What if this is just a misdemeanor charge? Can’t I plead guilty?
Of course you can. But there may be other ways to resolve the case that would be much better for you. Pleading guilty to a misdemeanor will damage your criminal record forever. A well-informed attorney can sometimes eliminate that damage, reduce it, or even prevent you from paying high fines or going to jail for it. Remember that in North Carolina, almost every criminal conviction lasts forever. If you are convicted of even a simple misdemeanor crime of trespass, it will stay on your record and follow you for the rest of your life.
Plus, even misdemeanor crimes can have serious consequences. You will have to admit to being convicted of a crime on every future job application. Conviction of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense can prevent you from ever legally owning a gun of any kind for any reason. Conviction of a misdemeanor drug offense can prevent you from receiving federal grants to attend college.