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North Carolina intensifies punishment for fentanyl distribution

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Criminal law, Drug charges

The state government is doubling down on its fight against controlled substances by intensifying the punishment for drug distribution. With the new bill, you could be looking at jail time if you are facing a drug-related charge.

The renewed push for a more severe punishment is a response to the growing problem of drug overdose in the state. In 2021, overdose fatalities grew by 22 percent, with the illegal manufacture of fentanyl being a primary driver of the growth.

How the state is aiming to reduce drug distribution

The North Carolina General Assembly announced a new bill that increases the penalties for distributing drugs or substances linked to a user’s death. With the latest amendment, this offense becomes a Class C felony, which leads to automatic prison time.

Moreover, the state no longer needs proof of sale to the victim as evidence to hold a person responsible for killing someone. This shift means a “distributor” does not have to be a drug dealer. If they give the drugs to someone, they can be guilty.

Individuals may also face harsher penalties if they have previous convictions for drug-related violations. If a court finds the accused acted with malice when they distributed the drug, more penalties may apply.

The government introduced these severe penalties to deter dealers and manufacturers who knowingly engage in these activities with fatal consequences.

Seeking experienced advice when necessary

Facing criminal charges can be scary, especially now that the state government is intensifying its efforts against drugs and other controlled substances. When facing similar charges, consider teaming up with a criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand the intricate elements of your case.