A criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you if you were charged with possession of cocaine in North Carolina. Cocaine charges can be complicated for an untrained person to handle their own. Because there are so many factors to consider, a lawyer may be your best option.
In North Carolina, all drug possession crimes are classified and Categorized into groups that are referred to as schedules. There are six recognized schedules and they are numbered from one to six, with one considered the most serious and six considered the least serious.
Classification of Cocaine
Cocaine is always considered to be a schedule two substance, regardless of its form. North Carolina law makes no distinction between powered cocaine and the rock form, which is known as crack cocaine, with regard to the criminal charge. Because of this, the severity of the punishment for the crime of cocaine possession depends on three things:
The Amount of cocaine found in the possession of the defendant – Generally speaking, the more cocaine that is found in the possession of the criminal defendant, the more severe the criminal consequences are for that defendant. Possession of any amount of cocaine, no matter how small, is a felony in North Carolina. Possession of cocaine is never a misdemeanor in North Carolina.
The facts and circumstances surrounding the possession of the cocaine – A criminal defendant can be charged with possession of cocaine if the facts fit. However, a defendant can be charged with possession with the intent to sell or delivery or other serious charges, if the facts of the arrest fit that charge. An example would be if the cocaine was found along with or packaged in several baggies, or with scales, and other items that would suggest the sale of manufacture of cocaine.
You prior record level before the cocaine possession charge – Like almost all crimes in North Carolina, your prior convictions will be a big determining factor with regards to what consequences you may face if you are found guilty.
Punishment for possession of cocaine – There are an extremely wide range of punishments that are possible for a conviction of cocaine possession. It can be as simple as a fine, a drug treatment class, and some form of probation if you are a first-time offender with a small amount of cocaine.
When a person is found to be in possession of large quantities of cocaine, the person is often charged with trafficking in cocaine. Please note that trafficking cocaine is a completely different charge from possession of cocaine. A conviction of this can result in fines over $50,000 and several years in prison if you are found guilty of trafficking cocaine.
If you are charged with Cocaine possession, it is always a good idea to consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can go over your case with you, and help you get the best outcome possible.