Have you been arrested for drug possession? You’re not alone. In 2017, over 1.6 million people were arrested for drugs in the US.
Despite this, if it’s your first time being charged with drug possession, you’re probably scared, nervous, and unsure of what to do. If you ever find yourself in that situation, use our guide so you know what to do and what your options are.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Post Bond
Chances are, you’re going to be able to get out on bond if it’s your first offense. Depending on the type of drug and the amount, your bail could be a few hundred dollars or several thousand dollars.
If you find that you don’t have the cash, nor do any of your friends or family, a bail bondsman can provide you with the financial means to get out of jail.
2. Hire an Attorney
An experienced criminal defense attorney is necessary, especially if it’s your first offense. You might be tempted to plead guilty, especially if you committed the crime, but hiring an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the system will be a huge benefit.
Attorneys know what’s possible and what’s not when you’re charged with drug possession and they can often negotiate a deal with the prosecutor to get you into a first-time offender program.
3. Request a Diversion Program
If you decide not to hire an attorney, you can always request to be placed in a diversion program. Your local district attorney’s office will typically make this decision.
These programs often require community service, substance abuse classes, fees, and staying out of trouble for a specific period of time, usually six months to a year.
Generally, if you complete this program successfully, the charges are dismissed and you won’t have a criminal record.
4. Explore Expungement
If you are unsuccessful in getting into a first-time offender program or a diversion program, you can always explore options to have your record expunged.
North Carolina allows offenders to have their records expunged in certain situations, such as if you have no other misdemeanor felony convictions, are under the age of 18 or 21 for some crimes, and have committed nonviolent crimes.
Having your offense expunged means that the conviction no longer appears anywhere on your record and you return to the same status as you were prior to being convicted.
5. Stay Out of Trouble!
Getting your record expunged, participating in diversion, or getting accepted to a first-time offender program is all dependent on you staying out of trouble. Any new offenses, other than traffic offenses, renders you ineligible for these programs.
Being a repeat offender can also result in a higher bond, stiffer charges, and tougher punishment.
Your Options When Charged with Drug Possession
No one wants to be on the receiving end of the criminal justice system. If you find yourself there for drug possession charges, make sure you know your options and know how to advocate for yourself.
Contact our bail agents 24/7 if you find yourself in the situation of needing to bond out of jail.