Elizabeth City Misdemeanor Lawyer

There are two main categories of crimes: felonies and misdemeanors. While felonies are more serious offenses and carry significant penalties, a misdemeanor conviction can have lifelong consequences for the offender. Even when you are charged with a minor crime, you can still face steep fines and time in jail. Moreover, a conviction for a misdemeanor could mean a permanent criminal record.

When you are facing a misdemeanor charge, contacting a criminal defense attorney is vital. A criminal conviction could have lifelong consequences on your personal and professional life. Do not hesitate to retain an Elizabeth City misdemeanor lawyer.

Common Misdemeanor Offenses

State law divides misdemeanor crimes into four categories, depending on the severity of the offense. Class A1 misdemeanors are among the most serious misdemeanor charges, and the severity of the offense lowers with each class. Common crimes associated with each classification are as follows:

  • Class A1: assault on a female, child abuse, sexual battery, assault with a deadly weapon.
  • Class 1: larceny, possession of stolen property, breaking and entering.
  • Class 2: simple assault, reckless driving, cyberstalking, disorderly conduct, carrying a firearm without a permit.
  • Class 3: shoplifting, simple possession of marijuana, trespassing, and some ordinance violations.

A lawyer in Elizabeth City can build a defense for any class of misdemeanor.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Crimes

If convicted of a misdemeanor crime, the court utilizes three types of punishments: active, intermediate, and community. The criminal history of the offender and the classification play into the sentencing range the court applies. A level one offender has no prior convictions. A level two offender has one to four previous offenses, and a level three offender has more than five criminal convictions on their record. The penalty will depend on the criminal history level of the offender.

After the court establishes the defendant’s criminal history level, the sentence depends on the severity of the crime. The judge will impose the penalty based on the class of misdemeanor charged. For example:

Class A1 Misdemeanor

Someone convicted of an A1 misdemeanor faces anywhere from one to one hundred fifty days in jail. Class A1 charges are among the most serious misdemeanor charges, and the judge has discretion for fines imposed on a person.

Class 1 Misdemeanor

The sentencing range for a class 2 misdemeanor charge is one to one hundred twenty days in prison. The judge has discretion for fines like class A1 charges.

Class 2 Misdemeanor

Those convicted of a class 2 misdemeanor could face one to sixty days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Class 3 Misdemeanor

The maximum penalties for class 3 misdemeanors are 30 days in prison and up to $200 in fines.

A lawyer in Elizabeth City can determine the classification of a crime and will work to secure a favorable outcome for a person.

Hire an Elizabeth City Misdemeanor Attorney

Although the law generally considers misdemeanor offenses less serious than felonies, when you are facing a criminal charge, you should not attempt to handle your defense without the assistance of an experienced attorney. The potential penalties can be significant, and a permanent criminal record can have a lasting impact on your employment and personal relationships.

Our experienced attorneys can assist you with defending misdemeanor charges. While you are not obligated to put forth a defense, the prosecutor must prove the elements of the crime to convict you. Otherwise, the court must dismiss the case. Sometimes, an attorney can negotiate a deal with prosecutors to alleviate significant penalties. Speak to an Elizabeth City misdemeanor lawyer about the charges you are facing.

Areas We Serve

Centrally located on the waterfront in downtown Elizabeth City, our team provides quality legal representation across the following counties in the Northeast North Carolina region.

  • Camden County
  • Gates County
  • Chowan County
  • Pasquotank County
  • Currituck County
  • Perquimans County
  • Dare County

Also serving only criminal and traffic cases in the following counties:

  • Beaufort County
  • Tyrrell County
  • Martin County
  • Washington County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
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