Drug Distribution Attorney in Raleigh

Raleigh Defense Attorneys for Drug Dealing Charges

If you are charged with possession with the intent to sell illegal drugs, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side as soon as possible. North Carolina takes drug offenses very seriously, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver can not only lead to a prison sentence, a conviction can affect your entire future. A conviction of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance can block you from getting a job, rent a residence, and hold certain types of business licenses or permits. 

With a lawyer from Sandman, Finn, & Fitzhugh as your attorney, you have someone dedicated to mapping out a defense strategy, advocating for your rights, and working hard to protect your future. Our legal team has over 60 years of combined experience in the law, and, in addition to criminal defense, we also served as Assistant District Attorneys in Wake County, so we have the unique perspective that comes from working on the other side of the aisle. We know how prosecutors think, plan, and work, so even if it seems like the odds are against you, our representation can lead to the results you deserve.

Drug Distribution Laws in North Carolina

In North Carolina, the crime of selling or dealing drugs falls under NC General Statute 90-95, and is referred to as “possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance.” Basically, this includes, but isn’t limited to: 

  • Packaging 
  • Labelling
  • Delivering or transporting
  • Selling
  • Processing

Many people think that drug trafficking and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance are interchangeable. While they are similar, each is a form of distribution, trafficking is done on a larger scale. For example, if you are caught with cocaine, to be charged with trafficking, you must have a minimum of 28 grams. To be charged with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver, you can have less, but there is reason to believe you were planning to sell or deliver it, such as having 12 grams divided into four bags. 

It’s important to note that in order to be convicted of this charge, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that in addition to having the controlled substance in their possession, the accused must knowingly have intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver the controlled substance.

Schedules for Controlled Substances. 

North Carolina separates specific types into “schedules.”  There are six drug schedules, divided by severity or danger related to the drug, with schedule I being the most severe and schedule VI being the least severe.

Schedule I

Schedule I drugs are defined as having a “high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, or a lack of accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.” This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Opiates, including specific types of methofentanyl;
  • Opium derivatives, including heroin and morphine;
  • Hallucinogenic substances, including LSD and mescaline;
  • Stimulants
  • Synthetic cannabinoids
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamines

Schedule II

Schedule II controlled substances are determined by the Commission to have a high potential for abuse, are currently accepted for medical use with restrictions, abuse of substances may lead to severe mental or physical dependence. This list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Opium, and opium derivatives, such as codeine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, but excluding naloxone.
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates, including methadone and fentanyl
  • Pentobarbital

Schedule III

Schedule III controlled substances are determined by whether their is less potential for abuse than Schedules I and II, offer currently accepted medical benefits in the United States, and abuse leads to low to moderate physical dependence or high mental dependence. Examples of Schedule III drugs include:

  • Derivatives of barbituric acid, including compounds containing amobarbital, secobarbital, and pentobarbital;
  • Lysergic acid ;
  • Ketamine
  • Codeine
  • Buprenophine
  • Paregoric
  • Anabolic steroids

Schedule IV

Controlled substances classified as Schedule IV are determined by the Commission to have a lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule III drugs and have limited physical or mental dependence potential as well as having currently accepted medical use. Examples include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Depressants, including Clonazepam, Chloral betaine, Chloral hydrate, Lorazepam, and Mebutamate;
  • Stimulants including Fencamfamin, Fenproporex, and Modafinil
  • Difenoxin
  • Tramadol

Schedule V

Schedule V substances are found to fall under currently accepted medical use and have a low potential for abuse and dependence relative to those listed in Schedule IV. Examples of Schedule V drugs include:

  • 200 milligrams of codeine or less;
  • 100 milligrams of dihydrocodeine or less;
  • 100 milligrams of ethylmorphone or less;
  • 2.5 milligrams of diphenoxylate or less;
  • 100 milligrams of opium per 100 grams;
  • Stimulants, including pyrovalerone;
  • Anticonvulsants

Schedule VI

The only controlled substances that are classified as a Schedule VI are marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). While there is no currently accepted medical use, the low potential for abuse, risk to public health, and potential for dependence is limited.

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell, or Deliver

If you are convicted of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver, the penalty is determined by what schedule of substance you had. If you are convicted of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver:

  • A schedule I or II is a Class G felony and carries a maximum penalty of 47 months.
  • Manufacturing methamphetamine is a Class C felony and carries a maximum penalty of 231 months. 
  • Packaging, labelling, and distributing methamphetamine is a Class H felony and punishable by up to 39 months imprisonment.
  • Intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver any schedule III, IV, or V substance is a Class H felony and can be punished by up to 39 months in prison.
  • Intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a schedule VI substance (marijuana), is a Class I felony and can be punishable by up to 24 months in prison. 

Federal Drug Possession with Intent to Manufacture Distribute or Dispense

Even though most cases of drug possession and drug distribution are prosecuted at the state level, it can also be a federal crime. Under the Controlled Substances Act, the federal government has five schedules for how they separate substances, and, with the exception of marijuana which is a schedule 1, they mirror North Carolina’s outline. 

If you are facing federal charges of drug distribution or manufacturing, having legal representation is essential as there are mandatory minimum sentencing and severe penalties in place. As federal criminal defense attorneys in the Eastern  and Middle Districts of North Carolina, we can represent clients against these charges just like we can in local courtrooms.

Contact Our Drug Distribution Attorneys in Raleigh To Schedule A Free Consultation

If you have been accused or charged with drug possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or distribute, a conviction can have life-long consequences. Working with an experienced drug distribution lawyer, like the criminal defense attorneys at Sandman, Finn, & Fitzhugh means you have a powerful advocate and ally as we believe in fighting on every client’s behalf and putting all of our experience and knowledge to work to get the best possible outcome. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to schedule a free consultation, contact us today at (919) 887-8040.