Trafficking Drug Charges

Can a lawyer help me with Trafficking Drug Charges?

If you’re looking for a law firm experienced with helping people with serious felony cases, please call us immediately at:  (704)-342-HELP that’s (704)-342-4357.

Given the nature of and seriousness of those types of cases, it really is a good idea to sit down, talk about your options, and figure out what legal defenses you may have – Bill Powers

Trafficking charges in North Carolina are different.  Unlike many, if not most other criminal offenses, who you are, your prior accomplishments, and even your lack of a prior record are not factors the Judge considers. . .if you’re found guilty.




In fact, about the only thing that really matters is how much, either by weight or dosage unit, depending on the type of controlled substance at issue, is involved.

That’s how trafficking charges are defined in North Carolina.  How much did you have?

Drug trafficking charges in Charlotte and elsewhere in North Carolina could lead to a conviction if you’re not careful about hiring an experienced lawyer. Your case should only be entrusted to an attorney who knows how to approach these charges by gathering the relevant information for a comprehensive defense.

It’s important to realize that you’re not alone even when facing these life-changing charges- you should have a lawyer at your side for the entirety of your case in the North Carolina courts.

Drug Charges in North Carolina: What You Need to Know

Possession of nearly any scheduled controlled substance or narcotic could lead to a drug trafficking charge and the appropriate consequences in North Carolina. The state courts in North Carolina and the statutes on the books stipulate how the exact drug quantity determines whether or not a charge that would have been possession is elevated to the level of trafficking.

Drug Trafficking Punishment Levels in North Carolina

Categories of Drug Trafficking in North Carolina

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD: Drug Trafficking Punishments in North Carolina


The consequences for drug trafficking are severe and may include forfeiture of assets, lengthy jail sentences, or steep fines. A consultation with an experienced Charlotte drug trafficking defense attorney can assist you when you have been accused of a felony. The right lawyer can represent your interests in any interactions with the authorities and may be able to prevent you from losing your car, home, investments or even your freedom. Even if the drugs in your possession were intended for individual use, a large enough quantity may elevate this to a trafficking charge.

Other Charges Often Linked to Drug Trafficking in NC

You could also be charged with accessory crimes such as intent to sell or deliver or possession with intent to distribute. This can occur if the drugs were packaged in a way that they could have been for sale.

This highlights why it is so important to retain an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina criminal defense attorney immediately who can help walk you through the requirements of defending yourself.

With so many minor issues that could ultimately elevate your charges from drug possession all the way up to trafficking, you need an attorney who will work to uncover each opportunity to defend yourself and develop a comprehensive strategy to minimize or eliminate the penalties altogether. The right lawyer should be familiar with the tactics frequently engaged in by the prosecution in an attempt to elevate your charges and put you behind bars.

Multiple charges assessed at once may increase your chances of being convicted, but it also gives your lawyer an opportunity to evaluate the strength of the prosecution’s case and to determine the best way to handle your charges. In some cases, a plea bargain may be appropriate, but in others, it might be better for you to go to trial. This is where the talented lawyers at Powers Landreth come into play, because we rely on our extensive experience in this field to figure out a strategy aligned with your interests.

What You Need to Know About Drug Trafficking in North Carolina?

The primary crime involved in any drug trafficking allegation is the foundational element of drug possession. The prosecution does not maintain the responsibility to prove an intention to distribute or the intention to transport them to charge you with drug trafficking. In order to be charged with drug trafficking, the following circumstances must apply. You must possess at least:

  • 10 lbs. of marijuana
  • 100 pills of LSD or Ecstasy
  • 4 gm of morphine, opioids or heroin
  • 28 gm of powder or crack cocaine

Penalties associated with a drug trafficking conviction begin at 25 to 30 months in prison if you were trafficking 10 lbs. of marijuana. However, based on the volume and the type of drug the penalties increase from there.

Heroin trafficking charges have the strongest penalties maxing out at up to 279 months in prison for 28 gm or more of heroin. Furthermore, the federal sentencing guidelines can be triggered if you are accused of violating federal drug trafficking laws.

When you are convicted of a federal drug crime, these sentencing guidelines can apply and can impact your freedom and your future for many years to come. What you believe to have been an underage possession of a drug or a state charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, may be elevated to a federal crime and the associated consequences.

Defenses to Trafficking Drug Charges

More often than not, drug trafficking charges involve questions associated with violation of your constitutional rights and the procedures engaged in by the police. Convincing evidence of drug trafficking is not always a straight forward or easy process and your criminal defense attorney should be prepared to act quickly and determine whether or not you have been overcharged with a crime and what to do to protect yourself.

Authorities frequently use informants in drug trafficking charges generating deals with those who have provided information in exchange for information that leads to other arrests. If a tip provided by an informant led to a car, boat or house being searched, there is no way to know for sure whether or not the drugs found there were being moved, hidden or stored without a property owner’s knowledge.

When serious drugs have been involved, issues such as the chain of custody become extremely important. Whether an informant passed along information in your case or whether your vehicle was pulled over by a police officer, how evidence was gathered, ceased and stored can evaluate the strength of the case against you.

A drug trafficking attorney who has extensive experience evaluating these charges and determining an appropriate way to protect a defendant is your most important asset during this challenging time.

You may not understand the complications associated with a case like this, but an attorney who has assisted other accused individuals and protected them from the life changing consequences of a felony drug trafficking charge can assist you with spotting holes in the prosecution’s case and responding with an aggressive defense that may keep you from having to go behind bars or suffer the other penalties associated with a conviction.

