Criminal Defense FAQs
The answer completely depends on the type of crime you are charged with. For many North Carolina misdemeanor charges, the law enforcement officer will issue you a citation stating the crime you are charged with, and noting the date and time you need to appear in court. However, with more serious North Carolina misdemeanor charges and North Carolina felony charges, the law enforcement officer will likely arrest you and take you into custody (which will require you to spend at least a couple of hours in the county jail until you are released or until someone pays a bond on your behalf).
First, we recommend that you avoid speaking with law enforcement officers about your criminal charge. If you are interested in fighting your criminal charge, then we recommend you contact a criminal defense attorney.
In North Carolina, a misdemeanor charge is a crime that is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for less than one year. Misdemeanor charges are typically assigned to be resolved in a North Carolina District Court. A North Carolina felony charge is a crime that is punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for one year or more. Felony charges are typically assigned to be resolved in a North Carolina Superior Court.
A Judge or Magistrate will determine whether you can be released before your next court date. Generally, the Judge or Magistrate will allow you to be released prior to your next court if you (a) submit a written promise to appear at your next court date or (b) deposit money or property (bail) with the court to ensure that you will return. If you are required to deposit money or property with the court, that money or property will be returned to you if you appear at your next court date. However, if you fail to appear at your next court date, or violate any condition of your release, then the money or property may be forfeited to the court.
The District Attorney’s Office represents the State of North Carolina in criminal matters against Defendants charged with crimes. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you or your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain, a deferred prosecution agreement, or another type of resolution to your criminal charge. Otherwise, the District Attorney or, more likely, an Assistant District Attorney, will represent the State of North Carolina in a trial against you.
First, we never recommend that you represent yourself without first meeting with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your criminal charge.
Most North Carolina counties have a Public Defender Office. Generally, the Public Defender’s Office is comprised of very competent and dedicated attorneys. So, if you qualify, applying for a Public Defender is a good option. However, be aware that in order to qualify to receive the services of the Public Defender’s office, you must be considered indigent under the North Carolina guidelines. As a result, many defendants are not economically eligible to receive the services of the Public Defenders.
Probation is a type of criminal sentence that will allow you to avoid serving time in jail or prison and stay in the community. When you are on probation, you will avoid going to jail so long as you comply with certain conditions, such as regularly reporting to a probation officer, refraining from using alcohol/drugs and not committing further crimes.
Occasionally, if a crime causes a person a financial loss, then a part of a criminal sentence will include the payment of money to compensate the victim for their financial loss.
The answer to this question depends on your specific criminal charge. There are some criminal charges that we will be able to resolve without you appearing in court. There are other types of criminal charges where your appearance will be required. Feel free to contact us, call us at 888-820-5885, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oftentimes, the District Attorney will offer a plea agreement whereby (i) you will plead guilty to a less serious criminal offense or (ii) you will receive a less serious punishment. When you receive this type of an offer, to make a decision, you typically weigh the likelihood of winning a jury trial (and getting your charge dismissed) versus the likelihood of losing a jury trial (and being found guilty to a more serious criminal offense and/or receiving a more serious punishment). If you decide that the likelihood of winning a jury trial is great, then you’d typically refuse to accept a plea agreement. On the other hand, if the evidence is not in your favor and there is a high likelihood of losing a jury trial, then you’d typically accept a plea agreement that involves a guilty plea to a lesser criminal offense or a lesser punishment.
Generally, yes, a conviction or a guilty plea will appear on your criminal record. This is one of the main reasons why it so important for you to fight your criminal charge. Before pleading guilty to a crime, speak to a North Carolina criminal defense attorney about how you might be able to fight your criminal charge. A conviction on your criminal record can affect your current job, future employment, ability to rent a house, as well as your ability to receive some types of benefits from the government.
Also, you should know that there are some types of criminal charges and criminal convictions that can be removed or expunged from your criminal record. If you are interested in learning more about getting your criminal charge or criminal conviction expunged, contact us, send us an email at email@example.com or call us at 1-888-820-5885.
Kreger Thacker’s Criminal Defense Attorneys represent clients fighting criminal charges in Durham County, Guilford County (including the cities of Gibsonville, Greensboro, High Point, Jamestown, Oak Ridge, Pleasant Garden, Sedalia, Stokesdale, Summerfield and Whitsett) and Orange County (including the cities of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough).
Thank you again for reaching out to our Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kreger Thacker Attorneys at Law. We look forward to hearing from you.