North Carolina Criminal Lawyer

Call (888) 519-6013 to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

In 2005, the state of North Carolina was ranked 37th best for crime out of the 50 states, based on the number of crimes per capita. Criminal law covers a variety of crimes against persons and property, from simple of traffic violations to the most violent of crimes, like rape and murder. The more serious the crime, the greater your need for an experienced criminal attorney. You are allowed to represent yourself, but if you may risk losing your freedom.

Criminal law, also known as penal law, involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime. A crime is any act or omission of an act in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from state to state.

Crimes can be divided into two different classifications, felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the more serious of the two, and can be further divided into violent and non-violent felonies. Some examples of violent felonies are aggravated assault, torture, rape and murder. Non-violent felonies include, but are not limited to, grand theft, racketeering, embezzlement, treason and drug trafficking. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses like petty theft, vandalism, drug possession, prostitution, disorderly conduct or jaywalking. Misdemeanors are also sometimes defined as crimes which are punishable by less than one year's imprisonment in a local or county jail, whereas felonies generally merit longer sentences in state or federal prisons.

There are also other sentences that can be handed down, including fines, the completion of rehabilitation programs, the revocation of certain licenses, probation, parole and community service.

In addition in criminal case, there are also civil cases, that involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. In a criminal case, a state prosecutor initiates the suit, while the victim brings the suit in a civil case. Persons found liable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money, but are not incarcerated.

Even if you have been arrested for a crime, you still retain many rights. First and foremost among these are the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after arrest, and you should not answer any questions until your attorney is present. This will protect your rights during questioning. If you do not have the money to hire an attorney, you will be assigned a public defender.

Criminal attorneys will help you out at every stage of the process, from the bail hearing during which your attorney can petition to revoke or reduce the bail, so you can get out of jail while you await trial to the trial, during which your attorney will present your defense and argue your case. A criminal attorney may be able to broker a plea deal on your behalf, which means that your felony could be reduced to a misdemeanor, or you could face a lessened sentence in exchange for agreeing to plead guilty right away and not force the court to try you.

Criminal lawyers are familiar with the prosecutor's office in your city and will likely know how they operate and what that means to your case. The prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which means your attorney can introduce that reasonable doubt and try to persuade a jury that your case does not meet the criteria for conviction.

When you are facing the loss of your freedom, a criminal record and more, you must not run from the fight. You can hire a criminal lawyer to fight in your corner and make the job of the prosecutors much more difficult. In the United States, every individual is innocent until proven guilty. You will want a North Carolina criminal lawyer attorney to be on your side, since your future may depend on it.