Can I go to jail for not having enough money to pay for marijuana paraphernalia ticket?

I am a 19 year old college student in North Carolina who was stopped at at a road block for not wearing my seat belt. I had a bag of weed on the passenger seat and a bowl in the glove compartment. I have $120 to my name and I cannot find a job (believe me I’m looking). 1)Will the judge drop the seat belt and marijuana possession and only charge me with paraphernalia? 2)How much will the fines be? 3)If I can pay the fine, will I be assigned a parole officer? 4) If I cannot come up with the money, will I spend any jail time?

Asked on June 14, 2009 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If it were just the seat belt issue I would not say: get a lawyer.  But the possession charge is not a joke and you need to get legal help asap.  If your circumstances are as you say financially then you will most likely qualify for a legal aid/public defender attorney.  Go down and find out immediately.  The attorney will be able to help you take the appropriate steps in this matter.  Good luck.


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