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Possession of Marijuana

– Criminal Defense lawyer

While states across the United States are legalizing Marijuana, North Carolina has not yet crossed that hurdle so if you are found to be in possession of Marijuana, you will be charged with it. While it may not seem fair that you can possess Marijuana in some states, its still against the law in North Carolina. Learn about Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana

Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana

Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana is a possession offense defined under North Carolina
General Statute (N.C.G.S.) 90-95(a)(3). Specifically, this statute makes it a crime for you to
Knowingly
Possess
A Controlled Substance
to understand what they really mean, let’s take a closer look at each of these terms.

Knowledge:

Knowingly means that you were aware of the activity that you were engaged in; here, possessing marijuana. Here is an example. If you knowingly agree to hold a friend’s bag, but unknown to you the bag contains marijuana, you likely have not knowingly possessed marijuana.

Possession:

You can be in actual possession or constructive possession of an item, including marijuana. In its simplest form, you are likely in actual possession of marijuana if it is on your person, you know it is there, and you can control its use. Constructive possession is much trickier. You can be found to be in constructive possession of marijuana if you have the intent and ability to maintain control of its use, even where you are not in actual possession of the marijuana. Constructive possession cases are very fact specific. These situations are common in vehicle cases where the marijuana is found in a vehicle, but not on the person of one occupant; such as, under a seat or in the center console.

Controlled Substance:

Since N.C.G.S. 90-94 classifies marijuana as a Schedule VI Controlled Substance, it is unlawful to knowingly possess marijuana.

As the case with most crimes, there are different levels of charges for possession of Marijuana.
There are two misdemeanor marijuana charges in North Carolina, which is determined by the
amount of Marijuana you are found with.

Class 3 Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana: If you are alleged to have knowingly possessed less than ½ ounce of marijuana, you will be charged with Class 3 Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana. 

Class 1 Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana: If you are alleged to have knowingly possessed between ½ ounce and 1 ½ ounce of marijuana, you will be charged with Class 1 Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana.

Class I Felony Possession of Marijuana: It becomes a felony if you are alleged to have knowingly possessed anything greater than 1 ½ ounces of marijuana.

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