Q: How do I know if a particular lawyer is right for my criminal case?
A: Experience and background are the essential elements. Find out which field of law he or she concentrates in and whether or not they have experience in conducting trials. Ask how many of their cases are criminal compared to their other cases. Criminal law is a specialized field and you want someone who knows exactly what they are doing.
Q: What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
A: The difference is significant. A misdemeanor charge is generally handled in district court whereas a felony charge is handled in superior court. Which court your case is handled in will make a difference on the outcome of your case. In addition, if you were to receive a conviction the punishment differs significantly depending on whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. At attorney can help you get the best plea offer possible which can reduce a felony to a misdemeanor or fight the case at trial.
Q: How much do you charge?
A: Please see the Payment Plan (add link) section. Each case varies based on the charge(s) and any prior history. We offer payment plans and discounts to students, military members, and veterans. The most important thing is getting you counsel for your case so that we may help you. Thus, we are flexible when it comes to fees.
Q: Do I need to appear for court?
A: The simple answer is yes. You want to personally appear for all your court hearings and look presentable to the judge. Some hearings may be waived if you have an attorney but that should be discussed between you and your attorney prior to your court date.
Q: I got arrested on a warrant, now what?
A: In North Carolina there exists “self-initiated warrants” where a person can file a pseudo police report with the court and have you arrested on a warrant. This is different than simply calling 911. If you are picked up on this type of warrant or any warrant you will have to appear in front a judge in a timely manner. At this point it is important to contact an attorney immediately so the proper arrangements and help can be made.
Q: If I get convicted of DWI, how much will it cost me?
A: Each case differs on what type of fine you can receive from the court but when you take in account all the other factors, a DWI can cost thousands of dollars. A significant portion of that amount will be the increase in insurance costs. It is important to consult with an attorney to understand the full gravity of a DWI conviction before you go to court.
Q: The police say I failed a field sobriety test. What is it, and can I still fight my DUI charge?
A: A field sobriety test (FST), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is designed to measure sobriety. However, you can fail a field sobriety test and be perfectly sober. There are also medical conditions that can have an effect on how you perform on these tests. The qualifications of the person administering the tests can also be called into question. A police report that states you failed an FST can be challenged, and can be challenged successfully in many cases.
Q: My child has been charged with a crime, what should I do?
A: Depending on the charges each juvenile is entitled to court appointed counsel. If the charges are serious and the child is of a certain age he or she can be charged in adult court. That is a very serious situation and consulting outside counsel can be very helpful. Moreover, you want the best possible outcome for your child thus consulting a private attorney is helpful in every type of case. You want an attorney who is knowledgeable in juvenile criminal law, not just criminal law in general.
Q: Can the State use my prior criminal history against me?
A: Once again, the simple answer is yes. If you have prior arrests and/or convictions they can be used in determining your bond, plea offer, and sentencing if convicted. If this applies to you it is even more imperative to talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
Q: What is Pre-Indictment?
A: If you are currently being investigated by the police but have not been charged or you feel investigation is imminent you can hire an attorney to represent you on retainer in the event you do get charged. An attorney can help you to avoid formal charges and advise you on how to best deal with the police. In addition, he will now represent you, thus the police will have to contact him in the future to discuss your situation rather than yourself.