Having a felony on your record can have lasting implications. So, one of the fears a person may have when they are accused of possessing drugs, such as marijuana, is that they could end up facing felony changes.
It is important to note that being charged with marijuana possession does not automatically mean felony charges here in North Carolina. This is because, under state law, whether marijuana possession is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on how much of the drug was allegedly possessed.
Possession of under 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor. The potential penalties are particularly reduced for possession of under half of an ounce. For example, jail time is generally no longer on the table.
Meanwhile possession exceeding 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a felony.
Another important threshold in North Carolina marijuana law is 10 pounds. Under state drug laws, Possession exceeding 10 pounds no longer falls into the category of basic possession, but rather into the category of drug trafficking. Drug trafficking offenses carry much heavier penalties. You are no longer in the realm of a sentence of months, but rather in the realm of a sentence of years.
So, not all marijuana allegations are equal in severity. The stakes in marijuana cases vary greatly. When you are facing marijuana charges, understanding what the specific stakes are in your case can be critical. Skilled drug crime defense attorneys can help suspects in marijuana cases with having this understanding. Such lawyers can also help individuals have an accurate picture of their defense options.