Criminal Law

Felonies & Misdemeanors

Please remember that being charged with a crime does not necessary mean you are guilty. And if you are guilty it doesn’t necessary mean that you should speak to the police without an attorney or proceed pro se or represent yourself in any criminal matter. Exercise your right to remain silent. In most cases, the only words you should ever say is “I want to speak to my attorney”. Be polite. Most criminal cases in North Carolina begin in District Court.

If You Are Charged With a Crime

If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can plead guilty and the judge will then decide your punishment, negotiate with the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charge or plead not guilty and have a trial. A Trial is heard by the judge and he or she will decide if you are guilty.

Felonies are handled differently than misdemeanors. An attorney can work with the prosecutor to reduce the felony, dismiss the case or represent you through the indictment to Superior Court and handle the case in Superior Court. Superior Court trials are heard in front of a jury.

Bingham Law will handle all criminal cases. The attorney will listen and advise the client fully of their legal opinion and strengths and weaknesses of the case

WHAT IS STRUCTURED SENTENCING?

Structured Sentencing is the method of sentencing and punishing criminals in North Carolina. It classifies offenders on the basis of the severity of their crime and on the extent and gravity of their prior criminal record. Based on these two factors, structured sentencing provides judges with sentencing options for the type and length of sentences which may be imposed.

WHY WAS STRUCTURED SENTENCING ENACTED?

Structured Sentencing is designed to help the State maintain control over the criminal justice system and to provide credibility to sentencing. Under the law, there is no early parole release so the sentence is truthful.  

HOW ARE CRIMES CLASSIFIED?

Felony crimes are classified into letter classes (from Offense Class A through Class I) depending on their seriousness. Crimes which involve victim injury or the risk of victim injury are assigned to the highest classes. Property crimes and other crimes which do not normally involve the risk of victim injury are assigned to lower classes. Misdemeanor crimes are classified into four classes (Class A1, Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3). The most serious misdemeanor crimes are in Class A1 and the least serious are in Class 3.

Misdemeanor Punishment Chart

A similar chart is used for misdemeanors. However, instead of ten felony classes, there are four misdemeanor classes (A1, 1, 2, and 3); instead of six prior record levels there are three prior conviction levels (I, II, and III); and instead of three sentence ranges, there is only one. The judge selects a single term from the sentence range which specifies the number of days the offender must serve. Like the felony punishment chart, an “A” stands for an active prison term, and “I” stands for an intermediate punishment, and a “C” stands for a community punishment. If more than one letter is shown, the judge may choose the type of punishment.

How Can We Help?

Would you like more information on our legal services or to set up a consultation? Give us a call or send us a message and we will be in touch soon.

Phone: (910) 742-0787
Fax: (910) 343-4227

Email: tabitha@binghamlawpllc.com

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