Lawmakers classify drugs based on a schedule system. Those that are the most dangerous or highly addictive controlled substances are assigned lower numbers. Those that can be used for valid medicinal purposes are given higher ones. In North Carolina, marijuana is considered to be a Schedule VI controlled substance.
Anyone who is arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana in North Carolina will be charged with a misdemeanor provided that they're only found with 1.5 ounces (oz) of the drug.
Individuals convicted of possession of .5 oz or less of marijuana aren't required to spend any time in jail. They may be assessed as much as $200 in fines though. Anyone who is convicted of possessing between .5 oz and 1.5 oz of the drug may be sentenced to 45 days in jail and have to pay $1,000 in fines.
Defendants who are arrested on suspicion of possessing between 1.5 oz and 10 pounds (lbs) of the drug may be charged with a felony. If they're convicted of such a crime, then they may be sentenced to eight months in jail and have to pay $1,000 in fines.
Individuals that police officers determine were in possession of marijuana with the intention of distributing it may automatically be charged with a felony.
Those who are convicted of possession with the intent to distribute between 10 lbs and 50 lbs of the drug face 39 months in prison. They may also be ordered to pay as much as $5,000 in fines. Someone who is found guilty of possession of between 50 lbs to 2,000 lbs of the drug may be assessed up to $25,000 and be required to spend up to 51 months in prison.
Anyone who is convicted of possessing between 2,000 lbs to 10,000 lbs of the illegal substance may be sentenced to 93 months in prison. They may also be ordered to pay $50,000 in fines.
A drug conviction on your record can greatly impact your ability to qualify to receive government benefits, to land a job and in other aspects of your life. This is why it's important that any defendant who has been charged with marijuana possession to seek out the guidance of a criminal defense attorney. They can play a critical role in fighting to keep your record clean when you're charged with a drug crime in Statesville.