There are several factors that can lead to being charged with drug trafficking in North Carolina. Depending on the category of drug, the amount found in your possession, or how it is packaged, a misdemeanor possession charge can quickly turn into felony drug trafficking. Drug trafficking violations and penalties are addressed in NCGS § 90-95.
While there are several serious consequences of Drug Trafficking in North Carolina, the most important to note is that drug trafficking differs from other drug charges in North Carolina because a trafficking conviction requires a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment (required jail time).
Finally, the judge sentencing a defendant for drug trafficking can reduce the trafficking fine if the defendant gave the state substantial assistance. Additionally, the judge can also impose a lesser prison sentence or the judge could even place the defendant on probation for the trafficking charge.
Examples of Drug Trafficking By Amounts Alleged; Sentencing and Fines:
Drug Trafficking – Marijuana
10 pounds –49 pounds , 25- 39 months in prison, and a fine of $5,000
50 pounds –1,999 pounds, 35-51 months in prison, and a fine of $25,000
2,000 pounds – 9,999 pounds, 70-93 months in prison, and fine of $50,000
10,000 pounds or more, 175-222 months in prison, and a fine of $200,000
Drug Trafficking – Cocaine
28 grams – 199 grams, 35-51 months in prison, and a fine of $50,000
200 grams – 399 grams, 70-93 months in prison, and a fine of $100,000
400 grams or more, 175-222 months in prison, and a fine of $250,000
Drug Trafficking – Methamphetamine
28 grams – 199 grams, 70-93 months in prison, and a fine of $50,000
200 grams – 399 grams, 90-120 months in prison, and a fine of $100,000
Finally, 40 0 grams or more, 225-282 months in prison, and fine of $250,000
Sentencing for Drug Trafficking in North Carolina
Drug trafficking is not sentenced using the general North Carolina sentencing guidelines; instead, a person convicted of trafficking must be sentenced to an active prison term and pay mandatory fine, regardless of his or her prior criminal record.
In North Carolina, the law prohibits drug trafficking convictions to be served concurrently, so multiple convictions of drug trafficking must be served consecutively, or back to back.
If you have been changed with a drug trafficking crime in North Carolina, contact the law office of Attorney Frank Lay today at 828-631-2500 for your free consultation.