In North Carolina, the severity of the charge(s) you face depends on the amount of marijuana you possess and whether or not the State believes you intended to sell or distribute the marijuana. Statistically, the vast majority of possession charges in North Carolina are possession up to a half ounce.
Possession of marijuana in North Carolina can generate a charge ranging from a Class 3 Misdemeanor (the lowest level) to a Class I Felony (lowest level felony). Possession of less than ½ an ounce is a Class 3 Misdemeanor in North Carolina. Without multiple prior convictions, it is not possible to go to jail for this charge.
When you are charged with being in possession of ½ ounce to 1 ½ ounces the charge becomes a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Class 1 Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 120 days in jail and a $500 fine, depending on prior criminal history; however, first time offenders are unlikely to get jail time.
If you are in possession of more than 1 ½ ounces, you will likely be charged with a Class I Felony. Class I felonies are punishable by up to one year in jail, again depending on your prior criminal history. If you have repeated convictions for possession of more than ½ ounce, the District Attorney can charge you with habitual offender, and this will make the charge a Class I felony as well.
Distribution or Sale of Marijuana
You can be charged with distribution if you sell, give, provide, or deliver marijuana to another person. The level of severity of your distribution charges will depend on the activities that you were involved in.
It is a Class H Felony to sell, distribute, or deliver between 10 and 50 pounds of marijuana. This could result in a maximum of 30 months (2.5 years) in jail and a fine up to $5,000. If you are caught with anywhere between 50 and 2,000 pounds of marijuana you will face a Class G Felony. This carries a sentence of up to 42 months (3.5 years) in jail and a $25,000 fine.
If you are arrested for selling or distributing between 2,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds you can be charged with a Class F Felony. Class F Felonies carry a maximum sentence of up to 84 months (7 years) in prison and a $50,000 fine. Anything over 10,000 pounds is charged as a Class D Felony. This carries a maximum sentence of 219 months (18 years and three months) in jail and a fine of up to $200,000.
If you are facing a marijuana charge, regardless of simple possession to a Class D Felony, you need an attorney who can advocate and fight for you. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation at 919-591-2240.