A conviction for a drug crime can lead to severe penalties in North Carolina, including possible imprisonment, significant fines, and seizure of property. In addition to facing criminal penalties, facing drug crime charges can face difficulties with employment, housing, and personal relationships.
If you’ve been charged with drug possession, drug trafficking, or any other drug crime, you’ll benefit from speaking to a Beaufort Drug Crimes Defense attorney as soon as possible. Lead attorney Joel Hancock of Hancock Law Firm will provide you with a robust legal defense without judgment. He has extensive experience defending clients in a wide range of drug-related cases.
Types of Beaufort Drug Crimes Cases We Handle
As a defense attorney, Joel Hancock uses his in-depth knowledge to evaluate every aspect of the law enforcement investigation against his clients. He regularly works with reliable experts to provide clients with a robust legal defense.
When working with Mr. Hancock, he will help you avoid unnecessary stress, fear, and confusion by providing regular communication and case updates. He’ll also explain your charges, the evidence, and the legal process and help you make informed decisions about your case’s strategy. At Hancock Law Firm, we represent clients facing charges for the following drug-related matters:
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession with intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance
- Manufacturing or cultivating a controlled substance
- Drug trafficking
The Penalties for Drug Trafficking in North Carolina
Defendants facing drug crimes can face harsh sentences, especially when the alleged offense involves large quantities of controlled substances. North Carolina and federal laws require judges to impose harsh mandatory minimum sentences in serious drug cases.
Even relatively minor drug-related charges, such as possession of marijuana, a conviction can have long-term consequences. It could limit your educational career choices and hurt your overall quality of life. A focused legal defense strategy may be the difference between imprisonment and a more favorable outcome.
Facing Charges for Possession of Marijuana
Many states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, but North Carolina has not. If you’ve been charged with possession of marijuana, you might assume that it’s not a serious charge. It can be tempting not to take these types of charges seriously. However, the penalties for marijuana possession can have a long-term effect.
For example, if you are convicted of possession of marijuana, you will have a criminal record. Additionally, the penalties associated with drug trafficking of marijuana can be significant. For example, suppose you are found with 10 to 49 pounds of marijuana in your possession. In that case, prosecutors may charge you with a class H felony. The penalty for a class H Felony is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 25 months and a mandatory fine of at least $5,000. Speaking to a defense attorney is crucial.
Defending Against Drug Possession Charges in Beaufort
Possession of a controlled substance occurs when a person knowingly possesses controlled substances or contraband related to controlled substances. The prosecutor must prove the defendant knowingly or intentionally was in possession of one or more controlled substances.
Prosecutors do not have to prove that you were in actual possession of the substance. Instead, they can prove that you were in constructive possession. For example, if police officers discover a controlled substance in a person’s house, not on their person, they can bring criminal charges against the resident of the property.
A common defense to drug possession charges involves proving that you didn’t know you had the vehicle. Suppose someone else placed the controlled substances in your bag without your knowledge. In that case, your defense attorney could argue that you didn’t have the requisite intention and knowledge to possess the controlled substance and cannot be convicted.
Beaufort Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney
In North Carolina, drug trafficking carries harsh penalties. Depending on the severity of the crime with which you’ve been charged, you could face up to 20 years in prison if you are convicted. Drug trafficking is defined as the sale, manufacture, delivery, transport, or possession of excessive amounts of controlled substances.
As with other drug crimes, each drug trafficking charge carries a harsh mandatory minimum prison sentence and mandatory fines. As a defendant, you don’t have to be part of a criminal organization or drug cartel to be charged with drug trafficking. You can be charged with this serious crime if you were found to be knowingly in possession of a specific weight of a controlled substance.
In other words, prosecutors don’t need to prove that you were selling drugs to other people. It’s enough for law enforcement to find a substantial quantity of a controlled substance in your actual or constructive possession. For example, if a defendant is found to be in possession of 20 or more grams of cocaine, four or more grams of opiates, including heroin, or 28 or more grams of methamphetamine, he or she can be charged with drug trafficking.
Suppose you’ve been convicted of drug trafficking between 29g and 199g of methamphetamine. In that case, you’ll face up to 70 months in prison and a mandatory minimum fine of $50,000. The penalties can increase when defendants are found with higher amounts of controlled substances and when there are other aggravating factors.
Pursuing Effective Legal Strategies for Beaufort Drug Crimes Defense
Prosecuting drug crimes requires law enforcement officers and prosecutors to gather a significant amount of evidence and do a lot of police work. In many cases, the best defense for someone charged with a drug crime is to find constitutional violations and other discrepancies that have occurred during the investigation and prosecution.
Attorney Joel Hancock knows how to scour evidence used by the police to find any holes in their case. For example, the police officer or laboratory may not correctly identify the controlled substance, leading to harsher charges for you. They may not have weighed the substance properly. The police officer who arrested you may not have had probable cause or a warrant to search your house or vehicle. If you’ve been charged with possession, the prosecution may not be able to prove that you knowingly possessed a controlled substance.
Schedule a Case Evaluation with a Skilled Beaufort Defense Attorney
If you’re facing a drug charge in Beaufort, North Carolina, your future and freedom may be in jeopardy. You need an experienced, skilled defense attorney on your side. Don’t hesitate to contact Hancock Law Firm to schedule a complimentary case evaluation and learn more about your rights.