Penalties for drug possession in North Carolina

Griffin Law, PLLC
Aug 14, 2020

North Carolina implements serious legal penalties for possessing controlled substances. Fines and jail time vary based on the type of drug and the amount.

Review the state laws about drug possession before facing charges.

Schedule I drugs

This category includes heroin, MDMA and hallucinogens such as LSD, peyote and psilocybin mushrooms. An offender can receive a felony conviction that carries up to five years in jail along with a fine. Although cocaine falls into Schedule II, possession of any amount of cocaine is also a felony in North Carolina. This crime carries a minimum penalty of six months in jail.

Schedule II drugs

These drugs include prescription opiates, amphetamines, codeine, morphine and narcotics. A conviction for this misdemeanor offense can result in up to two years in prison as well as a fine of up to $2,000. However, more than four units of hydromorphone or 100 doses of another Schedule II substance is a felony subject to the Schedule I penalties above.

Schedule III drugs

This category includes anabolic steroids, barbiturates and cough medicines containing codeine. This crime is a misdemeanor that carries up to two years in prison along with a fine. However, as with Schedule II substances, greater quantities can result in felony charges. This includes more than 100 dosage units of any Schedule III substances.

In addition to the possession penalties in North Carolina, the state also mandates harsh penalties for manufacturing, selling or trafficking controlled substances. Selling drugs to a pregnant woman or within a school zone will also result in elevated charges for conviction.

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