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Photo of Joshua Nielsen

Does North Carolina have mandatory minimum drug trafficking sentences?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2019 | drug trafficking

A drug trafficking conviction may be heavy in North Carolina. When it comes to drug charges, drug trafficking is one of the more serious convictions. Drug trafficking may not involve extreme amounts of drugs. These charges also apply to a multitude of different substances.

Under North Carolina law, according to North Carolina Health News, similar drug crimes do not have equal treatment. Two similar crimes may have extremely varied sentencing due to the mandatory minimums in North Carolina. If a person has 3.9 grams of heroin on his or her person at the time of an arrest, he or she will spend six to 12 months in jail, face a Class I felony and may have to pay fines. On the other hand, a person caught with 4 grams of heroin has a fine of 50,000 dollars and 70 months minimum in prison. This becomes a Class F felony.

One gram makes the difference in drug trafficking charges. North Carolina is a state with mandatory minimums. If convicted, a mandatory minimum means that no matter the circumstances, a judge cannot sentence a person to a lesser term. The judge cannot practice discretion as he or she wishes.

Drug trafficking does not have to include large amounts of an illegal substance and it does not have to cross borderlines to count as a trafficking charge. As with the above example, a fraction of an amount can make a big difference in the sentencing.

The information presented here is for educational purposes involving North Carolina’s mandatory drug trafficking sentencing. By no means should any person take it as legal advice.