possession or constructive possession.
If you have been charged with a crime in North or South Carolina, contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.