Charging Structure

When charged with marijuana possession in North Carolina, the quantity in possession determines the charge and potential punishment.  This can change depending on whether or not the state charges you with distribution. Statistically, the vast majority of possession charges are simple possession in North Carolina.

Marijuana possession laws

Below are the potential charges and sentences according to North Carolina Law. 

  • Class3 Misdemeanor — ½ ounces or less — fines up to $200 or 30 days in jail or both
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor — ½ ounces to 1 ½ ounces  fines up to $500 or up to 120 days in jail or both
  • Class I Felony — more than 1.5 ounces or more — up to one year in jail or both
  • Class I Felony — repeated convictions involving more than 1/2 ounce

Distribution or sale laws

The severity of distribution charges depends on the activity the accused was allegedly involved in.  Distribution is considered the sell, providing, or delivery of a drug.  Below is the information charges of distribution of marijuana:

  • Class 1 felony for distribution, but not when under 5 grams for no renumeration
  • Class H felony sale or distribution of 10 to 50 pounds — fines up to $5,000 and 25 to 30 months in prison
  • Class G felony sale or distribution of 50 to 2,000 pounds — fines up to $25,000 and 35 to 42 months in prison
  • Class F felony which is sale or distribution of 2,000 pounds up to 10,000 — 70 to 84 months in prison, $50,000 fine
  • Class D felony for sale or distribution of over 10,000 pounds — fines up to $200,000 and 175 to 219 months in prison

There is a distinction between distribution and trafficking, which generally centers around the volume of drugs being moved.  Trafficking will typically be higher volume of drugs, or is centered around growing and harvesting large number of plants, and will often be charged in the federal court system.  A person is often charged with marijuana paraphernalia when charged with possession of marijuana. Any item that is used in smoking, storing, and growing, processing, or selling marijuana is considered paraphernalia.  Items might include smoking papers, pipes, lighters, and rolled cigars.

Choose someone who understands what is at risk for you

Being prosecuted in the courts system is worrisome enough, but drug charges have additional concerns.  Convictions of a drug charge can impact your ability to get a job, get money for college, join the military, or possess or purchase firearms.  You want a criminal defense lawyer at your side, that understands what is a risk, and who will protect your rights.    Contact us now to schedule your free consultation at 919-591-2240 or send us an email by clicking on the button below.