Indian Trail Misdemeanor Lawyer

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Indian Trail Misdemeanor Attorney

Proven Firm Serves Clients In Union County

North Carolina is one of many states with an intimidating justice system that can change your life in an instant. While misdemeanors often involve minor offenses, they are still criminal charges that can impact your livelihood. No matter what charges have been levied against you, you should retain an Indian Trail misdemeanor lawyer who can protect your rights and your reputation.

If you or a family member has been accused of a misdemeanor in Indian Trail, bring your concerns to the Law Offices of Huffman & Kendrick immediately.

Devoted Misdemeanor Defense in Indian Trail

At the Law Offices of Huffman & Kendrick, we believe that everyone deserves to have a devoted legal team on their side. That’s why our firm has been assisting North Carolina residents with legal issues for over five decades. By combining our dedication to our clients, our extensive legal experience, and our knowledge of North Carolina criminal laws, the Law Offices of Huffman & Kendrick can provide you with superior defense representation in Indian Trail.

Whether this is your first criminal allegation or you have prior convictions on your record, you can trust our accomplished lawyers to defend your rights properly. We offer unbiased defense representation that prioritizes the unique demands of your case, and we build effective defense strategies along the way. Ask our firm how we can make a difference in your Indian Trail misdemeanor case today.

What Is a Misdemeanor?

When you’re charged with a criminal offense in North Carolina, it will be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Felonies are criminal charges that often involve violent crimes and severe penalties like prison time, costly fines, and the suspension of certain rights.

Misdemeanors are considered to be milder than felonies because the majority involve nonviolent or minor violations. However, being convicted of a misdemeanor in North Carolina can still result in penalties such as fines, probation, or even jail sentences. If you’re convicted, the class of your misdemeanor will dictate the penalties you face.

Levels of Misdemeanors in North Carolina

In order to penalize each criminal offense fairly, North Carolina categorizes misdemeanors into four different levels. These levels are referred to as “classes” and separate severe misdemeanors from minor offenses. The following are the varying classes of misdemeanors in North Carolina and their coinciding penalties:

Class A1

Class A1 misdemeanors are reserved for the most severe offenses. While most misdemeanors are nonviolent, Class A1 charges typically involve violent and reckless behavior. Class A1 misdemeanors can include certain types of assault, stalking, and sexual battery. If you’re convicted of a Class A1 misdemeanor, you may face penalties like:

  • Fines with no set maximum
  • A maximum of 150 days in jail
  • Potential community service or probation

Class 1

Class 1 misdemeanors are taken just as seriously as Class A1 charges, but the consequences are slightly less harsh when offenses are nonviolent. Certain forms of larceny, cyberbullying, and possession of stolen property are all Class 1 misdemeanors in North Carolina. Consequences can include the following:

  • Fines with no set maximum
  • A maximum of 120 days in jail
  • Potential community service or probation

Class 2

While a Class 2 misdemeanor isn’t as serious as a Class A1 or felony charge, the state still implements relatively strict consequences to deter repeat offenders. Reckless driving, disorderly conduct, and resisting a police officer are all considered Class 2 misdemeanors. Penalties for a Class 2 misdemeanor charge include:

  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • A maximum of 60 days in jail
  • Potential community service or probation

Class 3

A Class 3 misdemeanor is the least severe criminal charge you can face in North Carolina. Because these charges are minor, the consequences tend to be, too. Common Class 3 misdemeanors include trespassing, simple drug possession, and certain forms of shoplifting. Penalties for a Class 3 misdemeanor conviction can include:

  • Fines of up to $200
  • A maximum of 20 days in jail
  • Potential community service or probation

Common Misdemeanors in North Carolina

As a firm with over 50 years of criminal defense experience, we’ve represented clients through almost every misdemeanor case imaginable. The most common misdemeanors that we’ve experienced in North Carolina include the following:

Assault Offenses

North Carolina law defines assault as the unlawful act of touching or using force on the body of another person. This means assault can come in multiple forms, ranging from grabbing another person to beating a helpless person. Only certain forms of assault are considered misdemeanors in North Carolina. However, they are still charged harshly when an innocent victim is harmed. Common assault offenses that are charged as misdemeanors are:

