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Burnsville Criminal Defense Lawyer

Burnsville, NC Criminal Defense Attorney

When you are charged with a crime, it can be stressful and terrifying — and North Carolina has some of the toughest laws and penalties for criminal cases.

However, there is hope for your case if you work with a criminal defense lawyer who can create a strong defense for you. Working your way through the criminal justice system without an attorney can lead to the worst-case scenario for your criminal charges, and it will be an overwhelming process. A Burnsville criminal defense attorney can help reduce the penalties you face or even help you avoid conviction.

At Edwards Law, PLLC, we have been defending our clients from criminal charges and protecting their rights and freedom for more than ten years. We have extensive knowledge of both sides of criminal court, placing us in a unique position to defend you from the prosecution’s tactics with our experience and knowledge. When you work with Edwards Law, PLLC, we provide you with effective representation, from the investigation of your case to negotiating charges and your criminal trial. We aim for the ideal and most positive scenario for your criminal charges.

Burnsville Criminal Defense Lawyer

Table of Contents

North Carolina Misdemeanor vs. Felony

Crimes in the state are categorized as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are the less severe of the two. Felonies are more serious crimes with greater penalties. However, even a minor misdemeanor criminal charge can have a huge impact on your future if you’re convicted.

Penalties for a misdemeanor range anywhere from up to 30 days to six months of jail time, while penalties for felonies may combine any length of prison time, probation, and fine amount. Class A felonies, which are the most serious crimes, may be penalized by life in prison.

What Are Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant in NC?

As a United States citizen and a resident of Burnsville, North Carolina, it is important to bear in mind that you are entitled to several rights, designed to protect you. These are contained in several amendments in the United States constitution. As part of the defense strategy, your lawyer will check if any of your rights as a criminal defendant have been violated.

The various constitutional amendments stipulated are:

Types of Criminal Cases We Handle

You deserve an effective defense for your criminal charges. When looking for a defense attorney, it is essential to find one with experience and success in the type of charges you face. That way, your attorney will have the experience to apply to your specific situation and will know the ideal defenses for your circumstances.

At Edwards Law, PLLC, we understand how interconnected many criminal charges are. For these reasons, we have a wide range of experience so that if you are facing multiple types of criminal charges, we have the knowledge and resources to provide you with a strong defense. We have experience in a variety of criminal cases:

  • These include minor misdemeanors like minor drug possession or traffic violations to more serious misdemeanors like hit-and-runs and assault. Though misdemeanors have lighter sentences than felonies, they still have serious consequences on your life, including jail time, extreme fines, and license suspension. Avoiding or limiting these penalties requires legal defense.
  • Weapon and firearm offenses. These include possession of a firearm by a felon, concealed carry without a permit, improper transfer of firearm ownership, or possessing a firearm on school property or where alcohol is sold. Some firearm offenses are misdemeanors, but others carry penalties like many years in prison. Possession of a firearm by a felon can be charged as a federal crime, and it can result in up to 10 years in prison.
  • White-collar crimes. These include crimes like fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and identity theft. White-collar crimes are often charged as felonies and can result in years of incarceration, restitution to those harmed by the offense, extreme fines, and professional consequences.
  • Theft and larceny. Some theft crimes, such as petty theft and shoplifting, are charged as misdemeanors, depending on the value of the property taken. Theft felony charges include robbery and burglary, which can result in several years in prison. Aggravating factors in the case, such as the use of a weapon or firearm, can severely increase the penalties faced.
  • Violent crimes. This includes felonies like assault, battery, manslaughter, and homicide. The sentence you face for violent crime felonies depends on whether it’s determined the offense was involuntary or intentional. Involuntary manslaughter may result in one to 10 years in prison, while first-degree murder may result in a life sentence. The sentencing for any violent crime depends on the offense’s circumstances, your prior criminal record, or the use of a weapon. It’s essential to work with a qualified criminal defense attorney when you are charged with violent crimes.
  • Sexual assault. Sex crimes like rape, sexual abuse, and assault have serious penalties. A conviction could lead to life in prison as well as required registration as a sex offender. This can follow you for your entire life and severely limit where you can live and what jobs you can hold.
  • Domestic violence. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, such as the use of a deadly weapon or strangulation, domestic violence can be charged very differently. If you are charged with domestic violence against someone close to you, you may face misdemeanor or felony penalties. Other penalties include protection orders filed against you, being forced to move out of your home, and loss of child custody or visitation rights.
  • Drug crimes. This includes possessing, trafficking, and selling controlled substances. Offenses involving certain amounts of Schedule I, II, III, or IV controlled substances are classified as felonies in North Carolina. This can result in two to three years in jail.
  • In North Carolina, some convictions can be expunged from your criminal record. If you are eligible, this can help you receive loans, find employment, secure housing, and explore educational opportunities. A criminal defense lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible and if any waiting periods may apply.

