In the past several years, there have been many changes when it comes to marijuana laws in the United States. Although marijuana is still illegal at a federal level, and still classified as a Schedule I substance on a federal level, an increasing number of states are modifying their laws regarding the possession and use of cannabis. Whether or not you’ve been charged with a drug offense, it’s a good idea to understand the law when it comes to marijuana in North Carolina.
What Are the Penalties?
Marijuana is illegal in North Carolina, however in the state it is classified as a Schedule VI substance. Penalties for marijuana related offenses vary. For possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana, the penalty is a $200 fine and the charge is a misdemeanor that does not carry jail time. The penalty goes up for possession of more than a half-ounce. If charged with possession of more than a half-ounce but less than an ounce and a half, the penalty is also a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 45 days incarceration and a fine of no more than $1500.
If the amount of marijuana is more than one and a half ounces but less than 10 pounds, the charge is a felony carrying a penalty of between three and eight months incarceration and a fine as decided by the court. A similar punishment applies for distribution of marijuana, which is also a felony punishable by up to eight months in jail for a first offense. Repeat offenders face much harsher penalties for distribution of marijuana.
In cases where an individual is charged with a marijuana-related Class 1 misdemeanor and they already have a previous drug-related offense, the misdemeanor offense will be prosecuted as a felony. Those with previous drug charges who commit a Class 2 misdemeanor will have their offense tried as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Search Representation for Your Marijuana Related Misdemeanor
North Carolina marijuana laws can be tricky, and if you’ve been arrested on a marijuana-related offense, the first thing you need is quality legal representation. At the Law Office of John C. Fitzpatrick, we believe that’s what every person deserves. We’ll work hard to obtain the best possible outcome for your case, and our services are 100 percent confidential. It’s important to take immediate action when charged with a crime, so don’t delay — contact us today to schedule your consultation!