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North Carolina Heroin Laws

While heroin is probably not one of the most "popular" or common illicit drugs, it does have some of the toughest legal penalties attached to its possession and distribution. While debates about legalizing marijuana have arisen over time, heroin remains one of the most dangerous narcotic substances out there and is flat-out illegal. This article is a quick summary of heroin laws in North Carolina.

Heroin Laws Generally

Heroin and other illicit narcotic drugs are illegal under federal and all state laws, although many states now offer drug diversion programs to help drug abusers get treatment in lieu of prison. But since North Carolina heroin laws categorize the powerful opiate as a Schedule I drug (making its possession a felony), offenders don't have access to this program. The state charges simple possession of heroin as a Class I felony, punishable by three to 12 months behind bars.

Heroin Laws in North Carolina

The main provisions of North Carolina's heroin laws are listed in the chart below.

Code Section

90-86, et seq.


Class I felony


Class G felony; Sale of controlled substance to person under 16 or to pregnant female or within 300 ft. of school property: Class E felony


4-14 g.: Class F felony, 70-84 mos. and $50,000; 14-28 g.: Class E felony, 90-117 mos. and $100,000; 28 g. and over: Class C felony, 225-279 mos. and $500,000

Some illicit drugs, like heroin, are regulated by both federal and state drug laws, which restrict everything from manufacturing and cultivation to trafficking and distribution of heroin as well as heroin possession. Drug charge convictions can often carry severe penalties, including prison time, though some prosecutors will offer plea bargains to lower-level offenders in exchange for help building a larger case against higher-level producers and dealers. Some jurisdictions can help drug crime defendants avoid jail in lieu of treatment and other options by way of specialized “drug courts.”

North Carolina Heroin Laws: Related Resources

State drug laws are constantly changing, and their enforcement can vary depending on the specifics of your case. If you would like help with a drug addiction or substance abuse problem, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has substance abuse and drug treatment services that can help. If you think you might need legal assistance with an existing drug case, or would like to know your rights, you can contact a North Carolina drug crime attorney. You can also visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section for related articles and resources.

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