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Stanley Criminal Defense Lawyer

Stanley Criminal Defense Lawyer

Stanley, NC Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal charges in Stanley, NC of any kind have the potential to severely impact a person’s future. In addition to imprisonment and heavy fines, a conviction will carry a permanent record that can limit a person’s ability to pursue educational and career opportunities and can hurt both relationships and reputations.

No matter the circumstances of your case, if you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, you have the right to a fair case. Everyone should be presumed innocent unless and until proven otherwise. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, partner with a Stanley criminal defense lawyer today.

Stanley Criminal Defense Lawyer

Stanley, North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney

Brent D. Ratchford and this team do not take criminal matters lightly. In fact, he has more than 25 years of experience defending clients in and around Stanley, NC, and its surrounding areas. In that time, he and his team have built a reputation among the judges for successfully defending otherwise good people in admittedly bad situations. As a leading criminal defense attorney, Brent D. Ratchford knows the North Carolina criminal law system and Gaston County legal community inside and out.

When choosing The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford, clients can work directly with Brent D. Ratchford as he handles each and every case. Whatever your charges, no criminal case is too difficult to take on and defend. Our team won’t let you be stigmatized or treated unfairly simply for being charged. We can work tirelessly to secure the most favorable outcome, whether that is a reduction in charges or a complete dismissal of the case.

What Constitutes a Criminal Offense

A criminal offense is a violation of any state or federal crime. In North Carolina, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the offense. The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford defends clients accused of committing a wide range of criminal offenses, including:

  • Driving while intoxicated. Being arrested for a DUI/DWI carries the potential to lose your license. While we believe that driving while intoxicated is highly dangerous to the individual and the other drivers, we also maintain that many drivers are pulled over without due cause. If officers had no justification for stopping you, your attorneys can work to have the charges reduced.
  • Drug possession. Possession of an illegal drug or controlled substance, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, can constitute a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the amount confiscated. We work closely with our clients to develop a defense strategy that fights to reduce or eliminate drug possession charges against our clients.
  • Assault or other violent crime. Intentional physical violence, threats of harm, or confrontations are all criminal acts that carry severe penalties. We defend those accused of assault, including domestic and sexual assaults, and work diligently to build a defense strategy after hearing the details of your case.
  • Unlawfully taking property belonging to someone else can lead to a criminal charge. The range of severity depends both on the value of the stolen property and the circumstances surrounding the theft. As with other criminal charges, our firm takes the facts of the case and works hard to seek a reduction or dismissal of charges wherever possible.
  • Traffic violations. Committing a traffic violation, however minor, constitutes a criminal offense ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. Because driving is an essential daily right, the consequences of having those rights revoked can be far-reaching. We fight to challenge all evidence levied against our clients, working toward a dismissal of charges for all baseless accusations.

No matter the circumstances or severity of your alleged offense, our criminal defense team can take on your case and diligently work through every detail to lead you to the most favorable outcome, leading to a reduction or dismissal of charges wherever possible. If you’ve been charged with any one of these or another criminal offense, reach out to The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford right away.

How Is a Misdemeanor Different From a Felony?

A criminal offense can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the details and severity of the offense. The following minimum and maximum sentences apply to each conviction:

  • A misdemeanor charge carries between 0 – 150 days in a county jail.
  • A felony charge carries a minimum of 12 months in state prison and a maximum of a life sentence.

Why Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

While hiring an experienced and qualified attorney is a significant financial investment, the cost of proceeding in your case without a proper defense team could be a lot more severe. Without a skilled criminal defense lawyer, you are at a greater risk of receiving a conviction, which can lead to heavy penalties, such as jail time and fines.

By partnering with a skilled and qualified criminal defense attorney, you increase your chances of avoiding a conviction, as an experienced criminal defense lawyer:

  • Offers extensive knowledge and comprehensive guidance. For anyone not trained in the criminal justice system, it can be complex and difficult to navigate. An attorney will help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal proceedings.
  • Negotiates on your behalf. In some situations, a plea bargain is the most favorable outcome. In those cases, your attorney can negotiate with the state to lessen your charges or penalties and obtain a good plea deal.
  • Accesses expert witnesses. An experienced attorney will have many connections throughout most industries and can bring in a witness who is knowledgeable in a relevant industry to provide crucial evidence or testimony for your case.
  • Gathers evidence. With a solid understanding of what kinds of evidence will sway a case, your attorney will be thorough in collecting, analyzing, and presenting evidence that will help your defense.
  • Maintains commitment and professionalism. Your lawyer has the time and resources to dedicate to your case and can maintain a high level of communication with all parties throughout the case. Many individuals who represent themselves in court speak out of turn or otherwise commit a faux pas that tends to hinder their progress and hurt the outcome of their case.

When facing something as serious as a criminal charge, ensuring that you procure the right legal team is crucial to mounting an effective defense and potentially reducing your charges.

FAQs About Stanley, NC Criminal Defense Laws

How Do Defense Attorneys Defend the Guilty?

It is not the criminal defense lawyer’s job to conclude their client’s guilt in any offense. However, if their client admits to guilt, the defense attorney is still able to defend them by arguing against the presented evidence and demonstrating its insufficiency in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that their client committed the offense. So long as they do not lie, intentionally mislead the court, or promote a defense inconsistent with the confession, they are acting ethically in their representation.

What Is the Most Valuable Tool for Defense Attorneys?

Eyewitness testimony is the most valuable tool for defense attorneys. When the eyewitnesses are children, they are the most reliable. By analyzing the evidence of the offense and reviewing eyewitness accounts and video footage, your defense attorney can develop an appropriate defense strategy that challenges the evidence presented against you. Solid witness testimony denouncing the guilt of their client is one of the more powerful tools at a defense attorney’s disposal.

How Much Does a Criminal Lawyer Cost in North Carolina?

Criminal lawyers will each charge differing rates depending on their experience level, success rate, and the complexity of the case itself. In North Carolina, this tends to average out at about $131 per hour. Less experienced lawyers will generally charge less. However, though hiring a lawyer with greater experience can represent a more significant financial investment, it will generally save you in the long term by avoiding conviction, saving you heavy fines, jail time, and a conviction on your record.

How Do I Get Charges Dropped Before the Court Date in NC?

You could potentially get your charges dropped in North Carolina by challenging the legality of the evidence presented against you. If there is insufficient evidence to sustain all of the charges, or if the evidence obtained was illegally gathered, you can motion for the case to be dismissed prior to any court hearings. If you work with a skilled defense attorney, they can help you understand your rights and explore what available options there are that you can pursue.

Contact Your Stanley Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been accused of a criminal offense, no matter how minor or how severe, it is highly recommended you partner with a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Our comprehensive experience with nearly every criminal charge, knowledge of the court processes, personal dedication, and non-judgmental approach to each client are all major contributors to what makes the team at The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford your choice for effective criminal defense representation. Contact our office today for a free consultation regarding the details of your case.


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