What are the penalties for drug possession in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Like many states, North Carolina treats drug possession charges very seriously. These charges lead to prison time and significant fines, and having a conviction on their criminal record can also limit a person’s access to housing as well as their career and education opportunities. What penalties might a person face for drug possession charges in North Carolina?

What penalties might someone face for drug possession charges?

The law treats different types of drugs differently, and the consequences of a drug possession conviction depend on the type and amount of of drug involved. Penalties include:

  • Schedule I — The penalty for possessing heroin, LSD, quaaludes and other Schedule I drugs is a fine and up to five years in prison.
  • Schedule II — The penalties for possession of morphine, cocaine, amphetamines and other Schedule II drugs include up to two years in prison and up to $2,000 in fines. Possession of larger amounts may involve increased penalties.
  • Schedule III and Schedule IV — Possession of drugs including medicine containing codeine, anabolic steroids, barbiturates or stimulants can lead to up to two years in prison and a potential fine. Larger quantities may lead to increased penalties.
  • Schedule V — Possession of drugs that contain limited amounts of controlled substances like codeine or opium can lead to a fine and up to six months in prison.
  • Schedule VI — The penalties for the possession of marijuana, THC and other marijuana-related drugs varies depending on the amount and form of the substance in a person’s possession. Small amounts of marijuana can lead to up to 30 days in prison and a $100 fine, whereas larger amounts or synthetic THC can lead to fines and up to five years in prison.

In addition to these penalties, people in North Carolina may face criminal charges for possession of drug paraphernalia even if none of the related drug is in their possession. Drug paraphernalia possession charges can lead to fines and up to 120 days in prison

No matter the type of charges, it is important for people facing drug possession charges to consider their legal options. There are ways to protect themselves from the impact of these charges.