Being charged with possession or distribution of heroin is considered one of the most serious drug offenses in North Carolina. As is the case with most drug charges, the amount someone possesses plays a large part in the severity of possible punishments.
Defining Schedule I Substances in North Carolina
North Carolina law classifies impairing substances into six categories or ‘schedules’. Drugs are assigned different schedules depending on their addictive qualities, tendency for abuse, and/or whether they have any medical value. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI substance meaning it has very little addictive qualities but also no medical value. (This is the government’s classification; very strong arguments can be made and have been corroborated identifying the numerous medical benefits of marijuana.) In contrast, heroin is classified as a Schedule I substance for its highly addictive and abusive qualities, and lack of medical value.
North Carolina Punishments for Heroin Charges
Any charges that pertain to heroin, from possession of .01 grams to distribution of any amount, are serious felonies in North Carolina. Possession of less than 4 grams of heroin is a Class I felony and can carry a 6 to 12 month prison sentence and significant fines. Any amount of heroin over 4 grams is considered trafficking in North Carolina. When the amount possessed or distributed is from 4 to 14 grams, the charge is a Class F felony and carries much severer punishments, a 70 to 84 month prison sentence and a $50,000 fine. When the amount is between 14 and 28 grams, the charge is again increased and carries a 90 to 117 months prison sentence and a $100,000 fine. When the amount possessed or distributed is over 28 grams, the charge is a Class C felony with sentences ranging from 225 months to 279 months in prison and a fine of $500,000.
First Offense Heroin Charges
The punishments outlined on this page are stiff, but many first offenders are offered the ability to either have their charge reduced or dismissed. Programs are available to those who qualify, and a good Raleigh drug attorney should be able to negotiate these types of results. Steven Saad is a former felony drug prosecutor in Wake County; he has experience in negotiating and trying thousands of drug cases. Do not waste your chance to speak to a former district attorney about your case. Contact us for a free consultation.
Steven Saad is a Raleigh and Wake County criminal defense attorney with years of legal experience as both a defender of the accused and a former Wake County prosecutor. He is passionate about representing the people of his community that are accused of crimes and have unfortunately found themselves in our criminal system. Obtaining the best possible results in his clients’ cases is Steven’s only motivation.
During his years as a Wake County District Attorney, Steven prosecuted tens of thousands of criminal cases, giving him unparalleled insight into the criminal court process in Wake County. He thrives on the fact that a case can be won or lost in the smallest details, making preparation and communication with clients throughout a case critical.
Don’t waste an opportunity to discuss your case with an experienced and effective defense attorney and former Wake County prosecutor. Contact us today.