Drug charges of all kinds carry pretty significant penalties in North Carolina if a conviction ultimately occurs. Cocaine-related drug crimes are considered particularly serious. It does not matter if you face charges of simple possession, trafficking or anything in between, all cocaine-related charges are felony offenses.
This week’s column will give a brief rundown of state cocaine laws and will provide information about what you can do to help yourself if you face charges for a cocaine-related crime.
What are the punishments for cocaine-related crimes in North Carolina?
The short answer to this is, it depends. It depends on the crime of which you stand accused. It depends on the amount of cocaine you allegedly had in your possession at the time of your arrest. Finally, it depends on your intent.
A few examples of cocaine-related crimes and their punishments include:
- Selling cocaine: This is a Class G felony unless one faces accusations of selling to a minor or near a school, then it is a Class E felony. Both are punishable by hefty fines and imprisonment.
- Possession: This is Class 1 felony that is punishable by a jail term of six to 12 months.
- Trafficking: This is either a Class G, Class F or Class D felony. It depends on how much cocaine is in one’s possession at the time of arrest. Trafficking is punishable by a lengthy imprisonment and significant fines.
Can prison be avoided?
While North Carolina does offer a court-supervised drug treatment program for certain drug offenses, allowing the accused to avoid imprisonment, if you are facing charges for a cocaine-related crime, you will not qualify for this program.
What defense strategies can best fight cocaine-related charges?
Defending yourself is your right. Doing so is not always easy; however, there are some defense strategies that may work in your favor. These include:
- Providing evidence of factual errors in the case
- Giving sufficient evidence that you did not intend to commit a crime
- Providing proof that you were the victim of forced intoxication
- Providing evidence of possible procedural errors committed by law enforcement officials
Let an experienced criminal defense attorney help you
Every single detail matters when it comes to fighting cocaine-related drug crimes. If your case is not presented just so, your future could be quickly snatched from you. Do not trust your case to just anyone. A skilled criminal defense attorney can prove invaluable during your criminal proceedings.