Heroin and Opioids Trafficking
Although opioid painkillers provide needed relief for many people, they are highly addictive and frequently diverted and sold illegally. The opioid epidemic is a nationwide health crisis, and North Carolina, like many other states, imposes harsh punishments on people convicted of trafficking opioids. If you are faced with charges of opioid trafficking, it is critical to retain a skilled drug crime defense attorney to develop compelling arguments on your behalf to help you pursue the most favorable outcome available under the facts of your case. The Charlotte and Concord opioid trafficking lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm are proficient in helping people charged with drug crimes preserve their rights. We can vigorously defend you against the charges that you face.Heroin and Opioid Trafficking as Defined by North Carolina Law
Numerous drugs are considered opioids, including prescription opioid painkillers, synthetic opioids, and heroin. Opioids are among the most dangerous drugs and are widely abused. To deter illicit opioid distribution and use, the North Carolina legislature has drafted laws imposing severe punishments on anyone convicted of trafficking opioids. A person will be found guilty of opioid trafficking if he or she sells, delivers, possesses, transports, or makes four or more grams of any opiate or opioid, including heroin.
If a person is convicted of trafficking four grams or more, but less than 14 grams, of an opioid, it is a Class F felony punishable by imprisonment from 70 to 93 months and a minimum fine of $50,000.00. Even for this lowest level of trafficking charge, the penalties are serious, so a defendant should promptly consult an opioid trafficking attorney in Charlotte or Concord. If a person is convicted of trafficking 14 grams or more, up to 28 grams of opioids, the person will be deemed a Class E felon and will be sentenced to between 90 and 120 months in prison. He or she will also be fined at least $100,000.00. Lastly, if a person is convicted of trafficking 28 grams or more of opioids, he or she will be punished as a Class C felon and sentenced to imprisonment from 225 to 282 months, as well as fined a minimum of $500,000.00.Defenses to Opioid Trafficking Charges
Often, when a person is charged with trafficking opioids, the State will have strong evidence that the person had opiates in his or her possession. Even if the State has compelling evidence, however, it does not mean that there are no available defenses. In many cases in which a person is charged with opioid trafficking, a defense attorney can attack the State’s case by proving that the evidence was obtained improperly and therefore cannot be used against the person at trial.
For example, the State may be precluded from using any statements or admissions made by a person charged with trafficking opioids if the person was not properly advised of his or her rights prior to speaking with the police. A Charlotte or Concord opioid trafficking attorney can investigate whether this strategy may apply. Additionally, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. In other words, the police cannot search a person or his or her property or vehicle without a warrant, unless they can prove that a warrantless search was necessary due to exigent circumstances. Therefore, if the police find opioids in a person’s possession through a warrantless search, the evidence may be inadmissible. Similarly, even if the police had a warrant, the State may be precluded from introducing evidence found during a search if it was found in an area outside the scope of the warrant, or if the warrant was sought based on unreliable information.Meet With an Experienced Drug Crime Defense Attorney to Discuss Your Case
A conviction for opioid trafficking likely will result in a lengthy prison term and significant fines. If you are charged with this offense, it is vital to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your case and your options for protecting your rights. The skilled criminal defense attorneys at the Olsinski Law Firm will aggressively advocate on your behalf. We represent people charged with opioid trafficking in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg Counties, including in Charlotte, Concord, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Cornelius, Davidson, Pineville, Kannapolis, Harrisburg, Midland, and Mount Pleasant. You can contact us through our online form or at our Charlotte office at 704-405-2580 or at our Concord office at 704-918-4747 to schedule a meeting with an opioid trafficking lawyer in the Charlotte or Concord areas.