Home | Etowah Criminal Defense Lawyer

Etowah Criminal Defense Lawyer

Etowah Criminal Defense Attorney

One of the most stressful experiences in your life is being charged with a crime. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, you face harsh penalties and long-term consequences. Navigating the North Carolina criminal justice system can be both challenging and confusing even if you find yourself facing false criminal charges.

Our experienced Etowah criminal defense attorneys at Doug Edwards Law are here to provide clients with the necessary support and aggressive defense strategies to achieve the best outcome in their criminal cases. If you are facing criminal charges in Etowah, NC, call our office at (828) 702-8743 to schedule your free initial consultation to learn
more about how we can assist you.

What Are Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant in North Carolina?

The United States Constitution guarantees the rights of all citizens and people in North Carolina are not an exception. While the Constitution covers the subject of various rights enjoyed by citizens, there are certain Amendments that apply to criminal law. The Amendments make sure that the rights of people facing criminal charges are protected before, during, and after they are convicted.

Here are the most important amendments that apply to criminal law in the United States.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unnecessary searches or unreasonable seizure of their homes, bodies, cars, or other property. To search a person or their property, law enforcement officials must have reasonable grounds for doing so.

Reasonable grounds, however, may vary greatly depending on several factors, including location. In most instances, a police officer that observes suspicious behavior in public, including at a traffic stop, has reasonable grounds for performing a search of a person or their property.

The Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment focuses on the rights of a person facing criminal prosecution. The portion of the amendment that mentions self-incrimination is one of the most well-known clauses. It states that a person cannot be legally forced to give information if that information would incriminate them.

The Fifth Amendment also ensures that a person is rightfully accused of a crime and is tried just once for a crime. Simply put, it means that you cannot be found innocent of a crime at trial and then be put on trial once again at a later date on the same charges for the same crime.

The Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment focuses on the rights of an accused citizen during a criminal trial. Citizens enjoy the right to legal representation, which includes self-representation. They also must be given the opportunity to have their case heard in front of an impartial, unbiased jury.

The Amendment also gives accused citizens the opportunity to confront any witnesses that testify against them during a criminal trial. The amendment also emphasizes the importance of the right of citizens to a public and speedy trial.

The Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment is particularly important when it comes to protecting the rights of accused citizens. It is vital for ensuring that sentencing and punishments for criminal behavior is done fairly and justly and in accordance with the crime that was committed.

The amendment states that punishments must not be unusual or cruel for any criminal, nor may fines or bails be set at extraordinary amounts that aren’t reasonable. It is often brought up as a cause for debate in instances where the death penalty is an option in the sentencing portion of a trial.

What Is a Misdemeanor Vs. a Felony in North Carolina?

A misdemeanor is considered a lesser crime as compared to a felony in North Carolina. The penalties for misdemeanors can be probation, fines, or a short jail sentence, usually less than 1 year. Felonies, on the other hand, are much more serious offenses that attract harsher penalties such as serious time in prison, life in prison, or even the death penalty in some cases.

Should I Consult a Lawyer Before Speaking to the Police?

Yes. You must always consult your Etowah criminal defense attorney first before you speak to the police.

Police officers have been trained to obtain admissions, confessions, and inconsistencies. Even if you are innocent, they can use inconsistencies in your statements as evidence of guilt. They can take your statements out of context or misunderstand you, which can make you look guilty.

What Is the Habitual Offender Law?

North Carolina law allows for enhanced sentences for offenders convicted of multiple felonies. Under the law, any person that’s convicted of 3 felonies in any state or federal court can be sentenced under the state’s habitual felon statute.

Multiple felonies committed prior to the offender turning 18 typically count as a single felony when calculating habitual offender status. Felonies committed in the same transaction count as a single felony when calculating habitual offender status.

How Can Etowah Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?

If you hire our Etowah criminal defense attorneys at Dough Edwards Law, we can help with the following:

Case Preparation

We will first assess the specific details of your case and provide you with the relevant legal advice and guidance. We will then conduct a thorough investigation into the case and gather all the necessary evidence to build the strongest defense for you.

Plea Bargains

If we determine that entering into a plea bargain is in your best interests, we can enter into one that’s more favorable than you could on your own. We use the result of our investigation and knowledge of the law to persuade the prosecution to either reduce the charges against you or your sentence.

