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In North Carolina, felony drug charges are one of the most serious crimes an individual can face. A conviction could lead to hefty fines and decades in prison, not to mention that a drug conviction on your criminal record will impact your ability to find a job, go to college, and even find a place to live, among other consequences.
So, how do you defend yourself against felony drug charges in North Carolina? The applicable defense will depend on the facts specific to your criminal case as well as the underlying charge.
In order to build a defense when facing felony drug charges, you need to be aware of the different kinds of drug crimes in North Carolina:
- Manufacture of a controlled substance
- Felony possession of a controlled substance
- Sale or delivery of a controlled substance
- Possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver
- Drug trafficking
Speak with a Charlotte drug crimes attorney to identify which charges have been brought against you. Only after the charge has been identified and the prosecution’s case has been carefully reviewed, your lawyer can help build a defense.
Reviewing the Prosecution’s Case When Facing Felony Drug Charges
Often, prosecutors are not able to prove every element of a felony drug charge brought against a defendant. That is why your lawyer will carefully analyze the prosecution’s case to review whatever evidence the prosecution has against you.
The prosecution’s case might include testimony from witnesses, physical evidence, surveillance footage, crime lab drug tests, police documents, and others. While it is critical to identify any weaknesses and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, it is just as important to conduct an independent investigation to collect evidence proving your innocence.
How to Build a Felony Drug Charge Defense?
After identifying all the evidence against you, your attorney will begin building a defense strategy. Often, a defense when facing felony drug charges can be built by challenging these two elements:
- Knowledge and intent. In North Carolina, the prosecution must establish the element of knowledge or intent to convict you of felony drug charges. In other words, the prosecution must prove that you did something unlawful. For example, you may be able to successfully defend yourself if you did not know that you possessed a substance that qualifies as an illegal drug in the state of North Carolina.
- Drug possession. North Carolina law recognizes two forms of possession of drugs: actual and constructive. When an illegal substance is found on your person (e.g., in your pocket or bag), you were in “actual possession.” Constructive possession, meanwhile, is exercising the dominion and control (having the drug in an area within a defendant’s control). While it may be nearly impossible to defend yourself if you were in actual possession, a knowledgeable lawyer may be able to challenge constructive possession.
To establish a strong defense against charges for a crime you did not commit, get help from our experienced drug crime defense lawyers to challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and build a successful and robust defense strategy. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to obtain a case evaluation. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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