Misdemeanors are not as serious as felony charges, but a misdemeanor conviction can still negatively affect your life. Misdemeanor crimes come with a penalty of one year or less in jail. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand that facing any criminal charge can be daunting, especially if it is your first.

Whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, our lawyers can help provide you with an effective defense. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.

Commonly Charged Misdemeanor Crimes in North Carolina

There are many misdemeanor crimes that are commonly prosecuted in North Carolina, including the following:

  • Assault on a government official
  • Simple assault
  • Assault on a female
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Child abuse
  • Underage drinking
  • Prostitution
  • Resisting a law enforcement officer
  • Communicating threats
  • Trespassing in the first or second degree
  • Possession of stolen goods
  • Misdemeanor larceny
  • Shoplifting or Concealment of Goods
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Violation of domestic violence protective orders
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
Categories of Misdemeanor Categories and Penalties in North Carolina

North Carolina criminal law recognizes four different categories of misdemeanors. Each category of misdemeanor comes with its own punishments. When you are charged with a misdemeanor, the category of the misdemeanor will determine which penalties you will suffer. The four categories of misdemeanors in North Carolina are as follows:

  • Class A1 misdemeanors are the most seriously punished misdemeanors. A defendant convicted of a Class A1 misdemeanor faces a maximum penalty of 150 days in jail, and a possible fine, depending on the discretion of the court.
  • Class 1 misdemeanors come with a maximum penalty of 120 days in jail and a fine that can be imposed at the court’s discretion
  • Class 2 misdemeanors face up to 60 days in jail, and possible fines not to exceed $1000
  • Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious. Defendants convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor face up to 20 days in jail, and a fine imposed at the court’s discretion not to exceed $200.
Simple Assault Charges in Charlotte

Under North Carolina criminal law, simple assault is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Simple assault can include the following charges:

  • Simple assault
  • Simple assault and battery
  • Participating in a simple affray (a public fight between two or more individuals)

A simple assault, simple assault and battery, or participating in an affray is a misdemeanor. However, when aggravating circumstances happen, such as the use of a firearm, or causing serious bodily harm, the assault can become a more serious charge. Simple assault and battery can be as simple as leaving a small bruise on the victim or slapping the victim in the face.

Child Abuse Charges in North Carolina

Child abuse charges, including sexual abuse of a child, can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Child abuse happens when someone aged 16 or older knowingly or intentionally causes, aids, or encourages a juvenile to be abused or neglected. As of December 1, 2019, a defendant must be at least 18 years old to face charges under this child abuse statute. Any person, not only a parent or guardian, can face misdemeanor child abuse charges in North Carolina.

Child abuse also includes abuse or neglect of your own child or charge. Parents and guardians of a child age 16 or younger cannot cause physical injury to a child, allow physical injury to happen to a child, or create a risk of physical injury to a child.

Misdemeanor Larceny and Shoplifting in Charlotte

Under North Carolina Law, larceny of property is a felony offense, unless specifically designated as a misdemeanor by statute. When a defendant steals goods worth $1,000 or less, that person will face Class 1 misdemeanor larceny charges, unless one of the following factors was present: property is taken from the person of another, the theft was committed by breaking and entering or the property is a firearm, explosive device or any record or paper in the custody of the North Carolina State Archives. Shoplifting or concealment of merchandise is a misdemeanor offense. A first offense is a Class 3 misdemeanor carrying penalty of a suspended sentence if the defendant completes at least 24 hours of community service. The penalties for shoplifting increase on the second, third and multiple offenses.

Possession of Marijuana Charges in Charlotte

Possession of any amount of marijuana is illegal in North Carolina. Simple possession of marijuana or possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense with a fine of $200. Possession between .05 and 1.5 ounces is also a misdemeanor offense.

Our Charlotte Misdemeanor Defense Lawyers can Help

While misdemeanors are less serious criminal charges than felonies, they can still negatively impact your life. Contact the skilled Charlotte criminal defense lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation.