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 Does the Expungement Process Work in North Carolina?

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Step #1: Determining Eligibility

Are you eligible for an expungement? There are different rules for dismissed cases and convictions.  For dismissed cases there is now no limit on the amount of dismissed cases and not guilty cases you can get erased through the expungement process (as long as you don’t have a felony conviction or an active criminal case).  For convictions there are certain crimes that are not eligible for expungement and there are different rules for those under 18 at the time of offense, under 22 for certain crimes and then a 5/10 year wait for felony charges (10) and misdemeanors (5).  We generally need to pull court records to confirm whether you are eligible.

Step #2: Filing the Petition

Once we determine whether you are eligible for an expungement, we will file a petition for expunction in the clerk’s office in the county where you were charged.  You may need to sign affidavits and get character witnesses to do the same.  There may or may not be court costs of $175 depending on the type of expungement.

Step #3: Review by the SBI (North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation)

Following an initial signature by a judge or district attorney (if required) the petition is then mailed to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).  The SBI will conduct a search of the criminal records of North Carolina. Any records discovered will be attached to the petition and mailed to the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).  After reviewing the petition for any prior expungements by petitioner, the AOC attaches another report of its findings and sends it back to the clerk of court of the county where the petition was originally filed. This part of the process can take several months.

Step #4: Final Judgment by the Court

Once the petition is returned to the courthouse a judge makes a final determination based on the petition and information provided by the SBI and AOC. A this point the judge may sign the order granting the expungement without a formal hearing. However, if there is a question as to the applicant’s eligibility or if the district attorney has an objection, then a formal hearing could be required.  Following that hearing, the court will either grant or deny the expungement petition.

Step #5: Removal of Expunged Records

Upon the granting of the expungement petition, the clerk of court is statutorily required to send notice of the expunction to all of the relevant agencies that have information about your case.  They are then required to eliminate those records from the system after they’ve received notice.

If you have a criminal record (conviction or dismissed case) contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC to speak with an expungement lawyer during a free consultation.  We can be reached at 919-585-1486.