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

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, commonly known as PDP, has been classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor in North Carolina. However, on December 1 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 defined as “equipment, products or materials used to facilitate, or intended or designed to facilitate, violations of the Controlled Substances Act,” which includes:

  • Bongs
  • Glass pipes
  • Vials
  • Items used for manufacturing
  • Items used for growing
  • Items used for weighing
  • Items used for 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. All misdemeanor punishments can include fines, community service, probation, imprisonment and more.

More specific sentences for misdemeanors include:

  • 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

Since the reclassification on December 1st, when a defendant is charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, if the paraphernalia was being used with marijuana, the offender will 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.

Penalties for Marijuana Paraphernalia Possession

If a person is charged with PDP in conjunction with marijuana, he or she 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

Our Raleigh Drug Crime Lawyers Can Fight to Protect Your Rights

Our Raleigh drug crime lawyers at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh are backed by more than 50 years of experience defending those who have been charged with various drug offenses including felony drug, DWI, assault and more. If you’ve been charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia let us represent you.

To speak with a Raleigh drug crime attorney today, call us! We will provide you with a free consultation!

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