Possession of a Controlled Substance in North Dakota

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All states regulate the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS), though each differs in its exact definition of CDS and the penalties for possession. North Dakota classifies not only well-known drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine as CDS, but also the compounds used to manufacture them.

This article discusses the illegal possession of CDS only. Illegally making or selling CDS carries different penalties. For more information on illegal CDS manufacture and sale, see Sale of Controlled Substances in North Dakota.                                                                                                                                           

Also, while marijuana is considered a CDS, this article does not cover North Dakota’s marijuana possession and sale laws. To learn more about that topic, see North Dakota Marijuana Laws.

How North Dakota Classifies CDS

North Dakota divides CDS into five “Schedules.” Schedule I lists the most dangerous drugs, which have a high probability of abuse and addiction, and no recognized medical value. Schedules II, III, IV, and V decrease in dangerousness and probability of abuse, and increase in recognized medical uses. 

If you’ve been arrested for illegal CDS production or sales, you’ll need to consult the North Dakota Code that lists precisely which drugs fit into each group. Go to the statute (N.D. Cen. Code Ann. §§ 19-03.1-05, -07, -09, -11, & -13) and find the substance you're charged with selling -- it will be listed under one of the five classes.

Penalties for Illegally Possessing CDS

It is a class C felony to possess CDS without a valid medical prescription in North Dakota. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to five years in prison, or both. (N.D. Cen. Code Ann. §19-03.1-23 (7).)

Possession on or Near School Property

It is a class B felony to possess CDS on or within 1,000 feet of school property (including day care and preschool facilities). Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to ten years in prison, or both. (N.D. Cen. Code Ann. §19-03.1-23 (7).)

Talk to an Attorney

CDS possession convictions can incur harsh fines and long periods of incarceration. A local lawyer who practices CDS defense will review the facts of your case, explain your options, and advise you of the possible consequences.

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