It is illegal throughout North Carolina to be involved with controlled substances unless you have a license or prescription. This includes the unlicensed possession, sale, distribution, and manufacture of these drugs within the state. Whether you are caught with some marijuana and charged with drug possession, or you are arrested for manufacturing meth, you need to call an experienced and aggressive Charlotte drug lawyer to defend you.
At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we are knowledgeable regarding NC laws on controlled substances and highly experienced in defending against misdemeanor and felony drug charges. You can reach us to schedule a free, initial consultation through our online contact form, or by calling (980) 237-4579.
North Carolina Manufacturing a Controlled Substance Law
It is illegal under North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) 90-95(a) to:
- Manufacture, sell or deliver, or to possess and intend to manufacture, sell, or deliver a controlled substance.
- Create, sell or deliver, or possess and intend to sell or deliver, a counterfeit controlled substance.
- Possess a controlled substance.
The type of the manufacturing charge you may face depends on the type and amount of the controlled substance or substances. The law does not treat all drugs or differing amounts of one drug the same. You should speak with a drug lawyer about the potential charges and penalties.
The North Carolina Schedule of Controlled Substances
The North Carolina Controlled Substances Act dictates which schedule a drug belongs to, which in turn influences the class of a misdemeanor felony drug offense. The NC controlled substances schedule divides into six distinct categories, with Schedule I encompassing the most dangerous and addictive drugs, and Schedule V and VI containing the least dangerous and addictive drugs.
- Schedule I – Certain opiates, heroin, ecstasy, GHB, and peyote
- Schedule II – Opium, cocaine, morphine, hydrocodone, methadone, methamphetamines, and Ritalin
- Schedule III – Anabolic steroids, certain barbiturates, and ketamine
- Schedule IV – Barbital, Valium, Xanax, and Rohypnol
- Schedule V – Over-the-counter medications containing codeine
- Schedule VI – Marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil
What Constitutes the Manufacture of a Controlled Substance?
When you are facing drug charges based on alleged manufacturing, it is important you understand what “manufacturing” entails. A prosecutor may charge you with manufacturing a drug if you physically create the drug, such as growing cannabis plants or creating methamphetamine in a professional or homemade lab. However, manufacturing a drug under North Carolina law is much more than just those acts. You can face these charges even if another party creates the drug and sells or distributes it to you first.
Manufacturing also entails processing, compounding, or otherwise preparing drugs; packaging or repackaging drugs; and labeling or relabeling containers. For example, you may receive a large shipment of cocaine. You may then take several large parcels of the cocaine, weigh them into smaller portions, and package and label those smaller portions for sale to others.
Levels of a Manufacturing a Controlled Substance Charge
If you are accused of manufacturing a drug or possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, or distribute (PWIMSD), you can expect to face a felony offense. However, the level of the felony depends on the type and amount of the drug in your possession.
The law states:
- NCGS 90-95(b)(1) – A Schedule I or II controlled substance is punished as a class H felony, except the sale of these drugs is a class G felony.
- NCGS 90-95(b)(1a) – The manufacturing of methamphetamine is punished as a class C felony, unless your offense was packaging or repackaging meth, or labeling or relabeling containers. The offense is then considered a class H felony.
- NCGS 90-95 (b)(2) – A schedule III, IV, V, or VI is punished as a class I felony, except the sale of these drugs is charged as a class H felony. However, the transfer (not sale) of less than five grams of marijuana does not constitute the crime of delivery.
Cultivating Marijuana Laws
If you are arrested for selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 10 pounds of marijuana, then you can be charged with trafficking in marijuana under NCGS 90-95(h)1). The level of the drug charge and the potential penalty depends on the amount in question:
- Between 10 and 50 pounds – Class H felony, punishable with 25 to 39 months in prison, and fines of at least $5,000.
- Between 50 and 2,000 pounds – Class G felony, punishable by 35 to 51 months in prison, and fines of at least $25,000.
- Between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds – Class F felony, punishable with 70 to 93 months in prison, and at least $50,000 in fines.
- 10,000 pounds or more –z Class D felony, punishable by 175 to 222 months in prison, and fines of at least $200,000.
When you face a drug cultivation charge for large quantities of marijuana, contact a drug defense lawyer at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys as soon as possible. We understand that you may see recreational marijuana use as harmless, but the state does not agree. You will need to present a vigorous defense to avoid a conviction or being sentenced to the maximum penalties upon conviction.
Penalties for a Drug Manufacturing Conviction
If you are convicted of a class H felony drug offense, then you face a prison term of anywhere between four to 25 months. Class G drug convictions are punishable by eight to 31 months imprisonment. If you are convicted of a class C drug felony, however, your sentence can be anywhere between 44 and 182 months.
Because of the complexities of North Carolina felony sentencing, you should speak with a drug lawyer about the potential penalties upon conviction.