Part I: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Now Classified as a Class 3 Misdemeanor

Until recently, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, commonly known as PDP, has been classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor in North Carolina. On December 1st of 2014, The North Carolina State Legislature reclassified PDP as a Class 3 Misdemeanor IF the paraphernalia was being used in conjunction with marijuana. If the PDP was being used in conjunction with any other drug, it is still a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

What is considered Drug Paraphernalia?

As stated by North Carolina State Legislature, Drug Paraphernalia is…

…Any“equipment, products or materials used to facilitate, or intended or designed to facilitate, violations of the Controlled Substances Act.”

Equipment, products or materials include bongs, glass pipes and vials, and can also include items used for manufacturing, growing, weighing or packaging illegal drugs.

What is the difference between the classes of Misdemeanors?

Depending on the offense, the courts can impose a range of sentencing. The sentencing is broken down into three levels, all of which are based upon the number of convictions received prior to the offense being sentenced. Misdemeanor punishments can include fines, community service, probation, imprisonment and more. See potential sentences for the following misdemeanors…

  • Class A1 Misdemeanor Offense: Up to 150 Days of community, intermediate or active punishment
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor Offense: Up to 120 Days of community, intermediate or active punishment
  • Class 2 Misdemeanor Offense: Up to 60 Days of community, intermediate or active punishment
  • Class 3 Misdemeanor Offense: Up to 20 Days of community, intermediate or active punishment

Learn More About Classes of Misdemeanors...

What to take away…

Since the reclassification on December 1st, when a defendant is charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, if the paraphernalia was being used with marijuana, they’ll receive a lesser sentence and possibly only a fine. However, if the paraphernalia is used with any other illegal drug, the initial classification and sentencing applies.

What this means for you

If you’ve been charged with PDP in conjunction with marijuana you may be expected to pay a maximum fine of $200. Punishment for a Class 3 Misdemeanor Offense could also result in the following…

  • Level 1 - No Prior Convictions: 1 – 10 Days of Community Punishment
  • Level 2 - One to Four Prior Convictions:
    • 1 – 15 Days of Community Punishment if you have one to three prior convictions
    • 1 – 15 Days of Community or Intermediate Punishment if you have four prior convictions
  • Level 3 - Five or More Prior Convictions: 1 – 20 Days of Community, Intermediate or Active Punishment

    How we can help

    The lawyers at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh have 45+ years of experience defending those who have been charged with offenses including Felony Drug, DWI, Assault and more. If you’ve been charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia let us represent you.

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