In North Carolina, criminal law is codified under Chapter 14 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Here, you can find laws on various misdemeanors and felonies, including homicide, robbery, and even crimes committed with drones. Moreover, the following chapter, titled “Criminal Procedure,” lays out the customs and practices used in both Superior and District Court. And while these chapters are dense, they do not address all of the crimes and issues in North Carolina Courts. For example, marijuana possession is regulated in Chapter 90 under Medicine and Allied Occupations. Additionally, there are countless criminal cases and weekly appellate case updates. And while these laws make criminal law an interesting and challenging field, it’s really one where you need an attorney to navigate your case, gather the state’s evidence, and give you a good opportunity to defend your rights, have your charged dismissed, or sentence reduced.
Another aspect of North Carolina’s Criminal Justice System that’s important to note is the structured sentencing guidelines created by NC’s Sentencing and Policy Advisory Committee. These guidelines provide judges with sentencing options for the type and length of punishments and classify offenders on their prior criminal record and the severity of the crime. For example, under the classification criteria, the most serious offense classes (A through F) primarily involve personal injury, the risk of personal injury, serious societal injury, or widespread societal injury. The lower offense levels (G through I) primarily involve property loss or less serious societal injury. Furthermore, the Commission also assigned misdemeanor offenses to three classes: class 1, class 2 or class 3. And although this seems like a fairly straightforward system, it is constantly tweaked with minimum and maximum ranges for sentences, mitigating and aggravating sentencing factors, types of probations, and types of punishments. As a result, if you’re charged with a crime, hiring a lawyer will give you an opportunity to understand what you’re facing, which can help you plan for the future and give you piece of mind.
Finally, it isn’t a stretch to say that the Legislature would be okay with finding anyone charged with a crime guilty and sending them to jail. Although this statement may sound hyperbolic or extreme, evidence exists to support it. For example, the standards for probable cause get lower every year, we have a grossly underfunded court system, and the legislature made expansive cuts to legal services for the poor, including indigent defense programs and public defenders. As a result, if the state is prosecuting you for a crime, it’s a good idea to look at hiring a private attorney to fight against them. If you are need of legal services, the attorneys at Larsen Weaver are here to help and appreciate your business.
From misdemeanors like drug possession and shoplifting to more serious crimes like DWI and felonies, the attorneys at Larsen Weaver are adept at handling your case and providing you with the defense your situation needs.