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Charlotte NC Attorneys at Law
Rosensteel Fleishman

Trafficking in Controlled Substances

Trafficking in controlled substances is the most serious drug charge in North Carolina, and a conviction can result in years in prison, as well as thousands of dollars in fines. An experienced defense attorney can examine the facts of your case and potentially negotiate to reduce your charges. Contact Mr. Rosensteel as soon as possible so that he can help determine the best course of action for you.

Trafficking in controlled substances includes the sale, delivery, manufacturing, transporting and possession of large amounts of specific types of controlled substances. These specific types of controlled substances are: marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, methaqualone, cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, MDPV, mephedrone, opium, LSD, and MDA/MDMA. The amounts of each type of controlled substance which will elevate a crime to trafficking in controlled substances is determined by statute.

 

Enhanced Punishments

The trafficking statute provides for both prison sentences and fines as punishment for someone convicted of trafficking in controlled substances. The range of prison sentence provided in the trafficking statute is significantly more severe than the sentence range provided in the Structure Sentencing grid for each class of offense. The trafficking statute provides that:

  • A person punished as a Class H felon for trafficking in a controlled substance is sentenced to at least 25 months, but not more than 39 months, in prison, in addition to a fine of at least $5,000.
  • A person punished as a Class G felon for trafficking in a controlled substance is sentenced to at least 35 months, but not more than 51 months, in prison, in addition to a fine of at least $25,000.
  • A person punished as a Class F felon for trafficking in a controlled substance is sentenced to at least 70 months, but not more than 93 months, in prison, in addition to a fine of at least $50,000.
  • A person punished as a Class E felon for trafficking in a controlled substance is sentenced to at least 90 months, but not more than 120 months, in prison, in addition to a fine of at least $100,000.
  • A person punished as a Class D felon for trafficking in a controlled substance is sentenced to at least 175 months, but not more than 222 months, in prison, in addition to a fine of at least $200,000.
  • A person punished as a Class C felon for trafficking in a controlled substance is sentenced to at least 225 months, but not more than 282 months, in prison, in addition to a fine of at least $250,000.

 

Reduced Sentence for Substantial Assistance

Although the trafficking statute provides for enhanced punishments for a person convicted of trafficking a controlled substance, the statute also allows the sentencing judge, in his discretion, to impose a lesser fine or prison term or to place the person on probation if the person provides “substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of any accomplices, accessories, co-conspirators, or principals.” This substantial assistance can be used in separate prosecutions of other cases and is not limited to accomplices prosecuted in the same case as the defendant.

If the trial judge finds that the defendant did provide substantial assistance and the trial judge decides to reduce the sentence, then the reduced sentence is not required to comply with the Structured Sentencing grid for that class of offense.

 

Multiple Trafficking Violations for One Sale and Delivery Transaction

Unlike a standard sale and delivery violation, the sale and delivery in a trafficking offense can give rise to two separate trafficking violations. The North Carolina Supreme Court has held that a person may not be convicted for both the sale and delivery arising from one transaction. However, under the trafficking statute, the sale and delivery of a controlled substance can constitute two separate trafficking offenses.

 

Trafficking in Marijuana

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 10 pounds of marijuana constitutes the crime of trafficking in marijuana. If the amount of marijuana trafficked is less than 50 pounds, a person who is guilty of trafficking in marijuana is punished as a Class H felon. If the amount of marijuana trafficked is at least 50 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, a person who is guilty of trafficking in marijuana is punished as a Class G felon. If the amount of marijuana trafficked is at least 2,000 pounds but less than 10,000 pounds, a person who is guilty of trafficking in marijuana is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of marijuana trafficked is 10,000 pounds or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in marijuana is punished as a Class D felon.

 

Trafficking in Synthetic Cannabinoids

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 50 dosage units of synthetic cannabinoids constitutes the crime of trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids. A dosage unit is equal to 3 grams of synthetic cannabinoids. If the amount of synthetic cannabinoids trafficked is less than 250 dosage units, a person who is guilty of trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids is punished as a Class H felon. If the amount of synthetic cannabinoids trafficked is at least 250 dosage units but less than 1,250 dosage units, a person who is guilty of trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids is punished as a Class G felon. If the amount of synthetic cannabinoids trafficked is at least 1,250 dosage units but less than 3,750 dosage units, a person who is guilty of trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of synthetic cannabinoids trafficked is 3,750 dosage units or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in synthetic cannabinoids is punished as a Class D felon.

