You need to consult with an attorney in your prosecutorial district. The manner in which these cases are handled varies throughout the state.
If the charge is reduced to possession, then you may qualify for a judgment pursuant to NCGS 90-96, where upon completing a year of probation, the charges would be dismissed.
A prayer for judgment is not a given at that speed. It is up to the judge to see whether to grant a PJC. You run the risk of it being denied and then having the insurance increase and possible license suspension that would follow a conviction. I know money is tight, but you need to hire an attorney to help you get the best result possible.
It would depend upon the defendant's prior record. It is a class E felony, with punishments ranging from a minimum of 15 months up to 88 months. Intensive probation is possible for a person with little or no criminal history.
You should absolutely get a lawyer to help you. There are first offenders programs that may be available to you to keep your record clean. An attorney will be in a better position to negotiate a favorable disposition with the District Attorney.