How can I get my marijuana possession charge dismissed?

If you are a first time offender and you are charged with a misdemeanor drug possession charge you could be eligible to have your case dismissed if you enter a deferral program and stayout of trouble for a year.

The State of North Carolina allows first time drug offenders the one time opportunity to have their charges dismissed if they stay out of trouble and avoid drugs for a year.


The Drug Education Program in Wake County

  • This program allows for a dismissal of charges for first-time misdemeanor drug offenders.
  • Operated by Southlight in Wake County
  • Call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel to see if you qualify!

Goals and Objectives

The program provides first time misdemanor drug offenders with education and life skills enabling them to abstain from substance abuse and avoid the bad effects of a criminal record

Eligibility Criteria

You must have one of the following charges (1) misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance within schedules II through VI, (2) possession of drug paraphernalia or (3) misdemeanor maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances.

Intake Procedure

  • Defendants are referred to the program by attorneys, prosecutors, judges and police.
  • The Prosecutor determines whether the defendant meets the criteria for the prorgam.
  • A representative from Southlight interviews the defendant and law enforcement officials involved with the case in order to determine eligibility.
  • If you qualify then prosecution is deferred for one year pursuant to NC GS 15A-1341(B)(2)
  • You will sit with someone from Southlight at the Courthouse. They will screen you to see if you qualify and help you complete the paperwork.


If you are accepted into this program you must satisfy all of these requirements in order to successfully complete the program:

  • You must admit your guilt
  • You must complete drug education classes conducted by Southlight (usually 15 hours) or any recommended treatment requirements.
  • You must pay the $250 program fee and also Court costs of approx. $188 to the Wake County Clerk of Court.
  • You must not be convicted of any misdemeanor or felony during the period of deferral.
  • If you are charged with something during that year you must resolve any new pending charges before you can complete the program.
  • You must remain in school or have a job during the course of the program.
  • You must submit to a drug test if they ask you to do one and you must also pay for the drug test.
  • you must abide by any reasonable request made by a Judicial Specialist


Southlight will supervise the program and be responsible for ensuring compliance with the terms of the deal.

Successful Completion/Termination

At the end of the one year term if you have completed all of the requirements and have kept out of trouble the charges will be dismised in open Court. If you are eligible for an expungement my law office can help to ensure that your charges are expunged so potential employers do not see this charge on your record.

Admission of Guilt!

Note that if you violate any of the conditions of the program or are convicted of any criminal offense during the program a judgment of guilt will be entered and a sentence will be imposed! By entering this program you are admitting your guilt and can be punished for that admission if you are convicted of a crime during the program or violate the conditions (i.e. failing a drug test among others).


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.