For many years, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (PDP) has been a Class 1 Misdemeanor in North Carolina. Then, on December 1, 2014, the State Legislature reclassified PDP as a Class 3 Misdemeanor, if the paraphernalia was used in conjunction with marijuana. In all other situations, PDP is still a Class 1 Misdemeanor.
What is Considered Drug Paraphernalia?
The North Carolina State Legislature defines drug paraphernalia as “equipment, products or materials used to facilitate, or intended or designed to facilitate, violations of the Controlled Substances Act.” This description includes:
- Glass pipes
- Drug manufacturing items
- Anything used for growing marijuana or other drugs
- Scales and other items used for weighing
- Items used for packaging illegal drugs, such as baggies
What is the Difference Between the Classes of Misdemeanors?
Depending on the offense level and some other factors, Wake County criminal courts may impose a range of sentences. Procedurally, the sentencing is broken down into three levels, which are all based upon the number of prior convictions, if any, on a defendant’s criminal record. Misdemeanor punishments may include fines, community service, court supervision, imprisonment and more. Specific misdemeanor sentences include:
- Class A1 Misdemeanor: Maximum 150 days of community, intermediate, or active punishment
- Class 1 Misdemeanor: 120 days of community, intermediate or active punishment
- Class 2 Misdemeanor: 60 days of community, intermediate or active punishment
- Class 3 Misdemeanor: 20 days of community, intermediate or active punishment
After the reclassification on December 1st, if a defendant is convicted of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia that was used with marijuana, the offender will receive a lesser sentence, and perhaps only a fine. However, if the paraphernalia is used with any other illegal drug, the same classification and sentencing apply.
Penalties for Marijuana Paraphernalia Possession
A person charged with PDP in conjunction with marijuana may expect a maximum fine of $200. Punishment for a Class 3 Misdemeanor could also result in the following:
- Level 1 (no prior convictions): 1 – 10 days of community punishment (supervised or unsupervised probation)
- Level 2 (one to four priors):
- 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 (supervised probation along with drug treatment, jail time, or another condition)
- Level 3 (more than five priors): 1 – 20 days of community, intermediate or active punishment (straight jail time)
Our Raleigh Drug Crime Lawyers Can Fight to Protect Your Rights
The Raleigh drug crime lawyers at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, Attorneys at Law, have more than 50 years of combined experience defending individuals just like you 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 at (919) 887-8040. We will give you a free consultation.