U.S. and North Carolina drug laws provide stiff penalties for individuals found to be in possession of or distributing illegal drugs. For individuals who are found to be in possession of illegal or prescription drugs and/or large amounts of cash, it’s likely that he or she will also face criminal drug trafficking charges.
Criminal charges related to drug trafficking are classified as felonies and therefore carry stiff penalties including hefty fines, minimum mandatory prison sentences and probation. Additionally, upon release from prison, a felony drug conviction can negatively impact an individual's ability to find a job and secure housing. For many, the stigma attached to a drug conviction also adversely impacts personal relationships and one's own self-esteem, thereby making it difficult to turn one’s life around.
While, the federal government has taken steps to reform drug sentencing laws and prevent nonviolent offenders from serving lengthy prison sentences, North Carolinians who are convicted of drug trafficking charges will still likely be sentenced to serve time in prison.
Individuals facing drug trafficking charges must consider how a drug conviction would impact not only their own life, but also those of their family members and children. Families are often torn apart when a son, daughter, significant other, spouse or parent is incarcerated and, even upon release from prison, many people struggle to regain control over and better their lives.
Given the negative and far-reaching consequences associated with a drug trafficking conviction, individuals facing such charges would be wise to take steps to avoid a conviction. A criminal defense attorney who handles drug cases will thoroughly investigate the facts and evidence of an individual's case and work to defend against allegations and all criminal charges.
Source: FindLaw.com, "Drug Trafficking/Distribution," 2014