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What are the penalties for marijuana charges in North Dakota?

Residents in North Dakota may benefit from learning more about the penalties for various marijuana charges in the state. For one, any marijuana conviction could require defendants to submit to evaluation for drug addiction. Juveniles convicted of marijuana charges may have their license suspended for up to six months, while people convicted of possessing, manufacturing, or delivering paraphernalia may be charged with a misdemeanor and subjected to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

Those accused of distributing paraphernalia to a minor may be charged with a felony that could warrant up to five years in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. In addition, anyone convicted of a marijuana charge within 1000 feet of a school may face aggravated charges that include increased fines and more time in prison. Possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor charge with maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 30 days of incarceration.

If an individual is found in possession of less than half of an ounce of marijuana while operating a vehicle, they may be sentenced to up to one year in jail. People convicted of possession of one ounce to 500 grams of marijuana may be fined up to $5,000 and sentenced to five years in jail. Penalties are likely to increase with each subsequent offense.

People who are accused of serious drug crimes may benefit from contacting a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Legal counsel may be able to refute the charges by challenging the soundness of the prosecution's case or the manner in which the evidence was collected and processed by arresting officers.

Source: NORML, "North Dakota Laws & Penalties", October 07, 2014

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