Being accused of a criminal offense in Charlotte can be devastating and life-altering. You will no doubt be consumed with many questions, including what charges you face, the consequences of those charges, and how a conviction could impact your future. If you face a felony charge, you will not only face excessive fines and prison time, but your record will continuously follow you and impact your ability to find housing or employment. It could even prevent you from having future educational opportunities.
However, with the right criminal defense attorney, you can confront the challenges ahead of you and find the answers to your questions. At The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett, our team has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the criminal legal system. While we fight aggressively for your acquittal, we can often push for a reduction or dismissal of your charges. We build a defense based on your circumstances and the needs of your case. Our team understands the severity of criminal convictions, particularly felonies, and fights to protect your future.
Criminal charges are broken into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the more serious of the two, and punishments will almost always include time in prison. The length of time you may spend there is determined by the severity of the crime and any criminal record you already have.
While most felonies include jail time, the type of felony committed, and the points determined by the state’s sentencing grid, could offer options for courts to keep a convicted felon out of jail. Other punishment options include house arrest, drug treatment, community service, or another punishment determined by the court that is reasonable for the crime committed.
Examples of felonies include:
Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are much less serious in nature. They often include time in a county jail rather than a state prison, or they could result in a fine. Misdemeanors, while still a part of your criminal record, are often not as impactful on other areas of your life.
Misdemeanor charges are usually applied to crimes such as:
While these charges in both categories are just examples, the circumstances of the case will determine which type of charge you could face. For example, if you are arrested for public intoxication while using an object to hurt another person, the additional charge could have you facing a felony.
Felony charges in North Carolina are divided into different classes that determine the severity of the felony charge.
In each of these classifications, the crimes listed are just a small example of the many that could fall into each category. To understand the exact charges against you, and how they will be litigated, you should consult with your criminal defense attorney.
When sentencing is determined for felony cases, North Carolina uses a unique grid system. It factors in previous convictions as well as the type of crime that was committed. For previous convictions, they are assigned a point value based on the classification level of the felony. The total number of points is used to define the accused’s record level, which then sets the minimum and maximum sentences. When courts use the grid, they often use the following procedure:
Each felony class has its own range of potential sentencing that serves as the baseline for any ensuing punishment. The ranges for each felony class are as follows:
Prior record levels are determined using the following points scale for each prior conviction:
The total number of points then gives the prior record level, as shown in the following:
Then, to establish the correct sentencing, there will be a determination of the dispositional range, which will determine where in the range of potential sentencing a person’s conviction could land them. The three dispositional ranges are:
If, for example, a person is convicted of a Class C felony, the dispositional sentencing ranges could be:
Once a range of sentencing is determined, the court will set the sentence accordingly. The sentencing grid establishes the appropriate range based on all the information. The courts will then sentence the defendant, who will then become eligible for parole once the minimum time in the range has been served.
In addition to jail or prison time, most felonies will also be met with fines and court costs.
Understanding how North Carolina sentences a felony may seem confusing, but felonies in North Carolina really cost you more than just prison time and fines. You could face:
In addition, you could:
It could also be detrimental to your standing in the community or among your friends and family.
There are many criminal defense attorneys that offer their services to defend against felony charges. You may be wondering what attorney is right for you or if you can even afford one. While you may be tempted to work with a public defender, as is your constitutional right, these attorneys are often new in their field and bogged down with a heavy caseload. If you are facing felony criminal charges, take the following into consideration when looking for a criminal defense attorney to help you:
The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett brings over 30 years of experience in criminal defense to your case. In that time, we had the privilege of defending our clients in a multitude of criminal felony cases. Our team has helped our clients with:
Whether you face these types of charges or other felony crimes, our team can evaluate the circumstances of your case and help provide a defense that fights aggressively for you. You have a right to challenge the charges against you, and the team at The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett is here to help.
A: Class D felonies range in prison time from 38 to 160 months, depending on the severity of the charge. However, other circumstances can determine the sentencing range that you could face. This includes any prior felony convictions you have received or if there are any mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Depending on the range, you would be eligible for parole once the minimum has been met.
A: Class I felonies are the lowest-level felonies in North Carolina. They range in penalties from 3 months up to 12 months in prison. Examples of Class I felonies include:
Even though there is a range for jail time, these felonies could have alternative sentencing that avoids jail altogether.
A: A Class H felony could result in a prison sentence of up to 25 months. If sentenced to prison, the minimum time served before parole eligibility would be 4 months. The punishment range could be impacted by aggravating or mitigating circumstances as well as previous criminal convictions. Types of crimes include various charges of assault, embezzlement, and more.
A: Prison sentences range from 10 months to 41 months. These terms are impacted by aggravating and mitigating circumstances that could affect the final sentence. This range is also impacted by previous criminal convictions. Types of criminal actions that could be charged with a Class F felony include human trafficking, violent assaults, involuntary manslaughter, and more.
If you are facing felony criminal charges, you should seek the help of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Because of the seriousness of these charges, you want someone to not only start reviewing the details of your case but also help ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. When you need an attorney you can trust, contact the team at The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett. Our team fights aggressively for our clients based on the circumstances of their case. Contact our offices today to find out how our attorneys can help.