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Though the drug goes by many different names, possession of marijuana is a crime that carries a range of punishments and consequences.  If you have been charged with marijuana possession, it is important that you get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney to fully understand your rights and ensure that they are protected.

Criminal defense attorney Wiley Nickel is a former prosecutor and personally handles each client's case. He has defended many clients against charges, often getting charges dismissed or reduced before trial. He understands how to present a case in the best way to the prosecutor and the judge.  If you are facing marijuana possession charges, you need to talk to a lawyer with the right experience to protect your rights.

If you were charged with possession of marijuana, do not talk to police.  Talk to your lawyer.  Contact our Raleigh area firm to arrange a free initial consultation. 

Depending on the weight, presence of paraphernalia, and the intended use of the drug, marijuana possession may be considered a felony or misdemeanor. However, it is critical that individuals understand the seriousness of a marijuana possession charge and the potential effects of a drug charge on your future.

If convicted on a marijuana possession charge, the outcome stays on your criminal record forever.   A conviction can affect your ability to get a job, obtain a mortgage or be licensed in certain fields. Essentially, it can cause you to lose many opportunities throughout your life.  If not handled properly one mistake or bad decision can haunt you for the rest of your life.

Some convictions may lead to a fine and probation; others may lead to jail time.   Attorney Wiley Nickel is thorough in his investigation of the situation in which you were accused of being in possession of marijuana.  He is able to determine if there have been any violations of the search and seizure laws that govern the ways in which law enforcement searches you and your vehicle for possible drug possession. If a violation is discovered, this fact is used as one basis to argue for the dismissal of the charges pending against you.

For first time offenders there are also many opportunities to enter a program or do community service to earn a dismissal of their charges.


Right to Remain Silent

If law enforcement officials wish to talk to you about your marijuana possession charge or drug use, it is essential that you exercise your right to remain silent. This can prevent the police from extracting an incorrect statement from you that can be twisted and used against you, even if you were trying to defend yourself or explain the situation. You do not have to give evidence or testimony against yourself. Any information can be provided to police at a later date through your attorney, who can determine how the information may impact your case.

Drug charges against you can be dismissed or reduced if:

  • The officer did not have a valid reason to stop you.

  • The officer did not have a valid reason to search you, your home (or whatever place you were), or your car.

  • Your consent to the search was not free and voluntary or the officer exceeded the scope of your consent.

  • The officer cannot prove that you were in possession of the drugs.

Questions your attorney will ask:

  • Did someone else own the vehicle you were in?

  • Did someone else own the place you were in?

  • Were there other passengers in your vehicle?

  • Were there other people with you in the place where the drugs were found?

  • In what part of the vehicle or place were the drugs found?

  • How near to the drugs were you?

  • Can the police prove that you were in control of the place where the drugs were found? (The fact that you happened to be present is NOT proof that you were in control! Did the police find YOUR property, i.e., clothing, mail, papers at the place in question?)

*Update: North Carolina law has recently changed for many first time offenders (and those with minor criminal records) charged with marijuana possession under 1/2 an ounce.  If one has up to three prior convictions he or she can now only be fined for possession of marijuana.  So for a first time offender a conviction for minor marijuana possession under half an ounce is a fine only offense. The legislature also revoked funding for court appointed lawyers or public defenders for those with minor drug charges.  This means that many people who can't afford a lawyer will not get one for free.  A charge like this can follow you around for a long time unless expunged.  While jail time is no longer an option this is the kind of charge that will never look good to future employers and those searching your record.  Call our office for a free consultation to understand how this new change in the law effects you.

Call 1 (919) 585-1486 or e-mail our Wake County Drug Crime Lawyers located in Cary (  to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers and learn more about how we can help you through your marijuana possession, misdemeanor drugs, felony drugs or drug trafficking charge(s).  We offer flat fee pricing and also handle North Carolina expungements for our clients if they are eligible - after their case is resolved.