Raleigh, NC Misdemeanors Lawyer
Curtis R. High, Attorney at Law provides aggressive and skillful legal representation for individuals who have been arrested for or charged with a misdemeanor crime. People sometimes think of misdemeanors as relatively minor crimes, but the outcome of a misdemeanor conviction can have very serious and long-lasting negative consequences.
Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable in the state of North Carolina by fines, probation, restitution or imprisonment of up to two years. A misdemeanor conviction can also result in a permanent criminal record as well as affect your prospects for employment, graduate school admissions, and professional licensing.
Typical Misdemeanor Offenses
The North Carolina General Statutes outline the crimes that are punishable as misdemeanors. Some of the more commonly committed misdemeanors include:
- Assaults and threats
- Disorderly conduct and riot
- DWI, not including injury or fatality
- Minor drug offenses
- Larceny, possession of stolen goods, embezzlement and related offenses
- Resisting a law enforcement officer
- Trespass, property damage and littering
- Certain motor vehicle and alcohol offenses
Misdemeanor Sentencing in North Carolina
State statutes outline the penalties for misdemeanor convictions according to the class of the offense and prior conviction levels. Misdemeanor offenses are classified as A1, 1, 2 or 3. Class A1 misdemeanors are the most serious and Class 3 are the least serious offenses. Prior conviction levels are divided into three categories:
Level I Misdemeanors – no prior convictions - First time offenders on charges such as marijuana possession, underage alcohol possession, shoplifting, larceny and trespassing may be afforded the opportunity to earn a dismissal of the charge upon successful completion of a substance abuse class or community service. These agreements require the approval of the district attorney and the judge.
Level II Misdemeanors – one to four prior convictions & Level III Misdemeanors – five or more prior convictions - Defendants who do not have a clean record, or who have committed a more serious offense, are punished based on the classification of the misdemeanor and the defendant's prior record level. The court has many options other than active time in jail. These include, from most lenient to harsh:
- The "Prayer for Judgement" Continued - in less serious cases, the court may grant a "PJC" to the defendant which in essence means that a judgment is never entered in the case by the court. The defendant is only assessed the court costs in the matter. Should the defendant pick up new offenses, the State may pray judgment in the case requesting that the court enter a judgment.
- Unsupervised Probation - a probationary period under which the defendant is essentially under his or her own reconnaissance. Theoretically the State could violate an unsupervised probationer, and request that the suspended jail sentence be served, but this happens very infrequently.
- Supervised Probation - a probationary period, usually from one to three years, in which the active term of imprisonment is suspended and the defendant is supervised by a probation officer. Conditions of probation may include drug testing, proof of employment, community service, substance abuse assessment and recommended treatment, monthly payments for the supervision fees, community service fees and or payments of restitution to the victim.
Take a look at the North Carolina General Statute on misdemeanor penalties.
Contact a Raleigh Misdemeanor Attorney Today
Curtis R. High, Attorney at Law can provide you with skilled and experienced legal representation if you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense. Contact our Raleigh misdemeanor attorneys today to arrange a consultation.