Though many states have decriminalized marijuana or gotten close to legalizing it altogether, neither has happened in North Carolina. Drug marijuana possession laws in North Carolina remain strict and strongly enforced.
If you are caught in possession of pot, you will be criminally charged. Fortunately, however, marijuana charges are significantly less severe than most other drug possession charges. And with an experienced and aggressive defense lawyer on your side, there’s a good chance you can minimize or eliminate the most damaging consequences.
Under North Carolina law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI substance, the least serious drug category there is. This means marijuana is punished less severely too.
The charge and penalty you face for marijuana possession depends wholly on how much marijuana you had.
North Carolina – Less Than ½ Ounce Marijuana
If you are found in possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana, you will be charged with a Class III misdemeanor. But, even though a Class III misdemeanor carries up to 30 days in jail, the judge must suspend this jail sentence. That means you cannot serve jail time for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana.
Between ½ Ounce and 1 ½ Ounce
If you are found in possession of a single ounce, or any amount between .5 and 1.5 ounces, you could face charges of a Class I misdemeanor. A Class I misdemeanor carries a potential 120 day jail sentence. However, with the help of a local criminal defense attorney, this entire jail sentence may be suspended.
More than 1 ½ Ounces
If you are found in possession of more than 1.5 Ounces of marijuana, you will face felony charges. This is a Class I felony which carries up to 12 months in prison. The likelihood that you will actually serve prison time for this offense depends on the facts of your case and your criminal history. More than likely you will serve far less, if any time at all.
Ref: NCGS 90-95
Fighting North Carolina Marijuana Possession Charges – What Can You Do?
Perhaps the smartest thing to do when you are facing marijuana possession charges in North Carolina is to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Though these aren’t considered quite as serious as other drug possession charges, your clean record is still at risk. In addition, even if you are sentenced to probation instead of jail time, your freedoms will be severely limited.
An aggressive defense attorney can challenge the evidence against you and fight for your good name. They will be your advocate in the courts, representing your best interests. If you are charged with possession of marijuana, contact a North Carolina criminal lawyer today via our form.