Cocaine has always been illegal in most U.S. states, and it is something that state and federal investigators spend a lot of time and effort trying to eradicate. Despite its reputation as something that rock and roll stars snort with jet-setting models in luxurious hotel bathrooms. While some states have loosened their laws, cocaine is still illegal and its possession and or sale can incur harsh penalties.
If charged under North Carolina law, there are three types of cocaine charges
There are three main charges you can face when you’re caught with cocaine:
- Possession of cocaine: The sentence is from six months to one year in jail. It is a Class I felony. Even the tiniest amount can lead to charges.
- Sale of cocaine: Sentencing ranges from 35 to 51 months in prison as a Class G felony. However, specific circumstances could see an increase in the charges. For example, selling near a school or to a pregnant woman or someone under 16 years old makes it a Class E felony, resulting in a longer sentence.
- Trafficking in cocaine: The sentence depends upon the amount of the drug. Charges can range from Class G to Class D felonies, with possible penalties reaching 222 months in jail as well as a $250,000 fine.
You could also face federal drug charges
If caught with cocaine in North Carolina, you might be dealt with by a federal court, especially if your arrest was part of a broader operation that crosses state borders. If you face any cocaine-related charges, you need to seek legal help. Being found guilty of possession, sale, or trafficking will have a significant adverse effect on your life. A criminal record will affect your future job prospects and could limit your access to housing or education.