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How Much Coke is a Felony?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that can have dangerous physical and psychological effects. In North Carolina, cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. If law enforcement charges you with possession of cocaine, you could face a felony conviction. Find out how much coke is a felony and the legal consequences of possessing or dealing this substance.

History of Cocaine 

Cocaine is a stimulant drug first extracted from coca leaves in the 1850’s to treat pain and other medical conditions. By the early 1900s, cocaine had become a popular recreational drug in the United States. (1)

However, law enforcement cracks down on cocaine use because it has severe physical and psychological effects, including:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Seizures

Cocaine use can also lead to death from overdose or complications from long-term use. Long-term cocaine use can cause damage to the heart, lungs, and brain. Using cocaine repeatedly can also obviously lead to addiction. 

How Much Cocaine is a Felony?

In North Carolina, possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony offense. The penalties for possessing cocaine depend on the amount of the drug you possess. 

Simple possession of cocaine is a lower-range Class I felony. The potential penalty for first-time offenders in possession of Cocaine is 6 months to one year in prison. 

The jail sentence associated with distributing small amounts of cocaine can be anywhere from 10 to 30 months in prison along with a Class H felony criminal record. If you already have a criminal record, you are more likely to catch a longer prison sentence. You can face distribution of cocaine charges if you deliver any amount of the drug under 28 grams.

Trafficking Cocaine

If you are caught with 28 grams or more of cocaine it is presumed that you intended not use it for personal consumption.If law enforcement finds you distributing 28 grams or more of cocaine, you face charges for drug trafficking. Trafficking charges increase the minimum penalties substantially.

  • Trafficking 28-200 grams of cocaine is a Class G felony, exposing you to 70 months in prison.
  • 200-400 grams of Cocaine increases the charge to a Class F felony, exposing you to up to 93 months in prison
  • More than 400 grams of cocaine will increase your charge to a Class D felony, exposing you to 175 to 219 months in prison.

As you can see, the penalties for possessing cocaine are severe. If the police catch you with this addictive substance, you could face jail time and hefty fines. The law considers some drugs more dangerous than others. Cocaine charges are more difficult for a defense attorney to help with than marijuana charges. Because cocaine is a Schedule II drug, it is more difficult to get charges dismissed.

How Can A Criminal Defense Attorney Help?

If you’re facing charges for possession of cocaine, it’s vital to seek legal help from a qualified criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney will review the facts of your case and develop a defense strategy that will give you the best chance of avoiding a conviction.

If you’re a first-time offender on a simple cocaine possession charge, an experienced attorney can likely obtain a dismissal of the charge. There may be requirements like drug assessments and education programs, but dismissal is not out of the question in these cases.

Distribution and trafficking provide more complex challenges. Trafficking charges often carry a mandatory minimum sentence of incarceration. Sometimes this mandatory minimum can be averted with ‘substantial assistance’ for the government. Substantial Assistance usually requires working with law enforcement as a confidential informant.

It’s also possible to litigate your case in the courtroom. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the courtroom process step by step. If law enforcement violated your constitutional rights, you can also file pre-trial motions to get the case dismissed or suppress evidence.

Don’t risk your freedom by trying to navigate the criminal justice system on your own. If you’re facing charges for cocaine possession, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

We Can Help

At Scharff Law, we understand how scary it can be to face drug charges. Our team of skilled criminal defense attorneys has experience handling all types of drug cases, including possession of cocaine. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced criminal defense attorneys. We’ll review your case and help you understand your legal options. Call us or fill out our online contact form to get started.

Scharff Law is here to help if you face cocaine possession charges in NC. With over a decade of experience, including prosecution, we know how to build a strong defense for our clients so they can avoid a conviction and jail sentence.