Charlotte Felony Defense Lawyers

A North Carolina woman was recently arrested for drug trafficking charges, specifically felony conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine. Law enforcement discovered a major methamphetamine distribution ring. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, along with local police agencies engaged in a thorough investigation. North Carolina state police seized a street value of $291,300.00 of methamphetamine. The woman was one of four arrested for felony drug charges.

Our Felony Defense Lawyers can Help

Felony charges are the most serious criminal charges in North Carolina. By definition, felony charges will result in at least one year of jail time. Drug charges like the one mentioned above are often charged as felonies, especially when drug trafficking or large amounts of drugs are involved. If you are facing felony criminal charges in North Carolina, our law firm can help. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, as soon as possible so that we can start developing your legal defense. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.

High-Level Felonies in North Carolina

A Class A felony, such as first-degree murder, is the most serious type of felony in North Carolina. Class B1 or B2, Class C, and Class D felonies are also considered high-level felonies. High-level felonies come with the possibility of a defendant facing decades in prison along with significant fines. The following crimes are considered high-level felonies:

  • First-degree sexual crimes
  • First-degree murder
  • Second-degree murder
  • Second-degree rape
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Armed robbery
Mid-Level Felonies in North Carolina

Punishments for mid-level felonies include long prison sentences, prolonged probation, and fines. Some mid-level drug trafficking felonies carry serious mandatory minimum jail sentences. Mid-level felonies are Class E felonies, Class F felonies, and Class G felonies, that include the following:

  • Assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer
  • Child abuse
  • Common-law robbery
  • Habitual impaired driving (DWI)
  • Arson of public buildings
Low-Level Felonies in North Carolina

Low level felonies include Class H and Class I offenses. Typically, low-level felonies do not carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence requiring time in prison. Often, house arrest, probation, and community service or substance abuse counseling are used as a punishment instead of jail time. The following crimes are Class H felonies in North Carolina:

  • Breaking or entering a building with felonious intent
  • Larceny of property worth over $1,000
  • Escaping from state prison
  • Hit and run accidents resulting in injuries
  • Habitual misdemeanor assault

Class I crimes are the least serious felonies under North Carolina law. The maximum penalty for a Class I offense is a 24-month jail sentence. Class I crimes include the following:

  • Financial transaction card theft
  • Forgery of bank notes, checks, or securities
  • Certain possession of marijuana crimes
  • Breaking or entering of motor vehicles
Sentencing of Felonies in North Carolina

North Carolina uses a structured felony sentencing program. Judges use the following steps to decide upon the proper punishment for the defendant:

  • Evaluating the defendant’s prior record level
  • Identifying the class of each offense
  • Considering any factors that make the defendant more culpable or less culpable
  • Determining the minimum sentence and the maximum sentence for the crime

North Carolina judges enjoy some flexibility when it comes to imposing the minimum or maximum sentence for felonies. Judges also have some flexibility regarding whether or not to sentence the defendant immediately or suspend the sentence. Judges also have the authority to impose intermediate punishments, community punishments, and probation. Prosecutors may present felony charges to a grand jury for indictment. If the grand jury decides to indict a defendant, the case is transferred to superior court. If no agreement can be reached, the case will move to trial in front of twelve impartial jurors who are selected randomly from the community. Prosecutors have the burden of proving all of the elements of the felony beyond a reasonable doubt. When the jury votes to find the defendant guilty, a judge will impose the sentence on the defendant.

Contact Our Skilled Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we offer case evaluations for potential clients. Felony convictions can carry significant penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, and the creation of a criminal record. Serious felony charges can result in lifetime prison sentences. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.