You Have Rights Before, During, and After an Arrest
Seeking justice and safeguarding your rights when facing a criminal charge is of utmost importance. At Anderson Law Firm, we understand the criticality of early intervention. Anderson Law Firm is here to provide you with the professional legal representation you need to navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system successfully.
If you've been accused of a crime or find yourself being questioned by authorities, it is crucial to be cautious with your responses. Providing only basic identifying information, such as your name, is sufficient. We recommend that you remain respectful and cooperative, but exercise your right to remain silent if they press for further details. Remember, anything you say can be used against you, which is why it is imperative to ask for your lawyer and then maintain your silence.
ZERO-TOLERANCE STATE |
North Carolina law §18B-302 says it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume, sell, or possess alcohol. North Carolina is a Zero Tolerance Law, meaning that any amount of alcohol for anyone under the age of 21 is legal grounds for an arrest. This also means that although .08 BAC is the legal limit for adults, any amount of alcohol for anyone under the age of 21 is legal grounds for an arrest. It is important to realize that an underage drinking charge is not simply a "citation." If you are behind the wheel and have a blood alcohol content of as little as .01% (rather than the normal legal limit of .08%), you can be charged with an adult DWI, or you could also be charged with an Underage DWI, a provisional DWI, or Driving After Consuming Under 21.
Violations of these laws are considered Class 3 misdemeanors if you are 19 or 20 years of age and in possession of alcohol that is either a malt beverage or unfortified wine. If you are 18 years of age or younger, a Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor will apply instead. The court will also file a conviction report with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, often resulting in a one-year suspension of driving privilege.
While a misdemeanor may not sound bad to some, there are extremely serious lifelong consequences that can come from these kinds of convictions. Whether you are charged with underage drinking or underage DWI, all of these consequences could result in community service, jail/probation/ alcohol programs, and hundreds of dollars in fines and court costs. That is why it is best to have a criminal defense attorney here for you. Give us a call today. We have your back.
North Carolina assigns misdemeanors to one of four offense classes. Class A1, Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. Class A1 is the most serious and Class 3 is the least serious. There are 3 levels of misdemeanors in North Carolina.
Class 1 is the most severe misdemeanor and Class 3 is the least severe. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by no more than 150 days in jail (with the exception of Driving While Impaired offenses).
Felonies are a bit more complicated than misdemeanors. North Carolina assigns felonies to one of ten offense classes: Class A through Class I, with Class A being most serious and Class I being least serious.
Simple Drug Possession
In NC, the possession of any illegal substance or illegal drug, for any use is a crime. The term "simple possession" implies that if you have possession of a drug, your intent is to use it (regardless of what you really intended). Here is a list of penalties for possession charges in NC based on the class of drug:
Possession of a Schedule I: Class I Felony
Possession of Schedule II, III, IV: Class 1 Misdemeanor if less than 4 doses for certain drugs, Class I felony for other doses.
Possession of a Schedule V: Class 2 misdemeanor
Possession of a Schedule VI: Class 3 misdemeanor if less than 1/2 oz., Class 1 misdemeanor if between 0.5-1.5oz., and Class I felony if more than 1/5 oz.
There are a variety of simple possession charges because there are a variety of drugs and classifications. A common offense we represent is possession of marijuana up to 1/2 oz. This offense is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which is the least severe of the misdemeanors in NC. However, if you are charged with possession of 1.5 oz., it is likely a Class 1 misdemeanor, the most severe of misdemeanors in NC. This is just an example of how a simple possession charge can fluctuate based on the type and amount.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
NC says possession of drug paraphernalia is basically any thing (item, device) that is associated with the manufacture, distribution, or use of a controlled substance (scales, pill bottles, baggies, pipes, roaches). In other words, anything associated with a controlled substance other than possession of the actual drug itself fits this category.
Interestingly enough, the possession of drug paraphernalia is more punishable than the actual drug itself. It is a serious charge Generally speaking, a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia is a class 1 misdemeanor.
Possession with Intent to Sell, Manufacture or Deliver
Another common offense is the sale or production of marijuana. All that is required to be charged with this crime is the intent to sell or conspiring to sell with more than one person. The penalties vary based on the amount of marijuana. Some possible penalties are:
Up to 10lbs: up to $5,000 fine, 1yr prison-term, or both.
10-50lbs: up to $500 fine, 25-30mo prison-term, or both.
50-2,000lbs: up to $25,000 fine, 35-42mo prison-term, or both.