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What Makes Drug Trafficking Different from Possession?

In North Carolina, drug-related offenses are treated seriously. However, it’s important to understand the distinction between drug possession and drug trafficking, as they come with different legal implications. Greenwood Law, founded by Dylan W. Greenwood, prides itself on providing clarity on such issues for its clients.

Drug Possession in North Carolina

Simply put, drug possession means having control over an illegal substance, whether it’s on your person, in your car, at home, or even in your locker. In North Carolina, the severity of the possession charge depends on the type of drug, the quantity, and the intended use (personal use vs. distribution).

Drug Trafficking in North Carolina

Drug trafficking in North Carolina is defined as the illegal sale, transportation, and import of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and other illegal drugs. The distinction between possession and trafficking usually boils down to the quantity of the drug. In North Carolina, for instance, possessing ten pounds of marijuana or 28 grams of cocaine can lead to trafficking charges.

The penalties for drug trafficking in North Carolina are based on the type and weight of the drug involved. The penalties are also mandatory, meaning that the judge has no discretion to impose a lower sentence or grant probation. The sentences range from 25 months to 225 months in prison, depending on the drug and the amount. Additionally, the defendant must pay a fine that varies from $5,000 to $500,000.

Key Differences

  1. Intent: While possession might be for personal use, trafficking implies an intent to distribute or sell the drug.
  2. Quantity: As mentioned, the amount of the drug in question can determine the charge. Possessing drugs beyond a specific threshold can upgrade a possession charge to a trafficking one.
  3. Penalties: The penalties for trafficking are significantly more severe than those for possession. Convictions can lead to expensive fines and extended prison sentences.
  4. Scope: Trafficking charges can sometimes involve multiple jurisdictions, especially if the drugs were transported across state lines.

Why Choose Greenwood Law in Drug-related Cases?

Dylan W. Greenwood, founder of Greenwood Law, is not just an attorney but an advocate for his clients. With a legal journey that began at Wake Forest University School of Law, Dylan’s commitment to exceptional legal representation is second to none. His accolades, including being named a Super Lawyers Rising Star and earning spots in the Top 40 Under 40 lists multiple times, are a testament to his dedication and ability.

Greenwood Law’s core is built on the principles of clarity, honesty, and client-centricity. Our team ensures that clients are never left in the dark and that realistic expectations are set right from the beginning.

Contact a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer

Drug charges, whether possession or trafficking, can have profound implications on your life. Understanding the distinctions and nuances is the first step in preparing a strong defense strategy. If you or a loved one is facing drug-related charges in North Carolina, seek legal counsel immediately. With Greenwood Law’s experience in both state and federal cases, you are gaining a strategic advantage from the start.

For a comprehensive consultation, contact Greenwood Law online or call 336-661-8788.

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