  • Simple assault (Class 2)
  • Assault resulting in serious injury (Class A1)
  • Sexual battery (Class A1)

Theft Offenses

Most theft offenses in North Carolina are considered larceny. When an individual steals property with a total value of less than $1,000, it qualifies as petty larceny. Once an individual steals property with a total value over $1,000, it then qualifies as grand larceny. All petty larceny offenses are misdemeanors in North Carolina and can include instances of:

  • Shoplifting
  • Theft of automobile parts
  • Gas theft
  • Possession of stolen goods

Drug Offenses

In North Carolina, a drug offense is any violation in which an individual is carrying, using, manufacturing, or selling an illegal or controlled substance. Only drug offenses involving certain substances can qualify as misdemeanors. For example, simple possession of cannabis can be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, whereas simple possession of methamphetamine is a felony. Common misdemeanor drug offenses in Indian Trail include:

  • Simple possession
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

Impaired Driving Offenses

Most impaired driving offenses will be considered misdemeanors when they are not aggravated. The defendant’s level of intoxication, the severity of their reckless driving, and whether or not they injured another driver will all impact the class of the misdemeanor they receive. If the defendant has any prior DWI convictions, this will increase the severity of their misdemeanor regardless. The following are all impaired driving charges that may be charged as misdemeanors:

  • DWI
  • Underage DWI
  • Commercial DWI
  • Wet reckless

White-Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes are nonviolent offenses that involve the illegal and corrupt misuse of money, usually in large amounts. While many white-collar crimes are considered federal felonies, some are occasionally charged as misdemeanors at the state level. When a white-collar crime is charged as a misdemeanor, it still tends to be a Class 1 or Class A1 due to its severity. White-collar crimes that may be able to qualify as misdemeanors in North Carolina include:

  • Credit card fraud
  • Writing a fake check
  • Blackmail
  • Certain types of forgery

What Does It Mean if Your Charge Is Aggravated?

If you’re arrested for a misdemeanor in North Carolina, you may hear the term “aggravated” before your charge. When a charge is aggravated, this means there are extenuating factors that increase the severity of the case. Aggravated charges come with harsher penalties, as they often involve reckless behavior. If any of the following apply to your alleged offense, it will most likely be classified as an aggravated charge:

  • Property damage occurred
  • You have prior convictions similar to or the same as your current charge
  • Someone was injured
  • You were out on bail when you were arrested for your current charge
  • You abused a position of power or trust

What Happens if You Have Prior Convictions When You’re Arrested for a Misdemeanor?

Before an individual is convicted of an offense, the state looks over a variety of details that can impact or even change their charge. If you have a criminal record, the court will take into account all of your prior convictions when considering the penalties for your current offense.

Generally, the more prior convictions you have, the more drastic your consequences will be if you’re convicted. This is because prior criminal convictions have a massive impact on the severity of a charge, especially if the defendant has been convicted of the same offense before.
If a defendant has been convicted of the same misdemeanor multiple times, they may be referred to as a repeat offender. Repeat offenders face harsher consequences in an attempt to deter them from committing the same offense again. If you are arrested for a misdemeanor and have prior criminal convictions or convictions of the same charge, make sure that you bring your case to an attorney as soon as possible.

Why You Need an Attorney When Facing a Misdemeanor in Indian Trail

When your criminal record and your future are on the line, you shouldn’t take chances. Retaining a proficient defense attorney is the smartest step you can take after being accused of a criminal offense in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Working with an experienced legal team can not only help you better understand the accusations against you but also give you a stronger chance of fighting those allegations, reducing your charges, or dropping them altogether.

At the Law Offices of Huffman & Kendrick, we’ve seen firsthand how a skilled legal team can impact a criminal case. That’s just one of the reasons why we take the time to work personally with our clients, discussing their unique cases and finding defense strategies that properly represent their situation. Having a defense lawyer who can protect your rights and negotiate on your behalf is absolutely fundamental if you’re going through a criminal trial in North Carolina.

What Should You Do If You’re Arrested for a Misdemeanor in North Carolina?

