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Brevard Criminal Defense Lawyer

Brevard, NC Criminal Defense Attorney

Being faced with criminal charges is a serious matter, and the penalties you face with a conviction can change your entire life. It’s scary and overwhelming when you are arrested and charged with criminal offenses, and many people are unaware of how tough North Carolina laws are for criminal cases. The most effective way to mitigate the impact of a criminal case on your future is to work with an experienced Brevard criminal defense lawyer.

When you work with an attorney on your criminal case, you will have a strong defense against the charges you face. Your attorney will have extensive knowledge about criminal law and the justice system and can help you navigate it, advocating for your rights and interests.

For more than ten years, Edwards Law, PLLC, has defended the legal rights of those facing criminal charges. This experience and our knowledge of defense and prosecution mean we are equipped to build a strong defense for you in negotiation and in a trial. Our goal is to find the ideal outcome for your criminal case and represent you throughout the criminal justice system in Brevard, NC.

Brevard Criminal Defense Lawyer

Table of Contents

Understanding North Carolina Felonies and Misdemeanors

Criminal charges are either a misdemeanor or a felony, with felonies bringing much harsher penalties with them than misdemeanors. Though misdemeanors are often lesser crimes and have lighter penalties, even minor misdemeanors can harm your life if the court convicts you. Misdemeanors in North Carolina can result in up to 30 days to six months in jail, depending on the type and severity of the charge. They also bring with them significant fines. Felonies can result in any combination of probation, prison time, and excessive fines. If the felony is a Class A felony, the most severe class of felony, you may be sentenced to life in prison.

Criminal Cases We Handle at Edwards Law, PLLC

It is crucial to work with a criminal defense attorney who can provide you with a strong defense strategy. This means your attorney needs to have both experience and success in the areas of criminal law that you are dealing with.

Edwards Law, PLLC understands that criminal offenses often overlap, and you may be facing multiple criminal charges at the same time. You deserve a lawyer who can effectively defend the specific charges you face. We have a range of experience and important resources to help with several types of criminal cases, including:

  • Misdemeanors can range from fine-only charges to significant charges like certain assaults or hit-and-runs. Some people underestimate misdemeanors and believe they’re not very serious. However, misdemeanors can include jail time, fines, and license suspension, and these can often impact your day-to-day life.
  • Weapon and firearm offenses. These offenses include a concealed carry weapon without a permit, improper firearm ownership transfer, or possessing a firearm on school grounds. While many gun offenses are misdemeanors, some are felonies, including the possession of a gun by a felon. In some cases, this will be charged as a federal crime, which can lead to up to 10 years in prison.
  • White-collar crimes. White-collar crimes are often a felony. This can lead to years in prison, high fines, and restitution for those who were stolen from or otherwise harmed. White-collar crimes include identity theft, embezzlement, securities fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion.
  • Shoplifting and petty larceny are considered misdemeanors unless the stolen property is above a certain amount. Then, it may become a felony. Robbery and burglary are also considered theft felonies. If you committed a robbery or burglary with other aggravating circumstances, such as the use of a deadly weapon, the punishments will be more severe.
  • Violent crimes. Violent crimes include assault and battery, which may be charged as felons or misdemeanors. Offenses also include felonies like manslaughter and homicide. Sentencing for violent crimes depends on several factors, including the circumstances of the offense, whether the offense was intentional or involuntary, whether a deadly weapon was used, and what your prior criminal record looks like.
  • Sexual assault. Sex crimes are taken very seriously in North Carolina, and conviction could lead to incarceration for life. Even if you don’t serve that long in prison, you will still face the repercussions of mandatory sex offender registration, which impacts housing and work-related opportunities.
  • Domestic violence. Domestic violence can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on several factors. Factors include whether the assault was simple assault, assault with a weapon, or assault through strangulation. In addition to fines and imprisonment if you are convicted, you will see penalties like placement under a restraining order, being ordered to move from your house, and losing rights to child custody.
  • Drug offenses. Drug crimes include offenses like possession, sale, and trafficking. If these offenses involve more than a certain amount of types of controlled substances, they will be charged as a felony.
  • If you qualify for expungement, certain criminal convictions can be removed from your criminal record. This can give you a fresh start and enable you to be more likely to find employment and housing.

Why Do I Need a Brevard Criminal Defense Attorney?

When you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can feel confident that your case has a strong defense strategy and that you have the greatest chance at limiting or eliminating your criminal penalties. An attorney will work with you to determine the ideal defense for your situation and help you understand what the most realistic outcome is for your case. They can help you navigate through complex legal issues in criminal court and prepare evidence and arguments for negotiation, hearings, and trials.

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction

There are other consequences beyond court-ordered fines and imprisonment that can impact your life. Being a convicted criminal in North Carolina can include effects like:

  • Losing your right to vote. Though you will regain the right, you can’t vote while on probation or in prison for a felony.
  • Losing your right to child custody and visitation. A criminal conviction can impact how the court assigns child custody rights, both for existing court orders and any custody determinations in the future.
  • Losing some federal benefits. Depending on how severe your criminal offense was, you could lose out on the ability to receive federal loans, obtain public housing, and gain public assistance benefits.
  • Losing your job. Both current and future employment opportunities may be affected by a criminal conviction. Conviction is of public record, so it’s available during an employer background check. You may also lose any professional licenses you hold.
  • Registering as a sex offender. This registrar is public information and limits where you can live. It also prevents other educational and job opportunities.
  • Discharged from the military. A criminal conviction will also disqualify you from future military service.
  • Losing your 2nd Amendment rights. If you were convicted of a felony, you can’t own a firearm. This is true even if the felony was non-violent.
  • Losing your immigration status. A criminal conviction can affect your immigration status even if you are a permanent resident. You could be deported if you are convicted.

Habitual Offender Law in North Carolina

You are considered a habitual offender under North Carolina law if you have three felony convictions as an adult. When you are labeled a habitual offender, penalties get much harsher.

FAQs About Brevard, NC Criminal Defense Laws

What Can You Expect From a Top Criminal Defense Lawyer?

You can expect a criminal defense attorney to have experience, success, and confidence in their ability to defend charges like yours. An effective attorney will be prepared and willing to adapt to your situation and your needs. They will be compassionate and clearly communicate what you can expect from them.

What Happens If You Tell Your Lawyer You Are Guilty?

This depends on your situation and your attorney. Your attorney can’t lie for you while in court, and they can’t allow you to lie while you are under oath. However, being open with your attorney about your circumstances and whether you’re guilty allows them to have all the facts of a situation. This can provide a more effective defense.

Should You Tell Your Lawyer the Truth?

Communications between a client and their attorney for legal purposes are under protection. Some attorneys prefer to have all the information of your case and create a defense from there. Others wish to know little so that their own biases won’t impact their ability to create a strong defense.

What Is One Quality a Defense Attorney Should Have?

You want an attorney who effectively communicates with you throughout your case. This includes clearly explaining legal terms so you can understand them and providing you with an honest outlook on your case. Strong communication also means your attorney will keep you updated as the case progresses, checking in so you don’t feel lost or overwhelmed.

Finding Strong Defense for Brevard Criminal Charges

Whatever criminal offenses you’re being charged with, the attorneys at Edwards Law, PLLC want to provide you with effective and experienced criminal defense. It’s essential to take any level of criminal charges very seriously. We want to limit the effect these offenses have on your future. Contact us today for aggressive and adaptive defense.

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