The North Carolina legislature recently agreed on a budget that is expected to be approved and signed by Governor McCrory. One change in the budget that will affect attorneys and defendants is the re-classification of certain misdemeanors.  Anyone who is facing a Class 3 misdemeanor charge will only face a fine while is not to exceed $200 as long as that person does not have more than three prior convictions. So as long as a defendant charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor does not have more than three prior convictions he or she will not face jail time.

A defendant is only entitled to appointed counsel if he or she is facing jail time. Therefore with the new provisions a defendant who cannot afford an attorney will not be able to have one appointed if he or she is only charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor.   The new budget will not only change this for current crimes that are classified as a Class 3 misdemeanor, but have also changed the classification of other misdemeanors so that they will now be considered a Class 3.  Some of the new Class 3 misdemeanors include driving while license revoked (unless revoked for DWI), misdemeanor speeding and obtaining property by worthless check.

The state expects to save around $2,000,000 by re-classifying these misdemeanors since legal counsel will no longer have to be appointed by the state.

This area of the law leaves open a lot of room for argument and an attorney who knows the law may be able to keep a DWI from appearing on your record forever. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to defend your case.  Contact one of our attorneys directly by calling 704-499-9000 or toll free 877-374-5999. Visit our main page here.