Misdemeanors Attorney in Raleigh

No criminal matter is too small to decline skilled representation. A Raleigh misdemeanor defense lawyer can help you avoid the worst consequences, negotiate deals for deferral or reduced charges or have the accusations dropped entirely. At Coolidge Law Firm, we believe every person accused of a crime needs a strong defense strategy. We will be committed to your case, no matter how big or small you think the charges might be.

We represent anyone facing misdemeanor charges in Wake County District Court, including those in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Rolesville, Fuquay-Varina, and Morrisville. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers.

Misdemeanor Lawyer in Raleigh

The North Carolina General Statutes contain two main classes of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor offense has less severe consequences than a felony. However, these offenses can still have significant consequences. People charged with a misdemeanor sometimes show up to the Wake County Justice Center unrepresented, assuming they will be sentenced to a fine and, perhaps, community service. Instead, they never leave and find themselves escorted out of the courtroom in the custody of a sheriff’s deputy.

Misdemeanors can have serious consequences including jail depending on the facts of the case, the defendant’s criminal record, and the particular moods of the judge and district attorney on a particular day.

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Info on Misdemeanor Charges in Raleigh

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Types of Misdemeanors

A misdemeanor, according to North Carolina General Statutes § 14-1, is any criminal charge not classified as a felony. Misdemeanors do not encompass infractions which represent many of the traffic violations in North Carolina.

Common misdemeanors include:

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Misdemeanor Arrests and Citations

If an officer alleges to see a person commit an offense, they may arrest them on the spot. Under North Carolina G.S. § 15A-401, if an officer does not claim the suspect committed the offense in their presence, they may only arrest the suspect if they have probable cause to believe the suspect committed a misdemeanor, will not be apprehended unless immediately arrested or will cause injury to himself or others or damage to property unless arrested.

An officer may issue a citation for a misdemeanor allegation. The citation will state the alleged offense and give a date that the accused must appear in court. If the person ignores the citation and skips the court date, the court will issue a warrant for his or her arrest.

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Penalties for Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are classified into four different groups in North Carolina law: Class 3, Class 2, Class 1 and Class A1. Severity depends, in part, on the classification. Class 3 is the least severe, and Class A1 the most. The sentence for a misdemeanor will also depend on the defendant’s conviction record and any agreements that can be negotiated with the district attorney’s office.

For any misdemeanor offense, the court has the discretion of sentencing a person to community punishment. Community punishment includes probation, fines, restitution, outpatient drug or alcohol treatment and community service.

For a misdemeanor that is a second or subsequent offense or any Class A1 charge, the court can sentence a person to intermediate punishment. This can include a “split sentence,” in which the defendant serves part of his or her sentence in jail and part on probation, a residential program or “half-way house,” house arrest with electronic monitoring, daily reporting or Drug Treatment Court.

For a fifth or more subsequent misdemeanor conviction, for a second or more Class 1 misdemeanor conviction or any Class A1 misdemeanor, the Court has the option of sending a defendant to jail, also called “active punishment.”

Some offenses have specific consequences in addition to the standard punishments available to the judge during sentencing. For instance, DWI, DWLR and other offenses involving driving may result in your license being suspended.

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Plea Bargains and Deferrals

Courts can sometimes be understanding that a misdemeanor constitutes a minor mistake, and may be willing to accept plea bargains. In some cases, you may be able to defer prosecution and avoid a criminal record.

You should have an attorney to assist you with negotiating with the prosecutors.  Always remember that the prosecutor’s sole job is conviction. If in the course of seeking a deal, you admit to any sort of crime, the prosecutor can use that against you after refusing the deal. We can negotiate for your without any risk of exposing you to criminal liability and most importantly, we know the prosecutors at the Wake County Justice Center.

Of course, it is also an option to fight the charges. Prosecutors must prove every element of a misdemeanor offense, like any other criminal charge. We will do our due diligence to investigate your charges and challenge every piece of evidence we can to seek a complete acquittal or dismissal of your case.

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Contact a Misdemeanor Attorney in Raleigh Today!

Facing misdemeanor charges in Raleigh? Do not hesitate. Do not take these matters lightly. Call us NOW! As Raleigh misdemeanor lawyers, we give every client the attention they deserve, no matter how big or small their charge. We represent clients throughout Wake County, including Raleigh, Wake Forest, Holly Springs, Garner, Wendell and Zebulon. Call us today at (919) 239-8448 or fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation.

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Client Testimonials

  • 5 stars
    I can not say enough good about David Coolidge and the Law Firm! From the moment of our 1st interaction, I could tell that David TRULY cares and has a passion about the cases he takes on. I was anxious and nervous about my case from the beginning. David immediately showed his support and listened with an empathetic ear. From that moment on, I felt as though I knew I could trust him to put his whole heart into helping me with my case. He is intelligent, kind and completely nonjudgmental. He will listen to you and is so very supportive. I really felt, and still do, that he really cared about helping me. His passion for his work and in helping others shines. We VERY HAPPILY, had a GREAT outcome from the case and I could not be happier. As I told him when we left the court room that morning... “David, you have changed my life forever”. I would recommend David and this Law Firm to EVERYONE who is reading this review.
    - Brian L.
  • 5 stars
    David Coolidge is a wonderful attorney! I hired him twice for two different cases that I had which were only 2 months apart. He's very thorough and efficient. I was even able to reach him after hours through phone calls, texts, and email. Hopefully I never need his services again but if I am in a similar predicament I would most definitely hire David again.
    - Tiffany C.
  • 5 stars
    Excellent Customer Service. I had a Speeding ticket and they resolved it positively with no points on my Driver License. They represented me in Court and by midday on the Court date, they had updated me on the outcome. Very efficient service. I highly recommend them if you are in need of Legal Services.
    - Stephen O.
  • 5 stars
    I got a speeding ticket for going 17 over. They sent me a letter in the mail explaining that I could plead improper equipment and get no points on my insurance or license. They even gave me the fees straight out on the letter including court costs. They represented me and made the ticket go away.
    - David G.
  • 5 stars
    I cannot say enough about Attorney Coolidge and his staff. He’s handed several matters for me and in every instance he has exceeded my expectations. He even answered a frantic call from me on a Saturday night. I called in desperation not really expecting an answer. Mr. Coolidge delivered on all that he promised and more. I highly recommend.
    - Craig S.
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