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Are drug conspiracies mergeable under North Carolina law?

Charlotte, NC |

Are drug conspiracies mergeable under North Carolina law? I got charged with conspiracy to sell and deliver cocaine, conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana, and conspiracy to sell and deliver MDMA. I read that under federal law, all quantities are converted into marijuana and merged. Can I do a similar merger in NC?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. I think you've misread the federal law, or been misinformed. For purposes of calculating the sentencing guidelines range for federal drug charges, quantities of drugs are converted to marijuana, but, trust me, this is not something that works to the benefit of the defendant.

    There is no analogous process under North Carolina state law. Each charge has its own class of felony and corresponding sentence ranges depending on what your prior record level is. Your attorney can explain all of this to you. If you don't have an attorney, get one. You have serious drug charges and the potential to do a lot of time.

    This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. You can contact me for a limited telephone consultation or an email consultation at my website,, which is listed below. In addition to operating my own firm, I also work for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit law firm which exists to protect the rights of prisoners in the custody of the state of North Carolina. If a loved one is in prison in North Carolina, advise the inmate that they may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. NCPLS will review their case at no cost and will litigate at no cost to the inmate if the case meets NCPLS' standards. NCPLS can also provide some assistance to inmates seeking to represent themselves. I am also available for cases that do not deal with inmates incarcerated in North Carolina's jails and prisons.

  2. The Federal analysis here, as mentioned, is incorrect. Here you want an attorney, your attorney, to examine the prosecution's evidence and provide you with advice on a plea or trial.

  3. Ms. Farber is correct - there is no such merger on the State level. I don't practice federal law - but given the types of drugs listed, your interpretation sounds illogical for the federal level. As for the possible outcomes, certainly some kind of plea agreement could be worked out which may result in the dismissal in one or more charges, but that is not the result of a merging of charges. That is at this moment down the road. You need to seek counsel immediately, and begin the discovery process as soon as possible.

  4. I believe you are confusing merger of offenses with how the federal sentencing guidelines work to determine an appropriate punishment pursuant to those guidelines. You do use a drug quantity table to calculate an offense level - and when there are multiple substances involved, there is a drug equivalency table used to determine the amount a substance would equal to an amount of marijuana.

    However, as the other attorneys have mentioned, there is no such merger law with respect to either offenses or sentencing in North Carolina. Depending on your record you are potentially looking at jail time and I highly recommend speaking with an attorney as soon as possible.

    Feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

    Although a response is provided to the specific question, there may be other facts and law relevant to the issue. The questioner should not base any decision on the answer and is specifically advised no client-lawyer relationship has been established. Put simply, seek the advice of competent counsel without delay to discuss the particular aspects of the case, factual scenario and historical background.

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