Felony Sentencing: I was charged with a felony. Is it mandatory that I go to jail?

One of the most common questions that I often receive is whether someone who is charged with a felony is required to go to prison.  The simple answer is “no”.  However, the answer is still more complicated that you think.

In North Carolina, individuals who are convicted of felony crimes are subjected to felony sentencing guidelines.  As a result, to determine whether an individual is required to serve an active sentence depends on two factors:  the class of felony and the individual’s prior criminal record.  Therefore, although a judge has a lot of discretion, the guidelines also assist the judge in determining the type of judgment that may be ordered.

For example, felonies in North Carolina range from class A (most serious) to class I (least serious).  All criminal charges are obviously serious matters, but the type of punishment varies greatly from the most serious class A felony (murder) to the lease serious class I felony (possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, etc.)

After determining the class of felony, it is then necessary to determine the individual’s prior criminal record.  For certain prior convictions, an individual will receive certain points, and those points will ultimately determine the individual’s record level for sentencing purposes.  The judge will then consider the felony conviction and the record level and issue a judgment based on the felony sentencing guidelines.

A felony conviction in North Carolina carries serious penalties and consequences.  If you are charged with a North Carolina felony in Forsyth County or one of the surrounding counties, you need to speak with a Forsyth County criminal defense attorney to represent you.  Please call our office at (336) 725-6559 to speak with an experienced and aggressive Winston-Salem criminal defense attorney.

 

NC Supreme Court Says No Facebook for Sex Offenders

Sex offenders who are registered in North Carolina are already prohibited from going certain places and doing certain things. The North Carolina Supreme Court recently added another restriction. On Friday, the Court ruled that sex offenders are also prohibited from accessing social media sites such as Facebook.

The obvious question is who is required to register.   Under North Carolina law, any person who has a “reportable conviction” and who resides in North Carolina, moves to North Carolina, or is a nonresident student or nonresident worker in North Carolina must maintain registration.  A “reportable conviction” is  a final conviction for a sex offense against a minor, a sexually violent offense, or an attempt to commit any of those offenses.  Some of the most common offenses include but are not limited to the following:  rape, indecent liberties with a minor, and sexual battery.

If you are charged with a sex offense or with some other crime in Forsyth County, North Carolina, you need an experienced and aggressive North Carolina criminal defense lawyer.  Call our office today, which is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at (336) 725-6559 for a free consultation.