North Carolina Cocaine Laws
The possession, sale, or trafficking of cocaine is a felony crime in most states. Possession of even a small amount of the drug is charged as a Class I felony in North Carolina, which is punishable by up to one year in jail. North Carolina cocaine laws are similar to cocaine laws in other states, although the state doesn't offer drug abatement programs -- in which the defendant receives drug treatment in lieu of jail -- for cocaine possession.
The charges and penalties under North Carolina's cocaine laws are listed below, while in-depth information about the subject follows. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section for additional resources.
|Code Section||90-86, et seq.|
|Possession||Class I felony, 6-12 mos. in jail
|Sale||Class G felony; Selling of controlled substance to person under 16 or pregnant female or within 300 ft. of school property: Class E felony|
|Trafficking||28-200 g.: Class G felony, 35-51 mos. and $50,000; 200-400 g.: Class F felony, 70-93 mos. and $100,000; 400 g. and over: Class D felony, 175-222 mos. and $250,000|
Possession of Cocaine
In North Carolina, getting caught with any amount of cocaine is a Class I felony. This means that the punishment will be anywhere from six months to a year in jail. Depending on how much cocaine was in the defendant's possession, the charges may be significantly higher.
North Carolina's drug laws are especially strict when it comes to selling cocaine. Any cocaine sale, regardless of the amount, is a class G felony, however there are many issues that raise the severity of the crime. Selling cocaine to a person under 16 in North Carolina is a Class E felony. As well, selling to a pregnant female, or selling anywhere within three hundred feet of school property is a Class E felony too.
Drug trafficking in North Carolina can be either transporting and importing drugs, or manufacturing drugs. Trafficking cocaine between twenty eight and two thousand grams is a class G felony, which comes with a 35-51 month jail penalty, and a $50,000 fine. If the amount of cocaine is between 200 and 400 grams, the crime is a Class F felony punishable by 70-93 months in prison, and a $100,000 fine. For any amount of cocaine over 400 grams, the crime is a Class D felony, punishable by 175-222 months in jail and a $250,000 fine.
Getting Legal Representation
It is common for people accused of drug crimes to need the help of a public defender. Public defenders are attorneys paid to represent you by the state, but they work for you, not the government. These free lawyers are only available for low-income defendants. If you are not a low-income defendant, you will have to hire an attorney or represent yourself, which is severely discouraged. Because drug crimes are constantly changing, you should speak with a private attorney who has knowledge of the current drug laws. There are many private criminal defense attorneys throughout North Carolina with drug law experience who may be able to help.