Drug trafficking carries harsh penalties and North Carolina. Each drug trafficking charge carries severe mandatory minimum prison sentences and mandatory fines. Defenders don’t have to be part of a criminal organization or a drug cartel to face drug trafficking charges in North Carolina. Prosecutors only need to prove that you were knowingly in possession of a certain weight of an illicit substance.
Have prosecutors charged you or a loved one with drug trafficking? At Hancock Law Firm, our drug crime defense lawyers are here to help provide you with an excellent legal defense. We will give your case the time and attention it deserves and advocate for the best possible outcome in your case. Our legal team has a proven track record of success in defending clients against trafficking charges. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.
North Carolina Drug Trafficking Laws
In North Carolina, drug trafficking is defined as the sale, manufacture, delivery, transport, or possession of excessive amounts of controlled substances. Prosecutors don’t need to prove that you were actively trafficking drugs. They only need to prove that you were knowingly in possession of a minimum amount of a controlled substance.
It doesn’t take much to pump up a drug possession charge to a more serious drug trafficking charge. The threshold amount for trafficking charges varies depending on the type of controlled substance. The following amounts of a controlled substance will lead to a trafficking charge of North Carolina:
- 10 lb or more of marijuana (weed or pot)
- 3 grams or more of synthetic cannabinoid
- 28 or more grams of cocaine (coke)
- 4 or more grams of opiates or heroin
- 28 or more grams or over 100 dosage units of MDMA (molly or ecstasy)
- 28 or more of methamphetamine (meth or crystal meth)
North Carolina Drug Trafficking Penalties
The penalties for drug trafficking charges depend on the type of controlled substance and the amount of controlled substance. Each drug trafficking allegation carries a severe mandatory minimum prison sentence. In other words, judges must impose a minimum prison sentence on you if you’re convicted.
For example, suppose you are convicted of drug trafficking of 29 – 199 grams of methamphetamines. In that case, you’ll face class G felony charges with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 70 months and a mandatory minimum fine of $50,000. The higher the amount of controlled substance, the more severe the mandatory prison sentence and fine. When a drug trafficking charge involves 400 or more grams of methamphetamine, you will face a class C felony which is much more serious. Class C felonies carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 225 months and a $250,000 fine.
Drug Trafficking Charges for Marijuana
Sometimes people assume that the penalties for drug trafficking of marijuana are not serious. Many states have legalized recreational marijuana, and the substance has been destigmatized in public perception. However, the penalties for marijuana trafficking can be serious. If you’re arrested with 10 to 49 pounds of marijuana, you will face a Class H felony charge with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 25 months and a mandatory fine of at least $5,000.
If you’re convicted, you will have to spend 25 months in prison. Taking drug trafficking charges related to marijuana seriously is crucial, and Hancock Law Firm can provide you with an excellent legal defense.
These cases typically involve large amounts of evidence and police work. The attorneys at Hancock Law Firm scour the evidence obtained by the police to find any available holes in their case. In some cases, law enforcement officers do not weigh the controlled substance correctly. These types of errors can lead a prosecutor to charge a defendant when the defendant should have been charged with simple drug possession.
In other cases, Law Enforcement Officers violate our client’s constitutional rights. Perhaps they engaged in an unconstitutional stop and search when they found controlled substances in our client’s car. Or, they may have searched our client’s house without probable cause and a warrant. When there is a hole in the prosecution’s case, we will find it and exploit it to benefit our clients.
Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) And Asset Forfeiture
In North Carolina, prosecutors have the option of bringing charges for a Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) in addition to drug trafficking charges. The defendant is guilty of continuing criminal enterprise through drug trafficking when the prosecutor can prove the following elements:
- The defendant committed a drug felony
- The conviction as part of a continuing series of drug violations
- The defendant undertook the drug violations with five or more people
- The defendant was in a position of authority or management
- The defendant gained substantial income or resources from continuing drug violations
Prosecutors do not need to prove that you’ve been convicted of multiple drug crimes. They only need to prove that you’ve been involved in drug trafficking for a while. This criminal charge is a class C felony that can lead to criminal asset forfeiture of the property, profits, or other assets you acquired due to your influence over the criminal enterprise.
If you’ve been charged with continuing criminal enterprise for drug trafficking, you need an experienced attorney on your side right away. Our drug defense lawyers have successfully protected many defendants from asset forfeiture and continuing criminal enterprise charges at Hancock Law Firm.
Contact a Carteret County Drug Trafficking Lawyer Today
If you’ve been charged with drug trafficking in North Carolina, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer to represent you as soon as possible. Working with a criminal defense lawyer will allow you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case, whether that is a dismissal of your charges or a more favorable plea bargain. Contact the North Carolina criminal defense lawyers at Hancock Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can advocate for your rights.