There are two distinct types of criminal offenses that can be committed in North Carolina: felonies and misdemeanors. A conviction for a felony, the most serious category of criminal violation, can result in a lengthy jail sentence in addition to fines. You can get off more easily if you are charged with committing a “minor” misdemeanor instead of a more serious felony. You would, however, be making a significant error of judgment if you did not take the misdemeanor accusation seriously. A conviction may nevertheless lead to severe repercussions, such as the creation of a criminal record that is accessible for life.
What are some typical examples of misdemeanor crimes for which you might be prosecuted?
In North Carolina, misdemeanors are ranked from least serious to most serious by virtue of their placement in one of four distinct categories. These categories, along with some examples of crimes that typically fall into each one, are as follows:
- Infraction of the third degree: This is the lowest level of misdemeanor offense that can be committed. Theft from stores, simple possession of marijuana, trespassing, and some infractions of municipal and county ordinances are examples of the types of offenses that fall under this category.
- Infraction of the second-degree: Class 2 misdemeanors include offenses such as unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, simple assault, disorderly conduct, and reckless driving. If you are found guilty of any of these, you will be required to serve at least 1 year in jail.
- A Misdemeanor of the First-Class: Theft and possession of stolen property, breaking and entering, soliciting a prostitute, and theft are examples of Class 1 Misdemeanors, which are considered to be more serious offences.
- Class A1 Misdemeanor: Misdemeanors of the Class A1 variety are the most serious of the various classes of misdemeanors that you could be charged with. Assault on a female, assault with a dangerous weapon, child abuse, and sexual battery are some examples of the kind of crimes that fall under this category.
If deemed guilty of committing a misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to one of three distinct sorts of penalties. The following are some examples of them:
Use of Physical Restraints – When you are given an active penalty, such as a jail sentence, you will have to serve your time in a local jail or another type of confinement institution.
The intermediate level of the punishment – If the judge places you on probation with restrictions, you could be looking at a sentence that falls somewhere in the middle. Some of the conditions of your probation could include home arrest with electronic monitoring, participation in a court that specializes in drug treatment, monitoring by satellite, and even brief stints in jail or other types of confinement facilities.
The imposition of a community sentence does not result in incarceration. You could end up paying a fine, being placed on probation, or having to perform community service. The severity of a person’s sentence in North Carolina is determined by both the person’s past conviction level and the crime’s categorization as a misdemeanor, which together make up the person’s criminal history record. Your sentence will be determined in part by the level of your most recent prior conviction, which is as follows:
- Level I is for those with no history of criminal convictions.
- Level II infractions include having one to four prior convictions.
- Level III is for those who have five convictions or more.
After determining the number of prior convictions you have, the judge will determine your sentence based on the range of possible punishments associated with the misdemeanor classification that your offense falls under. If you were categorized as having a Level II or Level III conviction level due to your prior criminal history, your sentence would be more severe than if you were classed as having a Level I conviction level. The following are examples of possible sentences that may be passed:
- Infractions of the third degree: You could receive anywhere from one to thirty days in active, intermediate, or community punishment depending on the severity of your crime. The maximum penalty would be thirty days in jail in addition to a fine of two hundred dollars.
- Infractions of the second degree: If convicted of a Class 2 misdemeanor, the offender faces between one and sixty days of active, intermediate, or community punishment, with the maximum penalty consisting of sixty days in jail and a fine of one thousand dollars.
- Infractions of the first degree: The range of possible sentences is anywhere from one day to one hundred and twenty days of active, intermediate, or community punishment. The greatest amount of time you may spend in jail is one hundred and twenty days. There is no limit to the fine that could be imposed. The judge has complete and total authority on this matter.
- Misdemeanors of the Class A1: You could spend anything from one day to one hundred and fifty days in active, intermediate, or community punishment, with a maximum of one hundred and fifty days in jail. The court would have complete discretion over the amount of the fine that you would be required to pay, just as they would if you were convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
You still need the assistance of a seasoned criminal defense attorney, even if you are of the opinion that you are responsible for the misdemeanor violation that you are being charged with having committed. You may be able to defend yourself against the charges, which might result in the charges being dropped altogether or reduced to a lesser offense, with less potential repercussions. Your legal representation can investigate these possible defenses and put them to use in defending you against the charges you are up against. Get a head start on scheduling your free, no-obligation consultation by beginning a chat session online right away.
Are You Seeking a Criminal Defense Attorney in the Greensboro, North Carolina Area?
Some people may not give much thought to the consequences of a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor because they seem like trivial problems. However, a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor can have a significant influence on your employment, your ability to pursue higher education, and your eligibility for certain government benefits. Mistakes are inevitable for everyone, but the ones you make should not be something that stays with you for the rest of your life. Our misdemeanor criminal lawyers in Greensboro, North Carolina, will do everything in their power to preserve their clients’ spotless records. Our Greensboro attorneys will fight for you in court regardless of the charge, whether it be a charge of misdemeanor violence or possession of marijuana. We also deal with accusations of stealing and other forms of theft since we understand that mistakes can be made by anyone and the repercussions of one’s conduct can have serious repercussions. Find out more about our attorneys who handle minor cases here: https://www.garrettandwalker.com/