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What is a PWISD Charge in NC? | Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law

In Criminal by Greensboro Attorney

What is a PWISD Charge in NC?

When facing criminal charges in North Carolina, understanding the nature of the allegations against you is crucial. One such charge that many individuals may encounter is PWISD, which stands for “Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute.” There’s also PWIMSD which stands for “Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Distribute.” Both PWISD and PWIMSD charges typically are the same level of a charge. This blog post will delve into what a PWISD charge entails, the potential consequences, how the skilled attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law can help defend against such charges, and important information about your rights.

Understanding PWISD Charges

In North Carolina, a PWISD charge is a serious offense that implies the individual in possession of a controlled substance intended to sell, distribute, or deliver it. Unlike simple possession charges, PWISD suggests a higher level of involvement in drug activity, often resulting in more severe penalties.

Criteria for PWISD Charges

Law enforcement and prosecutors look at several factors when determining whether to charge someone with PWISD:

  1. Quantity of Substance: Large amounts of a controlled substance can indicate an intent to distribute rather than personal use.
  2. Packaging: Drugs found in multiple bags or packages may suggest distribution.
  3. Paraphernalia: Items such as scales, baggies, or other materials commonly used in drug distribution can support a PWISD charge.
  4. Statements: Admissions or statements made by the accused indicating an intent to sell or distribute.
  5. Surveillance Evidence: Observations by law enforcement of activities consistent with drug sales.

Penalties for PWISD Charges in North Carolina

The penalties for a PWISD conviction can be severe and vary depending on the type and amount of the controlled substance involved. For instance, PWISD marijuana penalties differ from those involving other drugs like cocaine or heroin. Here’s a general overview:

  • Class I Felony: PWISD marijuana for amounts less than 10 pounds can result in up to 8 months in prison. If you want to learn more about PWISD Marijuana cases we recommend looking at our page: PWISD Marijauna charges.
  • Class H Felony: Possession of larger amounts of heroin, cocaine, meth will result in a Class H felony for PWISD.
  • Enhanced Penalties: Repeat offenders or those involved in large-scale distribution can face even harsher penalties.
  • Drug Trafficking Charges: If the quantity is great enough, as you can see in the chart our drug lawyers prepared below, it may up the felony case from a PWISD charge to a Drug Trafficking charge. If you want to learn more about trafficking in drug charges view our page devoted to trafficking in drugs: Drug Trafficking

For more detailed information, you can refer to the North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 90-95, which outlines the state’s drug laws and penalties.

Charge Crime Level Class Maximum Sentence
Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana (< 0.5 oz) Misdemeanor Class 3 20 days (community punishment)
Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana (0.5 oz – 1.5 oz) Misdemeanor Class 1 120 days
Felony Possession of Marijuana (> 1.5 oz) Felony Class I 8 months (presumptive)
PWISD Marijuana (< 10 lbs) Felony Class I 8 months (presumptive)
Trafficking Marijuana (10 – 50 lbs) Felony Class H 39 months
Felony Possession of Cocaine Felony Class I 8 months (presumptive)
PWISD Cocaine Felony Class H 39 months
Possession of Heroin Felony Class I 8 months (presumptive)
PWISD Heroin (< 4 grams) Felony Class F 59 months
Trafficking Heroin (4 – 14 grams) Felony Class E 88 months
Trafficking Heroin (14 – 28 grams) Felony Class D 222 months
Trafficking Heroin (> 28 grams) Felony Class C 231 months
Felony Possession of Methamphetamine Felony Class I 8 months (presumptive)
PWISD Methamphetamine (< 28 grams) Felony Class H 39 months
Trafficking Methamphetamine (28 – 200 grams) Felony Class F 59 months
Trafficking Methamphetamine (200 – 400 grams) Felony Class E 88 months
Trafficking Methamphetamine (> 400 grams) Felony Class C 231 months

Know Your Rights

If you are facing PWISD charges or any drug-related charges in North Carolina, it’s crucial to be aware of your rights. Understanding and asserting your rights can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

  1. Right to Remain Silent: You are not obligated to answer questions from law enforcement without an attorney present. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  2. Right to an Attorney: You have the right to consult with an attorney before speaking to law enforcement or prosecutors. An experienced criminal defense attorney can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.
  3. Right to a Fair Trial: You are entitled to a fair trial, which includes the right to confront witnesses against you, present evidence, and have your case heard by an impartial jury.
  4. Protection Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures: Law enforcement must have probable cause or a valid search warrant to search your person, property, or vehicle. If your rights are violated, any evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court.
  5. Right to Due Process: You have the right to be treated fairly throughout the legal process, from arrest to trial and sentencing.

Defending Against PWISD Charges

Facing a PWISD charge can be daunting, but it’s essential to remember that a charge does not equate to a conviction. The defense attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson are experienced in handling PWISD cases and employ various strategies to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.

Common Defense Strategies

  1. Challenging the Evidence: Questioning the legality of the search and seizure that led to the discovery of the drugs.
  2. Questioning Intent: Arguing that the quantity of drugs and other evidence does not conclusively prove intent to distribute.
  3. Violation of Rights: Highlighting any violations of your constitutional rights during the arrest or investigation process.

Why Choose Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law?

At Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law, our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to providing top-notch legal representation. We understand the complexities of drug laws in North Carolina and are committed to fighting for your rights. Our proven track record in defending clients against PWISD charges speaks volumes about our expertise and dedication. We feature three former NC District Attorneys who will fight for you and your rights and we’re only a phone a call away.

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you know is facing a PWISD charge in Greensboro, NC, it’s critical to seek legal assistance immediately. Contact Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson for a free consultation. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to help you navigate the legal system and build a strong defense.

Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law


317 S. Greene St, Greensboro, NC 27401


(336) 379-0539