Raleigh Drug Crimes And Drug Possession Lawyer

The Kotzker Law Firm, P.C. is a criminal defense law firm that has successfully defended countless clients against drug crime and drug possession charges in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to build a strong defense on your behalf and help you avoid the harsh penalties associated with a conviction.

If you have been charged with drug possession, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner we can start working on your case, the better chance we have of achieving a favorable outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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What Is Drug Possession?

Under North Carolina law, it is illegal to knowingly possess a controlled substance unless it was obtained through a valid prescription. The term “controlled substance” refers to drugs that are regulated by state and federal law.

Examples of controlled substances include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstasy

Drug possession laws in North Carolina are outlined in the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act. 

Under this law, it is illegal for anyone to:

  • Manufacture, deliver, or possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell
  • Manufacture, deliver or possess with intent to sell a counterfeit controlled substance
  • Have a controlled substance in your possession for personal use
  • Possess a chemical with the intention to use it for making methamphetamine or other controlled substances
  • Possess or sell a chemical knowing it will be used to make methamphetamines or other controlled substances

The first step in defending any drug possession charge is to understand whether the drugs were found on your person or property (actual possession), or if they were found elsewhere (constructive possession). The drugs must be in your physical control for you to be charged with actual possession. If the drugs are not physically on your person but are instead located somewhere else, such as in a car or house, then you may be charged with constructive possession.

To convict you of constructive possession, the prosecutor must prove that:

  • You knew the drugs were present; and
  • You had the ability to exercise control over them.

If drugs are found in a car, for example, the prosecutor would have to show that you were aware of the drugs’ presence and that you had the ability to control them. If someone else was in the car with you, it may be more difficult for the prosecutor to prove that you knew the drugs were there and that you had control over them.

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POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO SELL OR DISTRIBUTE

If you are charged with possession with intent to sell or distribute drugs (PWISD), the prosecutor must show that you intended to sell or distribute the drugs, in addition to proving that you knew the drugs were present and had control over them.

The prosecutor may try to prove your intent to sell or distribute drugs by presenting evidence of:

  • The amount of drugs found;
  • Packaging materials found with the drugs;
  • The presence of large amounts of cash; or
  • Text messages or other communications recovered from your phone.

If you are facing charges for possession with intent to sell or distribute drugs (PWISD), it is important to have an experienced drug possession lawyer on your side who can help you challenge the evidence against you.

POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

In North Carolina, it is also a crime to possess drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia is defined as any equipment, product, or material that is used or intended to be used to grow, cultivate, manufacture, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, package, repackage, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce drugs into the human body.

If you are caught with drug paraphernalia, you may be charged with a simple misdemeanor offense. However, if you have prior drug convictions on your record, you may be facing felony drug charges. If you are facing charges for possession of drug paraphernalia, you need an experienced drug possession lawyer who can help you fight the charges and protect your rights.

Some examples of drug paraphernalia include:

  • Bongs
  • Pipes
  • Rolling papers
  • Scales
  • Baggies
  • Spoons
  • Syringes
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Dedicated Legal Counsel

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Our determined legal team has helped individuals and families with thousands of traffic ticket and criminal cases and assisted countless others with their differing legal needs.  Serving clients throughout The Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, we fight aggressively to help those in need.  We offer a free consultation and affordable rates to help you pursue the just outcome you deserve.

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Common Drug Possession Defense Strategies

There are a number of defenses that can be used to fight drug possession charges. Some of the most common include:

  • The drugs did not belong to you: In order to be convicted of drug possession, the prosecutor must prove that you knew the drugs were drugs and that you intended to possess them. If you did not know that the drugs were drugs, or if you had no intention of possessing them, then you cannot be found guilty of possession.
  • The drugs were planted: Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for police officers to plant drugs on people they suspect of being involved in criminal activity. If there is evidence that the drugs were planted, we will work to have the charges against you dropped.
  • An illegal search and seizure was conducted: The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. If the police searched your home or vehicle without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence that they found as a result of the search (including drugs) may be inadmissible in court.

If you are facing drug possession charges in Raleigh, it’s important to contact an experienced drug crimes criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner we can start working on your case, the better chance we have of achieving a favorable outcome.

