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Winston-Salem Marijuana Possession Attorneys

Although North Carolina has liberalized its marijuana possession laws, it does not mean that it is completely legal to possess cannabis in the state. Depending on the amount that you allegedly have in your possession when you are arrested, there can still be serious penalties.

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WInston-Salem Criminal Defense Attorneys

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You should have a Winston-Salem marijuana possession lawyer if you are facing marijuana charges because you never know how a conviction could impact you until you actually face the consequences. Even if the charges seem minor, it is always better to have a lawyer when you are in the criminal justice system.

North Carolina does offer an exemption for medical possession of marijuana. In addition, if you are arrested and charged with possession, and you have less than half an ounce, you will face misdemeanor charges with a fine of $200.

North Carolina Marijuana Possession Laws and Penalties

North Carolina makes the following illegal:

  • Possession of marijuana
  • Cultivating, selling, or delivering marijuana
  • Possessing marijuana with the intent to sell it
  • Creating, selling, or delivering counterfeit marijuana

However, the penalties escalate based on the amount of cannabis that law enforcement claims you have on your person.

  • Possession of 0.5 – 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor that can be punished by 1 – 45 days in prison and a $1,000 fine.
  • Possession of more than 1.5 ounces is charged as a felony with jail time of 3 – 8 months. A felony conviction will have even more consequences because you can lose your right to own firearms and your ability to vote.

Possession with intent to distribute would bring an even more serious sentence, depending on the amount of cannabis that you allegedly had. In addition, law enforcement can seize vehicles and property involved in the alleged offense.

Defenses to a Marijuana Possession Charge

Convictions for marijuana possession critically depend on the legality of the evidence seized. In most cases, law enforcement has stopped or searched you because they believed that you had marijuana in your possession. If you can get the evidence thrown out, the charges against you may be dropped. Here are some reasons why you can exclude evidence in a marijuana possession case:

  • Police did not have probable cause to stop and search you.
  • Police exceeded the scope of a legal search warrant.
  • There were issues with the chain of custody of seized evidence.
  • Police needed to obtain a search warrant and did not do so.

Collateral Consequences of a Marijuana Charge

Depending on the seriousness of the charges against you, the state may levy significant penalties. Here are some possible consequences of a marijuana conviction:

  • Loss of student loans or other government benefits
  • A criminal record that can follow you around for the rest of your life
  • Loss of your firearms if you are convicted of a felony

You may be eligible for a deferral program for a first marijuana offense. An experienced criminal defense attorney can negotiate a lighter sentence with the prosecutor if you choose not to fight the charges against you.

How a Winston-Salem Marijuana Possession Defense Attorney Can Help

There is a wide range of outcomes when you are facing marijuana charges. Depending on the level of the offense, judges may be working with a mandatory minimum sentence. The most important thing is to know early in your case what you may be facing, so you can effectively deal with the charges against you. Not only do you need to know potential sentences, but you must also have information about how a potential conviction might affect you.

When you are dealing with a criminal charge that depends on physical evidence, you must have a lawyer early in the process. Our lawyers can do the following for you:

  • Explain your legal options for your criminal defense
  • Review the procedure leading to your arrest to see if there is any way to fight the charges
  • Assist you with other options, such as drug treatment court
  • Work to protect your legal rights throughout the process

Charges that rely on seized physical evidence are the ones that are most likely to be tainted by an illegal seizure or law enforcement overreach. It is always better to have a lawyer review your situation before you make any choices.

Call a Winston-Salem Marijuana Possession Lawyer Today

If you have been arrested and charged with marijuana possession, Graystar Legal can help. You should call us as soon as possible after your arrest. You can contact us online or call to schedule a time to talk about your case with a free case review.



If this is your first offense

you may be eligible for the First Offender program. This program may help you avoid a conviction and have your charges dismissed and possibly expunged from your record.

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The prosecutor’s job is to convict you. Our job is to protect your rights

Frequently Asked Questions

Is all evidence seized without a search warrant subject to being suppressed?

No. There are exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement that police often use to search you without a warrant. However, they sometimes overuse these exceptions.

What is the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine?

Evidence is admissible in court if it is derived from evidence that is illegally obtained.

I thought marijuana possession was being decriminalized?

It depends on the county where you live. Marijuana possession has not been decriminalized on a state level, although some counties are taking steps in that direction.

We’re with you every step of the way.




Defendant is charged.
Bond is set after the arrest and can be reviewed at any court hearing.

first appearance

If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.

Probable cause hearing

Felony cases only.
Possible Grand Jury indictment.


Misdemeanor cases are generally tried in District Court. Felonycases are presented in Superior Court.


If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.

Entry of plea

Plea negotiations and guilty pleas can happen any time before a verdict.

CONSEQUENCES of a criminal conviction

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Serving the GreensboroWinston-SalemLexingtonHigh Point Piedmont Triad Area

Here are the areas we serve and the criminal courts where your charges will be heard. The best thing you can do now is speak with a lawyer and get a free consultation.

Graystar Legal

Graystar Legal

  • 224 S Cherry St, STE C
    Winston-Salem, NC 27101
  • 336-715-7250