Each case is different and must be evaluated on its individual merits.  Prior results do not guarantee any future outcome.
Ref 2018 : POW 1706h
Modified Transcript of Trafficking Drug Charges for the Hearing Impaired
Modified Transcript of Trafficking Drug Charges in Charlotte, NC for the Hearing Impaired

Hey, I’m Bill Powers and I want to thank you, first, for checking out our website. If you are on this page, you have questions, most likely about drug charges. Specifically, trafficking in controlled or otherwise illegal substances. That’s what we refer to it in profession as Trafficking.

I guess you could be charged of trafficking and other things, but we normally are referring to trafficking of both legal and illegal substances.

Now, this is a complicated area of law. It tends to be, what we refer to as statutorily based. Possession of drugs, illegal drugs and even legal drugs in unlawful manners. Trafficking is something that enhances the level of punishment that might ordinarily be associated with simple possession of controlled substances, and therefore, the seriousness of any particular type of drug case or criminal offense.

If you’re looking for a Charlotte criminal defense lawyer, we’re here to help.  It’s especially important to speak only with an attorney, making sure you keep everything strictly confidential.  That’s why we like to meet people in person whenever possible – Bill Powers

In North Carolina, it’s important to distinguish that we’re talking about North Carolina state law. There are trafficking charges in federal court, which is United States code and there are also trafficking charges in North Carolina state courts. So I’m referring to North Carolina state court type of charges and there are a bunch of them. They’re in the general statutes, they’re on our website if you want to take a look at them and they are offenses that are defined by the people on Jones Street.

The legislators in the North Carolina General Assembly have said that, “If this, then that.” All right so, think of just the most simple term, if this is true, then this is what, that’s what we’re lookin’ at. So, trafficking charges, often times, are broken up into categories both in the type of the substance as in, or the class of the substance as the case may be, and then the amount. However that’s measured.

So, we see trafficking charges from just about every type of spectrum of drug there is so I’ll start with the most basic one. Lets say there’s trafficking in marijuana. Now, marijuana is a type of offense. A lot of people say, “Well, it’s legal in a lot of different states.” Well, it ain’t legal here except for very, very few exceptions and that’s a whole ‘nother area of law.

We’re not talking about a medical marijuana type of deal, we’re talking weight. We’re normally talking a certain amount that if you put it on a scale it goes over a certain amount of weight and the general assembly says if it’s this amount of weight to this amount of weight, it’s trafficking level one. And if it’s this amount of weight, which is more, and this amount of weight it may be trafficking level two and as you can see, trafficking level three.

Here’s what’s important to realize about trafficking in North Carolina. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been in trouble before. Not saying that it’s fair, I’m explaining what the law is, not what I think the law should be. And so, people call up and say, “Oh, I’ve never been in trouble before. I had no idea. I didn’t even know it was that amount. I just had more for whatever reason.”

The courts really don’t take into consideration, when I say the courts, I mean the law doesn’t really take into consideration your prior history. The sentencing is determined by the amount you have. We see this with LSD, lysergic acid, where there’s a certain amount of dosage units. So, unlike marijuana, it’s how many hits there were.

We see this with opioids, we see this with benzo’s, we see this with the K-pin’s and all the street terms. Where it’s how many hits of acid did you have? How many pills did you have? Sometimes in trafficking cases it’s weight and sometimes it’s just by dosage units, that’s the term in how many you have in a baggie.

I think it’s fair to say that they’re really serious charges. In trafficking cases you’re not really looking at probation, you’re looking at an active jail term. You may be looking at fines as low as $50,000. I know, as low as, and it goes up from there. It can go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and it’s set by statute.

So, if you’re looking at a trafficking charge or you have a family member that’s been charged with trafficking, it’s really, really important to, you know, get up with a lawyer as soon as you can and hope that you can understand and hope that there’s something out there, that there’s the availability of a defense.

Now, as far as trafficking federal charges. Very similar. It goes by certain weight but the state has different types of classes and categories of drugs than the feds do and there are times where a case could start in state court and end up in federal court. It tends to be, at least in the western district of North Carolina, the greater amounts of trafficking, and then you have conspiracies to traffic and then you see weapons charges and things like that.

Trafficking charges in North Carolina, state court charges, often times also involve other lesser included type of offenses. Sometimes we see trafficking with a habitual felon. Sometimes we see trafficking and weapons charges. Sometimes we see trafficking and other misdemeanor types of charges and then you may have issues regarding tax stamps and getting a bill from the Department of Revenue or whatever saying, “Hey, you owe us money.” And yes, they do charge tax for you owing, possessing an illegal substance.

It’s complicated. It’s serious. It’s not always, frankly, fair but it’s what the law is in North Carolina. Give us a call. We offer a free confidential consultation. We don’t charge to talk to you and what you tell us remains in this office. Only until or unless we’re retained and you authorize this, do we try and explain what’s going on to other people in the system.

This is a tough area of law, this is an area of law where negotiation may involve the different levels. Instead of a level two or level three, maybe you’re trying to negotiate a level one. Maybe you’re arguing about the amount and how it was weighed. Was it actually, in marijuana cases were you’re including the clod of dirt? We also see manufacturing type of cases, especially with marijuana cases.

In western North Carolina, we’ve seen a lot of the amphetamines, methamphetamine manufacture type of charges. Gracious, call us. We’re here to help. 704-342-HELP. That’s why our telephone number is what it is. You could email us. I’d encourage you to check out our website a little bit.

CALL NOW:  (704)-342-4357

Trafficking cases are unique, trafficking cases are special in both North and South Carolina and in North and South Carolina federal courts as well. And we can sit down with you and if we can help you out, we’ll let you know. If we need to refer you to somebody, we’ll tell you that too. Lookin’ forward to hearing from you. Thanks for watching our video

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