North Carolina is in the process of reviewing legislation to legalize medical marijuana and has not yet advanced towards decriminalizing recreational marijuana. In stark contrast to other states, the penalties for possession remain harsh.
After an arrest for possession of marijuana, it is important to take the charge or charges that you are facing very seriously. The consequences of a conviction could have a costly and long-lasting impact.
The majority of arrests throughout several counties in North Carolina are for simple possession of marijuana. A minuscule amount of marijuana up to one-half ounce can result in a conviction for possession. It is a class 1 misdemeanor, and it may carry a fine and jail time. Having possession of an amount between one-half ounce and an ounce and a half is a class 3 misdemeanor.
Unlike other states, misdemeanor convictions in North Carolina will stay on your record indefinitely. However, you may eventually be able to petition a court to expunge them.
Possession of more than one and a half ounces of marijuana can result in a felony conviction. Likewise, a repeated offense of a lesser amount may be a felony. A felony conviction can have much more severe penalties than a misdemeanor.
One reason that a felony is more serious than a misdemeanor is that you must wait longer before you may seek expungement. Consequently, convictions may affect background searches for longer.
Ultimately, people must respond to misdemeanor and felony charges with a strong legal defense. If you are facing charges, contact our firm for more information.