Numbers, not many of us like them. In fact, most of us fall into two categories; we either loved math and got it, or we hated it and didn’t understand it. But the amount of things designated by numbers in our world is astounding. Between the math we use on a daily basis and the important policies and documents identified by numbers, we deal with numbers every day. And it can get confusing. If you’ve heard the ID G.S. 90-96, you may be wondering just what it is and why it’s important.
One of the Most Misunderstood Statutes
According to North Carolina Criminal Law, G.S. 90-96 is one of the most used and most misunderstood statutes in the book. Chances are you won’t come in contact with it unless you’ve landed on the wrong side of the law due to illegal substances.
Enacted in 1971, the statute applies to first-time convictions for possession of schedule III through VI substances. The schedule of substances includes everything from paraphernalia to felony cocaine possession. A subsection of the act allows it to apply to individuals with no prior convictions who plead guilty (or are found guilty by a court of law) to one of the following:
- Misdemeanor possession of schedule III through VI substances or drugs.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Felony possession of less than one gram of cocaine.
The statute only applies when the court allows a defendant to benefit from it. It’s not automatically applied to every first-time offender case, and the court can opt to apply it to a guilty plea or after a trial and conviction.
The Goal of G.S. 90-96
If you’re facing or have faced first-time substance charges and the court offers the benefit of the statute, it’s not to be taken lightly. The statute effectively offers offenders a second chance, giving them the opportunity to learn from their mistake, clean their record, and move on.
In most cases, those offered the benefit of this statute are required to complete specific requirements. Those can include:
- Completing a documented evaluation with a qualified drug education school provider.
- Paying the class fees and attending all 15 hours of the school.
- Satisfying any additional and mandated court conditions or requirements.
According to North Carolina Criminal Law, the statute contains a subsection that allows defendants to file an application for record expunctions, which effectively wipes the slate clean for participants.
A Second Chance
In its simplest terms, G.S. 90-96 offers first-time offenders the chance to learn from their mistake, bounce back, and through good will wipe their record of the offense. The statute does not apply to multiple time offenders. It’s a one-time opportunity, and it isn’t offered to everyone.
If you’ve been offered the benefit of this statute, it is imperative to ally with an approved drug school education provider.
Absolute Advocacy is proud to be an approved provider in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties, and our locations allow us to service those from Mecklenburg and Cabarrus county courts. Contact us today to learn more!