Marijuana Possession Charges in North Carolina

4-1024x1024Marijuana Possession Charges in North Carolina

Marijuana use is becoming more accepted across the country. Some states have decriminalized marijuana in some circumstances. Marijuana is a controlled substance, and possession is still a federal crime and a crime in the state of North Carolina. Generally, simple possession of a small amount of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor. If found guilty of a larger amount of marijuana, you may be charged with a felony.


If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony, you may face penalties that include fines, probation, jail time, and more. A criminal record could limit your ability to get a job, seek housing, or even get into college. If you have been charged with drug possession, you will want to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.


Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”


What are Common Marijuana Possession Charges?

In North Carolina, as elsewhere, there is a difference between drug possession and drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is a more serious charge because the person has possession of a large quantity of drugs with the intent to sell them. Marijuana possession falls into one of three main categories, including a Class 3 misdemeanor, Class 1 misdemeanor, and Class I felony. Class 3 misdemeanor is the lowest charge and is for possession of less than 0.5 ounces for personal use. If found guilty, you will not generally face a jail sentence but will have to pay a maximum fine of up to $200.


A Class 1 misdemeanor is charged for possession of more than 0.5 ounces and less than 1.5 ounces of marijuana. If guilty, it carries a maximum penalty of up to 120 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000. A Class I felony charge applies to larger quantities of marijuana of more than 1.5 ounces and less than 10 pounds. If found guilty, you will have a sentence of up to eight months in jail and $1,000 fine.


Resolving Marijuana Possession Charges

You have some options that may allow you to resolve marijuana possession charges in the most favorable way possible. Deferred dismissal is an option that may be available for first-time offenders. Deferred dismissal means that the court will provide you with specific conditions that, when met, allow the dismissal of charges. This is a very good option because, at the end of the time period, the charges will be dismissed, and you will not have a criminal conviction on your record. Conditions often include the completion of a drug education course, counseling, and community service, typically within a six or 12-month period.


A 90-96 conditional discharge is similar to a deferred dismissal but with more structure. With this process, you will go before a judge and enter a guilty plea with the qualification that the charges will be dismissed once you meet specific requirements. The judge will specify requirements such as taking a drug education course, attending counseling, and completing a number of hours of community service.


If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, don’t take the charges lightly. Seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Contact our legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a consultation.







The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.




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