Marijuana Offenses in Mooresville
The possession, manufacture, and sale of marijuana is regulated by federal and state laws. Although some states have legalized the possession of a small amount of marijuana, North Carolina is not one of them. It is illegal in Mooresville to be in possession of marijuana. Any drug-related charge can be serious and might end up being a part of your permanent record if you are convicted.
Even a seemingly minor offense could hurt you by making it more difficult to find employment, obtain a professional license, get accepted into college, and obtain a loan. It is extremely important to fight any type of drug charges with help from the skilled team of attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We have extensive knowledge and years of experience helping clients favorably resolve drug charges in Mooresville.What are the Consequences of Marijuana Possession?
First, it is necessary to note that there are various types of controlled substances. These are all classified for the purposes of prosecution and penalties. Marijuana is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means that it is considered a relatively low risk to public health and that it has a relatively low potential for psychic or physiological dependence.
The punishment for marijuana possession is based on the amount of the substance that was found in your possession. In general, the law regards the possession of large amounts of marijuana as a greater offense than possession of smaller amounts. A minor offense may result in a citation while a major offense might include a jail sentence.
Possession of less than .5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor with fines of up to $200 if convicted. This is a small amount that is generally only enough for personal use. Possession of more than .5 ounces and less than 1.5 ounces is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to 45 days. Possession of between 1.5 ounces and 10 pounds is a Class A Felony drug offense. It is punishable with a prison sentence of three to eight months and a fine of $1,000. Felony drug charges generally occur when the amount of marijuana is more than the quantity needed for personal use.What Makes a Marijuana Offense More Serious?
There are some things that can make marijuana offenses more serious. A person often faces more than one single charge in relation to drug possession.
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia: If you are found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia you can face additional charges that could add up to 45 additional days in jail and an additional fine of up to $1,000. Drug paraphernalia is any type of device that is used to grow, distribute or smoke marijuana. A pipe is one example of drug paraphernalia.
- Possession of Drug Distribution Equipment: If you are in possession of equipment that is designed to assist in the distribution or sale of marijuana you will face additional charges. Some examples of drug distribution equipment include scales, baggies, bottles, and large amounts of cash. These items will be confiscated as evidence.
- Selling to a Minor: If you have been charged with selling marijuana to a minor, you will face harsh penalties. Selling marijuana to a minor between the ages of 13 and 16 years old will result in a Class D Felony with a prison sentence of up to 80 months. If an adult sells to a minor under the age of 13, it is a Class C Felony with up to 92 months in prison for a conviction.
Another important consideration is whether you have had any prior drug convictions. If you have been convicted on drug charges in the past, you may face much more severe penalties if you are convicted again. The same generally holds true if you are convicted of a crime while you are on parole for another other type of crime.How a Mooresville Criminal Defense Attorney can Help
It is important to remember that just because you are charged with a crime does not mean you will be found guilty. Penalties such as fines and jail time will not apply unless you are convicted. A drug offense conviction will hurt your future and could also impact other areas of your life. An experienced Mooresville criminal defense attorney understands how to fight drug charges and will always fight for your rights and to get the best possible outcome.
Not all drug arrests are conducted properly or according to the law. If there was an error in the way your arrest was made or in the gathering or handling of evidence, it may be possible to reduce or even eliminate some of your charges. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we know the importance of fighting drug charges. Contact our Lake Norman office today for a consultation.