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How to Get a Possession Charge Dismissed: Expert Tips and Strategies

If you or someone you know is facing a possession charge and seeking effective ways to secure a dismissal, our team of criminal defense attorneys from the Law Offices of J.M. Kotzker can help. 

Our experienced legal team is featuring expert tips and strategies to help you navigate the legal system and increase your chances of getting a possession charge dismissed. Whether it's drug possession, possession of a weapon, or other illicit items, we are committed to providing you with the knowledge and tools you need to mount a strong defense and protect your future. 

What is a Drug Possession Charge? 

An illegal drug possession charge refers to a legal accusation that an individual is in possession of illegal substances, such as narcotics, controlled substances, or illicit drugs. In North Carolina, drug possession crimes are serious offenses that can result in severe consequences, including fines, probation, loss of driving privileges, and even imprisonment. 

Different Types of Drug Possession Charges

Drug charges for possession encompass a wide range of offenses related to the possession of illegal substances. Whether it's a small number of drugs for personal use or a significant quantity indicating intent to sell, understanding the different types of drug possession charges is essential for anyone facing such accusations. 

Simple Possession

Simple possession charges are typically filed when an individual is found in possession of a small quantity of illegal drugs for personal use. 

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute charges are more serious than simple possession charges and are typically applied when an individual is found in possession of a significant quantity of drugs along with evidence suggesting a possession with the intent to sell or distribute them. This can include factors such as the possession of drug paraphernalia, packaging materials, large amounts of cash, or scales. 

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession charges are applied when an individual does not physically have drugs on their person but has control or access to them, typically in a shared space or vehicle. These charges can be challenging to defend against, as the prosecution must prove that the accused had knowledge and control over the drugs. 

Federal Drug Possession Charges

In certain cases, drug possession charges may be brought at the federal level instead of the state level. This typically occurs when the offense involves large quantities of drugs, crosses state lines, or involves organized drug trafficking operations. 

Penalties for Drug Possession Charges

Penalties for a misdemeanor drug crime charge can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the jurisdiction, the type and quantity of the drug involved, prior convictions, and mitigating circumstances. 


The amount of the fine for drug possession can vary widely depending on the jurisdiction and the severity of the offense. In some cases, the fine may be a predetermined amount, while in others, it may be based on the value or quantity of the drugs involved.


Probation typically requires regular check-ins with a probation officer, adherence to specific conditions (such as drug testing, attending counseling or treatment programs), and refraining from further criminal activity. 

Drug Education or Treatment Programs

In certain cases, the court may require individuals convicted of drug possession to attend drug education or treatment programs. These programs aim to address the underlying issues related to drug use and can range from outpatient counseling to residential rehabilitation.

Community Service

As an alternative or in addition to fines or probation, a court may order individuals convicted of drug possession to perform community service. The type and duration of community service can vary, but it typically involves unpaid work for a specified number of hours within the community.

Loss of Driving Privileges

Some jurisdictions may suspend or revoke the driver's license of individuals convicted of drug possession charges. This penalty can significantly impact daily life, making transportation and employment more challenging.


The length of the prison sentence will depend on factors such as the type and quantity of the drug, any prior convictions, and applicable sentencing guidelines. Serious offenses, such felony drug charges such as possession with intent to distribute or federal drug possession charges, can result in longer prison terms.

how to get a possession charge dropped

Consequences of Drug Trafficking, Sales, and Distribution

Drug trafficking, sales, and distribution are serious offenses that carry severe consequences. 

Lengthy Prison Sentences

Drug trafficking and distribution offenses often result in substantial prison sentences. The duration can range from several years to life imprisonment, particularly for large-scale operations, repeat offenders, or offenses involving particularly dangerous drugs.

Heavy Fines

Convictions for drug trafficking or drug distribution frequently come with substantial fines. The amount of the fine may be based on the quantity and value of the drugs involved. In some cases, fines can reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Asset Forfeiture

Authorities may seize assets and property that are believed to be connected to drug trafficking or sales. This can include vehicles, cash, real estate, and other valuable assets. Asset forfeiture is aimed at dismantling criminal enterprises and depriving offenders of their ill-gotten gains.

Enhanced Sentencing

Certain factors can result in enhanced sentencing for drug trafficking and distribution offenses. These factors may include the involvement of minors, the use of firearms or violence, operating within a certain proximity to schools or public housing, or previous drug-related convictions.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Some jurisdictions have mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drug trafficking and distribution offenses. These laws require judges to impose a predetermined minimum sentence, regardless of individual circumstances or mitigating factors. 

