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Dysart Willis

North Carolina criminal defense: Drug possession charges

There are some in North Carolina who find themselves facing drug charges. Without an extensive education in law, some may find themselves struggling to fully comprehend the import of the charges they face as well as the potential consequences. Fully understanding the charges a person faces is the first step toward deciding on a criminal defense.

Willfully possessing certain drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine, among others, is in violation of state and federal laws. Additionally, it is illegal to possess certain substances or items related to manufacturing a drug or using it. In most areas, those who are accused of having a small quantity of a drug will likely face a charge of simple possession. However, those who have larger quantities, large amounts of money and/or certain items associated with selling drugs could be accused of possession with the intent to distribute.

Those facing charges of possession with the intent to distribute could face stiffer penalties than those accused of simple possession if convicted. In order for prosecutors to gain a conviction on drug charges, they must be able to prove the accused had knowledge that he or she possessed or had access to an illegal drug. This could mean that the accused had the drugs on his or her person or, for example, had a key to a vehicle that contained drugs or related paraphernalia.

The criminal justice system can be overwhelming for those who are unfamiliar with the rules and procedures as well as the nuances of certain laws. Many people in North Carolina seek assistance from an experienced criminal attorney to help them make important decisions regarding their criminal defense. Depending on the evidence against them, some choose to accept a plea deal while others choose to fight the charges through trial in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Drug Possession Overview", April 12, 2016