Why do I need a lawyer for a minor drug offense?

Even what seems like a “minor” drug crime can cause big problems. North Carolina takes drug crimes seriously, and those who face criminal charges for having even a small amount of an illegal drug can find themselves dealing with serious criminal penalties.

What kind of criminal penalties?

In North Carolina, having even half an ounce of marijuana or 1/20 an ounce of hashish can come with 30 days in prison and a $100 fine. If you have up to one and a half ounces of marijuana, these penalties can go up to two years imprisonment. More than one and one half an ounce of marijuana and you could face up to five years imprisonment and have a felony on your criminal record.

What should I do if I am accused of a drug offense?

Take it seriously. It is tempting to just accept a plea deal offered up by the government and think that you can just move on with your life. But this will not just go away. A criminal record can make it difficult to find housing, get a job and even apply for scholarships to pursue educational opportunities.

What are my options?

Fight back. It is important to know that defenses are available. This can include a review of how the police got the evidence they are using to support the criminal charges. If they did not follow the rules when gathering this evidence, you may be able to get the evidence thrown out. Without evidence, the state could have to drop the charges.

Other areas that could impact the case are whether the evidence was properly stored and handled while the police had it and whether the police respected your rights while conducting interviews. The important takeaway is that you have options. If you take some time to explore these options, you can gain control over the situation and better ensure a more favorable resolution.

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