Wrightsville Beach Criminal Lawyer

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Wrightsville Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing a criminal charge of any kind is a life-changing experience. If you committed the offense, you are likely worried about the penalties you face and whether you should expect to spend time behind bars. On the other hand, if you did not commit the offense in question, it’s natural to feel as though the criminal justice system is unfairly leveraged against you. Regardless of the nature of the charge or charges filed against you, a Wrightsville Beach criminal defense attorney is an essential asset for anyone in this situation.

Experienced Criminal Defense Team Representing Wrightsville Beach, NC, Clients

Your defense team can help you determine the best options available for fighting the charges against you. Unfortunately, many defendants facing criminal charges for the first time in Wrightsville Beach are unaware of the full scope of the options available to them when it comes to formulating an effective defense. It is also possible for arresting officers to exaggerate the severity of their situation or even coerce them into signing a statement admitting to the charges filed against them. Unfortunately, not all police officers uphold their responsibilities under the laws of due process, and not all suspects understand the full scope of the rights they have upon arrest.

Christina Rivenbark & Associates can provide the aggressive defense representation you need to approach your impending criminal court proceedings with confidence and peace of mind. We have assisted many past clients with very complex criminal cases of all kinds, from traffic violations and nonviolent offenses to serious felonies. In addition, we develop uniquely tailored defensive strategies for each client, striving to help them avoid conviction if possible.

Wrightsville Beach Criminal Lawyer

Constitutional Rights You Must Know After Arrest

The Constitution of the United States is the formal document of the legal rights all Americans have, two of which are critically important if you are facing criminal charges of any kind. The Fifth Amendment protects you against self-incrimination, while the Sixth Amendment preserves your right to legal counsel. Additionally, you have the right to due process, and arresting officers must follow proper procedures in establishing probable cause to conduct an arrest.

When the police in Wrightsville Beach arrest someone, they must read them their Miranda rights. This includes reminding them of their right to remain silent and their right to legal counsel. Regarding your right to remain silent, remember that you are under no legal obligation to answer any questions from the police. An individual who has been arrested for a crime they know they did not commit is likely to do more harm than good to their own defense if they try to explain their way out of arrest and booking. While many people mistakenly believe that remaining silent is a tacit admission of guilt, this is simply the best method of preserving your freedom and avoiding conviction.

As far as the Sixth Amendment is concerned, the Constitution upholds that a defendant is legally entitled to defense counsel regardless of their ability or willingness to pay for a private defense attorney. Therefore, even if you cannot afford to hire private counsel or if you simply do not wish to pay private defense attorneys’ fees, your constitutionally protected right to legal representation stands, and you can have a public defender assigned to your case at no cost.

Remember to exercise both of these rights upon arrest. Comply with the arresting officer’s directions during this process, so you do not risk having an additional charge added to your case. Once you are able to make your phone calls, reach out to a Wrightsville Beach criminal defense attorney you can trust with your case.

Criminal Cases We Handle

If you are searching for a private criminal defense attorney to represent you in Wrightsville Beach, it is crucial to ensure they have appropriate experience handling cases like yours. For example, Christina Rivenbark & Associates can represent you in a criminal case involving:

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses and related criminal proceedings. Our firm routinely provides criminal defense counsel for all types of DWI-related court proceedings in Wrightsville Beach. We can provide defense representation immediately after your arrest and handle legal counsel in driver’s license suspension hearings, DWI refusal hearings, challenging field sobriety tests, and more.
  • Traffic violations. While most traffic offenses are not technically classified as crimes, committing a serious offense or multiple offenses in a short time can lead to severe penalties. You can rely not only on our team for representation in criminal court but also in traffic court.
  • Drug offenses. These are some of the most commonly prosecuted criminal offenses in North Carolina. Even a misdemeanor charge for illegally possessing a controlled substance can have dramatic consequences for your future. We can represent clients charged with possession, possession with intent to sell, drug trafficking, and any cases involving multiple drug-related charges.
  • Violent crimes. Any type of assault or battery can potentially qualify for felony prosecution in North Carolina, and the state enforces some of the toughest assault laws in the country. In addition, we can help our client assert self-defense if they were forced to engage in violence to protect themselves, and a client may have additional defense options available to them they do not immediately recognize without an attorney’s help.
  • Sexual assault and other sex crimes. The penalties for these offenses can be severe, especially if the alleged victim is a minor. Penalties for sex crime convictions in North Carolina are likely to include fines, jail time, and mandatory sex offender registration.
  • Domestic violence. Unfortunately, thousands of people in North Carolina experience all types of domestic violence each year, but this is also one of the most falsely reported crimes in the country. It’s not uncommon for someone to levy false domestic violence claims against a spouse or co-parent in a custody dispute or divorce. Whatever your case entails, we can help you determine the best defenses that could help you avoid conviction.
  • Theft and property crime. The penalties for stealing or destroying another party’s property fluctuate based on the value of the property in question, the manner in which it was stolen or destroyed, and other factors. For example, using a weapon to commit theft will significantly increase the penalties the defendant faces if they are convicted.

