Attorney James K. Minick

Attorney James K. Minick

When deciding how to handle a criminal charge in North Carolina, it is important to consider the county in which the charge has been filed.  There are many different ways to resolve a misdemeanor offense in Buncombe County: plead guilty, take the case to trial, apply for deferred prosecution or deferred judgment, request the state to take a dismissal, etc. For those facing certain types of misdemeanor charges in Buncombe County, the best option for handling the case might be to go through Asheville’s Nuisance Court.

James Minick Speaks on Buncombe County TV about Asheville’s Nuisance Court

What is Asheville’s Nuisance Court?

Nuisance Court is a method in Buncombe County for having a person’s charges dismissed upon completion of community service (typically between 15 and 30 hours) and payment of the court costs ($180.00 at the time of publication). A person allowed into Nuisance Court will have to go to nuisance court at least twice (once to set up the amount of community service hours required by the district attorney and once for review to make sure that the hours have been performed).  At the first nuisance court date, a defendant will enter a guilty plea to the charges admitted into nuisance court.  At the review date, as long as the community service hours have been completed, the guilty plea originally entered will be withdrawn and the District Attorney will dismiss the charges.

Attorney James Minick

Attorney James Minick

What types of cases are typically allowed into Asheville’s Nuisance Court?

It is always in the discretion of the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office admit a case into nuisance court, but the most common offenses handled through the nuisance court include: misdemeanor larceny, shoplifting, injury to property, possession of drug paraphernalia (PDP), misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (including possession of marijuana), possession or consumption of alcohol underage, resisting a public officer, and trespassing.  Other charges may be handled through nuisance court depending on the circumstances.

How does the district attorney decide which cases get into Asheville’s Nuisance Court?

The district attorney will consider the charge you are facing, your prior criminal history, and the individual facts of your case in deciding to admit a case into nuisance court.  For example, those charged with underage drinking at a “house party” will typically not be allowed to take care of their case through nuisance court (other options are available if this is the case). While the Buncombe County DA will look at your criminal history in deciding whether to allow you through nuisance court, it is not necessary to have a perfectly clean criminal history (as is often the case with deferred prosecution).  To determine your chances of getting into nuisance court, it is recommended that you discuss the facts surrounding your charge and your prior criminal history with an attorney.

What is the process for getting into Asheville’s Nuisance Court?

You, or your lawyer, must request the Buncombe County District Attorney to admit your case into Nuisance Court.

When and where is Buncombe County’s Nuisance Court?

Nuisance Court is held the fourth thursday of each month in Courtroom 007 which is on the 4th Floor of the Buncombe County Courthouse. A case is never originally set for nuisance court (i.e. the first court date given after citation will not be nuisance court), so you, or your legal representative, must ask for the case to be set to nuisance court.

Contact us to discuss your chances of getting into nuisance court, whether this is the best option for you, and what you can do to have your charges permanently removed from your criminal record.

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