Criminal Defense Attorneys in North Carolina
A criminal charge in North Carolina may have a significant impact on your life even if it is eventually dropped or you are acquitted. This is because you may spend time in jail awaiting trial or lose your driver’s license after refusing to take a field sobriety test. Although an attorney may not be able to help you avoid all the negative consequences that occur if you’re accused of a crime, legal counsel may help to minimize the potential damage it may cause.
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When you are arrested, you should be informed of your right to remain silent. Of course, just because criminal suspects have the right to stay quiet doesn’t mean that they always do it. For example, you may be eager to tell the police why you were in a store while it was being robbed or that you only had a couple of drinks prior to being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.
This is why it’s important that you exercise your right to contact an attorney prior to saying anything to any representative of the state. Although remaining silent may cost you a night in jail, it may also prevent you from divulging the evidence that leads to a conviction for a felony offense that carries a substantial prison sentence.
In addition to making sure that you think carefully before speaking, an attorney may also gather evidence that might cast doubt upon the government’s accusations. For instance, a grocery store receipt might prove that you were buying dinner at the time a murder occurred. Your legal representative might also cast doubt upon DNA, witness statements, or other evidence that is being used as justification for charging you with a sexual offense or other crimes.
Finally, your attorney will likely handle all media requests for information about your case. Your representative may also make statements to media outlets when needed in an effort to control the narrative surrounding your case. Press releases may be issued or press conferences held to combat or refute anything that the state may say about your proceeding.
The Types of Cases That The Criminal Defense Firm Handles
The Criminal Defense Firm handles almost any type of criminal matter that our clients bring to us. Therefore, if you have been charged with rape, murder, or arson, we can help. If you have been charged with defrauding a bank, filing a false or misleading tax return, or engaging in insider trading, we will also likely be of assistance. Let’s take a closer look at some other types of cases our roster of attorneys may be able to help defend against in North Carolina.
Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are among the charges that attorneys often see at the state level. Assault occurs when you put another person in imminent fear of harm. For example, if you pull back your fist to punch someone, you’ve likely committed assault already, even if the punch misses. Battery occurs when you intentionally touch another individual in a harmful or offensive way without the victim’s consent. It typically doesn’t matter whether you intended to cause harm to that person by doing so.
Burglary is often thought of as similar to theft or robbery. However, you could be charged with burglary even if you don’t actually take anything. Instead, all a prosecutor needs to prove is that you knowingly entered a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony or a theft offense. It’s important to note that the force you exert on your way into a building does not have to be significant at all for you to be charged with burglary.
Drunk or Reckless Driving
North Carolina state law prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. If you are a commercial driver, you may be charged with DUI if your BAC is .04% or higher. Drivers under the age of 21 may be charged if there is any detectable level of alcohol in their system. You may also face negative consequences for driving while under the influence of illicit or prescription drugs.
Possible Penalties Associated With Criminal Charges
The Criminal Defense Firm has a track record of helping our clients avoid criminal charges or helping them obtain favorable outcomes in their cases. However, it’s possible that the evidence in your case will be so overwhelming that a jury will have no choice to convict you. It’s also possible that you’ll choose to accept a plea deal as opposed to taking your case to trial. If that happens, you may be subject to a variety of penalties.
Jail or Prison Time
If convicted of a misdemeanor charge, you could spend up to 150 days in a local jail. A conviction on a felony could result in several years or decades in prison. The conditions within prison can range from something akin to a camp setting to a supermax facility where you may not see another person again. Where you are held depends largely on the type of crime that you committed, your criminal history and your perceived danger to society.
Probation or Community Service
It’s possible that you will be able to avoid jail time in favor of performing community service or spending time on probation. In some cases, you may be placed on probation for several months or years after being released from custody.
Fines and Restitution
You may be required to pay a fine in addition to jail or prison time. It’s also possible that you will be required to pay restitution to victims of a financial crime. Court costs, license reinstatement fees and other expenses may also be part of your overall sentence.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does your firm officially represent me?
Generally speaking, we become your official legal representative after receiving a signed copy of the proposal that is sent after the initial consultation. At that point, we will communicate with the government on your behalf and take other steps to represent your interests. Any interview requests or requests for information from any parties will be sent directly to our office or can be forwarded there after retaining our services.
What are my responsibilities as a client?
As a client, your main responsibility is to provide as much information as possible. Generally, anything that you say to your attorney in private is privileged information, which means that it cannot be used against you during the legal process. Furthermore, you are generally expected to refrain from talking about your case or doing anything else that might make it harder for your legal team to represent your interests in an effective manner.
What defense strategies might you use?
Our firm will use a variety of strategies depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if we believe that evidence was obtained illegally, we may try to get it suppressed in an effort to get a charge dropped or reduced. If there are inconsistencies in witness testimony or a police report, we may try to highlight those flaws in an effort to raise doubt in a juror’s mind.
What is reasonable doubt?
In a criminal case, a prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated the law in some way. Beyond a reasonable doubt generally means that there is no other explanation for what happened other than you did something wrong. An attorney may be able to cast doubt on the government’s case against you by asserting that you were misidentified by a witness or that you couldn’t have committed a crime because you were elsewhere when it happened.
What if I'm not read my rights?
If you aren’t read your Miranda rights prior to being taken into custody, anything that you said to police may be ruled inadmissible at trial.
Why would I be offered a plea deal?
A prosecutor may offer a plea deal because of issues with the case against you. It’s also possible that the state is trying to save time and money by resolving what it feels is a relatively minor case without taking up the court’s time or the resources of the district attorneys’ office. It’s important to know that accepting a plea deal is the same as being convicted of a crime. Therefore, you could trigger mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines if you have been convicted of criminal offenses in the past.
Contact Us Today
If you need a North Carolina criminal defense attorney, contact The Criminal Defense Law Firm today at 866-603-4540. You can also use our online form to reach us.