Marijuana Possession: Small Quantities, Big Consequences




While some states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, North Carolina has not. In North Carolina, possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana, is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Although you may only have a $200.00 fine and no jail time, there may still be long-term consequences. However, the more marijuana you possess, the higher chance of jail time and the more severe the long-term effects can be. Possession of up to 1.5 ounces is a Class 1 misdemeanor with the potential to serve up to 45 days in jail and if you have more than 1.5 ounces, you may be charged with a felony and face up to 12 months of jail time.


While the short-term consequences of misdemeanor drug possession may not seem so harsh, there are long-term effects on employment, housing, and finances. Drug possession charges will show up on background checks when applying for job. Employers want to hire people they can trust so misdemeanor drug charges can severely hamper your chances at receiving a job. In fact, some vocations (such as law enforcement, the military or teachers) may not consider you a candidate if you have a history of drug charges. Drug charges may even make a landlord weary to rent a home or apartment to you. Most significantly, your financial aid may be suspended if your drug conviction happened while you are receiving aid or you may be completely disqualified from financial aid if you received certain types of drug charge.


If this marijuana possession charge is your first offense, the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel may be able to help. You may be eligible for the 90-96 program, which allows you to have the charge dismissed after completing court mandated classes and community service. Once you complete the program and have the charge dismissed, our office may be able to assist you in getting the charges expunged. 


Whether this is your first offense or not, contact Attorney Wiley Nickel or Attorney Kristi Haddock to discuss your options in Wake County at or


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.