This is Part 34 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “How to Choose a Great Attorney?“
I think the most important thing when you’re trying to decide who to hire as a criminal defense lawyer is their level of experience. How much experience do they have in the courtroom and how much experience do they have with the people in those courtrooms (the officers, the judges, the district attorney’s office)? There’s no substitute for experience in a criminal case.
I’ve tried over a 1,000 cases here in Wake County. I’ve worked as an assistant DA here in this county. And as a defense lawyer now for 11 years, I’ve been before the same judges, the same officers, deal with the same DAs on a day-to-day basis.
But it’s also listening to the client and trying to get to know the client as well as possible. Where that client is coming from. What their experience is. How they ended up in this situation. I think that’s one piece that I try to get to know my clients as much as I can.
I think the only thing else you can talk about is preparation. Do you have a lawyer who is going to spend the time preparing your case? I try to prepare my cases, meet with my clients, get to know those clients, know the law and the facts of the case, before we go to court. So that we can achieve the best outcome for that particular client.
Our offices are located right across the street from the Wake County Justice Center. We’re in close proximity to the courthouse, so I’m here most days working late, meeting with clients, and I’m very very convenient to the courthouse. I think the most important thing that you can do if you’re looking to hire a criminal lawyer is meet with that person and decide how comfortable you are with them. What we try to do at our firm is learn about our clients and spend the time and the preparation work knowing their case to try to achieve the best possible outcome for that particular client.
This is Part 33 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “How Can I Get My Suspended License Back?“
The first thing we try to do is look at your driving record and see if there’s any possible way that we can restore your driving privilege, get your license back. Is it because you failed to appear in court and missed a ticket? Is it just a matter of resolving that ticket? Are you revoked for some other reason? Was there a driving while impaired conviction, and you didn’t do your substance abuse treatment, or that form wasn’t sent into the DMV?
Driving while license revoked is one of the most prevalent crimes that we see in Wake County District Court. Lots of people do not know how they can get their privilege back. If they call me and they have their driving record, we can go through that and hopefully resolve the issue that’s causing that suspension.
This is Part 32 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “How a Raleigh Drug Attorney Can Help Your Possession Case“
The big difference is between simply possessing a controlled substance and possessing it with the intent to sell it or deliver it, or were you actually caught selling it?
If it’s simply a possession crime, and you’re a user, and you haven’t been in trouble before, there are certain safeguards that are available to you in North Carolina that will allow you, if you’re successful, to potentially earn a dismissal and get the matter expunged from your record.
It’s different if you’re caught selling or possessing a substance with the intent to sell it. That’s when the stakes get much higher.
This is Part 31 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “Prison Alternatives For NC Drug Cases“
Typically, if you’re charged with a drug crime, you’re not eligible for a conditional discharge or a felony diversion. You’re going to be tried on supervised probation before being sent to prison unless it’s a trafficking case. Trafficking is going to be based on weight. If you’ve got more than 10 pounds of marijuana, or four grams of heroin, or 28 grams or more of cocaine, those are all going to be trafficking level crimes. By statute, you do have to do prison time on those. The only exception to that is if you actually decide to become an informant, work with the police, or provide what we call substantial assistance, which can potentially have the court sentence you to probation rather than that mandatory active time.
This is Part 30 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “Drug Detox Programs as Part of an NC Sentence“
Drug treatment court is a great program that we have here in Wake County. Basically, it involves the offender being on supervised probation, but it involves weekly meetings and counseling sessions. Part of the process is that if there are positive urine screens for drugs, that offender can spend the weekend in jail. They have their own sanctions. It’s a great program here in Wake County if you’re on probation.
This is Part 29 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “Benefits of a Wake County Native for Your Case“
I grew up in Wake County and went to Wake County Public Schools. My parents are from this area. I basically grew up here, went to school here, spent most of my adult life here, and I live here. I love this community. I’ve lived my entire life here and this is where I’ve decided to practice law exclusively here in Wake County.
This is Part 28 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “Should I Speak to the Police?“
A lot of times people call me and they haven’t yet been charged with a crime, but they’ve received a phone call from a detective or an investigator and they want to know whether they should call that person back and actually talk to them. They’re maybe not sure if they’ve done anything wrong or whether they’ve actually committed a crime, but somebody from a police department has touched base with them and they’re trying to make a decision should I call this person back and meet with them.
Just know under our Constitution that you have the absolute right against self incrimination. Your right to remain silent cannot be used against you in a court of law. I advise folks never to talk to a detective or a police officer without an attorney present because so often you really can’t help yourself, number one, by talking to the police. Their job is to build a case against you. There are certain circumstances under which I have gone with clients to give an interview to a police officer, but never talk to a police officer without your attorney present.
This is Part 27 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “How a Raleigh Misdemeanor Attorney Can Help a Simple Misdemeanor Charge“
I think you have to look long term and understand how is this charge, if it’s on my record, going to impact me?
I have young people who get charged with alcohol offenses, marijuana possession and sometimes they don’t think long term and understand that offense is going to be on their record for the rest of their life.
I definitely advise folks to at least consult with an attorney even on traffic tickets. Traffic tickets have DMV consequences and they have insurance consequences and lots of times people don’t know when a particular ticket may result in a revocation of their driver’s license.
It’s always important at least to consult a lawyer on any criminal case just to make sure that you’re not doing something that’s going to affect you for the long term.
This is Part 26 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “Types of Traffic Cases“
I handle driver’s license revocations; I handle pretty much everything in traffic court from basic simple speeding tickets to careless and reckless driving to driving while license revoked and ultimately also DWI.
This is Part 25 of our weekly North Carolina Criminal Defense video blog: “Larceny Charges in NC“
Larceny in North Carolina is basically taking the property of another person or entity with the intent to deprive them permanently of its use.
If I’m in Belk’s Department Store or Crabtree and I take something off the shelf and I exit the store and get completely through the doors and out into the parking lot, I have evidenced that intent to deprive Belk permanently of that merchandise. That’s what we call misdemeanor larceny as long as it’s under $1,000.
Felony larceny can be charged in a number of different instances. Everything from removing an anti-theft device from a piece of merchandise to stealing something over $1,000 or it can be larceny pursuant to a breaking and entering of a residence. All of those are characterized as felony larceny.