Mecklenburg County Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Mecklenburg County Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal conviction can completely change the course of your life for the worse, even if you think the offense in question is relatively mild. For example, any criminal record can prevent you from qualifying for certain jobs, obtaining financial aid for school, or maintaining eligibility to collect certain government-funded benefits. You may also lose your constitutional rights, such as the right to vote or own firearms. Ultimately, any criminal conviction can lead to many negative consequences, and you should do everything you can to minimize potential penalties or avoid conviction entirely, if possible.

Mecklenburg County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Defending the Rights of Clients in Mecklenburg County, NC, Criminal Court

Whether you know you broke the law or you have been wrongfully accused of a crime you did not commit, it is essential to have legal representation you can trust if you want to navigate any criminal court case successfully. Unfortunately, many people arrested for criminal offenses in Mecklenburg County, NC, are unaware of the full scope of their rights during and after arrest. The police do not always follow due process when handling arrests and bookings.

Regardless of your situation, you need defense counsel you can trust to navigate your case to the best possible outcome. The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett can provide the compassionate and detail-oriented criminal defense counsel you need in this difficult situation. Our team has helped many Mecklenburg County clients navigate their criminal court cases more successfully than they initially expected. Of course, if you did not commit the offense in question, we would do everything we could to prove your innocence. However, if you did break the law, we could still help you by looking for every possible channel to argue for lighter penalties and/or reduced charges.

Know Your Rights After an Arrest in North Carolina

Every American citizen has two important constitutional rights that come into play during and after an arrest for any criminal offense. First, they have the right to remain silent. Once the police notify someone that they are under arrest and read them their Miranda rights, they have no legal obligation to answer any questions or say anything at all. Second, they have the right to legal counsel. If you are arrested, you must exercise your right to remain silent after arrest until you can speak with a defense attorney.

An experienced Mecklenburg County, NC, criminal defense attorney can review the details of your arrest, scrutinize the police’s handling of the matter, and help you determine the best preliminary steps for handling your case. If the police violated your civil or constitutional rights during your arrest and booking, this could potentially be enough to have your case dismissed on procedural grounds. Some people who experience rights violations and other mistreatment from arresting officers later pursue civil claims against the police departments responsible for these experiences.

Taking full advantage of your right to legal counsel can potentially be the lynchpin of your entire defense. The right attorney can provide invaluable support and guidance through all phases of your criminal case. They could reveal defenses you didn’t know were available to you and help you meet all procedural requirements with the court.

Cases We Handle

When you need a Mecklenburg County criminal defense attorney to represent you, selecting an attorney with specific professional experience handling cases similar to yours is crucial. The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett offers legal counsel to Mecklenburg County clients facing charges such as:

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI). This is one of the most commonly prosecuted crimes in North Carolina and the United States. Any driver with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08% or a commercial driver with a BAC over .04% commits a DWI offense in North Carolina. It is also possible to face a DWI charge for operating a vehicle under the influence of other illicit drugs. North Carolina enforces very harsh penalties for DWI convictions, including heavy fines, incarceration, and driver’s license suspension or revocation.
  • Drug offenses. North Carolina upholds strict penalties for drug offenses such as possession, possession with intent to sell, trafficking, and illegal drug manufacturing. The penalties for drug crimes in North Carolina depend on the type of drug in question and the amount in the defendant’s possession. Some defendants convicted of drug-related offenses may qualify for alternative sentencing to mandatory substance abuse treatment instead of jail time for a first offense, but this is never guaranteed.
  • Violent crimes. Assault, assault and battery, and assault with a deadly weapon are serious criminal charges that often qualify for felony prosecution. Self-defense is typically the only viable explanation for a defendant accused of physically injuring another person. A good defense attorney can help their client prove the truth behind an accusation of assault.
  • Theft, fraud, and property crimes. Any criminal behavior involving fraud and/or theft can lead to either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the amount stolen by the defendant and the manner in which they completed the theft. For example, if the defendant engaged in wire fraud or identity theft over the internet, they could face prosecution in federal court.
  • White-collar crimes. A “white collar” crime is usually a nonviolent crime that is financial and undertaken for personal gain. Embezzlement, insider trading, and securities fraud are just a few examples of commonly prosecuted white-collar crimes in North Carolina.

The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett can also assist with many other criminal cases in Mecklenburg County, including those involving multiple charges. Whatever charges you face, your defense attorney will help you understand your defense options, gather exculpatory evidence on your behalf, and ultimately guide you to the most favorable outcome for your case. It’s important to remember that defense counsel you can trust is essential regardless of whether you committed the offense in question or you have been wrongfully accused of a crime you did not commit. When you know you broke the law, your defense attorney can potentially assist you in securing alternative or diversionary sentencing that may help you avoid jail time, or they could also secure a plea deal with the prosecution that leads to lighter penalties and/or reduced charges if you are willing to plead guilty, conserving court resources. There are many possible directions for any criminal case to take, and you will be best equipped to make informed decisions and reach the best outcome for your case with an experienced attorney’s assistance.

Criminal Defense Attorneys FAQs

Q: How Much Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Cost to Hire in NC?

A: Any defendant who cannot afford to hire an attorney or who does not wish to pay a private defense attorney’s legal fees can choose to have a public defender represent them at no cost. While they are usually experienced and hardworking attorneys, most public defenders are regularly overburdened with multiple cases. If you have the means to hire a private Mecklenburg County criminal defense attorney, they can offer more personalized and responsive legal counsel than you could expect from the best public defenders.

Q: What Is the Criminal Defense Attorney’s Role in a Criminal Case?

A: The criminal justice system of the United States hinges on the idea that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law by a jury of their peers. The burden of proving their guilt rests entirely on the prosecution. Your defense attorney’s job is to prevent them from meeting this burden of proof. Your defense attorney can help you establish an alibi, present conflicting evidence that contradicts the prosecution’s case and assist you in attacking the holes in the prosecution’s arguments.

Q: How Can I Avoid Going to Jail or Prison?

A: When a defendant is sentenced to incarceration, they will do time in county jail if they are convicted of a misdemeanor, or they will go to state prison for a felony conviction. It is natural for anyone charged with a criminal offense to worry about jail time, and working with an experienced defense attorney is the best way to reduce the chances that you will spend time behind bars. In addition, a good Mecklenburg County criminal defense attorney can potentially help their client prove eligibility for alternative or diversionary sentencing, such as mandatory substance abuse treatment and/or conditional probation instead of jail time.

Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Mecklenburg County Criminal Defense Attorney?

A: Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can handle a criminal case on your own, and it is also unwise to sit back and hope for a prosecutor’s case to fall apart on its own. While you may have reservations about the potential cost of hiring a defense attorney, it is well worth your time and effort to invest in a Mecklenburg County criminal defense attorney with the experience and resources needed to guide you through your case.

The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett understands the significant legal challenges defendants face in the Mecklenburg County criminal justice system. Our team has represented many past clients in difficult cases, and we can leverage this experience on your behalf. If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for any criminal charges in Mecklenburg County, contact our team today and schedule your consultation with an experienced defense attorney.

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