What Are The Consequences Of A Drug Conviction?

Controlled substances, such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana, are illegal in North Carolina. If you are caught in possession of a controlled substance, or selling or distributing drugs, the severity of the charges you face depend on the type and amount of drugs involved.


North Carolina Classifies Drugs Into Six (6) Schedules

  • Schedule I includes drugs such as heroin and Ecstasy
  • Schedule II substances include cocaine and methamphetamines
  • Schedule III and Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, Valium and other depressants
  • Schedule V includes certain over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol with codeine
  • Schedule VI includes marijuana

Offenses involving Schedule I drugs are the most serious, and are always charged as felonies. Schedule V and VI offenses are the least serious, typically charged as misdemeanors. However, charges and penalties vary depending on the amount of drug, the activity involved and whether you have any prior convictions.


The Legal Consequences Of A Conviction

The penalties of a drug conviction are wide-ranging and severe. Felony-level drug convictions carry the harshest consequences:

  • Class H felony: 4 to 25 months in state prison
  • Class G felony: 8 to 31 months in state prison
  • Class F felony: 10 to 41 months in state prison
  • Class E felony: 15 to 63 months in state prison
  • Class D felony: 38 to 160 months in state prison
  • Class C felony: 44 to 182 months in state prison

Misdemeanor offenses also have consequences:

  • Class 1 misdemeanor: Maximum 120 days in jail
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: Maximum 60 days in jail
  • Class 3 misdemeanor: Maximum 20 days in jail

You may also be charged with a federal drug crime. Federal crimes often carry longer prison sentences and larger fines.


The Social Consequences Of A Conviction

In addition to fines and possible jail time, you will have a permanent criminal record. As a convicted drug offender, your future opportunities may be limited.

If you are a student, you will lose your eligibility for federal financial aid. You may be unable to attend graduate school. If you are a nurse or doctor, you may not be granted a professional license.


You've Been Charged With A Drug Offense, What Now?

If you've been charged with a drug crime, the best thing you can do for yourself is to contact an experienced drug defense lawyer. Prosecutors have one goal: to secure a guilty verdict. You need an attorney fighting for your innocence. You need Peter D. Zellmer.

Located in Greensboro, the law office of Peter D. Zellmer, PLLC, defends individuals in the triad area and throughout North Carolina against state and federal drug charges. For a free consultation, call 336-274-1168 or contact the firm online.

Greensboro Criminal Defense Lawyer