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Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer

Columbus, NC Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing criminal charges is frightening, especially if you have been wrongfully accused. Fortunately, the United States judicial system guarantees a fair trial for all defendants in criminal cases in order to minimize the number of innocent individuals who face punishments. These trials are an opportunity to clear your name and avoid serious consequences.

Regardless of whether you are guilty of the charges at hand, you have the right to fight for your freedom in Columbus, NC. However, it is difficult to do so without the help of a qualified criminal lawyer, as the right criminal defense strategy makes a significant amount of difference in these cases.

Our team at Doug Edwards Law, PLLC, is ready to build you a strong defense case, regardless of the charges you are facing or the circumstances surrounding your case.

Doug Edwards Law, PLLC: Columbus, NC Criminal Defense Attorneys

For over a decade, the criminal attorneys at Doug Edwards Law, PLLC, have been working hard to defend those accused of crimes in North Carolina. During this time in business, we have seen a wide range of cases and case types, giving us a wide range of experience to use to build your defense strategy. We are confident that our unique set of training and background in criminal law will be an asset to your case.

Criminal defendants are often gravely misunderstood. Unfortunately, many people believe that an accusation is an indication of guilt when in reality, the system wrongly accuses innocent individuals all of the time. Because of this, we approach all of our clients with understanding, empathy, and without judgment. You can trust us with your story, your rights, and your future.

Our firm is a leader in the North Carolina criminal defense industry, and we are here to help when you need it. Trust Doug Edwards Law, PLLC, with all of your criminal defense needs.

Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer

What Is a Criminal Defense Case?

United States legal cases generally fall under two main categories: criminal and civil. Civil cases are a way to resolve conflicts between two individuals, while criminal cases are used to enforce laws. In a criminal case, the state prosecutes an individual or group in front of a judge and jury, who will ultimately determine whether the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The law stipulates that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty. As such, the defense does not need to prove their innocence; rather, they must maintain their innocence in the face of the prosecution’s accusations. It is the defense’s job to infuse the prosecution’s story with reasonable doubt so that the jury cannot legally convict.

As the defense, your attorney will “poke holes” in the story that the prosecution makes about you through evidence, witnesses, and comprehensive arguments.

Why Do I Need a Private Criminal Defense Attorney?

Regardless of the type of criminal case you are facing, it is important to have a private criminal defense attorney on your side. Though all defendants are guaranteed a public defender if they cannot afford an attorney of their own, it is in your interest to use a private attorney whenever possible. Public defenders are often overworked and forced to take on a large number of cases at a time. This results in limited time with each client, poor arguments, and diminished opportunities to win one’s claim.

The consequences of a criminal conviction are far-reaching. Not only will you likely have to serve time in jail or prison if convicted, but you will also face fines, probation, and other strict punishments. Even when you have served your time and moved forward with your life, you can expect challenges in getting a job, finding housing, and securing credit because of your criminal record.

It is essential that you put the effort forward to protect yourself and your family from the serious consequences and heartache that accompany criminal convictions. This is most effectively achieved with the help of a private criminal defense attorney.

Types of Criminal Claims

Because criminal law is such a large portion of the legal system, there are many types of cases that a defendant may face. The consequences, terms, and processes for each of these types of claims may be different, and understanding the details may help you to better prepare for your trial.


Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) are very common criminal offenses due to the fact that many people drive on a regular basis. You may be charged with a DUI or DWI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher or if you have any amount of any drug in your system while you operate a vehicle.

The consequences for DUI/DWIs will depend on your BAC, your criminal history of DUI/DWIs, and the amount of damage that was done. Fortunately, there are several defense arguments that can be effective in these claims.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes include offenses such as:

  • Homicide, including murder and manslaughter
  • Assault
  • Domestic abuse or violence
  • Robbery/burglary
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape and sexual assault

This is not a finite list of violent crimes, and there are others that you may be charged with.

Unfortunately, it is especially difficult to find gainful employment and housing after you have been convicted of a violent crime. Many people also lose custody of their children and may suffer from strained family relationships for years to come. It is important to make an effort to clear your name if you are charged with a violent crime.

White Collar Crime

White-collar crimes are generally non-violent offenses that are often financially motivated. This includes crimes such as:

  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Money laundering
  • Identity theft
  • Forgery

These crimes are complicated, and juries often feel confused about the details of what happened. The right defense attorney can use this to your advantage in our effort to clear your name in court.

Drug Crimes

The possession, sale, manufacturing, trafficking, or distribution of drugs without a license to do so is a serious crime in North Carolina. If you are accused of doing one of these, it is essential that you seek an attorney’s help right away. Drug laws are heavily enforced and result in serious, often disproportionate consequences. It is common to serve decades or even a lifetime in prison for drug crimes.

Firearm Possession

The laws surrounding gun ownership are constantly changing. As such, it is easy to violate the law without meaning to, or without understanding the full scope of the offense. Unfortunately, the law does not make concessions for misinterpretation of gun regulations, and you can face serious penalties, incarceration, fines, and probation for illegally possessing a firearm.

FAQs About Columbus, NC Criminal Defense Law

How Much Does a Criminal Lawyer Cost in North Carolina?

The average hourly rate for a North Carolina criminal lawyer is between $65 and $362 per hour. Because there is such a wide range of hourly rates and because there are other fee structures that some lawyers employ, it is important to speak directly with any potential attorneys about their rates. This will prepare you for the cost of a private attorney and ensure that you can afford your legal representation for the duration of your claim.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in NC for Crimes?

The statute of limitations depends on the crime. Many misdemeanors come with a two-year statute of limitations, while felonies may not have a statute of limitations or may have one that is longer than two years. “Malicious” crimes often do not have a statute of limitations and can be prosecuted as soon as there is sufficient evidence to do so. Speak with an attorney if you have questions about a crime’s statute of limitations and your options.

How Do I Get Criminal Charges Dropped Before the Court Date in NC?

In all cases, the prosecution has to voluntarily drop the charges if they are to be eliminated. However, since the state or federal government acts as the prosecution in criminal cases, dropped charges are rare. Other options to have your charges dropped include deferred prosecution, conditional discharge, and the Drug Treatment Court Program. To explore these options for your case, speak with your attorney about your eligibility and how to proceed.

Does North Carolina Have the Death Penalty?

Though North Carolina does have the death penalty and opts for lethal injection as the method, no one has been executed in nearly 20 years. 2006 was the last death row execution in North Carolina. As such, it is highly unlikely for someone to face the death penalty instead of incarceration or other punishments. If you are concerned about this option, or believe that your crime is egregious enough to warrant execution, speak to our attorneys immediately.

Contact Doug Edwards Law, PLLC

Our team at Doug Edwards Law, PLLC, is here to help you with any criminal case that you may be facing. We are confident that our experience, empathy, and resources will be able to help you navigate your criminal defense argument and yield the most positive possible results for your case.

For more information about our firm or to begin working with us, contact Doug Edwards Law, PLLC.

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