Types of Possession Drug Crimes We Handle

The Law Offices of J.M. Kotzker, P.C. is a criminal defense firm that represents clients in North Carolina who have been charged with drug crimes such as drug possession. We understand that being charged with a drug crime can be a very scary experience and we are here to help you through every step of the process. We will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for your case.

There are many different types of drug possession crimes that we handle at our firm, including:

  • Possession of drugs for personal use
  • Possession of drugs with intent to sell
  • Possession of drugs with intent to manufacture
  • Prescription drug crimes

If you are facing charges with any of these offenses, or others, we encourage you to contact our office as soon as possible so we can begin working on your defense. Our experienced attorneys will review your case and work with you to develop a strong defense.

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Penalties for Drug Possession Charges

Penalties for drug possession crimes are based on the level or “schedule” of drug that is found. In North Carolina, drugs are categorized by six schedules and have a specific punishment for each.

Schedules Of Drugs In North Carolina

Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Examples of Schedule I drugs include:

  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • GHB
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana

Possession of a Schedule I drug is a felony crime punishable by:

  • Up to 8 months in prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse but also have some accepted medical uses. Examples of Schedule II drugs include:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opiates (e.g., Vicodin, OxyContin)

Punishment for possession of a Schedule II drug is a felony crime punishable by:

  • Up to 8 months in prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

Schedule III drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs but can still lead to moderate or low physical dependence. Examples of Schedule III drugs include:

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  • Codeine
  • Ketamine

Punishment for possession of a Schedule III drug is a felony crime punishable by:

  • Up to 8 months in prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

Schedule IV drugs have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs but can still lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule IV drugs include:

  • Alprazolam (e.g., Xanax)
  • Diazepam (e.g., Valium)

Punishment for possession of a Schedule IV drug is a felony crime punishable by:

  • Up to 8 months in prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

Schedule V drugs have the lowest potential for abuse and limited physical or psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule V drugs include:

  • Cough suppressants with less than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams

Punishment for possession of a Schedule V drug is a misdemeanor crime punishable by:

  • Up to 120 days in jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to $200.

Schedule VI drugs are drugs that are not classified as Schedule I through V drugs but still have the potential to be abused. Examples of Schedule VI drugs include:

  • Marijuana

Punishment for possession of a Schedule VI drug is a misdemeanor crime punishable by:

  • Up to 120 days in jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to $200.

Why Do You Need the Assistance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney?

Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, all criminal charges are serious and must be treated as such. You’ll need the legal services of a team of Raleigh criminal defense attorneys if you’re being questioned or have been arrested.

While you are entitled to silence and an attorney, law enforcement officers and investigators will frequently try to persuade you to give up your rights. However, anything you say may be used against you during a trial or cause your plea deal to fail, whether intentionally or by accident.

When you are arrested or find out that you’re being investigated, it is critical to retain a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers from The Law Office of J.M. Kotzker as soon as possible. We’ll fight for your rights, resist prosecutors, and provide a thorough investigation into your case in order to develop a successful defense strategy.

Consider the impact on your life a conviction can have on you:

  • Jail time or prison
  • Heavy fines
  • Inability to find employment
  • Damage to your reputation
  • Inability to rent a property
  • AND MORE!
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How To Know If Police Are Investigating You For Drugs

In North Carolina, there are a few ways to tell if you are under investigation for a drug crime or drug possession.

One is if the police obtain a search warrant for your home or place of business. This means that a judge has reviewed the evidence and found probable cause to believe that drugs are being stored or sold on the premises in question.

Another way to tell is if undercover officers make contact with you and try to buy drugs from you.

This may happen through casual conversation or by making an overt offer of cash for drugs.

If you are contacted by police in either of these ways, it is important to remain calm and not say anything that could incriminate yourself.

Instead, you should ask to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Raleigh Drug Possession Attorney Today

If you are facing drug charges, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 

The Law Offices of J.M. Kotzker, P.C., has successfully defended countless clients against drug crimes and drug possession charges in Raleigh and the surrounding areas. 

Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case, identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and build a strong defense on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Contact The Law Office of J.M. Kotzker at (919) 439-5104 or fill out the form to reach out to our law firm and schedule a free consultation.

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