An Overview of Felony Charges from a Former Wake County Felony Prosecutor
North Carolina law categorizes criminal offenses into twos separate categories: misdemeanors and felonies. The criminal code is massive, and the type and severity of crimes covered under each category can vary greatly.
A thorough discussion about misdemeanors and their possible punishments can be found here. Misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies but can still carry possible jail time, huge fines, and will permanently appear on a criminal background check.
Felony charges are categorized into ten different classes based on severity, with a Class A Felony considered the most serious and a Class I felony the least serious. The North Carolina felony punishment chart can be found below. Being convicted of a felony will undoubtably effect you for the rest of your life. This status effects your right to vote, to own firearms, to travel, and to acquire certain state-issued licenses. Felons will also face huge obstacles in finding employment and renting residential and commercial property.
Structured Sentencing in North Carolina Felony Cases
North Carolina adopted structured sentencing for felonies and misdemeanors in the mid-nineties in an attempt to limit sentencing disparities and streamline the process for criminal sentencing. A judge is mandated to use these guidelines when determining a felony sentence. Structured sentencing categorizes each case based on the seriousness of the crime and the defendant’s past criminal convictions. Past criminal convictions carry a certain number of points, and the number of points accumulated dictates someone’s sentencing level. Someone with no prior criminal convictions is considered a record Level I. These record levels go up to Level VI depending on someone’s criminal history.
Record points are generally assigned as follows:
• For each felony Class A conviction, 10 points.
• For each felony Class B1 conviction, 9 points.
• For each felony Class B2, C, or D conviction, 6 points.
• For each felony Class E, F, or G conviction, 4 points.
• For each felony Class H or I conviction, 2 points.
• For each Class A1 or 1 misdemeanor,, 1 point.
North Carolina Felony Sentencing Chart
The below chart in used by judges throughout North Carolina to determine the appropriate range of punishment in all felony sentencing hearings.
Finding the Right Attorney for a Felony Charge in Raleigh and Wake County
There is nothing more serious than being charged with a felony. If you or a loved one finds themselves in that unfortunate situation, it is of the upmost importance that you get the help of an experienced attorney. It could mean the difference between years in jail and a dismissal of a case.
Steven Saad is a former Wake County District Attorney with years of experience handling felony cases. During his time as a prosecutor, Steven held a position as a felony drug prosecutor in Wake County and has tried cases ranging from property charges to first degree murder. When the stakes are this high, you need someone who has experience in hundreds of felony cases. Do not waste the opportunity to speak to us about your case during a free consultation.