Damage to Reputation and Future Opportunities

A conviction for drug trafficking or distribution can damage one's reputation, making it challenging to secure employment, housing, or educational opportunities. It may also restrict certain professional licenses or certifications.

International Consequences

Drug trafficking and distribution offenses involving the transportation of drugs across international borders can lead to even more severe consequences. These can include extradition, international arrest warrants, and prosecution in foreign jurisdictions with potentially harsher penalties.

Building a Strong Defense

When facing drug possession charges, building a strong defense with your criminal defense lawyer is crucial to protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome for your case. 

Seeking Legal Representation

Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in drug possession cases is essential. A skilled attorney will have a deep understanding of drug laws, legal procedures, and potential defenses. 

Evaluating the Evidence

To build a strong defense, our attorney will review the evidence, including police reports, witness statements, lab results, and any other relevant documentation. This evaluation aims to identify weaknesses or inconsistencies in the prosecution's case that can be challenged during the trial.

Challenging the Search and Seizure

If the evidence was obtained through an unlawful search and seizure, your attorney may argue for its suppression. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures, and if law enforcement officers violated your constitutional rights during the investigation, the evidence may be deemed inadmissible.

Questioning Probable Cause

In drug possession cases, the prosecution must establish that there was probable cause for the arrest and search. Your attorney can scrutinize the circumstances leading to your arrest and challenge the prosecution's claim of probable cause. If it can be shown that a law enforcement official lacked reasonable grounds to suspect drug possession, it can weaken the prosecution's case.

Examining the Chain of Custody

Ensuring the integrity of the evidence is crucial. Your attorney will investigate the chain of custody, which documents the handling and storage of the evidence, to ensure that it has not been tampered with or compromised. Any gaps or inconsistencies in the chain of custody or insufficient evidence can raise doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the evidence.

Presenting Alternative Explanations

Your defense may involve presenting alternative explanations for the presence of drugs or challenging the ownership or control of the drugs. This could include demonstrating that the drugs belonged to someone else or that you were unaware of their presence.

Exploring Legal Options

When facing drug possession charges, it's important to explore various legal options to determine the most suitable course of action for you, such as getting drug possession charges dropped.

Plea Bargain vs. Trial

A plea bargain involves negotiating with the prosecution to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, often resulting in reduced charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. This option can be advantageous if the evidence against you is strong or if you wish to minimize potential consequences. 

Diversion Programs

Diversion programs typically involve drug education, counseling, and regular check-ins. Successful completion of a diversion program may result in the dismissal or reduction of charges. 

Expungement and Record Sealing

Expungement erases the drug conviction from your criminal record, while record sealing limits access to the record, making it confidential in most situations. These options can help mitigate the long-term consequences of a drug possession conviction.

Rehabilitation and Treatment Options

If substance abuse played a role in your drug possession charges, seeking rehabilitation and treatment may be beneficial. Completing a drug treatment program and demonstrating a commitment to recovery can positively influence the court's perception of your case. 

Understanding the Dismissal Process

Obtaining a dismissal of drug possession charges can be a favorable outcome for individuals facing such allegations. 

Filing Motions to Dismiss

One way to pursue a dismissal is through filing motions with the court. These motions challenge the legality of the arrest, the search warrant, or seizure, or question the sufficiency of the evidence against you.

Pretrial Negotiations

Before trial, your attorney can engage in discussions aimed at reaching a resolution that involves the dismissal of charges or a reduction to a lesser offense. This can occur through plea bargaining or the prosecution's reassessment of the strength of their case. 

Probationary Periods and Compliance

In some cases, a dismissal may be contingent on completing a probationary period or complying with specific conditions. This can involve drug testing, counseling, community service, or other requirements. 

Call to Action: Don't Face an Illegal Possession Charge Alone. Contact Our Experienced Drug Possession Lawyer Today

If you or someone you know is facing an illegal possession charge, it's crucial not to navigate the legal process alone. Drug possession charges can have serious consequences that can impact your future, and having the guidance and support of an experienced drug possession lawyer is invaluable.

At the Law Offices of J.M. Kotzker, we understand the complexities of drug possession cases and are committed to providing top-notch legal representation. Our team of skilled drug crimes attorneys has extensive experience defending clients against drug possession charges, and we have a track record of achieving favorable outcomes for our clients.

Contact us today for a case review by calling us at (919) 439-5104 or filling out the contact form below.