Criminal justice procedures and sentencing laws regarding controlled substances have changed a lot in recent years.
I am Geoffrey W. Hosford, a criminal defense attorney in Wilmington. If you are facing charges, call me right away for a free consultation about your situation. I will defend your rights vigorously and help you pushback against the charges.
Here are some FAQs to help you keep informed about what's going on regarding drug offenses.
Is federal drug enforcement changing under the Trump administration?
Beginning in 2013, the Obama administration made a strong push to cut down on the number of people in prison for nonviolent, low-level drug crimes.
That policy has been reversed by the Trump administration. In May 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new directions to federal prosecutors in drug cases.
How is drug policy changing?
Under the new guidelines, prosecutors are supposed to seek maximum penalties in those cases. This policy applies even if the offense was nonviolent and did not involve the manufacture or sale of drugs.
It also applies to mandatory minimum penalties, which have been widely criticized as taking away the discretion of judges to create fair sentences that fit the facts of a situation.
How many states have legalized marijuana?
Seven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. And a majority of the states have legalized it for medical use under certain circumstances.
North Carolina, however, has not legalized marijuana, either for recreational or medical purposes. Legislative attempts to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina failed in 2017.
Does North Carolina have a separate court for drug treatment?
Yes. North Carolina established drug treatment courts (DTC) in 1995. In 2001, the legislature expanded the process to include juveniles with substance abuse issues.
DTCs are considered an intermediate sanction under North Carolina's structured sentencing law.
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