Ability to Gauge Case Outcomes

Our experience allows us to determine the most likely outcome in your case and provide adequate guidance on the best course of action. We can tell you whether it is in your best interest to fight your case in court or simply take a plea deal offered by the prosecution.

Knowledge of the Law and Court Rules

Criminal law in North Carolina is a very complicated area of the law with numerous statutes, constitutional rights, and court decisions that may apply to your case. Fortunately, we have a good understanding of the law and defenses that may apply to your case.

Trial Experience

We will be your voice in the courtroom and work on your behalf to select the jury, object to improper testimony and evidence, cross-examine witnesses presented by the prosecution, and present your defense to the jury to increase the chances of a favorable outcome.

What Is the Cost of Legal Representation?

The total cost of legal representation primarily depends on the lawyer’s experience, how much time is actually spent on the case, and the complexity of the case. You can get a better idea of costs when you call our legal team at Doug Edwards Law in Etowah, NC at (828) 702-8743 to schedule your initial consultation regarding your criminal charges.

Is There a Benefit to Having a Private Attorney Vs. a Court-Appointed Attorney?

Yes.

The primary reason why people prefer having private defense attorneys is that they are better able to fight for you. Your criminal defense attorney has the resources required to build a strong defense and has the time to devote to your case. They also don’t take on cases they don’t have time for.

The above simply isn’t true of a public defender. Public defenders aren’t necessarily bad lawyers, but they have too many cases to handle and not enough time. They also cannot turn down cases since it is the court that appoints them.

If you decide to work with a private defense attorney, you will have a lawyer with experience and proven results related to your type of case. Furthermore, you can likely afford one since they often work out payment arrangements with clients.

Can You Represent Yourself?

Yes, you have the option of representing yourself in a criminal case. However, just because you can do it, it doesn’t mean that you should. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a more serious felony offense, you should protect yourself by hiring our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Doug Edwards Law in Etowah, NC to defend you.

Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?

You should only accept a plea bargain after consulting your Etowah criminal defense attorney first. If the prosecution isn’t offering a plea, our lawyers may be able to get the charges against you reduced by negotiating a plea bargain aimed at helping you avoid facing more serious penalties and charges.

Appealing a Conviction in North Carolina

If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina, you can appeal your conviction in an attempt to have your sentence reduced or rescinded. You can appeal your case if you weren’t satisfied with the way your original case turned out or because an error was committed in the original case that invalidates the decision.

Grounds for Appealing a Conviction

If you have been convicted of a crime, you can build a case showing that the decision to convict you was invalid and present the case to an appellate case. It must be proven that any errors presented in the appellate case impacted the outcome directly.

Potential grounds for appealing a criminal case may include:

  • Misconduct by a jury or judge
  • Ineffective representation
  • Evidence errors, including insufficient evidence

Options for Appeal

If you are convicted of a criminal offense in North Carolina, there are several different options for appeal. The legal team at Doug Edwards Law in Etowah, NC can provide a case analysis and offer options and reasonable expectations for the appeals.

  • If your case was originally heard in District Court and you are unsatisfied with the result, you can appeal to the Superior Court.
  • If you were convicted in any Superior Court in North Carolina and are unsatisfied with the result, you can appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
  • If you have exhausted your appeals to the NC Court of Appeals, you have the option of appealing to the North Carolina Supreme Court.
  • Murder cases where the death penalty was given are appealed to the North Carolina Supreme Court.
  • If you were convicted in any federal district court in North Carolina and are unsatisfied with the result, you can appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Etowah, NC Criminal Defense Law Firm

If you are facing criminal charges in Etowah, NC, you need an experienced, competent, and respected criminal defense attorney. At Doug Edwards Law, we provide top-notch representation to people accused of all types of crimes. We also help licensed professionals protect their licenses and livelihoods from allegations of misconduct.

Our lead attorney, Doug Edwards is a Board-Certified Specialist in North Carolina Criminal Law. Doug worked as a prosecutor for over 10 years and has a deep knowledge of the local court system. Doug now uses his experience as a former Buncombe County prosecutor to fight for defendants in Western North Carolina.

Call our Etowah criminal defense firm today for a free case review and consultation. We are available 24/7!

Looking for a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer in Etowah, North Carolina?

If you are currently facing criminal charges in Etowah, NC, you should speak with our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Doug Edwards Law. Please call us today at (828) 702-8743 to schedule your free consultation.

Etowah Practice Areas

Request a
free consultation

fill out the form
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Testimonials