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Emerging focus on new Schedule 1 drug: acetyl fentanyl

Regular readers of our North Carolina blog know that state criminal authorities do not take a soft or compromising stance toward individuals who stand before them charged with drug crimes.

In fact, the term "uncompromising" is a far more appropriate and accurate designation for how the state deals with persons alleged to have engaged in any unlawful activity concerning drugs.

A harsh response is especially predictable where a so-called "Schedule 1" drug is concerned. As noted in one online primer focused upon North Carolina's drug laws, a Schedule 1 tag attaches to any drug that authorities believe "has a high potential for abuse" and has no known medical use. A drug charge involving a Schedule 1 drug -- even a first offense -- will be pursued as a felony offense.

A representative Schedule 1 drug is, unsurprisingly, heroin. We note on our website at the Mecklenburg County Law Office of Christopher Connelly that a heroin charge will invariably be marked by "aggressive prosecution" and can entail "significant and life-changing consequences."

Recent news accounts concerning another drug that has been compared with heroin are underscoring a similar concern coupled with zealous prosecution and harsh outcomes for defendants.

That drug is called acetyl fentanyl, which is described in a recent media account as "a synthetic, illegally-manufactured version of fentanyl," a potent pain-killing medication.

Reportedly, acetyl fentanyl just recently popped up on the radar screen of state criminal authorities. Many commentators view the drug as essentially a heroin clone, but stronger, and Gov. Pat McCrory designated it a Schedule 1 substance this past summer.

There is material significance attached to that, namely this: If even traces of the drug are found in a person's system, that individual will be deemed as impaired. That finding has obvious implications in criminal charging.

So, too, obviously, does the Schedule 1 designation in any instance where a criminal charge relates to possession or trafficking.

Questions or concerns regarding North Carolina law or criminal charges relating to any drug matter can be directed to an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can provide guidance and a rigorous defense against any state prosecution.

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