The Benefits of Working With Burnsville Criminal Defense Attorneys

A criminal defense attorney can provide you with the greatest chance at a positive outcome for your case. Working with an attorney, you’ll have a legal professional who knows the intricacies of the criminal justice system and can help you prepare for negotiation and trial. An attorney will investigate the evidence against you and determine whether a plea bargain or a trial is in your interests. Your attorney will also provide you with a straightforward look at your case so that you understand the most realistic outcome.

Collateral Consequences of North Carolina Conviction

In addition to incarceration and fines, misdemeanor and felony convictions have consequences that can affect your future. These are not court-ordered penalties, but they are the result of being a convicted criminal in North Carolina:

  • Losing child custody or visitation. Being a convicted criminal will affect both past child custody determinations and any potential ones in the future.
  • Being discharged from the military. You will also be disqualified from entering the military in the future.
  • Registration as a sex offender. If your conviction is sex crime related, you will have to register as a sex offender. The sex offender registry is publicly available and will limit where you can live.
  • Losing your right to firearms. A convicted felon cannot own a firearm, even if the felony was non-violent.
  • Losing your right to vote. While you are in prison or on probation for a felony, you can’t vote.
  • Inability to gain certain federal benefits. This includes obtaining loans, finding public housing, and receiving public assistance benefits. What federal benefits you can still receive depends on the severity of your offense.
  • Losing your job. A criminal conviction is a matter of public record. It may cost you your current job, or it may prevent you from future employment opportunities. It will also result in the loss of any professional licenses you hold.
  • Impacting your immigration status. If you are a non-citizen, a criminal conviction could result in deportation.

FAQs About Burnsville, NC Criminal Defense Law

What Makes a Good Burnsville Criminal Defense Attorney?

An effective attorney will have years of experience and be able to effectively communicate with you regarding your case. They will have in-depth knowledge of criminal court and criminal law, as well as the ability to be extremely well-prepared and adaptable in consultation, negotiation, and court. Your attorney should be discrete and respectful of you and your circumstances.

What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?

A criminal defense lawyer defends those who are charged with criminal offenses. They represent their clients’ interests and advocate for them in negotiations, hearings, interrogations, plea deals, or criminal court. The goal of a criminal defense attorney is to achieve lesser sentencing or fewer charges for their clients and avoid conviction when possible.

What Is the Ideal Defense in a Criminal Case?

In North Carolina criminal court, someone must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted of criminal charges. This is a high burden of proof to achieve. An effective defense for many cases is that the prosecution failed to meet this burden of proof.

What Should I Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney?

You want to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience and success in the specific areas of criminal law that your case is in. You can also ask an attorney how they might approach your case so that you have an idea of what to expect from them. An attorney who is experienced will have a better idea of the nuances and specifics of your case and how to handle things. You also want to be sure you feel comfortable with your attorney and that they have compassion and respect for your circumstances.

Effective Criminal Defense in Burnsville

For strong and exemplary criminal defense, contact Edwards Law, PLLC today for legal counsel in your criminal case.

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