A North Carolina drug charge has the potential to lead to serious penalties for anyone. However, if you receive such a charge and are not a legal U.S. citizen, the repercussions you face may prove even more serious. Any drug offense may lead to detention and deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen, even if the offense seems minor in comparison to other drug crimes.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, if you undergo deportation from the United States following a drug offense, you may not be able to come back into the country ever. This may prove problematic regardless of circumstances. However, if you no longer have any job prospects or familial or other ties in your country of origin, having to move back there may prove particularly devastating.
Drug-related deportations are quite common across North Carolina and throughout the United States. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of individuals deported for drug-related reasons rose 43%. During that time, more than 250,000 noncitizens underwent deportation for drug-related violations.
Often, those deported for drug offenses had small amounts of marijuana on them. However, even simple possession charges have the potential to lead to deportation. In 2013, marijuana possession was the fourth-most-common reason, drug-related or otherwise, that noncitizens underwent deportation.
Studies suggest that you are more likely to face deportation following a drug arrest as a minority. Black and Latinos, in particular, face high risks of deportation.
Disproportionate drug law enforcement continues to plague many communities. Some advocates believe that decriminalizing drug possession is one step in lowering the disproportionate number of minorities arrested and deported for drug offenses.