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Hendersonville Criminal Defense Lawyer

Hendersonville Criminal Defense Attorney

If you live in Hendersonville, NC, and have been detained on suspicion of committing a crime, you need an accomplished criminal defense attorney to help you protect your rights. A criminal arrest is a serious matter that could result in you being imprisoned or facing serious penalties if convicted. Having a competent, seasoned, and informed attorney on your side is essential.

If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a crime in Hendersonville, North Carolina, contact Doug Edwards Law for knowledgeable and trustworthy legal representation. Our lawyers are seasoned professionals with decades of experience defending clients accused of all types of criminal offenses. We have extensive experience and are familiar with local judges and prosecutors.

Get in touch with us at Doug Edwards Law today for a knowledgeable Hendersonville criminal defense attorney and have your case evaluated by an experienced criminal defense attorney. To schedule a free case review, call (828) 702-8743 right away.

Table of Contents

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

If you have been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, you still have rights that must be upheld throughout the process. The Bill of Rights is a vital component of the United States Constitution that was drafted to provide criminal procedural assurances or guarantees through the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendments.

These amendments are essential to the nation’s criminal justice systems, and the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of due process is violated if any of these guarantees or assurances aren’t made available to a suspect or defendant.

As a criminal defendant in North Carolina, the following amendments safeguard your rights:

The 4th Amendment

The Fourth Amendment guarantees your right to be free from unjustified searches and seizures and stipulates that warrants must be backed by sufficient evidence and approved by a judge.

The 5th Amendment

The Fifth Amendment safeguards you from governmental abuse of power during legal proceedings. The amendment guards against coercing criminal suspects into confessing to a crime.

If you have been arrested on suspicion of a crime, you have the right to “Plead the Fifth” and refuse to answer any questions. As a criminal suspect, remember that anything you say could be used against you as proof of crimes subject to forfeiture, fines, or penalties.

The 6th Amendment

The Sixth Amendment gives an accused person the right to seek legal counsel for their defense. The provision that deals with legal representation by an attorney include five distinct rights.

  • You have the right to a court-appointed attorney.
  • You have the right to an attorney of your choice.
  • You have the right to represent yourself without an attorney.
  • You have the right to effective legal representation.
  • You have the right to conflict-free legal representation.

The 8th Amendment

The Eighth Amendment establishes guidelines for unusual and cruel punishment. The amendment’s primary goal is to make sure that the federal government doesn’t impose excessive bail amounts, excessive fines, or unusually harsh penalties on criminal suspects.

The Miranda Warning

The Miranda warning, aka Miranda Rights, is a statement or warning that American law enforcement officers read to criminal suspects before interrogating them, stating the suspects’ right to counsel and right to remain silent.

What Is a Misdemeanor vs a Felony in North Carolina?

Crimes in North Carolina can either be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on how serious they are. Compared to a felony, a misdemeanor is a less serious charge with generally less severe penalties. An experienced lawyer is vital when dealing with DUI chargestheft, and any other type of misdemeanor accusation.

Criminal charges in North Carolina are classified as follows.

Class 3 Misdemeanors

Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious and carry a $1,000 fine and a maximum penalty of 20 days in jail. Possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana and disorderly conduct are two examples of Class 3 misdemeanor offenses.

Class 2 Misdemeanors

The maximum punishment for a Class 2 misdemeanor is a $1,000 fine and 60 days in jail. Writing a worthless check of less than $2,000 and minor assaults are two examples of class 2 misdemeanor offenses.

Class 1 Misdemeanors

First-class misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of 120 days in prison and a judge-determined fine. Operating a vehicle with a revoked driver’s license and larceny under $1,000 are some of the offenses that fall under class 1 misdemeanor.

Class A1 misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanors, punishable by a fine and up to 150 days in jail. Examples of Class A1 misdemeanors include assault with a deadly weapon and sexual battery.


Felonies in North Carolina are divided into 10 distinct categories: A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I. As opposed to misdemeanors, felonies typically don’t have rigid punishment guidelines. However, it’s worth noting that all Class A felonies are punishable by life imprisonment or even death.

For less serious felonies, sentences may combine fines, probation, and a prison term prescribed by a jury or judge. Violent crimessex crimes, or felony drug crimes all warrant an experienced Hendersonville criminal defense attorney.

