Most people want to avoid a criminal record and jail time, which is understandable. While there may be legal options available that could ultimately result in a dismissal of criminal charges or even certain traffic tickets, there are a lot of things to consider including the fact pattern, prior criminal history, and severity of the allegations.
At the same time, it’s a mistake to assume charges are automatically dismissed.
Conditions for a dismissal may include things like Deferred Prosecution, conditional discharge, community service, drug or alcohol treatment, psychiatric care, and even an occasional letter of apology. A lot depends on what happened and the type of criminal allegations, felony or misdemeanor, district court vs. superior court, etc.
To some extent, the end result as to dismissal of charges may relate to where you’re charged or arrested and for what. Domestic Violence charges are different that misdemeanor possession charges. Murder is obviously more serious than speeding.
For example, criminal charges in Mecklenburg County, because it’s a big city, may have options that aren’t necessarily available in surrounding judicial districts in Monroe NC or Iredell County, North Carolina or in Gaston County.
As defense attorneys, we look out for our clients’ best interests. Part of that is explaining how our court system works, managing expectations and providing common sense legal advice – Bill Powers, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Unfortunately, there is a LOT of incorrect information out there. When people are arrested on criminal charges in North Carolina, one of the first reactions is often, “How do I get out of this? I can’t get convicted. This will ruin my life. I need my charges dismissed.”
We get that. In fact, that’s a normal, if not common reaction. We understand how scary it can be to face criminal charges. It may be an anxious, overwhelming time for you. Indeed, if you’re a parent or loved one of someone facing allegations of criminal charges, this could be one of the most challenging, difficult times in your life.
Part of that worry or concern may involve not understanding what will happen and not knowing your legal rights. And that’s why it often helps to have an experienced criminal defense attorney standing next to you in court, guiding you through the process, and providing legal advice. That’s what criminal defense lawyers do. We help people. We help explain what can be an incredibly complicated legal system.
How Do I Get My Charges Dismissed?
For whatever reason, defense lawyers deal with the question, “How do I get my charges thrown out?” on an almost daily basis. The harsh reality is you should not assume it’s automatic. You don’t just get a dismissal because a criminal conviction will hurt you. While a clean record and an overall hard-working life are factors to consider, there is no automatic Get Out Of Jail Free card like Monopoly. No one is entitled to an automatic dismissal.
As the charges get more serious, clients seem to understand it can be complicated. The assumption that, “I’m a good person, why aren’t police officers arresting people for murder and rape charges?” while understandable and likely only blowing off steam, are unrealistic.
Going to court by yourself, assuming you can “just talk to the DA and they’ll drop the charges,” again a relatively common statement on certain message boards like AVVO.com or BestLawyers.com, exposes a misunderstanding of the legal system.
Prosecutors in North Carolina, also called an ADA (“the DA”) or Assistant District Attorneys, are legal professionals, dedicated to justice. Their understanding of “justice” may or may not include giving people a “break” and dismissing charges.
They are called prosecutors for a reason. They prosecute criminal charges and traffic tickets for a living. They are not called “Assistant District Facilitators of Dismissals.” Their idea of justice for the community may include prosecuting you to the fullest extent of the law. They may be of the position that what is just or fair includes jail time or a prison sentence. They may very much want you to have a permanent criminal record.
We see people in court who appear pro se, not fully understanding the full impact of the adversarial system. At times, maybe for minor compliance issues involving a vehicle inspection ticket, an ADA may be amenable to a dismissal of charges. On the other hand, I’ve seen people come in, cut an attitude, assume they’re entitled to relief, and really make a bad situation worse – Bill Powers, Criminal Defense Attorneys Charlotte NC
Should I hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer NC?
Not to be coy, but the answer is “maybe.” There are some matters that do not require legal representation or a criminal defense attorney. There are other felony or misdemeanor charges that would benefit from legal advice from an experienced courtroom lawyer.
How do you know when you need a lawyer? Ask them. Most defense attorneys in Charlotte NC and the surrounding judicial districts in Union County NC, Iredell, and Gastonia, offer a free consultation, at least that’s true at our law firm. That means it doesn’t cost anything to call us up, ask questions, and see if we can help.
That’s what we mean by a FREE CASE EVALUATON. It’s free. It’s also confidential.
Call NOW: 704-342-4357