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Drug investigations often result in charges -- and sometimes steep penalties

The police take drug offenses very seriously in North Carolina. And after an arrest and questioning the police may tell you the unexpected--they have been investigating you for more than a year. They have logged data and recordings, met with witnesses and conducted investigations patiently to build a strong case.

This was exactly what led to a recent string of arrests. North Carolina police arrested more than 25 people for drug distribution. The charges were serious and bail was in the tens of thousands. With any drug-related arrest, it is crucial to remain silent. It's easy to want to explain things away, but even seemingly innocent statements can easily be twisted. With incredibly serious penalties on the line, act quickly to get legal advice.

Steep penalties

North Carolina's sentencing guidelines include minimum sentences. Distribution or trafficking charges can easily carry a sentence that includes years behind bars and thousands of dollars in fines. There is also the potential for a case to be referred to federal court depending on several factors including whether the alleged scheme crossed state lines.

Even after serving a sentence and completing any other necessary tasks like community service or rehabilitation programs, a drug offense can follow you for a long time. The collateral consequences are wide ranging and can impact your ability to find work, obtain student loans or housing and food assistance or find an apartment or finance the purchase of a home.

Do not go it alone

Defending yourself is a mistake. You want an attorney on your side from the beginning. You need an ally who knows the law. An experienced lawyer can identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case and fight to minimize the consequences.

An attorney who knows the insides of the criminal justice system can put up a firewall to protect your rights. When your future hangs in the balance, you need the best possible defense.

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