State v. J.A. – First Degree Rape
When you’re facing criminal charges in North Carolina, you need a criminal defense attorney who takes your future as seriously as you do. Having a felony or misdemeanor on your record for theft, burglary, robbery or other property crimes can be devastating. Future jobs, housing, and other opportunities can all be affected.
At Marcilliat & Mills PLLC, we are on your side even when the law is not. We treat our clients like people, not like criminals. When you meet with us, you will always receive the professionalism and respect you deserve. Our goal is to defend your rights and your freedom.
We have won many acquittals and dismissals in criminal law courts, and we hope to do the same for you.
If you have never faced a criminal charge before, you are probably wondering what happens next. As with most things, it’s nothing like what happens on TV. The exact sequence of events will depend on what kind of crime the state is charging you with.
Misdemeanors are less serious criminal offenses. These include property crimes like breaking and entering, certain kinds of trespassing, and the destruction of property. White-collar crimes like fraud and embezzlement can qualify as misdemeanors under the law as well, depending on the circumstances.
When charged with a misdemeanor, these are the steps you’ll have to go through:
Prosecutors will often try to avoid a full-blown trial because of the time and energy required, but we will defend you for as long as necessary. You can rely on our attorney-client relationship until the very end of the legal process.
When dealing with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office, you need the best legal representation you can possibly get. You should not take criminal charges lightly. Here are some tips for choosing a lawyer that will meet your needs.
If possible, you should always hold out until you have excellent legal counsel on your side. A truly exceptional defense lawyer will be:
While finding a great attorney takes work, it’s worth all the effort and more. Great attorneys will negotiate a lower bail on your behalf, perceive the holes in the prosecution’s case, and may even be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Nothing is more critical to your success.
If a good lawyer is your best chance at a good outcome, a bad lawyer is the biggest threat to your freedom. You should avoid them at all costs.
An attorney is likely a poor fit if you perceive any of the following:
There are other attorneys out there. Do not settle for someone that will compromise your chance at freedom.
There are many ways to evaluate potential attorneys, including:
Take your time when making this decision. This person will be communicating on your behalf with North Carolina courts, prosecuting attorneys, the sheriff’s office, and other officials. You want to be sure they are doing so in a way that gives you the greatest advantage.
While some property crimes are only misdemeanors, many of them rise to the level of a felony because of their greater impact on victims. The penalties for a felony can include prison time, fines, and civil forfeiture.
What counts as a felony depends on the crime. Theft of personal property, also known as larceny, qualifies as a felony in North Carolina when the total value of stolen goods is above a certain dollar value, most often $1,000. Stealing a motor vehicle almost always qualifies as a felony, for instance. The district attorney can also charge you with a felony if a weapon was involved or if you have a prior criminal record.
Because felonies carry heavier penalties than misdemeanors, the criminal process is longer and more involved. Here’s what you can expect, though there may be some variation in your case.
If a trial does occur, you will attend an arraignment hearing, at which point you will enter a plea. Negotiations can sometimes continue during the trial process, and you may be able to accept a late-stage plea bargain. If convicted at the end of the trial, we will continue to advocate zealously on your behalf to get the lowest possible sentence. Finally, appeals may be possible all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court, or possibly beyond.
Clearing you of a felony charge is no easy thing. However, our legal team has special insight into how they will build a case against you. Our familiarity with standard law enforcement procedures means that we know where they are likely to make mistakes that we can use to our advantage. With rigorous negotiating and examination of the evidence, our attorneys are often able to reduce felonies to misdemeanors, or even get them dismissed altogether.
When choosing a criminal defense attorney, you may have several choices depending on the circumstances. You can hire a private lawyer, use a public defender if you lack funds, or you can choose to represent yourself. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of each approach.
Only certain people qualify for a public defender. This is a court-appointed lawyer who is only available to those who don’t have enough money to hire an attorney on their own. Advantages of a public defender include:
The main disadvantage of public defenders is that their caseloads are incredibly high. A single attorney could be working on 100 cases at the same time. As a result, public defenders often lack the time and energy to fully devote themselves to a given criminal case. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do their work as thoroughly as they would otherwise be able to.
Hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is what most criminal defendants choose to do. While they are a more expensive option than a public defender, private lawyers offer several advantages:
In general, a private attorney will only take on a case if they have the resources to fully commit themselves to their client. When your freedom is on the line, that is what you want.
While you technically have a right to act as your own legal counsel, representing yourself in a criminal trial is never a good idea. Not only will you be up against an experienced lawyer on the other side; you will make crucial mistakes that could mean the difference between being convicted and going free. Even if you are completely innocent, you can still inadvertently torpedo your case and serve time for an act you did not commit. The risks are far too great to go this route.
Our team at Marcilliat & Mills PLLCs has won hundreds of favorable results for our clients. We care about your freedom. We believe that everyone deserves a high-quality legal defense during a difficult time, which is why we have practiced law for decades. We care about what happens to our clients, and we do everything we can to help them.
If you are facing criminal charges, contact our office and find out how we can help. You can reach us through our online contact form or else call us: 919-838-6643. In addition to our Wilmington office, we have five locations across North Carolina.
State v. B.S.: Not Guilty Verdict in First Degree Murder Case.
In this case, our client was charged with First Degree Murder in connection with a “drive-by” shooting that occurred in Charlotte, NC. The State’s evidence included GPS ankle monitoring data linking our client was at the scene of the crime and evidence that our client confessed to an inmate while in jail. Nonetheless, we convinced a jury to unanimously find our client Not Guilty. He was released from jail the same day.
State v. S.G.: First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed.
Our client was charged with First Degree for the shooting death related to an alleged breaking and entering. The State’s evidence included a co-defendant alleging that our client was the shooter. After conducting a thorough investigation with the use of a private investigator, we persuaded the State to dismiss entirely the case against our client.
State v. B.D.: First Degree Murder Charged Dismissed.
After conducting an investigation and communicating with prosecutor about the facts and circumstances indicating that our client acted in self-defense, the case was dismissed and deemed a justifiable homicide.
State v. I.R.: Reduction from First Degree Murder to Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of Death.
Our client was charged with the First Degree Murder of a young lady by drug overdose. After investigating the decedent’s background and hiring a preeminent expert toxicologist to fight the State’s theory of death, we were able to negotiate this case down from Life in prison to 5 years in prison, with credit for time served.
State v. J.G.:
Our client was charged with First Degree Murder related to a “drug deal gone bad.” After engaging the services of a private investigator and noting issues with the State’s case, we were able to negotiate a plea for our client that avoided a Life sentence and required him to serve only 12 years.
State v. J.A. – First Degree Rape
State v. B.S. – First Degree Murder
State v. E.D. – Identity Theft
State v. J.A. – First Degree Rape
Each case is different and must be evaluated on its individual facts. We work hard to assess each case individually. Prior results do not guarantee any future outcome.
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