Misdemeanors in North Carolina
In North Carolina, crimes are separated into felonies and misdemeanors, depending on the severity of the offense. Misdemeanors are offenses that carry with them a maximum punishment of 180 days or less in the county jail. Misdemeanor offenses are divided into 4 classifications: A1, 1, 2, and 3, with Class 3 being the lowest level of misdemeanor in North Carolina. Typical examples of Class 3 offenses include possession of small amounts of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia, shop lifting, drinking tickets, trespassing or Driving While License Revoked. Common class 2 offenses include simple assault, carrying a concealed weapon, Driving After Consuming Alcohol Under 21, Injury to Personal Property, or Careless & Reckless Driving. Class 1 offenses are a little more serious, and common charges include Misdemeanor Larceny, Injury to Real Property, Aggressive Driving, Misdemeanor Breaking & Entering, Failure to Stop for a School Bus or Failure to Yield to Law Enforcement, or Driving While License Revoked due to an Impaired Driving Offense. Class A1 offenses are the most serious misdemeanors, and some of the more frequently charged offenses include Assault on a Female, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Assault Inflicting Serious Injury, Misdemeanor Child Abuse, Stalking, Interfering with Emergency Communications, and Sexual Battery (which is the only misdemeanor that requires registration as a sex offender).
Even though misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, they can still have long-lasting consequences and can drastically impact your life, your ability to achieve your educational or career goals, and your ability to possess a firearm, among other things. The good news is that there are options available to assist people who have nothing or minimal offenses on their record like the Misdemeanor First Offender Program or the 90-96 drug diversion program.
Traffic offenses can even have harsh consequences such as loss of license if it is not handled appropriately. A lawyer can discuss with you the possible range of outcomes, and provide you with options. Once you understand your choices, you can make an informed decision, whether you should set the case for trial, or if you want to consider entering a deferred prosecution agreement or conditional discharge program to keep your record clean, or work out a plea agreement that reflects a reduction of the charges and dismissal of others. Our firm handles all misdemeanors in court in Wake, Chatham, Orange, Durham, Johnston, Harnett & Lee Counties.