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Oak Island Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Oak Island Criminal Defense Attorney

Finding yourself charged with a crime can be frightening. The consequences are very real, and since being “tough on crime” is rarely a losing political strategy, the consequences continue to get more and more severe. You might feel the weight of those consequences, along with facing a prosecution with a seemingly unlimited budget, backed by the power of the entire judicial system. You need something that can help you contend against them.

That’s what a criminal defense lawyer does. We believe deeply in the importance of seeing the accused’s rights upheld. It is imperative that defendants have their chance to be defended and that the burden of proof is rightfully on the prosecution. The North Carolina criminal defense team at Christina Rivenbark & Associates fights hard to ensure that our clients are given every fair chance that their Constitutional rights demand.

Oak Island Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal Consequences

The penalties that are handed down in criminal cases can vary widely, depending on the particulars of the crime. Factors that are considered when determining sentencing include:

  • What crime a person is accused of
  • The damages caused by the crime
  • The remorse of the convicted
  • If the defendant is a first-time or repeat offender

Some of the options available to a judge for sentencing include:

  • Prison or Jail Time – A prison sentence or time in jail is the most serious of penalties that a defendant may face. Most crimes have minimum and maximum terms that a judge may hand down. Still, this sentencing is typically reserved for more serious crimes and for repeat offenders.
  • Fines – Like prison time, there is often a maximum fine for different offenses.
  • Probation – Sometimes, in the place of part of a prison sentence or in lieu of it altogether, a judge will order probation which, for a period of time, sets a number of restrictions on what a person can do. However, it does allow them to avoid some or all of their potential jail time.
  • Restitution to Victims – A judge may order the convicted to pay back a victim what they have taken from them.
  • Required Classes or Treatment – Depending on the nature and contributing factors of a crime, a judge may order court-approved courses and treatment to address underlying issues behind the crime.

What a Criminal Defense Lawyer Does in Oak Island, NC?

A criminal defense lawyer acts as the protector of your rights, your advisor, and a representative on your behalf throughout the legal process. Everything that we do is in service of defending our clients and giving them a formidable chance at victory. Some of the things that we do include:

  • Protect Your Rights – You have a number of legal rights that deserve protection throughout the legal process and even before. During an investigation, it can be valuable to contact us and ensure that your rights against self-incrimination and unlawful searches are protected. The protection of our clients’ rights is one of the more critical things that defense lawyers do.
  • Investigate Your Case – It’s our job to independently investigate your case to look for anything that is beneficial to your defense. This can involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and even subpoenaing critical information.
  • Argue on Your Behalf – We are also responsible for acting as your representative in court. It’s our job to attack the prosecutor’s case and put forth a defense on your behalf. If necessary, we can also advocate for you in sentencing hearings and even the appeals process.

FAQs About Oak Island, NC Criminal Defense Law

What Should I Do If I’m Arrested in Oak Island, NC?

Getting arrested can be a frightening thing. It can make someone feel a variety of emotions, from anger and frustration to shame and disappointment. It’s a vulnerable time, though, and if you aren’t careful, that fact will be used against you. Therefore, it’s important to handle the process of being arrested in the right way, or something that you say or do might later be used against you in court.

The first step to doing this is remaining calm. If you let your emotions take hold and guide your actions, it’s very easy to make a bad situation worse. It’s also important that you avoid saying very much. You have a right to remain silent so that you don’t accidentally say something that might later be used against you in court. Given that cops are trained to get these kinds of confessions out of people, you should use your right to remain silent.

Lastly, you should call a lawyer, like those at Christina Rivenbark & Associates, as soon as you can. We have experience working with all kinds of criminal charges, from drug offenses to robbery to assault. The sooner you call a criminal defense lawyer, the sooner they can protect your rights and get to investigating and putting together a defense on your behalf.

What Happens If I Have a Criminal Record?

Having a criminal record can come with a severe set of consequences on its own. A criminal record is searchable on background checks, which can cause a number of career, educational, financial, and social issues. Some of these include:

  • Difficulty Finding Employment – For many employers, a criminal background can be disqualifying, so it’s a challenge to find a job after a criminal conviction.
  • Professional Licensing Problems – Many professional licensing boards will not approve someone with a criminal record. For those situations where it isn’t automatically disqualifying, it can still be an obstacle.
  • University Admissions Challenges – Like employers, universities will also consider a person’s criminal background, which can hinder the ability to get accepted into a university.
  • Student Loan Disqualification – A criminal record can often mean automatic disqualification from many student loan options. This means that, even if someone is accepted to college, they may have difficulty acquiring the funds needed for it.
  • Inability to Get Credit – Many lenders are very hesitant to lend to someone with a criminal background, so it can be hard to use credit with a criminal record
  • Reputation Hit – A criminal conviction can also cause damage to a person’s reputation. Even a person’s friends and family may treat them differently as a result of a criminal conviction.

What Should I Look for in a Defense Lawyer?

Who you choose to represent you in a criminal case is an important decision. You are asking them to defend you when you have a lot depending on the outcome. It stands to reason that you want to find the right person to represent you. Some of the more important traits that a criminal defense lawyer can have are:

  • Aggressiveness – A criminal defense lawyer often needs to take an aggressive approach in attacking the prosecution’s case.
  • Thinks Like the Prosecution – A defense lawyer who can think like a prosecutor can better foresee their case and how to potentially defend against it.
  • Detail-Oriented – Cases are often won or lost on the basis of small details, and you want a lawyer who can recognize those details and demonstrate their importance.
  • Trustworthy – You need to trust your lawyer and have confidence in how they’ll represent you.

How Do You Defend Against Criminal Charges?

The type of defense that is used against criminal charges varies from case to case, though there are some general principles of defense that are worth mentioning. First of all, it’s critical to remember that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. They are required to show, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” that the defendant is guilty of a crime. It can be a successful defense strategy, in some cases, to continually challenge the validity of the evidence that the prosecution puts forth, questioning their narrative of what occurred.

There is also an array of defensive strategies that can be used to show that the defendant wasn’t even present at the time of the crime, such as the presentation of counter-evidence or demonstrating an alibi. Some strategies may even involve admitting that the incident in question occurred but, for a number of reasons, it wasn’t actually criminal. This is the thinking behind arguing for something like self-defense in violent crime or that there was consent in the case of sexual assault.

With so many options for defense available, it’s the job of a criminal defense lawyer to narrow things down to the defensive strategy that is most appropriate for a given case.

We Can Fight on Your Behalf

At Christina Rivenbark & Associates, we make sure that the prosecution’s case is challenged aggressively and thoroughly. We understand just how much is at stake for you in a criminal trial. Serious consequences require a serious defense, and that’s what we offer. Our investigations are thorough, our preparation of a defensive strategy is meticulously done, and our argument on your behalf in court is aggressive and relentless.

It’s our job to represent you in court, and we can defend you with the same intensity that you would yourself. We deeply believe in the rights of the accused, and we push to see that they are protected and respected. If you’re facing criminal charges, or you are just under investigation, then you could benefit from contacting us today to discuss your case.

Zero % Interest Payment Plans Available. As well as Military, First Responders, Government Worker’s and Educator’s Discounts Available.


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Our Locations Leland And Wilmington

4009 Oleander Drive Wilmington, NC 28403

110 Old Fayetteville Road Leland, NC 28451