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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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In North Carolina: what would be the sentence if caught selling 1.8 g. Xanax - prior recor

Resolved Question:

In North Carolina: what would be the sentence if caught selling 1.8 g. Xanax - prior record level 1?

Is there any way to get this reduced from a felony?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
The only way to reduce it to a misdemeanor is negotiate a deal down from sale of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance to a simple possession of a schedule IV substance, which is the misdemeanor. Depending on the quantity of tablets and your prior history and the actual strength of the evidence against you, this may be difficult because the DA is not likely going to want to make a deal. If they cannot reduce it, then with a prior record you could be looking at 18-24 months in prison.


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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The evidence on this case is a narrative from an informant (no audio no video) - this pertains to my son who was 22y/o at the time - 20 pills (total 1.8 gm) - this was two years ago - now he has finished undergraduate degree & has just finished his master's - staying away from the wrong people / has a 9 month old daughter -his wife in nursing school - in the ?? conference phase of trial the judge offered a plea deal - 6-8 months suspended sentence with 5 days jail - 30 months probation. Our fear is that he will always have a felony on his record & will not be able to even use his now hard earned (expensive) education. The attorney said he could plead not guilty & hope for the best with a jury??? What are your thought on that?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
20 pills is going to be tough to argue for possession but certainly not impossible. This felony would kill his career goals for certain. You are correct in that he will always have a felony record and NC does not expunge any records, even if there was a plea deal where the charge is ultimately dismissed (as it is for first offenders). I cannot see the actual evidence and do not know how strong their testimony will be, but going to trial on these matters in NC is very tough and if he is found guilty after trial he is looking at prison and all deals are off. I would suggest making his attorney to continue to bargain and ask him to push for simple possession and try to force the DA to reveal the informant and put them on the stand, which is something the DA rarely wants to do and your son's attorney can try to use that as leverage.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My son has been going to a counselor since the arrest in 2009 / having negative drug testing / attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings / continuing & finishing his education --- all the things his attorney told him to do to gain leverage with the assistant DA who is in charge of the case - he graduated recently with a 3.89 GPA in the masters program & had no other drug related charges before or after.

 

In your opinion is there anything else (UNDER THE SUN) that you would recommend in order to beg mercy from the DA? Anything at all??

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Your son's attorney was right on the money and actually sounds like he does know what he is doing with this case. His attorney needs to emphasize all of those things with the DA in pushing for a simple possession charge over the distribution charge, it is really a matter of give and take negotiations. The one good thing is that as time goes on, it makes it harder sometimes for the DA to produce the informant to testify and memories of these informants get very bad and they are sometimes easy to impeach or destroy credibility of and his attorney will also push that on the DA to try to make him change his mind.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well, thank you very much for your insight into this terrible family nightmare.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
It certainly is a nightmare that I could never imagine going through with my son or daughter and I wish your son the best on this. He just needs to keep pushing his attorney to keep on the DA for a deal and get him to keep pushing to knock it down to simple possession. Please do not forget to click accept if you have not already done so.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Have you ever heard of an assistant DA sitting down (outside of the actual courtroom) with an attorney & the defendant to discuss in detail the exact positive things that the defendant has done to merit consideration - in order for the DA to get a real feel for the sincerity of the defendant & their life changes since the arrest -or is that not permitted?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it happens all of the time, but usually just with the DA and the defense counsel and not typically with the defendant themselves present, but there is no rule prohibiting such a meeting as long as defense counsel is present.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Believe me I am almost finished but I did not understand this particular part of your answer: "You are correct in that he will always have a felony record and NC does not expunge any records, even if there was a plea deal where the charge is ultimately dismissed (as it is for first offenders)."

 

Are you saying that in NC if a felony is dismissed - it will not be expunged from your records??? And this is my son's first offense for any type of drug charge - are they supposed to dismiss the charges b/c it is his first offense? Would you mind helping me to understand what you mean by the quoted area above?

 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I am saying that in NC, unless the charge is completely dismissed and not conditionally dismissed (as part of a plea bargain where the court withholds judgment until probation conditions are met, which is also known as a deferred sentence) they do not expunge the criminal record. NC only expunges something that was found not guilty or completely dismissed, nothing else.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 92723
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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