Having illegal drugs or controlled substances in your possession is a serious crime in North Carolina. Illegal drugs and controlled substances include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and other synthetic drugs such as K2, molly, or even bath salts. In addition, having drug paraphernalia in your possession can result in a criminal charge.
North Carolina determines the severity of drug crimes based on the drug that is found in your possession. Drugs are classified on six criteria, called schedules. The schedules that are used originate from the federal government and have been adopted by North Carolina laws. As each schedule of classification increases the drugs become less dangerous and less addictive, with Schedule I drugs being classified as the most dangerously addictive and illegal and Schedule VI being the least dangerous and least addictive.
The schedules consist of the following drugs and controlled substances:
- Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous, and also the most addictive such as heroin, mescaline, ecstasy, and LSD. These drugs have no medical use.
- Schedule II drugs are addictive, and some have a medical use such as methadone, amphetamines. Other schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamines, and opium.
- Schedule III drugs are addictive and have medical uses, they will include testosterone, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and some depressants.
- Schedule IV drugs are often used for legitimate medical uses and consist of prescription drugs such as Xanax, tranquilizers, valium, and other sedatives.
- Schedule V drugs are common prescription drugs with a low risk of dependency like Tylenol with codeine.
- Schedule VI drugs are low-risk drugs. The most commonly known drug of this schedule is marijuana.
Being caught with any illegal or controlled substance is a delicate matter that requires the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. However, other factors that will be taken into consideration for the punishment you could receive include the amount of the drug you were in possession of, any prior convictions you may have on your record, and other extenuating circumstances of how and where the drug was when discovered.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, a knowledgeable attorney may be able to dispute the evidence found against you. Common defenses generally involve challenging how the drugs were discovered, as well as the actual ownership of the drugs. If the drugs were discovered by law enforcement through any unlawful search and seizure, or other means that violated your constitutional rights, it may be possible to have that evidence excluded, so it can’t be used against you, resulting in a dismissal.
Having a conviction for any crime has long-lasting consequences. Daren Gum is a knowledgeable attorney dedicated to aggressively providing efficient legal counsel to those faced with drug crimes in and around Buncombe County. If you have been charged with any drug crime, or fear you are under investigation for a drug crime, having an attorney protecting your interests in the early stages of a crime is critical in mitigating the damage it can cause. Call Daren Gum today for a consultation at (828) 329-3825.