It’s possible for a defendant to face multiple charges in the same case. In some situations, the police may add charges to an arrest report based on the defendant’s conduct during arrest and booking. Even if your situation seems unfair, it is always in your best interests to comply with a police officer’s directions to avoid making your situation worse.

wrightsville beach criminal attorney

What to Expect in a Criminal Case

Once arrest and booking are complete, the suspect may be allowed to leave police custody on their own recognizance, meaning they are trusted to make their court date for their preliminary hearing. However, it is also possible for them to be compelled to remain in custody until arraignment. Bail could factor into a case, and an experienced defense attorney is the best asset on your side if you are unsure how to minimize the time you must spend in custody before the actual criminal trial.

During a preliminary hearing, the judge will formally read the charges the state has filed against the defendant and allow them to enter their plea. If the defendant pleads guilty, they admit they committed the offense or offenses in question, and the case will proceed to sentencing. Pleading “no contest” will also lead to sentencing, but this plea indicates that while the defendant has no intention of fighting the charges, they are not admitting guilt. When a defendant pleads not guilty, a trial will commence, and they will only be convicted if they are found guilty by a unanimous verdict from a jury of their peers.

In every criminal case filed in the United States, the defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the prosecutor handling the case faces the burden and challenge of proving the defendant’s guilt, and most accomplish this through leveraging physical evidence and witness testimony. Your Wrightsville Beach criminal defense attorney is responsible for preventing this from happening.

The Christina Rivenbark & Associates team can provide ongoing support through every stage of your criminal proceedings. If you committed the offense in question, we would work diligently to streamline your criminal court proceedings as much as possible, and we will strive to secure a plea deal with the prosecution if at all possible. If you did not commit the crime for which you have been charged, our team could help you prove an alibi, gather contradictory evidence, and explore other legal options for proving the truth of the situation, ideally helping you avoid penalties for an offense you did not commit.

FAQs About Wrightsville Beach, NC Criminal Defense Laws

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Wrightsville Beach Criminal Defense Attorney?

Every defense lawyer has a unique billing policy, and most charge their clients by the hour for the time spent working on their cases. Depending on the complexity of the case, it could require quite a bit of work from the attorney to formulate an effective defense, and time spent in court proceedings will also increase the defendant’s final legal expenses. Therefore, make sure you understand your chosen defense attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their counsel.

How Much Does a Public Defender Cost in North Carolina?

All Americans have the right to defense representation when they are accused of a crime, and this rule stands even if they do not want to pay for a private defense attorney or cannot afford to hire one. The court can appoint a public defender to represent a defendant free of charge in such a case. While this may seem like a practical choice for your defense, the reality is that a public defender usually must handle several cases at once and cannot provide any given client with as much personal attention as a private defense lawyer could offer.

How Can I Avoid Jail Time if I’m Convicted?

If incarceration is a possible element of your sentence if convicted in Wrightsville Beach, it’s natural to wonder if you can avoid this aspect of your penalty. Your defense team can potentially help you secure a plea deal if the prosecution is willing to budge in terms of your sentence. A plea deal effectively trades a lighter penalty for an immediate guilty plea, and this may be the best option for some defendants. Your Wrightsville Beach criminal defense attorney can provide specific guidance as to the best options for avoiding jail time in your case.

How Long Does a Criminal Case Take to Complete in North Carolina?

There is no real formula to predict how long your criminal case could take to complete in North Carolina, but the longer it takes, the more your legal fees will cost. Your Wrightsville Beach criminal defense attorney can provide an estimate of your case’s most likely timetable. Some cases can be resolved within a few weeks, while more intensive litigation in criminal court can last for months or even longer than a year.

Is It Worth Hiring a Wrightsville Beach Criminal Defense Attorney?

It is crucial to have legal representation in any criminal case. Investing in private defense counsel from an experienced local attorney offers the best chance of reaching a positive outcome for your criminal case. When you choose Christina Rivenbark & Associates to represent your defense, we will do everything in our power to help you reach the best outcome possible in the shortest time possible.

Contact Us

Christina Rivenbark & Associates delivers client-focused defense representation in every case we accept, often helping our clients uncover defensive options they hadn’t considered on their own. Your situation may seem desperate or even hopeless, but the first steps you take after an arrest can influence your case proceedings in many ways. Contact our team today to schedule your consultation with a Wrightsville Beach criminal defense attorney and learn how we can help you approach your case with confidence and peace of mind.

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