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Simple Possession Defense Attorney in North Carolina

Aggressive Drug Defense Attorney Serving Jacksonville, Wilmington, and Surrounding Areas.

The majority of people do not ever anticipate being arrested for drug possession. In fact, there are a number of states where simple possession isn’t even considered a crime. However, marijuana (and other drug) laws are strictly enforced in the state of North Carolina. Regardless of the type of drug accusation you face, a conviction can carry several consequences, both criminal and personal.

It can be a costly mistake to plead guilty to a drug offense, even if it’s a misdemeanor, without first consulting with a simple possession defense attorney. There are various ways in which your attorney can help you get your simple possession charges reduced, dismissed, or subjected to a diversionary program. Before filing a plea or accepting the terms of a plea deal or deferral program, make sure you understand your legal choices. Call 910-333-9626 to speak with Aden Wilkie, an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney serving Jacksonville and the surrounding areas.

What Does Simple Possession Mean?

The crime of simple possession occurs when someone possesses a small amount of an illegal substance for their own personal use without the intent to sell it or give it to anyone else. 

Regarding the possession of marijuana, policy has been constantly evolving across the United States. Medical marijuana is permitted in many places, while recreational marijuana is permitted in others. Further, certain marijuana possession penalties have been decriminalized in at least 27 states in the U.S.

In North Carolina, possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized. This means you will probably not go to jail if you’re arrested, although a small fine may still be issued. Nonetheless, if you have been charged with simple possession of an illegal substance, which can result in a misdemeanor even for first-time offenders, it’s critical to contact a reputable Jacksonville drug crime lawyer who can assist in defending your case and attempting to keep a simple possession charge off your record.

Simple Possession Charge in NC

The severity of the penalty for simple possession is proportional to the type of charge. It also depends on the defendant’s prior record and the circumstances surrounding the case. Therefore, it is always best to speak directly with a simple possession defense attorney about the specifics of your case, as they can give you personalized advice and guidance regarding your own unique circumstances. 

Penalties for Simple Possession of Marijuana

The penalty you receive for drug charges in North Carolina may be largely influenced by your prior criminal history. It is not uncommon for people arrested for simple possession to suffer from a substance abuse problem. While simple possession of marijuana does not always indicate addiction, a history of drug arrests and additional criminal convictions may suggest a substance abuse problem. This, along with the amount of drugs confiscated and the type of drugs involved will play a significant role in the determination of your penalty. (Note that in North Carolina, prescription medications can result in criminal charges.)

The laws regarding marijuana possession in North Carolina can be found in G.S. 90-95. According to this statute, if you are a first-time offender caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana, you may be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor, in which you may avoid jail time and only need to pay a fine. Possession of one-half to one and a half ounces of marijuana is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can land you in jail for up to 45 days. If you are in possession of anywhere from one and a half ounces to up to ten pounds of marijuana, the charge becomes a felony and may be punishable by up to one year in prison.

Possession With Intent to Distribute

The State may prosecute you for possession with intent to distribute if you were caught with a suspiciously large amount of marijuana or otherwise had it packaged in a specific way. If you were caught with less than 10 pounds and were charged with intent to distribute, you may face 3 to 8 months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. However, intent to distribute may also be considered drug trafficking in North Carolina once it reaches a certain amount (over 10 pounds) and is a serious offense that can lead to much harsher penalties.

What Is the Fine in North Carolina for Marijuana Simple Possession?

In North Carolina, if you are a first-time offender caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana, you can expect to pay a fine of $200. For the first offense of possession of more than half an ounce (½) and up to one and a half (1 ½) ounces of marijuana, the fine is increased to a maximum of $1,000 and may also carry with it anywhere from 1 to 45 days in jail.

What Are Some Simple Possession Defenses?

Oftentimes, marijuana possession charges are the outcome of a routine traffic stop. In these circumstances, it is crucial for you to understand that you have enforceable rights under the Fourth Amendment. Under this Amendment, drug charges may be dropped or dismissed due to an improper arrest (such as a lack of probable cause to stop you or your car), an illegal search and seizure, or a failure to inform you of your Miranda rights before you were detained.

While each case is different, there are several defenses that your criminal defense lawyer may pursue on your behalf. At The Wilkie Law Group, some of the facts we might contest if a case goes to trial include:

  • Possession of the drugs in question. Were they discovered on your person? Were they discovered on or in someone else’s property (a home, vehicle, or public place)? Was the alleged substance in your possession when it was discovered?
  • Intent to sell and deliver. Was a more serious charge incorrectly applied because you were found with a large amount of cash, sandwich bags, a household scale, or other typical household items at the time of your arrest?
  • The authenticity of the alleged drugs and/or their amount. We may be able to call into question the testing equipment used to authenticate the substances, as well as the weight or amount used to charge you.
  • The chain of custody for the drugs and/or paraphernalia presented as evidence. Is the state able to prove that the evidence presented matches what was taken from you at the time of your arrest? Is there a proper chain of custody from the police to testing, storage, and presentation in court that the prosecution has documented?
  • The reliability of witnesses. Is there anything wrong with the way you were identified to the police at first? Is the witness, if an informant, trustworthy? Were correct protocols followed in the case that a suspect lineup was used?

Contact Jacksonville Simple Possession Defense Attorney Aden Wilkie Today

Even a “light” charge such as simple possession of marijuana calls for the legal counsel of a competent NC drug crime attorney. Aden Wilkie of The Wilkie Law Group will fight hard to dispute the prosecution’s evidence and narrative against you to get you off scot-free. If the evidence against you is too strong, he will do everything in his power to get you a reduced sentence. If you have been charged with the simple possession of marijuana in Jacksonville or the surrounding areas, call our office today for a consultation at (910) 333-9626.

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