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Fletcher Criminal Defense Lawyer

Fletcher, NC Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime is stressful and nerve-wracking. A criminal conviction can have serious consequences in both your professional and personal life. These include loss of certain civil rights, ruined reputation, loss of job opportunities, limited housing options, and much more. You could face hefty fines, prison time, or both. As such, it is important to prevent these consequences or at least reduce the effect of a conviction on your life and those around you.

If you have been charged with a crime in the state of North Carolina, it is in your best interest to seek the help of a seasoned Fletcher criminal defense attorney. The skilled lawyers at Doug Edwards Law have in-depth knowledge of criminal law, both at the state and federal levels.

We have been helping people with cases in this field for years, helping many get their desired results. We are committed to helping protect the rights of our clients, their freedom as well as their future. You can be certain of the best possible outcome by seeking our assistance.

Get started today by calling our Fletcher, NC law firm at (828) 702-8743!

Table of Contents

What Are Your Rights as a Criminal Defendant in NC?

As a United States citizen and a resident of 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:

The Fourth Amendment

The 4th amendment stipulates that the authorities are not allowed to conduct any unjustified seizures and unwarranted searches. It states that law enforcement requires probable cause to stop you in the first place and do an unwarranted search.

The authorities need to first get a warrant from a judge before any arrest or search. In addition, it states that evidence collected via illegal means cannot be used against you in court.

The Fifth Amendment

The 5th amendment contains an array of vital protections for individuals charged with a crime. These include:

  • Protection against self-incrimination. This entails the right to remain silent.
  • Protection against being prosecuted more than once for the same criminal charge. Also referred to as double jeopardy.
  • The right to a jury trial.
  • The right to a fair trial.

The Sixth Amendment

According to the 6th amendment, defendants have the right to be told about their criminal charges. They also have the right to know the accuser and confront them. The amendment also stipulates the right to a public trial with no delays.

In addition, the 6th amendment guarantees the defendant the right to legal representation. If you cannot afford a lawyer, the court is mandated to provide one. Under the sixth amendment, the prosecutor has to reveal any evidence against you that will be presented in court. If the evidence was not revealed before, it goes against this amendment.

The Eighth Amendment

This one guarantees the defendant their right to post bail and protects them against excessive bail and fine amounts and also unfair or cruel punishment. The 8th amendment prohibits judges from implementing unreasonable penalties, especially when based on prejudice against the defendant or personal feelings.

What’s a Misdemeanor vs a Felony in North Carolina?

The type of crime in North Carolina, as with every other state, varies depending on the type of offense and the circumstances surrounding the crime. North Carolina classifies crimes into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies.

Misdemeanor crimes include things like shoplifting, possession of marijuana, underage drinking, etc. Felonies, on the other hand, are more serious crimes like armed robbery, rape, manslaughter, murder, arson, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with the intent to kill, sex offenses involving underage people, etc.

Keep in mind that some offenses can be both misdemeanors and felonies. Thefts or larcenies under a certain amount are considered misdemeanors, but if they go beyond a certain amount, they are considered a felony.

Should I Consult an Attorney Before Speaking to Law Enforcement?

As mentioned in the 5th amendment, you have the right to remain silent following arrest. As such, it is wise to leverage this right until you have consulted a lawyer. Keep in mind that anything you say can and will be used against you. Knowing what to say and what not to say will have a huge effect on your case.

Therefore, only speak to the authorities under the direction of a Fletcher criminal defense attorney!

What Is the Habitual Offender Law in North Carolina?

This is a law that allows the court to impose more severe punishments to repeat offenders. The judge has the authority to tweak punishment based on past convictions. In North Carolina, a habitual offender is an individual who has had 3 prior convictions or plea bargains for felonies as an adult in the past 5 years.

How Can a Fletcher Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?

Being charged with a criminal offense is no joke. Even a misdemeanor on your record can have a negative effect on your life, such as loss of certain jobs and loss of financial aid for education. The team at Doug Edwards Law can help in the following ways:

Case Preparation

Firstly, our team will assess your case details and provide legal advice and guidance. They can then perform a comprehensive investigation if needed to collect the necessary evidence with the aim of building a solid defense. This may include interviewing and working with expert witnesses.

Plea Bargain

Depending on the circumstances and details surrounding your case, a plea bargain might be the best option for you. Here, your lawyer will be able to determine if you have a chance of winning if the case goes to trial. A plea bargain usually leads to minimized punishment and prison time, and in some cases, no jail time.

In a plea bargain, you basically plead guilty for the offense(s) and get more lenient sentencing in exchange.

Knowledge of the Law and Court Rules

The team at Edwards Law knows the ins and outs of the North Carolina criminal justice system. We have a clear comprehension of the applying laws as well as court procedures. With a seasoned lawyer, you can be certain they will be searching for loopholes or infringements that can help dismiss your case. In addition, being familiar with the prosecution and judge gives you an advantage.

Ability to Predict the Outcome

An experienced criminal defense lawyer will conduct a thorough evaluation of your case and gauge the most probable outcome and guide you on the best route to take. They will tell you whether taking the case to trial is worth it, or you are better off taking a plea.

Trial Experience

The lawyers at Edwards Law have years of experience in criminal law and have won numerous cases for our clients. If a plea bargain is not what you want to go for, we will be ready to represent you in court in the best way possible. We will work hard to prove your innocence and ascertain the best possible outcome.

How Much Does Legal Representation Cost?

Not all criminal cases are the same and so, the cost of hiring a lawyer will depend on an array of factors including the kind of case, the crime’s severity, your financial status, and the experience of the lawyer. If your case goes to trial. However, if you are unable to afford a private criminal defense lawyer, the sixth amendment gives you the right to a public defender.

What Is the Benefit of Having a Private Lawyer Compared to a Court-Appointed One?

Court-appointed lawyers or public defenders are government employees that are hired to represent defendants who cannot afford to hire their own lawyers. As such, they tend to be overworked and in some situations underpaid. Since they deal with numerous cases at a time, they have limited resources and time to deal with your case. In addition, they may not have the motivation it takes to build a strong case, which will have a world of a difference in your case’s outcome.

On the contrary, a private criminal defense lawyer only juggles a few cases simultaneously. This means they are able to dedicate the necessary time and resources to do an outstanding job. In addition, they are able to offer personalized service and better guidance as they are more acquainted with the client.

The lawyers at Edwards Law Firm have access to more resources, which are vital in building a strong case. We are able to work with all kinds of private investigators and expert witnesses due to our financial capability. Also, we have additional associates, paralegals, and other staff members to help with the case, all of which do not come with a court-appointed attorney.

Can You Represent Yourself?

The simple answer is Yes! However, this is not advisable as shown by the high numbers of self-represented cases ending in a conviction and heftier fines. With the lack of knowledge regarding the criminal justice system, and prosecutors going hard on your strategy, it is easy to see why this is a bad idea.

Protect your rights and aim for the best outcome with a seasoned Fletcher criminal defense attorney.

Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?

A plea deal may or may not be the best option, depending on the circumstances of your case. A reputable lawyer will be able to determine if agreeing to a plea bargain is in your best interest.

Appealing a Conviction in North Carolina

The conviction of a crime does not necessarily mean it is the end of things, as you also have the right to appeal. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you are allowed to file an appeal for the overturning of the ruling.

For murder cases where the death penalty was imposed, this will be done in the Supreme Court of North Carolina. The Court of Appeals hears appeals in other criminal cases.

Fletcher, NC Criminal Defense Law Firm

If you are facing criminal charges in Fletcher, 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 Fletcher criminal defense firm today for a free case review and consultation. We are available 24/7!

Hire the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Fletcher Today!

Criminal charges are serious as they can have major repercussions if you are convicted. If found guilty of a crime, both your personal and professional life is affected, and there is no going back. If you’re charged with a crime in Fletcher, do not hesitate to contact Doug Edwards Law by calling (828) 702-8743!

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