If you or your child is charged with drug possession, there are important legal decisions to make in order to keep these charges off of your criminal record. In North Carolina, persons who have reached their sixteenth birthday are considered adults by our criminal justice system.
The negative consequences and punishments can vary greatly from case to case without good legal advice and/or good legal representation.
Can I Get My Charge Removed by a First Offender Program?
Although first-time offenders do have options that can allow for the dismissal of certain drug charges, a person should not waste this one-time opportunity if they otherwise have a legal defense to the charge.
In my 26 years of representing the residents of Wake County on all types of drug charges, I have often seen young people charged with simple possession of marijuana because they were a passenger in a vehicle where marijuana was found. These facts are often the case, and as such, law enforcement officers often choose to charge all the occupants of a vehicle when they have no evidence of either actual or constructive possession by the occupants.
Should You Use the First Offender Program for Your Drug Charge?
First Offender programs are often wasted by those who are innocent, by charges based on insufficient evidence and those who are victims of illegal detentions, searches, and seizures.
Even though the odor of marijuana gives law enforcement officers probable cause to search a vehicle, the odor of marijuana is not sufficient alone to support a possession charge. When an accused wastes a First Offender program by using it unnecessarily, a later valid charge might not be able to be dismissed and therefore, could seriously affect one’s opportunity for education or work in the future.
My Drug Charge is Minor, Do I Still Need Legal Representation?
Despite the views of many, that marijuana should be legalized, the law in North Carolina has not changed. Marijuana use in teens is at an all-time high and enforcement of our drug laws has become profitable for law enforcement agencies. The combination of these two facts has lead to an overwhelming number of drug prosecutions in the past year.
As a result, young adults faced with these charges must make intelligent decisions regarding their case and the advice and representation of an experienced criminal attorney should be sought.
Contact a Raleigh Attorney to Discuss Your Drug Charge
If you or your child has been charged with drug possession, contact the attorneys of Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas, L.L.P. in Raleigh to discuss your case. Call 919-615-2473 or Request a case review today! We look forward to helping you with your legal needs!
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