Although several states have been in the news of late for legalizing marijuana, North Carolina is not one of those states, even though it does allow for the medicinal use of the drug.

However, North Carolina’s marijuana laws are, fortunately, not particularly severe, at least when it comes to the possession of small amounts that are, presumably, for one’s personal consumption. In fact, if a Statesville resident were to be found with less than half an ounce of the drug, then they would only face, at the most, a $200 fine.

Problems come in when a person has a larger amount of the drug. Anyone found with any amount of marijuana faces the possibility of a misdemeanor conviction on their record, but a person in possession of more than 1.5 ounces is at risk of a felony conviction and several months of jail time, even if they had not intention to share the drug.

The growing or sale of marijuana in North Carolina can still be strictly punished, and a dealer in the drug can easily find himself or herself in prison for years and facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

Every North Carolina charge of marijuana possession should be taken seriously, however, as even a criminal record is in and of itself a consequence that can have long-term effects on a person’s ability to find a job, attend school or take advantage of other opportunities he or she otherwise might have.

While in some cases a plea deal may be the best option for a Statesville resident accused of violating North Carolina’s prohibition on recreational marijuana, in other situations, a person will want to mount a vigorous defense to the charges. In doing so, he or she would likely benefit from the help of an experienced criminal law attorney.