Kurtz & Blum, PLLC - Criminal Justice Attorney

College Student Drug Charges in Raleigh, North Carolina

Many college students see experimenting with drugs as harmless fun, but doing so can have disastrous consequences for their future. In addition to the health problems and other negative effects that come with drug use, being convicted on drug charges can cripple your future right at the moment you’re beginning your adult life. A drug charge can land you in prison, cost you dearly in fines and the loss of your financial aid, get you kicked out of school, and make it almost impossible to find a job.

Any college student facing drug charges should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Kurtz & Blum represents college students arrested for drugs. The Raleigh drug crimes lawyers at Kurtz & Blum have more than 50 years of combined legal experience. Our familiarity with drug cases means we know how to help minimize the potential harm to your future. Our North Carolina criminal defense attorneys will fight for the best possible outcome in your case. We’re in your corner and we’ll protect your rights every step of the way.

Contact our office for a confidential initial consultation.

Possible Drug Charges for Having Drugs on Campus

There are many different potential drug crimes you could be charged with as a college student, depending on the drug in question, the amount of the drug, whether you were using them yourself or drug dealing in college, and other factors. Some of the drug charges you could face as a college student include:

  • Drug possession or possession of a controlled substance
  • Drug possession with intent to sell or distribute
  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug manufacturing
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Prescription drug fraud
  • Cultivating marijuana
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs

Potential Penalties

You might think that selling weed in college isn’t a big deal, but selling or having drugs on college campuses can result in stiff penalties. The potential penalties for drug crimes in North Carolina vary widely, depending on the particular charge you’re facing. 

Under state law, drugs are broken down into six different categories, or “schedules.” A drug’s schedule plays a crucial role in determining what potential penalties you may face. From the most serious to the least serious, the six drug schedules under North Carolina law are: 

  • Schedule I – These drugs are considered to have no medical use and have a strong potential for abuse among drug users. This category includes drugs like heroin, ecstasy, GHB, opiates, and methaqualone.
  • Schedule II – While still possessing a high potential for abuse, Schedule II drugs are considered to have limited medical uses with severe restrictions. Drugs in this category include cocaine, raw opium, methamphetamine, codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), and methamphetamine.
  • Schedule III – Schedule III drugs have accepted medical uses but still possess a risk for abuse and dependence. Drugs in Schedule III include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and some barbiturates.
  • Schedule IV – These drugs have accepted medical purposes and are considered to have a low potential for abuse. Schedule IV drugs include Valium, Xanax, Rohypnol, Barbital, and Clonazepam.
  • Schedule V – Schedule V drugs have an accepted medical use and are considered to have an even lower potential for abuse and dependence than Schedule IV drugs. Over-the-counter cough medicines that contain codeine are an example of a Schedule V drug.
  • Schedule IV – While Schedule VI drugs are not considered to have an accepted medical use, they are also considered to have an extremely low potential for abuse and dependence. Marijuana is a Schedule VI drug under North Carolina law, as are hashish and hash oil.

Broadly speaking, a drug charge involving a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance entails harsher penalties than the same charge for a drug that’s classified under one of the other schedules. Here are some examples of potential drug charges for different substances and the penalties they carry:

  • Possession –
      • Schedule I – Class I felony, punishable by up to 24 months in prison.
      • Schedule II – First offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail. 
      • Schedule III – First offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail. 
      • Schedule IV – First offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail. 
      • Schedule V – First offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail. 
      • Schedule VI – First offense is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 20 days in jail. 
  • Sale of a controlled substance
    • Schedule I or Schedule II – Class G felony, up to 47 months in prison.
    • Schedule III, IV, V, or VI – Class H felony, up to 39 months in prison.
  • Trafficking a controlled substance
    • Marijuana
      • 10 to 49 pounds – Class H felony, 25 to up to 39 months in prison, minimum $5,000 fine.
      • 50 to 1,999 pounds – Class G felony, 35 to 51 months in prison, minimum $25,000 fine.
      • 2,000 to 9,999 pounds – Class F felony, 70 to 93 months in prison, minimum $50,000 fine.
      • 10,000 pounds of more – Class D felony, 175 to 222 months in prison, minimum $200,000 fine.
    • Heroin
      • 4 to 13 grams – Class F felony, 70 to 93 months in prison, minimum $50,000 fine.
      • 14 to 27 grams – Class E felony, 90 to 120 months in prison, minimum $100,000 fine.
      • 28 grams or more – Class C felony, 225 to 282 months in jail, minimum $500,000 fine.
    • Cocaine
      • 28 to 199 grams – Class G felony, 35 to 51 months in prison, minimum $50,000 fine.
      • 200 to 399 grams – Class F felony, 70 to 93 months in prison, minimum $100,000 fine.
      • 400 grams or more – Class D felony, 175 to 222 months in prison, minimum $250,000 fine.
    • Methamphetamine
      • 28 to 199 grams – Class F felony, 70 to 93 months in prison, minimum $50,000 fine.
      • 200 to 399 grams – Class E felony, 90 to 120 months in prison, minimum $100,000 fine.
      • 400 grams or more – Class C felony, 225 to 282 months in prison, minimum $250,000 fine.

How Drug Charges Can Affect Financial Aid and Enrollment

At this point, you might be wondering how a drug conviction might affect your college career or “Can I got to college with a felony?” The truth is that even a low-level drug charge can have major consequences for your future at college. Being convicted of a drug crime could result in your losing your financial aid, especially if you’ve received any federal grant money. 

Depending on the particular charge, you may also face disciplinary action from your school. This could potentially include being forced to withdraw from school. After being expelled, you may also face difficulty applying to another college with a drug charge on your record, making it a challenge to complete your education.

How Kurtz & Blum Can Assist You

College students accused of drug crimes need help from an experienced, driven criminal defense lawyer. The attorneys at Kurtz & Blum represent college students arrested for having drugs on campus. They are deeply familiar with North Carolina’s drug laws and will strive to minimize the impact of drug charges on your future. We can also represent you at school disciplinary hearings.

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