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Attorney Definition: Charlotte Criminal Lawyer to Represent You

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CriminalBeing cuffed and arrested can be a life-changing, emotional, and mentally traumatic experience. A typical and normal reaction is to panic and immediately start worrying about what’s going to happen to you. Will you have a permanent criminal record? Will you be convicted of a felony? Will you be convicted of a misdemeanor? What's the difference between felony vs. misdemeanor? Will you have to serve jail time? What about probation? If it's a traffic offense, will you lose your driver’s license?

FingerprintsYou may have never hired an attorney, or really considered that you may need to defend yourself, to protect your liberty and your future. What is an attorney and what can a lawyer do to get you out of this mess is important information. Plus, you may not know any Charlotte attorneys, much less one who is a criminal defense lawyer.

Do you search the Web for just ANY "criminal defense attorney near me," or DO YOU conduct a credentials-based analysis of the best criminal lawyers?

What is an Attorney? Finding an Attorney Definition

Wikipedia has a simple attorney definition, which is taken from Black’s Law Dictionary, the standard used by almost every lawyer in America:

A lawyer is a person who practices law, as an advocate, barrister, attorney, counselor, solicitor, and not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary.

In every state, the practice of law is REGULATED by the government to assure that anyone permitted to advise another person on critical legal matters has achieved a basic skill level, through training at a law school, followed by taking and PASSING a Bar examination.

This is a similar process as to how medical doctors attend medical school, and then have internships and residency before being allowed to “practice” on a person. Each state regulates license for doctors, too.

What Does a Criminal Lawyer Do? What Does a Prosecutor Do? How Are Criminal Laws Passed?

  • Focusing on criminal defense, a criminal defense attorney is the BUFFER between YOU and the criminal justice system.
  • Defense lawyers review discovery, prepare and argue motions, and try cases in court in front of a panel of criminal jurors.
  • The State or "DA" prosecutes criminal matters through the office of the District Attorney within each county (it is different in SC where the prosecutor is normally called the Solicitor).
  • The State Legislature writes and enacts criminal laws, criminal statutes, and criminal codes.
  • The Governor signs (approves) or vetoes (rejects) laws passed by the state legislature.
  • Police officers make arrests and enforce the laws of North Carolina. Criminal attorneys for your defense are your VOICE, and they advocate to assert your defenses and motions, and (when needed) conduct your trial.

PoliceCriminal laws, which started as or are based at least in part on English common law, are passed for the "common good." But, it's important to realize the laws of the land aren't supposed to violate the legal protections and rights written by the Founders of the United States. Those "rights” are included in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution, and a similar set of rights that are in the North Carolina Constitution. These two sets of constitutional rights frame our legal rights, against the “Crown” (the State and Federal government, in America).

A criminal defense lawyer helps guide you and your case through the process of investigation, the first court appearance, bond hearing, probable cause hearing, initial appearance, arraignment, filing motions, arguing motions, locating and interviewing witnesses, subpoenaing witnesses, and cross-examining the government’s police officers and other fact or expert witnesses.

That's part of legal representation. It also is how legal fees are set by criminal defense lawyers. A lot depends on the type of charges, how serious the case is (felony vs. misdemeanor), and if you have any prior criminal history or convictions.

Typical attorney fees for criminal defense are FLAT fees, paid in payments, depending again on the severity of the charges, whether it's a felony or misdemeanor, whether jail or prison are options, how far the case goes in the legal system, and how long and how much work your lawyer is to perform.

The way or process a criminal trial lawyer handles your case is sometimes a lot like a movie director working with a script and actors for presentation on the big screen. It takes a lot of creativity, preparation, technical knowledge, patience, and understanding of human nature.

As criminal defense lawyers, we work hard to tell YOUR story. We want the judge and jury to think of you as more than a criminal defendant facing criminal charges. Experienced defense lawyers call this “personalizing” your client to the judge or jury.