When faced with criminal allegations, your first reaction might be to panic. However, any legal professional will implore you to gather your thoughts and retain a lawyer quickly. This way, you can work together and receive the support you need to fight the accusations you’re facing. If you or someone close to you was arrested for a misdemeanor in Indian Trail, try to stay calm and follow these tips:

  1. Request a Defense Lawyer as Soon as Possible
    The first thing you should do after being arrested is request a defense attorney. When you request an attorney, this eliminates law enforcement’s right to continue questioning you without a lawyer present. You are allowed to request an attorney as soon as you are arrested in North Carolina. This will give you time to calm down and think more about the situation until your lawyer arrives.
  2. Remain Silent Until You Have a Lawyer With You
    After being arrested, law enforcement will try to gather as much information from you as possible. This is not only to learn more about the alleged offense that took place but also to find any details that can incriminate you. During your arrest and once you’re in holding, it’s smart to exercise your right to remain silent until you have a lawyer present. This way, you can protect yourself until you have the proper support.
  3. Respect the Legal Officials Around You and Cooperate When Asked
    When you refuse to cooperate or disrespect law enforcement, it can make your case more challenging. For example, because resisting a police officer is a separate crime on its own, you can be charged with multiple offenses if you try to resist arrest in Indian Trail. It’s essential that you cooperate and follow your attorney’s advice so that you can give yourself a chance to fight the allegations against you.
  4. Be Honest With Your Lawyer
    It’s difficult for your defense attorney to effectively represent you if you don’t tell them the truth. By being honest with your lawyer, you can help both yourself and your case. It’s important to give them the details surrounding your offense as well as any information that can help them build a strong defense for you. Your honesty may also help them find holes in the prosecution’s case.
  5. Give Your Lawyer Any Insight That Can Help Them Gather Evidence
    Evidence plays a crucial role in your defense. If you have any witnesses, documents, or records that can help to clear your name, it’s essential that you let your lawyer know. Having substantial evidence to back your side of the story can be an immense help when battling the prosecution’s claims.

What Happens After You’re Arrested for a Misdemeanor?

Whenever someone is arrested for a misdemeanor in North Carolina, their case must be heard by their local district court. The proceedings for every case are different, depending on how both the defendant and the prosecution wish to proceed. For example, if a defendant takes a plea deal, they will be able to set the terms of their conviction during their initial hearing. If a defendant wants to fight the alleged charges against them, they may take their case to trial.

Most misdemeanor charges follow this general structure:

  1. Arraignment
    Arraignment hearings are the first legal proceedings that take place after a defendant’s arrest. During these hearings, the defendant is made aware of the charges against them and can then enter their plea. A judge will also decide whether the defendant qualifies for bail and how much it should be set at.If you enter a plea of not guilty, your case will then move forward to trial. If you plead guilty, your lawyer and the prosecution will settle terms during your arraignment. Those who enter plea deals do not have to continue to the trial phase because they are admitting their guilt by accepting the deal.
  2. Pretrial
    If you plead not guilty to the misdemeanor you’re being accused of, you will then have to prove your innocence in a criminal trial. While everyone has the right to a speedy trial, the justice system can sometimes take months before it addresses your case. During this pretrial time, you and your lawyer should be working together to collect evidence and build a defense that demonstrates your innocence.
  3. Trial
    Your criminal trial is your chance to prove that you did not commit the offense you’re being accused of. During the trial, your lawyer will speak on your behalf, and the prosecution will speak on behalf of the state. The prosecution’s goal is to demonstrate that you committed the offense “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means they must be able to prove that the only explanation for the case is that the defendant committed the offense in question.Criminal trials can last anywhere from one quick session to multiple sessions over a period of weeks. If you’re going to trial to fight for your innocence, you should prepare yourself for multiple court dates just in case. If you’re worried about your upcoming proceedings, don’t be afraid to talk to your defense attorney for support.

Your Indian Trail Misdemeanor Lawyer

The stress that comes with being arrested is unlike any other. While facing a misdemeanor in North Carolina is intimidating, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road for you. At the Law Offices of Huffman & Kendrick, we passionately advocate for our clients’ side of the story. With decades of experience in criminal law, you can trust our firm to provide you with exceptional defense representation during any misdemeanor case in Indian Trail.

Contact the Law Offices of Huffman & Kendrick to schedule a consultation with our Indian Trail misdemeanor lawyer.