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Drug Crimes

Charlotte Drug Crime Defense Attorneys

Get the Legal Support You Deserve When Fighting Drug Charges

Drug crimes take many forms, including both misdemeanors and felonies at the state and federal level, but all are heavily stigmatized and can cause long-term problems for the offender. North Carolina laws surrounding drugs are also extremely convoluted and difficult to understand, leaving many defendants confused about what they are being charged with and how best to protect themselves.

Our Charlotte drug crime defense lawyers at Oakhurst Legal Group are ready to aggressively fight to defend you, no matter the severity or scope of the alleged offense. Our team can help you understand what forms of defense strategies and legal relief are available to you in addition to the specifics of how your case will be litigated. We always aim to get the possible result for our clients and are invested in protecting your immediate and long-term future.

If you are facing a drug-related charge, dial (704) 288-1003 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help. We offer our legal services in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, and Russian.

What Is Considered a Controlled Substance in North Carolina?

North Carolina organizes dangerous controlled substances into six “schedules:”

  • Schedule I – Includes heroin, opiates, ecstasy. These are considered to be the most addictive and immediately dangerous substances.
  • Schedule II – Includes cocaine, methamphetamines, codeine, and raw opium. These drugs are still considered extremely dangerous but are less addictive. They also have some authorized medical uses.
  • Schedule III – Includes many types of barbiturates, ketamine, and anabolic steroids.
  • Schedule IV – Includes Xanax and valium.
  • Schedule V – Includes “over the counter” cough medications that contain codeine.
  • Schedule VI – Includes marijuana and similar substances.

Understanding the Basics of North Carolina’s Drug Laws

Like much of the United States, North Carolina has a set of laws targeting “controlled dangerous substances.” While other states have moved to relax their drug statutes in recent years, North Carolina’s laws remain fairly strict. Possessing or selling marijuana in North Carolina is still unlawful under state law, for example.

It can be challenging to predict what you may end up ultimately being charged with if you are arrested for a drug-related crime. The exact charges will generally depend upon the quantity and types of substances involved and any other circumstances surrounding the incident.

The involvement of Schedule I or some Schedule II drugs tends to trigger more severe, aggressive sentences, including felony charges. Even simple possession of a Schedule I or some Schedule II drugs is considered a felony.

North Carolina law forbids the following actions involving controlled substances:

  • Possession of a dangerous controlled substance
  • Possession of a chemical with the intent to manufacture a dangerous controlled substance
  • Possession or distributing a chemical knowing or believing it will be used to manufacture a dangerous controlled substance
  • Manufacturing of a dangerous controlled substance
  • Sale or delivery of a dangerous controlled substance
  • Manufacturing, sale, or delivery of a counterfeit dangerous controlled substance

Being suspected of any of these actions can result in your arrest and criminal charges. Simple possession of a Schedule III, IV, V, or VI substance – meaning you only have a small amount of the drug did not intend to give it or sell it to someone else – will likely only result in a misdemeanor charge, especially if you are a first-time offender.

You can get into more serious trouble if you are found with a large quantity of a controlled substance. Law enforcement will often assume you are intending to sell or distribute a drug if you have a large enough amount of it, or if they also discover tools or equipment that suggests substances are being manufactured. These types of scenarios can result in felony charges.

It is important to understand that there are both federal and state laws regulating controlled substances. This means that the federal government can choose to prosecute you instead of the state. This tends to be more relevant in states where certain drugs have been decriminalized or legalized at the state level. However, federal agencies still sometimes choose to get involved in large cases involving major trafficking operation, especially if substances are crossing state lines. Our drug charge attorneys in Charlotte are prepared to defend you at both the state and federal level.

Why You Need an Attorney to Defend You from Drug Charges?

The unfortunate reality is that even a minor drug crime conviction can dramatically damage your future. Because drug crimes are so societally stigmatized, even a single count on your record could severely limit your ability to find employment. Many North Carolina companies require background checks that will flag previous drug crime issues. You could even lose the job you already have.

That is why it is so essential to fight every type of drug charge. While a misdemeanor conviction will typically only result in a limited fine and up to 45 days in prison, the harm it can do to future opportunities is incalculable.

Felony drug crime charges are even more serious. If prosecuted at the state level, you face a prison sentence of over 23 years if convicted. If you are up against federal charges, an initial conviction holds a minimum sentence of 5 years of jailtime. A subsequent federal conviction could lead to life in prison.

Our drug crime lawyers in Charlotte at Oakhurst Legal Group are well-versed in all areas of North Carolina’s statutes governing controlled substances. We are familiar with how to build robust defenses that can help you beat and mitigate the fallout of drug-related charges. Our team is also a champion of exploring unique and innovative legal solutions, so we will leave no stone unturned in exploring how to best handle your case.


We are happy to offer free consultations for those facing drug crime charges. Call (704) 288-1003 or contact us online to get started.
Our criminal defense attorneys in Charlotte are ready to help you.


Real Clients. Real Reviews.

  • Attorney Darlene Harris has been a trusted legal guide for many years.

    “I am assured that she is always defending and advising me with integrity and a thorough understanding of the law!”

    - Robbie
  • Darlene is flat out AMAZING.

    “I’m a community activist and get arrested regularly—there isn’t another person in Charlotte I want to defend my civil rights. She has won every one of my cases!”

    - Jennifer
  • I am forever grateful.

    “I have been a client for Darlene Harris for about 3 years. She goes above and beyond to get the job done.”

    - Jarrell
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Our Victories Speak for Themselves

  • Successful Petition for E-2 Visas Auto Investor Ari Heikkinen and Wife Kaarina Received E-2 Visas

    Sherrod Seward of Oakhurst Legal Group successfully petitioned for E-2 investor visas for Finland national Ari Heikkinen and his spouse, Kaarina Heikkinen.

  • Successful Not Guilty Verdict DUI Charge

    Client was found not guilty at trial due to a successful litigation strategy crafted and used by Attorney Harris.

  • Successful Case Dismissal Felony Charge

    Client charged with felony inciting a riot. After disputing the evidence presented by the D.A. and noting their obvious lack of evidence, this case was dismissed prior to trial.

  • Successful Case Dismissal Felony Possession of Marijuana Charge

    Client charged with possession of marijuana for edible foods. After disputing the lack of evidence and proof in the case, charges were dismissed prior to trial.

  • Successful Case Dismissal Local Ordinance Violation

    Client charged with violating a local ordinance. Attorney Harris argued that the ordinance itself was unlawful therefore, in the interest of justice the case should be dismissed prior to trial.

  • Three-Year Visa Approved Obaika Racing, LLC President and CEO Approved for Three-Year Visa

    We effectively petitioned for a three-year approval for Obaika Racing, LLC superstar Victor Obaika’s L-1A status.

  • Television Broadcast Host Receives O-1B Visa For The Role Of Hockey Analyst
  • World Class Boxer Receives O-1 Visa With Nel-Sons Promotions
  • World Class Boxer Receives O-1 Visa With Nel-Sons Promotions
  • World Class Boxer Receives O-1 Visa With Nel-Sons Promotions
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