In North Carolina, there are numerous different types of drug charges. Simple possession, sale, delivery, manufacturing and trafficking have varying consequences that accompany them. In North Carolina, Drug Trafficking is the most serious consequence of any drug charge and they can be found in N.C.G.S § 90-95.
Drug Trafficking laws in North Carolina are designed to forbid the large scale possession, transportation or distribution of controlled substances by individuals or groups of individuals. Typically, a person is charged with drug trafficking based on the amount of drugs that are being alleged to be possessed, transported, delivered or distributed. Unlike many other drug charges in North Carolina, a drug trafficking conviction would require a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment, active jail time, and a mandatory fine.
Generally, sentencing for Drug Trafficking is based upon the general North Carolina Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Trafficking. If a person is convicted of Drug Trafficking, regardless of his or her prior record, he or she must be sentenced to an active prison term. If there is more than one conviction of Drug Trafficking, then those sentences must be served consecutively. This means that they will be served at the expiration of each other.
Additionally, the Judge may deviate from the mandatory guidelines only if the Judge makes a legal finding that there was substantial assistance, by the person charged, provided to the State and the assistance is beneficial to the State. The Judge has the ability to lower the prison sentence and, in very unique situations, impose probation.