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In NC, if one is charged with drug trafficking, can he plead to a lesser quantity making the crime selling rather trafficking?

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In NC, if one is charged with drug trafficking, can he plead to a lesser quantity making the crime selling rather trafficking?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

If the prosecutor reduces the charges, yes. But if the prosecutor does not reduce the charges, then no, the person must face the trafficking charge.

Asker

Posted

But in NC, the prosecutor CAN reduce the quantity involved. Correct?

Ernest Clarke Dummit

Ernest Clarke Dummit

Posted

That is reducing the charges. Yes, the prosecutor has this ability.

Asker

Posted

But in federal court, quantities cannot be reduced as a plea bargain. Right?

Sarah Jessica Farber

Sarah Jessica Farber

Posted

I have represented defendants on appeal where the stipulated quantity was adjusted as a result of presentence investigation and working with the offer writing the the PSR and the assistant United States Attorney. Never say never, in other words.

Posted

It depends on the circumstances surrounding the offense and the prosecutor. I recommend consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney about the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the offense to determine if a reduction is truly a viable option.

Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek a full consultation with a licensed attorney before relying on any advice offered through this website

Posted

It is a possibility. It depends upon all of the circumstances of one's case. It would be a good goal in plea negotiations to avoid the mandatory minimums of trafficking, for instance, but some DAs aren't willing to back off of that, or sometimes the defendant's record is such that s/he has had a lot of reductions in the past and the DA or the court aren't inclined to do that with the current charge.

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, www.sjfarberlaw.com, 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.

Posted

The amount of drugs involved and the type of drug would have a lot of bearing on whether the DA might agree to accept a plea to something other than trafficking. fro example, the first level of trafficking in cocaine is 28 grams 199.9 grams. If a person had 28.1 grams, it would be barely within the trafficking range and the DA would be more likely to reduce than if the amount was 150 grams. Also prior record and whether the person was cooperative with the cops would also factor in. Lastly, if a person provides "substantial assistance" to law enforcement in the identification, arrest or conviction of other drug traffickers, then the court does not have to impose the otherwise mandatory active prison sentence which the trafficking statutes call for. You absolutely need to have an experienced criminal defense attorney help you through this.

Posted

Trafficking is a very serious charge. It has its own sentencing structure. There are many factors which play into whether you can get a reduction: your prior criminal history, whether the DA needs cooperation and/or a witness for a co-defendant, the amount and details of the transaction. You must work with a private lawyer or a Public Defender. Don't even consider representing yourself. The defense attorney will be able to determine whether there is potential for a reduction.

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