Criminal matters are those cases which involve law enforcement or in which a person could find themselves arrested or incarcerated for violating a criminal law. Generally speaking, if you have been charged with a crime, think you are under investigation, or find yourself at the local courthouse, you are going to need a firm understanding of how to navigate the process.
North Carolina criminal laws regularly evolve and cover a broad range of prohibited activities and actions from infractions and misdemeanors, to more serious felony crimes. If an individual is alleged to have committed a crime, they will be charged by a law enforcement agency and be required to come before the court.
Criminal cases are heard in one of two courts—district court or superior court.
District court is the court in which lesser infractions, misdemeanor, and low-level felony crimes are tried—traffic tickets, citations, infractions, basic possession charges, DWI, assault, larceny, shoplifting, trespassing, underage drinking, etc.
Superior court is where more serious crimes and appeals from district court are heard. Although it is best practice to avoid criminal charges altogether, you would rather find yourself in district court than superior court.
Regardless of which criminal court you find yourself in, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be important to prevent a conviction that could have a very serious impact on your life and record. While it is said that Americans charged with a crime are “innocent until proven guilty,” those of us living in reality know that a rigorous defense is always the best policy. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. If you’ve been charged with a crime or have reason to believe you may be, call Atlantic Coast Law immediately to speak with our experienced criminal defense team about how to best protect yourself.
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