Being caught with marijuana in North Carolina can be scary. Because marijuana laws vary greatly from state to state, you are probably unsure of what kind of punishment you will be facing.
Many people get caught in possession of marijuana. It is one controlled substance that has a low risk for dependency and North Carolina law treats it accordingly. Small amounts of marijuana possession for personal use are effectively decriminalized, meaning there is no risk of jail time.
However, if this is your first time within the criminal court system, it is understandable that you would be stressed and worried about what the outcome may be. We would be happy to discuss the facts of your situation in a no obligation consultation..
We have defended cases just like yours in North Carolina. We know the courtroom players and have gained respect within the legal community. We can be your advocate in a system that can sometimes seem overwhelming.
Marijuana Possession – Laws & Penalties
In North Carolina, marijuana is considered a Schedule VI substance. Schedule VI is the lowest in severity of all controlled substances as it poses little risk for dependency or abuse. This means that marijuana is punished less severely than all other drugs in North Carolina.
Ref: NCGS 90-94
Your potential sentence and punishment depend on the amount of marijuana you had in your possession and any prior marijuana or drug charges on your criminal record.
The following table displays potential sentence for first time convictions:
|If you are caught with this amount:||Penalty Class||Your potential sentence will be:|
|Less than ½ ounce||(Class III misdemeanor)||No Jail. Up to $200 fine.|
|Between ½ and 1 ½ ounce||(Class I misdemeanor)||Up to 45 days in jail*|
|Between 1 ½ ounces and 10 pounds||Felony||Up to 12 months in prison|
*It is very likely, with the assistance of an experienced criminal marijuana defense attorney, that the sentence for this level of marijuana possession will be suspended and you will be allowed to serve a term of probation rather than any jail time.
Ref: NCGS 90-95
Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you may be charged with possession with intent to deliver. More serious than simple possession, possession with intent carries stiffer penalties.
Ref: NCGS 90-95
How does the prosecutor determine what I was “intending” to do?
Despite what many people think, the amount of marijuana you are caught with doesn’t necessarily mean you were intending to sell it. Things that might give the prosecution probable cause to charge you with this offense are such things as: scales, baggies, excess cash, and tools normally associated with delivering marijuana.
We will often argue in court that an intent charge is overblown, and it should be reduced to a simple possession.
Possession with intent to deliver marijuana is a Class I felony. If this is a first criminal conviction, you will face up to 12 months in state prison. However, if you have any prior convictions on your record, this potential sentence is increased.
With an experienced attorney arguing at sentencing, you may be able to serve your sentence while on probation rather than locked away in a state run correctional facility.
Free Consultation on North Carolina Marijuana Laws
No criminal offense should be taken lightly. Drug convictions are criminal charge can stick with you for the rest of your life. When you are facing a marijuana possession charge in North Carolina, you need a experienced drug criminal defense attorney representing you to fight for your interests and fair treatment under the law. Call us for a consultation on your North Carolina marijuana case today.