Winston-Salem Drug Charges Attorneys

Even though North Carolina has taken steps to reduce some drug penalties, there is still a wide range of drug charges under state law that can lead to significant penalties.

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WInston-Salem Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our clients are people, not case numbers

We treat our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Drug charges can have significant consequences, and you should not attempt to deal with them alone. You need a Winston-Salem drug charges lawyer to help you decide on your next steps because making decisions in the spur of the moment could lead to a costly mistake.

North Carolina Drug Laws

North Carolina law makes it illegal for people to do the following:

  • To manufacture, sell, or deliver—or possess with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver—a controlled substance
  • To create, sell, or deliver—or possess with intent to sell or deliver—a counterfeit controlled substance
  • To possess a controlled substance

Like other states, North Carolina classifies its controlled substances through the use of schedules. The most serious penalties are associated with Schedule I substances (these include drugs such as heroin and LSD). Schedule VI substances carry the least penalties (including substances such as marijuana and THC). However, you should not think that there is such a thing as a minor drug conviction.

Aggravating Factors in Drug Sentences and Charges

Here are some of the aggravating factors that could cause prosecutors to seek a tougher sentence:

  • The amount of the substance the prosecutor claims you had
  • Whether you had an intent to deal or were accused of actually selling drugs
  • Whether you have a prior criminal record
  • Whether there were other alleged crimes involved

Drug convictions can not only carry jail time but can also include the following consequences:

  • The loss of government benefits, such as student loans or food stamps
  • A negative impact on your ability to get a job in the future with a drug conviction on your record
  • The loss of custody of your child or visitation rights
  • Your immigration status can be affected
  • Being ordered into a drug rehab program

If you are tempted to plead guilty to make the matter go away, you should think it through more carefully. There are times when it may make sense to plead guilty (especially when the prosecutor is offering a very favorable plea bargain), but it will not come without a cost. An experienced drug crimes lawyer can review your situation and advise you of your legal options and what course of action may work best for you.

Necessary Elements That the Prosecutor Must Prove

Drug convictions always require that you have intent. There is no such thing as accidentally violating a drug law. The prosecutor must prove every element of the crime, including:

  • The substance that you allegedly possessed was actually an illegal drug.
  • You knew that you had an illegal drug in your possession.
  • You had enough of the substance to constitute a crime.
  • If you are charged with distribution or intent to distribute, that you actually had that intent to do so.

Defenses to a Drug Charge

Drug trials often come down to the quality of the evidence and whether it was legally seized. In turn, you can defend your case by arguing the following:

  • The evidence being used against you was seized in violation of your legal rights.
  • You did not know that you had an illegal substance in your possession.
  • Police did not have a valid basis to stop you and search you.
  • There was a defect in the chain of custody of the evidence that was seized.
  • The substance that you had was not actually an illegal drug.
  • Law enforcement entrapped you into committing a crime.

Drug crimes do not always have to result in a large sentence. If you choose not to fight the charges, the prosecutor may be willing to make a plea bargain to win a quick conviction. Depending on the charge, you may even enter a drug treatment program as a pre-trial program. If you plead guilty, you should only do so in exchange for something from the prosecutor.

If you have been charged with a drug crime, you need a lawyer immediately. Law enforcement may continue to build their case, and you must have someone to protect your legal rights. Your lawyer can keep law enforcement from questioning you against your will and from executing unreasonable searches. Without a lawyer, you may make a mistake that could make your legal situation worse.

Call a Winston-Salem Drug Charges Lawyer Today

Call the attorneys at Graystar Legal today to get the legal help and defense you need. You can message us online or give us a call at 336-715-7250 to schedule your initial consultation.



If this is your first offense

you may be eligible for the First Offender program. This program may help you avoid a conviction and have your charges dismissed and possibly expunged from your record.

Meet Your Team

The prosecutor’s job is to convict you. Our job is to protect your rights

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the police search my home for drugs any time they want?

No. Police must have a valid search warrant that is based on probable cause and granted by a magistrate. Police can conduct other searches based on a valid exception to the Fourth Amendment.

What if the drugs found in my possession belonged to someone else?

As long as you were in possession of the drugs, you can be charged with drug possession.

What should I plead at the initial court appearance?

Not guilty. Allow your lawyer time to work to see if you can fight the charges or negotiate a favorable plea deal.

We’re with you every step of the way.




Defendant is charged.
Bond is set after the arrest and can be reviewed at any court hearing.

first appearance

If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.

Probable cause hearing

Felony cases only.
Possible Grand Jury indictment.


Misdemeanor cases are generally tried in District Court. Felonycases are presented in Superior Court.


If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.

Entry of plea

Plea negotiations and guilty pleas can happen any time before a verdict.

CONSEQUENCES of a criminal conviction

Top-Rated Criminal Defense

Serving the GreensboroWinston-SalemLexingtonHigh Point Piedmont Triad Area

Here are the areas we serve and the criminal courts where your charges will be heard. The best thing you can do now is speak with a lawyer and get a free consultation.

Graystar Legal

Graystar Legal

  • 224 S Cherry St, STE C
    Winston-Salem, NC 27101
  • 336-715-7250