In Charlotte, there are a number of different misdemeanor drug possession offenses that a person may be charged with, including possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Being charged with such a crime, or any other misdemeanor drug possession charge, is a serious offense. Simply being charged can potentially impact all areas of your life, from employment, to educational and housing opportunities. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor drug possession offense, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Browning & Long, PLLC to help protect your rights.
The attorneys at Browning & Long, PLLC will not only help you understand your rights, but will also explore all possible defenses to ensure that you do not face any unnecessary consequences associated with your misdemeanor drug possession charge. This includes investigating every aspect of your case, and using the techniques described below to ultimately get your case dismissed, or dropped.
Potential Legal Issues with Drug Charges
If you were charged with a misdemeanor drug crime, do not assume that you are guilty. As former prosecutors, we understand the intricacies of the law and are aware of potential defenses that may be available in your misdemeanor drug case. Specifically, we will examine the following scenarios to ensure the police acted lawfully in charging and/or arresting you. If they did not act lawfully, it is likely that your misdemeanor drug crime will be dropped.
- Did the police have a lawful reason to stop you?
- Did the police have a valid reason to search the place or area they did?
- Were you aware of the illegal item or drug’s presence in the place it was located?
- Did you have possession of the illegal item or drug the police claim you did?
- Is the illegal item or drug what the police claim it is?
Drug Education Class in Charlotte
If, after thoroughly reviewing your situation, we determine that there are not any available legal defenses in your case, there are still other potential options to ultimately get your misdemeanor drug charge dropped. In certain situations, we can negotiate with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office to have you complete a drug education class for dismissal of your misdemeanor drug charge. Generally, this drug education class must be completed at a service provider approved by the prosecutor’s office. Exceptions may be made for our clients who reside outside of Charlotte. In either case, the class must be attended in-person and requires 15 hours of instruction. By retaining Browning & Long, PLLC, this all can be accomplished without you ever attending court.
North Carolina G.S. 90-96 – Conditional Discharge of Drug Charges
Even if the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office refuses to allow you to complete a drug education class for dismissal of your misdemeanor drug charge, you may be eligible to have your case dismissed through a process known as conditional discharge. While case-specific, this process typically has several requirements, including the following:
- You either plead guilty or are found guilty of the misdemeanor drug possession offense
- You not have any prior convictions for certain criminal offenses, including felonies
- You complete an approved drug education class as directed by the court
- You satisfy any other requirements set by the court, such as community service and fines
- You are not charged with any new criminal charges within a designated period of time
Once you successfully complete the requirements ordered in your case, the judge shall discharge and dismiss the misdemeanor drug charges against you. This dismissal occurs without any judgment of guilt and is not considered a conviction. You are also eligible to file for an expunction, also known as expungement, of your criminal record, that is the fact that you were charged, under North Carolina G.S. 15A-145.2.