 

Trafficking in Methaqualone

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 1,000 tablets or equivalent dosage units of methaqualone constitutes the crime of trafficking in methaqualone. If the amount of methaqualone trafficked is less than 5,000 dosage units, a person who is guilty of trafficking in methaqualone is punished as a Class G felon. If the amount of methaqualone trafficked is at least 5,000 dosage units but less than 10,000 dosage units, a person who is guilty of trafficking in methaqualone is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of methaqualone trafficked is 10,000 dosage units or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in methaqualone is punished as a Class D felon.

 

Trafficking in Cocaine

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 28 grams of cocaine constitutes the crime of trafficking in cocaine. If the amount of cocaine trafficked is less than 200 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in cocaine is punished as a Class G felon. If the amount of cocaine trafficked is at least 200 grams but less than 400 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in cocaine is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of cocaine trafficked is 400 grams or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in cocaine is punished as a Class D felon.

 

Trafficking in Methamphetamine

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 28 grams of methamphetamine constitutes the crime of trafficking in methamphetamine . If the amount of methamphetamine trafficked is less than 200 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in methamphetamine is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of methamphetamine trafficked is at least 200 grams but less than 400 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in methamphetamine is punished as a Class E felon. If the amount of methamphetamine trafficked is 400 grams or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in methamphetamine is punished as a Class C felon.

 

Trafficking in Amphetamine

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 28 grams of amphetamine constitutes the crime of trafficking in amphetamine . If the amount of amphetamine trafficked is less than 200 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in amphetamine is punished as a Class H felon. If the amount of amphetamine trafficked is at least 200 grams but less than 400 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in amphetamine is punished as a Class G felon. If the amount of amphetamine trafficked is 400 grams or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in amphetamine is punished as a Class E felon.

 

Trafficking in MDPV

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 28 grams of MDPV constitutes the crime of trafficking in MDPV. If the amount of MDPV trafficked is less than 200 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in MDPV is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of MDPV trafficked is at least 200 grams but less than 400 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in MDPV is punished as a Class E felon. If the amount of MDPV trafficked is 400 grams or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in MDPV is punished as a Class C felon.

 

Trafficking in Mephedrone

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 28 grams of mephedrone constitutes the crime of trafficking in mephedrone. If the amount of mephedrone trafficked is less than 200 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in mephedrone is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of mephedrone trafficked is at least 200 grams but less than 400 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in mephedrone is punished as a Class E felon. If the amount of mephedrone trafficked is 400 grams or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in mephedrone is punished as a Class C felon.

 

Trafficking in Opium or Heroin

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 4 grams of opium constitutes the crime of trafficking in opium. If the amount of opium trafficked is less than 14 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in opium is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of opium trafficked is at least 14 grams but less than 28 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in opium is punished as a Class E felon. If the amount of opium trafficked is 28 grams or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in opium is punished as a Class C felon.

 

Trafficking in LSD

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 100 tablets or equivalent dosage units of LSD constitutes the crime of trafficking in LSD. If the amount of LSD trafficked is less than 500 dosage units, a person who is guilty of trafficking in LSD is punished as a Class G felon. If the amount of LSD trafficked is at least 500 dosage units but less than 1,000 dosage units, a person who is guilty of trafficking in LSD is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of LSD trafficked is 1,000 dosage units or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in LSD is punished as a Class D felon.

 

Trafficking in MDA/MDMA

Selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing more than 100 tablets or equivalent dosage units or more than 28 grams of MDA or MDMA constitutes the crime of trafficking in MDA/MDMA. If the amount of MDA/MDMA trafficked is less than 500 dosage units or 200 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in MDA/MDMA is punished as a Class G felon. If the amount of MDA/MDMA trafficked is at least 500 dosage units or 200 grams but less than 1,000 dosage units or 400 grams, a person who is guilty of trafficking in MDA/MDMA is punished as a Class F felon. If the amount of MDA/MDMA trafficked is 1,000 dosage units or more or 400 grams or more, a person who is guilty of trafficking in MDA/MDMA is punished as a Class D felon.

 

If you have been charged with trafficking in a controlled substance, contact an attorney at Rosensteel Fleishman, PLLC (704) 714-1450, to discuss your options.