Although the nation’s viewpoint on the use of marijuana is starting to lean toward acceptance, that doesn’t mean it’s accepted everywhere. In North Carolina, the possession of marijuana is still illegal and could lead to misdemeanor or felony charges. Below are the different penalties that could occur if a person is arrested and convicted.
- Less than 1/2 Ounce of Marijuana – A small amount of marijuana is considered a Class III misdemeanor. This means it’s not punishable by jail, but a person will need to pay a fine of up to $200.
- Between 1/2 and 1 ½ Ounces of Marijuana – When the person has more than 1/2 an ounce but less than 1 1/2 ounces, the charge is a Class I misdemeanor. This means they can receive a sentence of up to 45 days in jail. Most of the time, a competent drug defense lawyer can have the sentence suspended or reduced so they don’t have to serve any jail time.
- Between 1 ½ Ounces and 10 Pounds of Marijuana – This is a felony charge and, as such, has more severe penalties. A person could spend up to 12 months in prison following a conviction. They’ll also have a felony on their criminal record, which means they may face difficulties finding a job or a place to live and they lose some of their basic rights, like the ability to vote or carry a gun.
- Over 10 Pounds of Marijuana – Felony Trafficking of Marijuana carries mandatory prison time.
1 ½ ounces of marijuana is still a relatively small amount, but possession of such a small quantity could still have serious consequences. Any person facing a possession charge will want to contact a Raleigh drug lawyer as soon as possible. There is always the chance that the lawyer is going to be able to help the person obtain a not-guilty verdict or have the charges reduced or dropped. Even if the person is convicted, however, a lawyer can help them obtain a suspended sentences and a term of probation instead of jail time.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with the possession of marijuana, contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Don’t let a felony or misdemeanor charge change your life and make it harder for you to fulfill your dreams.