Your criminal defense attorney relies heavily on prior criminal law experience to determine whether to go to trial, seek a plea bargain, how and when to negotiate a criminal case, and (in the event of trial) how to present your side of the case to a jury.

Criminal defense requires hard work and preparation because criminal cases often involve a complicated interplay of law, technology, and science.

That's especially true in complex and often serious cases like rape, sex offenses, murder and manslaughter charges involving DNA evidence, cell-phone tracking, fingerprint, hair, and other expert scientific evidence.

Criminal Charges in Mecklenburg County for a Charlotte Courtroom

After being charged with a criminal offense in Charlotte, North Carolina or Mecklenburg County, you know you need to start looking for lawyers in Charlotte NC.

Not all traffic offenses are crimes in NC. Some traffic tickets are called Infractions and are generally less serious. BUT, that doesn't mean there still can't be insurance points associated with those types of traffic tickets.

If you or a loved one are facing felony or misdemeanor criminal offenses, it makes sense to talk to a defense lawyer right away. . .even before criminal allegations are brought, or before a citation is issued.

Some cases start with a traffic ticket that is being heard in a District Court in North Carolina. Even serious felony charges normally begin in District Court, and only later sent to Superior Court after a true bill of indictment is returned by a Grand Jury.

Because criminal charges carry consequences if convicted, there is just too much at risk NOT hire a criminal lawyer. If you are indigent and do not have the ability to retain legal counsel, it still makes sense to consult with a lawyer and have legal representation in court.

Your defense lawyer will explain the best-case and worst-case-scenarios, review the evidence against you, and consult with the District Attorney regarding the criminal charges and the strengths or weaknesses of the case. Only after a thorough, careful evaluation of evidence (often called "discovery" in felony charges in NC) can you make a decision on what to do and how to handle a case.

Your search for a traffic court lawyer, a murder lawyer, a DWI lawyer, or another type of misdemeanor or felony criminal case lawyer in North Carolina may have begun with a Google search, or even just entering some basic "keywords" like:

  • What do criminal defense lawyers do?
  • What's the difference between felony and misdemeanor? (The Courts and trials are overseen by the appropriate District Court or Superior Court Judge for the Judicial District)
  • What happens if I am convicted?
  • Will I go to jail?
  • Can I get the criminal charges dismissed?
  • How can a lawyer help?
  • Charlotte NC criminal defense lawyer
  • Defense Lawyers near me
  • Mecklenburg DUI defense attorney

But an internet search like "criminal defense attorneys near me" reveals very little information about the individual lawyer, their training, experience, professional accolades, and their law firm and how it works.

A relatively small percentage of North Carolina lawyers practice criminal defense law. There are a LOT of different practice areas. Some lawyers handle complex litigation issues involving banks and regulatory laws. Other law offices help people in financial trouble, filing for bankruptcy or helping people with things like immigration.

Even the lawyers who do handle criminal legal matters may be new or lack the extensive experience, training, and reputation in the profession that you seek.

"We consider ourselves courtroom lawyers. That means we go to court. We litigate. We argue matters to judge and juries." – Bill Powers

PencilPowers Landreth PLLC helps people with:

  • Drug Trafficking
  • Drug Possession
  • Drug Paraphernalia
  • Assault
  • Assault and Battery
  • 50B/Restraining Orders
  • Domestic Violence
  • Rape
  • Sex Offenses
  • Indecent Liberties
  • DWI
  • DUI
  • Murder
  • Drunk Driving
  • Manslaughter
  • Unlawful Concealment
  • Larceny Embezzlement
What to Consider in Legal Representation by a Criminal Law Firm?

As you research attorneys in Charlotte NC for criminal defense, your search results may show some criminal defense law firm attorneys who are the only lawyer, or a "sole practitioner."

Other law offices have several North Carolina lawyers who work together with "blended practice groups." Those types of firms may be ones where each attorney at the firm handles a different type of legal matter like divorce and family law, personal injury car accidents, immigration, or bankruptcy legal issues.