Should I Consult an Attorney Before Speaking to the Police?

According to the Fifth Amendment, you reserve the right to remain silent while in custody and shouldn’t be forced by the police or any other law enforcement officer to provide information about the alleged crime.

As a suspect, you must exercise this right up until you’ve had a chance to consult a Hendersonville criminal defense attorney. Make sure you insist that the only way you’ll speak with the police is if you have an attorney.

What’s the Habitual Offender Law?

habitual felon is defined by the law as someone who has been found guilty of or pleaded guilty to three felonies. The laws in North Carolina that apply to repeat offenders increase the potential punishments that people may receive.

Punitive measures are based on the particular charges a person is facing. In these cases, the general rule is that penalties;

  • Multiply to match the punishment for a felony four classes higher than the antecedent charge or the sentence individuals are currently facing
  • Can’t surpass the charges of a Class C felony

How Can a Hendersonville Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?

When dealing with a criminal case in Hendersonville, contact Doug Edwards Law for a chance to be represented by a knowledgeable and seasoned criminal defense lawyer. With years of experience defending clients charged with various crimes, our attorneys have what it takes to ensure that your case is either dropped or that your sentence is lightened.

Here’s a look at how Doug Edwards Law can assist you:

  • Put together a strong defense so you have the tools you need to defend and fight for your rights at trial.
  • Preparing and submitting a plea bargain if you are found guilty and the punishment imposed is excessive.
  • Analyzing your case’s specifics or the allegations made against you to determine the likely course of action.
  • Make sure that your case has a favorable outcome by applying our in-depth understanding of North Carolina court procedures and criminal law.

What Is the Cost of Legal Representation?

The cost of hiring legal representation varies because every criminal case is unique. Criminal defense lawyers may charge on either a flat rate or retainer basis.

The type of case, the lawyer’s experience, the seriousness of the case, and whether or not the case will go to court are additional factors that affect the cost of representation. However, the court will appoint an attorney for you if you are unable to pay for one on your own.

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

Choosing a private criminal defense attorney over a court-appointed one has several advantages. Public defenders typically work excessive hours, make a minimum wage, and have no personal incentive to help clients. Due to this, chances are they won’t be driven to carry out a thorough investigation, gather the evidence needed to argue your case, and mount a convincing defense.

Doug Edwards Law criminal defense attorneys in Hendersonville have the knowledge, expertise, and commitment to plan your defense strategy and offer competent legal representation.

Can You Represent Yourself?

In a criminal defense case, you can represent yourself. However, if you want to be exonerated, this isn’t the best course of action. Using legalese and techniques you aren’t proficient in, a prosecutor can easily argue a case against you, leading to your conviction. If you don’t want to be found guilty on a technicality, you should still consider seeking the counsel, guidance, and advice of an experienced criminal law lawyer.

Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?

The specifics of your criminal case will ultimately determine whether or not you should accept a plea bargain. It’s best to speak with your criminal defense attorney first before accepting any plea. If accepting the plea is in your best interests, our lawyers at Doug Edwards Law will review the arrangement and advise you accordingly. Our goal is to always reduce the penalty or charge you face.

Appealing a Conviction in North Carolina

The first step in appealing a criminal conviction in North Carolina is to file a notice of appeal. You have two options for submitting a notice of appeal: 1) orally during your criminal case, or 2) by writing a notice and serving it on the DA before filing it with the court.

It’s worth noting that, according to North Carolina laws, you are required to file an appeal notice within 14 days of receiving your sentence. However, in some circumstances, it may still be possible to apply for post-conviction relief years after being found guilty.

The Supreme Court of North Carolina hears appeals in murder cases where the death penalty was imposed. The Court of Appeals hears appeals in other criminal cases.

Hendersonville Criminal Defense Law Firm

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

Contact a Professional Criminal Defense Attorney in Hendersonville Today!

If you have been accused of a crime, you must act quickly and consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney from Doug Edwards Law. Because the stakes are so high, you need someone trustworthy and knowledgeable. Someone who can help you handle your situation well and make sure that your best interests and rights are protected.

While no lawyer can promise you’ll be free, our attorneys have what it takes to ensure your case has the best possible outcome. Call (828) 702-8743 right away for a chance to have your case reviewed for free by our competent team of Hendersonville criminal defense attorneys.

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