Representation You Can Trust.

Understanding the difference between drug possession, sale and trafficking charges

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drug Charges

Facing drug charges can be overwhelming, especially with the various activities that can lead to your arrest, such as drug possession, distribution or manufacturing. Your drug allegations can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on a variety of factors, and could lead to hefty fines and extensive prison time. In this intricate situation, it is crucial to understand the distinctions between possession, sale and trafficking charges. Knowing their differences could help you determine the right steps to take moving forward.

Drug possession is the least severe charge

While possessing an illegal drug is the least severe of the three charges, it is still a serious offense. A drug possession charge means that you knowingly have a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Penalties for possession vary based on the type and amount of drug. For instance, possessing less than half an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor, while possessing cocaine is a felony.

Drug sale charges are more severe than possession

You can receive a drug sale charge when there is evidence of selling or intending to sell a controlled substance. This could include actual sales or situations suggesting an intent to sell, such as having large quantities of drugs, scales or packaging. Penalties for selling drugs are more severe than for possession, often involving significant jail time.

Drug trafficking is the most serious drug charge

In North Carolina, drug trafficking covers several drug-related activities, such as manufacturing, transporting, selling or possessing large quantities of controlled substances. The threshold for trafficking varies by drug type. For example, trafficking charges for cocaine apply at 28 grams, while it is 10 pounds for marijuana. Trafficking convictions carry mandatory minimum prison sentences and high fines.

Explore options to fight these charges

A drug-related conviction could have lasting implications in your personal and professional life. In addition to the hefty fines and extensive prison time, these charges stay on your record. Understanding these charges and their potential consequences is just the first step.

Every case is unique, and the outcome depends on various factors. The legal process can be complex and intimidating, but you do not have to face it alone. Consulting with a legal professional can provide you with valuable insights, a clearer understanding of your rights and potential defense strategies. It can also offer the reassurance of knowing that someone experienced and knowledgeable is on your side.