We encourage you to ask questions like:

  • Is anyone at your firm Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy/National Board of Legal Specialty Certification?
  • Has your firm ever been included in the Best Law Firms in America publication?
  • Are any of your lawyers members of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice?
  • Have any of your lawyers been included in Best Lawyers in America?
  • When was the last time you were in Criminal Court?
  • Have you ever handled a JURY TRIAL?
  • Do you regularly file Motions to Dismiss and Motions to Suppress?
  • What professional recognitions and awards have the law firm partners received?
  • What is your experience dealing with the media and criminal charges?
  • How active is your law office in professional associations?
  • Have you ever taught and served as a seminar host for Continuing Legal Education?
  • Have any of your cases or legal matters been published or reported in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Magazine?
  • Have any of your cases gone to the North Carolina Court of Appeals or Supreme Court?

When searching for lawyers, we hope you notice that one firm with Charlotte attorneys keeps showing up in search results for various criminal law topics. We hope you notice "CarolinaAttorneys.com," which is the website for Powers Landreth PLLC.

Our law office has FOUR Charlotte NC attorneys, and is led by Charlotte criminal lawyer Bill Powers, a 25+-year veteran and former NCAJ President with numerous awards, certifications, legal practice attorney ratings, and legal publications in the profession.

All four of the attorneys at Powers Landreth handle criminal cases in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. John Landreth is also licensed to practice law in South Carolina.

The Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Firm of Powers Landreth

Just thinking about a legal matter can be stressful. The anxiety of not knowing what to do or who to consult with can weigh on your mind. The worry can lead to lack of sleep and even test your relationships with friends and family.

"Facing criminal charges alone is a bad idea and something I would NEVER encourage. Given the potential consequences of a conviction, it's entirely normal to be worried. We tell clients to seek legal representation as soon as possible. It's best if someone calls us before talking to a police officer or prior to charges being brought. As criminal defense lawyers, we want to get to work right away and hopefully help remove some of the worry from not knowing what to do or what to expect." – Bill Powers

Rather than carry the burden alone, we encourage you to seek legal counsel. At Powers Landreth PLLC, we provide experience, resourcefulness, and professional legal advice. When you’re experiencing a difficult time in your life, you need a Charlotte criminal defense attorney BY YOUR SIDE who can help protect your legal rights and your personal and professional interests. You need a professional who has enough prior experience as a Charlotte criminal attorney to provide you the legal insight to make the best decisions about your criminal case.

That's why our telephone number is: (704)-342-HELP.

Gathering all relevant information and engaging in detailed preparation are critically important tools in legal representation for anyone accused of a crime in North Carolina. The legal process can be confusing, so you must protect yourself by taking prompt action to not inadvertently

Free ConsultationThat is why our law office offers a FREE initial lawyer consultation. We can also discuss attorney fees and payment plans. If you have questions, we have answers for you at Powers Landreth PLLC. We’re here to help. Call our 24- HOUR NUMBER: 704-342-4357.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I am so fortunate to have had Bill Powers on my case. Upon our first meeting, Bill insisted that through the emotions of anger, sadness, confusion, and betrayal that I remain resilient. He was available to answer questions with researched, logical, truthful answers throughout our two year stretch together. I went to any lengths for my case because he won my trust almost immediately... J.R.
★★★★★
My daughter had a second DUI and when it all seemed hopeless, Bill was able to get the charges dropped. This is a man who is extremely knowledgeable, yet still keeps his integrity which was impressive to me. He handles himself with dignity. If you hire him, you will have the best of the best, along with his expansive intellect and wisdom about the law. Lisa
★★★★★
Bill Powers’ staff has handled several traffic citations for me over the years, and they exceeded my expectations each and every time. Would highly recommend anyone faced with a traffic citation or court case contact his office and they will handle it from there. M.C.
★★★★★
Bill and his staff are flat out great. I (unfortunately) was a repeat customer after a string of tickets. These guys not only took care of the initial ticket for me, but went the extra mile and reduced my problems from 3 to just 1 (very minor one) on the same day I called back! I would recommend them to anyone. A.R.