Can prior convictions make my charges worse if I received new drug charges in a different state? 1 Answers as of June 08, 2011

I got pulled over for following too closely. The police officer saw a pipe and proceeded to search and found a small amount of marijuana and charged me with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia but did not give me a ticket for following too close. I live in Virginia and have 2 prior convictions from 7 years ago for marijuana in Virginia. Will this prior be a factor since this one occurred in North Carolina? Should I hire a lawyer or just hope for a fine and pay it? The fine is not a problem I just don't want to go to jail.

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The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC | Justin C. Olsinski
There is no definitive answer to this question, sometimes the out of state record will show up on ADA's radar, sometimes it will not. If it does it could raise your punishment level. I would recommend you hire an attorney on your case because a paraphernalia charge is taken pretty serious in many counties. You are looking at jail time and a lawyer at the very least can steer you in front of a more favorable judge or possibly work out a deal with the ADA so you do not have to get a conviction. Also being out of state a lawyer may save you from having to come to court, depending on the county.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 6/8/2011
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