Marijuana Defense Attorney in Raleigh

If you face any charge related to marijuana, contact a Raleigh cannabis defense attorney at Coolidge Law Firm. The attorneys will fight for your right to freedom and work with you to get the best possible outcome in your case. A drug conviction can have a serious impact on your future. It is important you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney.

Coolidge Law Firm represents clients throughout Wake County, including Raleigh, Apex, Cary, Morrisville, Rolesville, Garner, Wake Forest, Fuquay-Varina, and Knightdale. Coolidge Law Firm also works with students at the region’s highly regarded schools, including Duke University, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Wake Tech, and UNC-Chapel Hill. Call to schedule a free consultation.

Marijuana Defense Attorney in Raleigh

Indigenous to Asia, Cannabis is a plant that grows naturally in many regions of the world. Marijuana has been consumed for thousands of years, but while some states wrestle with the legality of its use, conviction rates for possession, cultivation, and trafficking remain high.

Organizations such as NORML have been pushing for changes in the laws and regulations of the plant. Although legal in some states, North Carolina still actively prosecutes crimes related to marijuana. Even the mere possession of the plant for personal use can lead to jail time, fines, and a criminal record.

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Info on Cannabis Charges

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Marijuana Possession Charges Under North Carolina Law

Cannabis is a Schedule VI controlled substance under N.C.G.S. § 90-94, making it illegal to even possess the drug in North Carolina. The state currently does not permit medical marijuana, so there can be no valid prescription, even if you were prescribed and legally obtained it in a state with legal cannabis laws. The possession of synthetic cannabinoids and thc concentrates are also punishable crimes that are being crack down on by law enforcement.

Unlike most illegal substances, marijuana possession can be a misdemeanor under certain circumstances when the charge involves a very small amount. Possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which would result in a max fine of $200 and no jail time.

Possession of 1.5 ounces or less is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalties would include up to 45 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of up to 10 pounds of marijuana for personal use is considered a Class 1 felony, which could lead to up to eight months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The penalties for marijuana charges increase with amount and your intent.  Selling or intending to sell or distribute marijuana carries significantly more serious consequences including prison.  Prosecutors can use a broad range of evidence to show intent to distribute, including the quantity of marijuana seized, and any evidence of tools of the trade such as packaging, a scale, or cash.
As the quantity of cannabis seized increases, do does the exposure to more severe punishments. The following are penalties for possession with intent to distribute:

  • Possession of less than 10 pounds – Three to eight months in jail and $1,000 fine
  • Possession of 10 to 50 pounds – Two to two and a half years in jail and $5,000 fine
  • Possession of 50 to 2,000 pounds – Three to three and a half years in jail and $25,000 fine
  • Possession of 2,000 to 10,000 pounds – Six to seven years in jail and $50,000 fine
  • Possession of 10,000 or more pounds – Fourteen to 18 years in jail and $200,000 fine

After a felony drug conviction, there still could be consequences. You could lose your driving privileges in North Carolina even after serving your sentence. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help keep your right to drive.

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Sale and Cultivation of Marijuana

Charges for selling marijuana have greater consequences under N.C.G.S. § 90-95 than those for possession. Law enforcement agencies are cracking down on the distribution of the drug, and with that is harsh penalties for those accused of transporting it.

Sale of less than 10 pounds of marijuana is a Class H felony punishable by four to eight months in jail and a discretionary fine for the first offense. Delivery of less than 10 pounds without compensation is a Class I felony punishable by three to eight months in jail and a discretionary fine for a first offense.

Marijuana cultivation also can result in charges of possession with intent to distribute. This can range from growing a handful of plants in your yard to producing thousands of plants.

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Federal Marijuana Charges

The Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana a Schedule I drug, and even the mere possession of cannabis can result in federal charges. The act bans marijuana in all forms and uses, including medical uses, so federal agents can make an arrest for possession.

A first offense of possession is a misdemeanor, which could mean up to a year in federal prison and a $1,000 fine. For a second conviction, the penalties increase to a 15-day mandatory minimum sentence with a maximum of two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent convictions carry a 90-day mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

However, the federal government often does not become involved in marijuana charges unless there is a large amount of the substance being trafficked. Trafficking is the large-scale cultivation, moving or selling of an illegal substance. The penalties for trafficking are determined by the amount of drugs involved.

The federal charges carry mandatory minimum sentences. Between 100 and 999 kilograms or 100 to 999 plants carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a fine of up to $5 million. Even higher quantities carry a minimum 10-year sentence and $10 million fine.

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Challenging Evidence in Marijuana-Related Charges

The actual cannabis seized is often the main evidence in cases involving possession, sale and cultivation of marijuana. The police must have legally obtained marijuana in order to successfully prosecute you. An improper search that we expose can often lead to a complete dismissal of your charges.

You have a Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Police must carefully follow procedure to ensure they have sufficient probable cause to conduct a search. A criminal defense attorney can examine all the evidence and fight to have all wrongfully obtained evidence suppressed which means it cannot be used against you at trial.

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Speak to a Raleigh Marijuana Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing charges related to cannabis, contact a marijuana defense attorney at Coolidge Law Firm. We dedicate ourselves to provide the best defense to our clients, and we do everything in our power to achieve a successful outcome in your case. If we find that the police discovered the drug and any other evidence without a legal warrant or without sufficient probable cause, we will protect your constitutional rights by having that evidence suppressed. Having an experienced attorney on your case could make all the difference. We are that difference. Call (919) 239-8448 or fill out the contact form below to schedule a free case evaluation.

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Client Testimonials

  • 5 stars
    I can not say enough good about David Coolidge and the Law Firm! From the moment of our 1st interaction, I could tell that David TRULY cares and has a passion about the cases he takes on. I was anxious and nervous about my case from the beginning. David immediately showed his support and listened with an empathetic ear. From that moment on, I felt as though I knew I could trust him to put his whole heart into helping me with my case. He is intelligent, kind and completely nonjudgmental. He will listen to you and is so very supportive. I really felt, and still do, that he really cared about helping me. His passion for his work and in helping others shines. We VERY HAPPILY, had a GREAT outcome from the case and I could not be happier. As I told him when we left the court room that morning... “David, you have changed my life forever”. I would recommend David and this Law Firm to EVERYONE who is reading this review.
    - Brian L.
  • 5 stars
    David Coolidge is a wonderful attorney! I hired him twice for two different cases that I had which were only 2 months apart. He's very thorough and efficient. I was even able to reach him after hours through phone calls, texts, and email. Hopefully I never need his services again but if I am in a similar predicament I would most definitely hire David again.
    - Tiffany C.
  • 5 stars
    Excellent Customer Service. I had a Speeding ticket and they resolved it positively with no points on my Driver License. They represented me in Court and by midday on the Court date, they had updated me on the outcome. Very efficient service. I highly recommend them if you are in need of Legal Services.
    - Stephen O.
  • 5 stars
    I got a speeding ticket for going 17 over. They sent me a letter in the mail explaining that I could plead improper equipment and get no points on my insurance or license. They even gave me the fees straight out on the letter including court costs. They represented me and made the ticket go away.
    - David G.
  • 5 stars
    I cannot say enough about Attorney Coolidge and his staff. He’s handed several matters for me and in every instance he has exceeded my expectations. He even answered a frantic call from me on a Saturday night. I called in desperation not really expecting an answer. Mr. Coolidge delivered on all that he promised and more. I highly recommend.
    - Craig S.
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