North Dakota has strict penalties, including jail time and fines, for drug possession with the intent to distribute. Since the nature of the offense is having the intent to produce, supply, or sell illegal substances to others, it has far reaching consequences and is treated seriously.
The seriousness of the offense and, consequently, the punishment the court deems appropriate, will depend on a number of criteria. Which drug was involved will be the most crucial of these.
Types of drug are split into five categories
North Dakota categorizes different drugs into five schedules which go in descending order of their potential for abuse.
The controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in Schedule I are considered to have a high potential for abuse without any accepted medical use or treatment in the USA. This will include drugs such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.
Moving on from there, an arrest for distributing a Schedule II or III controlled substance will include drugs like OxyContin, ketamine and steroids.
A Schedule IV or V conviction will involve drugs such as tramadol and valium.
A conviction for possession with intent to distribute drugs under Schedule I, II, or III is usually treated as a Class B Felony. This carries a penalty (for a first offense) of a $10,000 fine and a mandatory ten years in prison.
Schedule IV drugs may result in a Class C Felony and those found in Schedule V are considered a Class A Misdemeanor. A Class C Felony can result in a $5,000 fine and five years in prison, whereas a Class A Misdemeanor can mean 360 days in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.
It’s important to seek early legal help if you’ve been arrested for a drug crime. This gives you the best chance at successfully fighting the charges against you and in negotiating a lower sentence.