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Hampstead Criminal Lawyer

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Hampstead Criminal Lawyer

Hampstead Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have recently been arrested for any criminal charge in the Hampstead, NC, area, it’s natural to feel as though the criminal justice system is tipped against you and no one is on your side. Whether you are facing arrest for the first time or have a criminal record, the implications of conviction could be severe, and you may not fully understand the severity of your situation initially. Legal counsel you can rely on is a valuable asset in this situation.

Hampstead Criminal Lawyer

Responsive Criminal Defense Representation for Hampstead, NC, Clients

You have the right to defense representation when you are charged with a crime in the United States. If you cannot afford to hire a private defense attorney or do not wish to pay for one, the court can appoint a public defender at no charge. However, if you can hire an experienced Hampstead criminal defense attorney, they are likely to offer a higher level of personal attention than you could expect from a court-appointed defense attorney.

Christina Rivenbark& Associates has many years of experience representing clients in difficult criminal cases. We know how desperate and uncertain your situation may seem, and you are likely having trouble discerning your best defensive options. We can provide the defense counsel you need and address the unique details of your case. Whether you were wrongfully charged or broke the law, our representation can assist you in reaching the best possible result in your case.

Know Your Rights During Arrest

Every US citizen has the right to remain silent upon arrest. The arresting officer is legally obligated to read the suspect their Miranda rights, explaining they have the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel. While you could be tempted to try and explain your side of the situation if you have been wrongfully arrested, this rarely works in your favor. Anything you say can be used against you by the police later, so it is always best to remain silent until you secure legal counsel.

After booking, you will have the right to make phone calls and contact legal counsel. When you choose Christina Rivenbark & Associates to represent you, we will respond quickly to review the details of your arrest. We will help you determine if any due process violations occurred or if the police mishandled your arrest or booking. Once we have assessed the details of your situation, we will begin reviewing your options for defense so you can make informed decisions about your case.

Ultimately, you need to take full advantage of your constitutional rights after arrest for any criminal offense, no matter how minor. Regardless of your guilt or innocence, the police may have inadequate evidence to secure a conviction, and the right lawyerwill help you disprove your case. Moreover, the sooner you secure defense counsel, the sooner they can start helping you fight your charges.

Benefits of Criminal Defense Representation

When you have been wrongfully accused of a crime you did not commit, it’s natural to fear fines, jail time, and other penalties for something you didn’t do. However, you might have trouble gathering exculpatory evidence, and it’s possible for there to be circumstantial evidence working against you. Hiring an experienced Hampstead criminal defense attorney means you will be better prepared to meet the unique challenges of your case. For example, your attorney could help you determine whether you need to focus on procedural mishandling of your arrest and booking, failure by the police to establish probable cause, or grounds for alternative or diversionary sentencing if you committed a crime due to forces outside of your control. For example, some defendants may qualify for deferred prosecution if they meet specific requirements, keeping them out of jail and dismissing the legal action against them if they complete the process successfully.

You could have more opportunities for defense even if your situation feels desperate, and a good defense lawyer will help you take advantage of them. Christina Rivenbark & Associates develops individually tailored defensive strategies for each client we represent. Our firm has a solid record of successful defense for many types of criminal offenses in Hampstead, NC, including:

  • Drug offenses, which are some commonly prosecuted crimes in the state. The penalties for drug-related offenses can include fines and jail time, the severity of which typically depends on the type and quantity of the drug in question. Some defendants who suffer from substance abuse disorders could qualify for alternative sentencing to mandatory rehabilitation and probation instead of jail time.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. This can carry severe penalties in North Carolina, especially if the defendant caused an accident that hurt or killed someone else while intoxicated.
  • Sex offenses. Any crimes of a sexual nature carry severe penalties upon conviction. Many qualify as felonies, and defendants could face lifelong sex offender registration if convicted.
  • Domestic violence. Thousands of people across the United States experience various forms of domestic violence every day, but it is also possible for false accusations of domestic violence to arise in contested divorce cases and custody disputes. A good attorney will help their client prove the truth behind a wrongful accusation of domestic abuse.

Our team routinely helps clients build effective defenses against the charges filed against them. Of course, if you have been wrongfully accused, the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt rests on the prosecution. However, it is always best to be proactive with your criminal defense and offer any exculpatory evidence or alibis that may disprove their case. Alternatively, if a conviction is all but certain, your attorney will still be a crucial asset in mitigating your penalties.

Potential Penalties for Conviction and How Your Case May Unfold

When faced with criminal charges, it is natural for anyone to fear the penalties for conviction. North Carolina’s criminal codes are quite strict compared to many other states. Misdemeanor offenses may lead to heavy fines, restitution to any victims harmed by the defendant’s actions, and time in county jail. Felonies are more serious and incur harsher penalties, such as incarceration in state prison, more substantial economic penalties, loss of certain rights, and long-lasting complications after the completion of an initial sentence.

If the prosecution has enough evidence to secure a conviction and the defendant meets the necessary criteria, a plea bargain could come into play in a criminal case. With a plea agreement, the defendant agrees to submit an immediate guilty plea in exchange for a reduced penalty and/or lowered charges. A plea agreement typically has additional conditions, such as mandatory probation, drug and alcohol counseling, or other more specific requirements. If the defendant can meet the conditions of their plea agreement, this could prevent them from facing time in jail or prison.

Hampstead Criminal Defense FAQs

Q: Can Fighting Criminal Charges Avoid Going to Jail?

A: North Carolina enforces a relatively firm penal code, upholding strict penalties for various criminal offenses. It’s natural to worry about the potential penalties you face after arrest, and incarceration in county jail or state prison could be among the details of your sentence, depending on the severity of the offense. If you worry about going to jail, your Hampstead criminal defense attorney can assist you in determining whether you have grounds to seek alternative or diversionary sentencing or how to prove you did not commit the offense in question.

Q: How Soon Do I Need to Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A: After you are placed under arrest, you will be booked at the closest police station. This may entail a mugshot, fingerprinting, and other paperwork. Some suspects will be released from police custody and assigned court dates, free to leave of their own recognizance as long as they make their court dates. Others are remanded to police custody until their arraignments, only permitted to leave custody if they are granted bail and can meet the financial requirements. Ideally, you should try to speak with a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible after booking.

Q: What Are Aggravating and Mitigating Factors?

A: Every criminal case will involve many material facts, some of which may work in the defendant’s favor while others work against them. Aggravating factors worsen the defendant’s position, sometimes exposing them to additional charges or grounds to seek maximum penalties. On the other hand, mitigating factors encourage leniency in sentencing, such as proving there was no intent to harm behind a specific criminal act.

Q: Can an Attorney Help If I Definitely Broke the Law?

A: While a Hampstead criminal defense attorney is invaluable when you need to challenge criminal charges and prove your innocence, they can be equally valuable when you know you broke the law and face a criminal conviction. A good attorney may be able to argue in favor of a lighter sentence, and prosecutors are sometimes willing to extend plea agreements to first-time offenders and some defendants charged with nonviolent offenses. Your attorney can provide the best guidance in these situations, ultimately helping you reduce your total penalty.

Christina Rivenbark & Associates is a team of experienced Hampstead criminal defense attorneys capable of managing the unique details of your case. We know how distressing it is to face criminal charges, and you may fear for your future and the penalties for conviction. We can provide the answers you need to your most important legal questions during this difficult time. Contact our team today and schedule your consultation with a Hampstead criminal defense attorney you can rely on with your case.

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