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Felonies and Misdemeanors

North Carolina Felonies and Misdemeanors Lawyers Provide Determined Defense

Skilled trial lawyers protect your rights in New Bern and Morehead City

If you’ve been arrested on a felony or misdemeanor charge, you face harsh penalties that could deprive you of your liberty and impose a variety of other sanctions, such as fines and the suspension of certain civil rights. You need reliable defense representation to protect your rights and aggressively pursue the best possible outcome. Carolina Law Group, headed by attorney Tommy Kellis, is devoted to providing staunch representation for clients charged with all types of felonies and misdemeanors. In New Bern, Morehead City and the surrounding areas, we have built a strong reputation for tenacious advocacy that delivers positive results for our clients.

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor charge?

North Carolina law divides criminal offenses into two major categories: felonies and misdemeanors. The difference between the two has to do with the seriousness of the crime, as well as the severity of the punishment. A felony is the more serious of the charges and can lead to lengthy incarceration in state prison. In addition, convicted felons lose their right to vote until their sentence is completed, they are not permitted to possess firearms or live in a residence where firearms are present and they can even lose their eligibility for food stamps. Misdemeanors are also serious infractions, and a conviction can draw up to a year in county jail, along with fines and community service. A conviction for either a felony or misdemeanor can also make it more difficult to apply for loans or seek gainful employment.

Felony classifications and penalties in North Carolina

North Carolina law lists felonies in 10 classes according to the severity of the offense. Classes are grouped colloquially as follows:

  • High level — This grouping includes Class A (most severe) through Classes B1 or B2, C and D. These are violent crimes which place victims at great risk of serious bodily injury or death. Offenses include first-degree murder, first-degree sexual offense, second-degree murder, second-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, voluntary manslaughter and armed robbery. Penalties for high-level felonies run from a maximum of 204 months in prison for Class D to death or life without possibility of parole for Class A.
  • Mid-level — Classes E, F and G are considered mid-range felonies and include such offenses as assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, arson of a public building and habitual impaired driving. Penalties range from a maximum of 47 months from Class G to 88 months for Class E.
  • Low level — Classes H and I constitute low-level felonies, and include such crimes as habitual misdemeanor assault, breaking or entering a building with felonious intent, larceny of property worth more than $1,000, hit-and-run resulting in another person’s injury, possession of marijuana and forging checks. Penalties range from a maximum of 24 to 39 months.

We work diligently to challenge every element of the charge against you, as we seek the best outcome possible under the facts.

Misdemeanor classifications and penalties

North Carolina law divides misdemeanors into the following classes:

  • Class 1A — These offenses include several types of aggravated assault and call for a maximum sentence of 150 days in jail.
  • Class 1 — Allows for a maximum punishment of 120 days in jail
  • Class 2 — Allows for a maximum punishment of 60 days in jail
  • Class 3 — Allows for a maximum punishment of 20 days in jail

Depending on a defendant’s history, we can often negotiate a resolution that avoids jail, even when the facts seem to support conviction.

Contact an accomplished North Carolina criminal defense lawyer for a consultation

The Carolina Law Group, led by Tommy Kellis, defends North Carolina clients against all types of misdemeanor and felony charges. Please call 252-636-3737 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our New Bern or Morehead City location.

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