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

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2009

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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


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

Answered 13 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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