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Controlled Substances - Don't Let Drug Charges Destroy Your Life

So your friends are all together and everyone piles into your car to hit one last stand before the night is over.  A routine traffic stop, and the next thing you know, you are charged with possession of controlled substances and paraphernalia.  Perhaps they're not even your drugs, your paraphernalia.  It makes no difference to the officer charging you, he'll let the courts sort it out.  Charges like these can impact your life for years.  A conviction can affect job opportunities, housing and federal assistance.  It doesn't have to end badly.  A charge for possessing controlled substances doesn't have to ruin your life.  Sawyer Law can help you through the maze of complicated drug laws to a favorable outcome.

Sawyer Law Can Help You Through This

Sawyer Law may be able to keep your life on track and headed toward your goals.  There are many ways that you can be charged with the possession of controlled substances.  Depending on the substance, the amount, and other surrounding circumstances you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.  There are six classifications and many of these charges carry weighty penalties.  Don't take a chance with your future.  Call Sawyer Law at 336-274-5552 for a FREE consultation.  You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.  Whether you consult with an experienced attorney over the  phone, in our office or with an on-line visit is your choice.

We Have Flat Attorney Fees at Sawyer Law

Once you hear your options during a FREE consultation with us, we'll let you know right away what the attorney fee will be. If you think of something else that we should know about your case, we don't want you to worry that your cost will go up if you call us.  At this point in your life, you don't need any more unpleasant surprises.  Our rates are very reasonable, and PAYMENT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE.

Sawyer Law Offers Easy Access, Convenience

We know that you have a busy life and little time.  You can call us anytime at 336-274-5552.  During the week we answer calls or check messages until 9 pm.  On weekends, leave a message and your call will be promptly returned. If you need a consultation outside of regular office hours we can arrange it.  In many cases, you will not need to appear in court or in our office.

Hiring a Lawyer is an Important Decision

Charges like these that carry weighty penalties and can affect your future require the help of a professional.  Hiring a lawyer for your case is an important decision.  Wendell H. Sawyer, the source and inspiration of Sawyer Law, was first recognized as an outstanding attorney by Martindale-Hubbell in 1995.  He had a special way of dealing with each case.  He took the time to listen and really consider the best course for every case entrusted to him.  We continue to follow "Wendell's Way" with the help of local, experienced attorneys at Sawyer Law.  Call us today at 336-274-5552 for your FREE consultation.

How Does a Routine Traffic Stop Result in a Drug Charge?

Often, police officers find drugs during a routine traffic stop. Yet, under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you are free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. When a police officer stops you for a traffic violation, he cannot routinely search your car or you. An officer must have probable cause to conduct a search. Thus, if he asks for permission, you may refuse the officer without any fear of penalty.

However, if the officer has probable cause that you committed a crime, he can legally search your vehicle. Hence, the officer must observe something tangible that you broke the law. He cannot search your vehicle based merely on suspicion. Tangible observations may include seeing drug paraphernalia, a weapon, or smell alcohol or marijuana.  

Additionally, an officer may conduct a thorough and extensive examination of you if he has probable cause. More meticulous than frisking, the police may seize any illegal items uncovered during either scenario. However, police only need reasonable suspicion to conduct a frisking. 

Sometimes, these searches are illegal and unconstitutional. Our priority is to safeguard your constitutional rights. We will scrutinize warrantless searches and search warrants holding the state to the standards afforded to us by the Constitution. Every person deserves protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Which Charge will I Face, a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

A drug charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, misdemeanors are less serious charges involving more lenient penalties. Your charge depends on the type of drug, the amount in your possession, and your intent.

The state classifies drugs into 6 schedules, ranking them according to specific characteristics:

  • Potential for abuse

  • Evidence of a pharmacological effect

  • History and pattern of abuse

  • Risk to the public health

  • Precursor to another controlled substance

Schedule VI drugs are the least dangerous with minimal potential for abuse. They have no medical use and lower penalties. Schedule I drugs are the most perilous with the greatest potential for abuse. These drugs have no medical use and carry the most severe penalties. 

Although in some states the legislature has legalized Marijuana, here in NC it is still a controlled substance. If the police catch you with less than 1.5 ounces, you will face a misdemeanor charge. However, if there is evidence of distribution, the charge becomes a felony. 

Moreover, North Carolina has some of the harshest penalties in the nation for drug possession. You may be facing jail time with a permanent criminal record. Sawyer Law will develop an aggressive defense for the best possible outcome for you. We’ll help to protect your rights and minimize the penalties. 

You May Face a Drug Paraphernalia Charge

It’s also possible that you can face a criminal charge without ever possessing any drugs. If the police find paraphernalia, you will face a misdemeanor charge. A conviction may result in a punishment of a jail term of 120 days.

The NC Assembly defines drug paraphernalia as equipment, products, and materials used to facilitate violations of the Controlled Substances Act. Arresting officers may consider ordinary products such as spoons, plastic food bags, and other containers as drug paraphernalia. Thus, if the police suspect you of drug use and find paraphernalia, the officer will arrest you. 

Moreover, drug paraphernalia charges correspond to the controlled substance schedule. Accordingly, if you’re caught with paraphernalia associated with a Schedule I, you’ll be facing harsh penalties. Whereas a charge of marijuana paraphernalia will result in lesser charges. 

Is the NC 90-96 Program in My Best Interest?

If you are a first-time offender, you may benefit from North Carolina’s 90-96 program. Authorized by the General Assembly, completion of this program allows for the dismissal of your charges. Additionally, if you were under the age of 22 at the time of the offense, you may apply to expunge your record. 

To participate in the program, you must not have any prior drug or paraphernalia charges. You need to enroll and complete North Carolina’s Drug Education School Program. Additionally, you must plead guilty to your drug charge. 

Is the 90-96 program right for you? Sawyer Law will review your case and find the best course of action. We work tirelessly to find a favorable outcome for you. From our first interaction to the court decision, we’re with you every step of the way, fighting for your rights. 

The Long Term Consequences of a Controlled Substance Conviction

The effects of a controlled substance conviction are far-reaching. A drug conviction results in a criminal record. Thus, every time you apply for a job your record will show up hindering your efforts to find employment. Additionally, a felony may disqualify you from federal assistance programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, or student loans. Furthermore, as a convicted felon, you’ll lose certain rights like the right to vote and bear arms. 

Most likely, you will have to spend some time in jail from a few days to years. If you’re currently employed, you’ll have to explain your absence to your employer. Your employer may even fire you. Moreover, you may have to submit to random drug testing.

Sawyer Law can help mitigate the consequences of your punishment. We’ve helped many people just like you receive an agreeable outcome. First time offender, misdemeanor, or felony charge, we have many years of experience in defending against drug charges. Call us today at 336-274-5552 for your free consultation. Don’t let your mistakes dictate your life. Let’s work together for your future.