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The Consequences of Mailing Drugs and Other Banned Substances

There are serious consequences for anyone who is caught mailing drugs or other banned substances. If you’ve been charged with sending (or receiving) drugs or other prohibited substances through the mail, contact a North Carolina criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss the charges and to prepare your defense. 

If the Post Office can’t open my packages, can I still get caught?

While it is true that there are certain legal protections in place that prevent a U.S. postal worker from opening up packages sent through the U.S. mail (namely, they can only do so with a search warrant and probable cause), this does not mean you are free to send illegal substances through the mail. 

Private carriers, such as FedEx, DHL and UPS do not have to follow this law.  As they are private companies, these carriers may open any package sent through their company. 

Sending controlled substances through the mail (without a license) is illegal.

Whether you send drugs or another banned substance through the U.S. postal system or a private carrier, it is always illegal. In fact, it is against the law to send any type of illegal drug, whether that is marijuana, heroin or even a prescription drug for which you have a valid prescription. Only those with a license (which is limited to pharmaceutical companies who can mail prescription medication through the mail only to those who have valid prescriptions from their doctor) can legally send drugs through the mail.

It’s illegal to receive drugs, too.

Not only is it illegal to send drugs, but it is also illegal to receive those drugs. If you know you are receiving a package which contains drugs or another banned substance, you face the same consequences as the person who mailed the package. 

Penalties under state and federal law

If you are charged with mailing drugs or other banned substances through the U.S. postal service or across state lines, not only will you face criminal charges in the state of North Carolina, but you will also face federal drug charges, which often have even harsher penalties. 

Under both North Carolina and federal law, the penalties for mailing banned substances will depend on a variety of factors, including the quantity of the drugs, the type of drugs and your past criminal record.

The consequences of a conviction for mailing drugs or other banned substances are harsh and extremely dependent on individual circumstances. For this reason, it is especially important to hire a North Carolina criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged. Your attorney can analyze your case and advise you as to the state and federal charges and the potential consequences for your particular situation.

Attorney Cotten has represented hundreds of clients through Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties in first appearance hearings. Give him a call or head to the main page to speak with a legal assistant.

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