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Charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor? Now what?

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NC Expungement Lawyer
NC Expungement Information

In North Carolina, misdemeanors are broken down into four different classes with the lowest class being a Class 3 Misdemeanor and the highest class being a Class A1 Misdemeanor.

Examples of Class 1 Misdemeanors that our office handles include but are not limited to:

  • Breaking or Entering Buildings (NCGS 14-54(b))
  • Communicating Threats (NCGS 14-277.1)
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of a Juvenile (NCGS 14-316.1)
  • Driving While License Revoked (Impaired Revocation) (NCGS 20-28(a1))
  • Failure to Stop for Stopped School Bus (NCGS 20-217)
  • Hit and Run Property Damage (NCGS 20-166)
  • Injury to Personal Property, >$200 (NCGS 14-127)
  • Larceny of Property, Worth $1000 or Less (NCGS 14-72)
  • Misuse of 911 (NCGS 14-111.4)
  • Possession of Certain Controlled Substances (NCGS 90-95(d)(2))
  • Possession of over ½ once of Marijuana (NCGS 90-95(d)(4))
  • Possession of Stolen Goods (NCGS 14-72)
  • Possession / Manufacture of Fraudulent ID (NCGS 14-100.1)
  • Purchase/Possess/Consume Alcohol by Person under 19 (NCGS 18B-302)
  • Speeding to Elude (NCGS 20-141.5)
  • Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle (NCGS 14-72.2)

What are the consequences for a Class 1 Misdemeanor?

The consequences for a Class 1 Misdemeanor depend on your record level. If you have one prior criminal conviction, you are considered a record level I. If you have between one and four prior criminal convictions, you are considered a record level II. If you have five or more prior criminal convictions, you are considered a record level III.

Offenders who are a record level I may not be sentenced to any jail time. In fact, generally, first time offenders who are considered record level I for sentencing purposes will also qualify for a dismissal as part of a deferred prosecution. Depending on the type of charge, you may qualify for the First Offender’s program which involves completing 75 hours of community service for a dismissal. Or, you may qualify for the 90/96 program which involves completing substance abuse treatment.

Offenders who are record level II may be sentenced to up to 45 days in jail at the judge’s discretion or may be sentenced to probation, community service or simply asked to pay a fine.

Offenders who are a record level III may be sentenced to up to 120 days in jail at the judge’s discretion, or may be sentenced to probation, community service or simply asked to pay a fine.

An experienced attorney can best help you avoid a harsh sentence and work with the prosecutor to get a deal on your behalf. At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, our first goal is always to seek a dismissal of the charges. If the charges are dismissed, we can then help you get the charge removed from your record through the class 1 mesdemeanor expungement process. Give attorneys Kristi Haddock, Melissa Botiglione, or Wiley Nickel a call at 919-650-2851 to discuss your options. We offer FREE consultations.

How Do I Remove a Dismissed Criminal Case From My Record in North Carolina?

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A big question we often get from clients after getting their case is dismissed is “how will it affect my record?” Will a background check reveal that I was arrested? Will the charges show up when I go to rent property? The short answer is usually yes, the arrest and charges would still appear unless you get an expungement.

Expungement of Dismissed Cases in NC

Expungement is a way to remove convictions or dismissed cases from your record so that future background checks won’t display any arrests or charges. For North Carolina residents, the possibility of pursuing expungement has recently changed in a good way. North Carolina has recently made it much easier to get dismissed cases removed from your record through the expunction process.

Governor Roy Cooper signed a new expungement law, which took effect on December 1, 2017. This new law cuts down the wait time for non-violent misdemeanor and felony convictions. Misdemeanor conviction wait times have been reduced from 15 years to 5. Felony convictions from 15 years to 10. The new law has also lifted the limit of one expungement when the defendant’s charges were dismissed or they were acquitted. Now if the defendants whose charges are dismissed or who were found “not guilty” can apply for as many expungements as they want (assuming no felony convictions or active criminal cases).

Petitioning for an expungement can seem easy but it has a number of steps and involves a good amount of specific clerical work. The petition must be filed in the county where the charges took place. Also, the expungement process is a lengthy one so properly filling out and filing the paperwork is very important as a small mistake could mean your petition gets denied and you have to start again from scratch (having lost tons of time).

If you have a dismissed case or a not guilty verdict on your record contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free North Carolina expungement consultation.  Our office is located in Cary, NC and we handle expungements throughout North Carolina. Our phone number is 919-585-1486.  Contact a North Carolina Expungement Lawyer today to discuss your case.

How Do Expungements Work in North Carolina?

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My law firm handles a lot of expungement work.  If you have been charged with a crime (or if you know someone who was ever charged with a crime) you should understand the rules for expungements in North Carolina.  There are two important types of expungements out there: (1) expungements for dismissed cases and (2) expungements for that one minor charge on your record that happened a long time ago.                                                                                                     

My case was dismissed.  Is there still a record?

Yes!  Even if your case was dismissed a record remains visible for everyone to see forever unless it is expunged.  There is no procedure to automatically expunge a dismissed case.  The record stays visible forever.  If you were charged with possession of marijuana (or any other charge imaginable) and the case was dismissed there will be a record visible to everyone that says essentially “possession of a schedule VI controlled substance – case dismissed.”  Anyone who sees your record will have immediate questions about why you were charged with possession of a controlled substance.  In the employment context it makes for a horrible first impression for prospective employers.

How does it work to expunge a dismissed case?

Generally, everyone in North Carolina can have any dismissed case (or not guilty verdict) expunged once in their lifetime.  You can pretty much get rid of anything you want as long as the case was dismissed or you were found not-guilty.  You file a petition and after around six months the records are erased.

I just had that one stupid crime and it’s been a long time…

If you pled guilty to one minor crime or were found guilty of one minor crime and it’s been 15 years without another charge then you may be eligible to have the criminal record expunged.  The North Carolina Legislature has essentially said that if you have one minor criminal charge on your record and have stayed out of trouble for fifteen years then you can apply for an expungement of that charge.

How does it work to get rid of that old conviction?

You need to provide some affidavits and affidavits from people who will attest to your good moral character in addition to the expungement petition. If you qualify for an expungement of that old criminal conviction there is a good possibility you can have the charge erased.

What is the effect of an expungement?

An order granting a petition for an expungement has two basic effects. One, it requires deletion of records about the case. Two, it seeks to restore the petitioner to the status he or she had before the criminal proceedings occurred.  The deletion requirement applies to North Carolina’s courts, state and local law enforcement agencies, other government agencies, and certain organizations in the business of providing criminal history information.  The expunction statutes express in various ways the principle that an expunction restores a person’s status as if the proceeding had not occurred. Most expunction statutes state this principle explicitly. Most also state that a person who receives an expunction may not thereafter be held under any provision of law to be guilty of perjury for failing to acknowledge the expunged criminal proceedings.

How do I move forward with an expungement?

There are dozens of other ways to have charges expunged.  A lot of good options are available for charges that happened when the petitioner was 21 and younger.  If you would like a free consultation about whether you qualify for an expungement or if you would like to know whether someone else qualifies for an expungement then please contact my law office at 919-948-7159.  You can speak to an expungement lawyer who will walk you through the process and explain your options.

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