Penalties are stiff for heroin-related crimes in North Carolina

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2019 | criminal defense

Heroin has grown in popularity here in Statesville and other parts of the state and country in recent years. While many individuals have lobbied for the legalization of marijuana in recent years, it’s unlikely that anyone will be advocating for the same thing to happen heroin any time soon as it’s highly addictive. This is why individuals charged with the possession, sale or distribution of heroin face such stiff penalties if they’re convicted of such a crime in this state.

The drug heroin is categorized as a Schedule I drug here in North Carolina. State code section 90-86, et seq. allows for any defendant that is charged with heroin possession to be charged with a Class I felony. An individual convicted of such a crime may face up to 12 months in jail for every single count that they’re found guilty of.

That same set of codes allows any defendant arrested on suspicion of selling the drug to be charged with a Class G felony. If the heroin is sold within 300 feet of a school, to a minor 16 years old or younger or a pregnant female, then a defendant’s charges may be upgraded to a Class E felony.

Any person who is suspected of trafficking between four and 14 grams of heroin may be charged with a Class F felony. If convicted, they may be assessed as much as $50,000 in fines and be sentenced to between 70 and 84 months in prison.

A defendant who is suspected of selling 28 grams or more of the highly-addictive drug may be charged with a Class C felony and be ordered to pay $500,000 if convicted of such a crime. They may also be sentenced to between 225 and 279 months in state prison here in North Carolina.

The stakes are quite high if you’re charged with and convicted of a drug crime here in Statesville or elsewhere in North Carolina. It’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed to participate in a drug diversion program if you’re charged with a felony offense. This is why you’ll want to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to help you fight to keep your record clean when charged with drug crimes.