All criminal charges are serious, but felony charges involving violent crimes can come with some of the harshest penalties in the case of a conviction. While a criminal defense attorney can help any defendant better navigate the North Carolina justice system, legal representation is absolutely critical for those facing charges of murder, manslaughter or assault.
Many violent felonies carry mandatory minimum sentences, meaning that a conviction may result in automatic jail time, regardless of the defendant's prior criminal history or extenuating circumstances of the case. This is one reason alternative defense strategies should be considered with violent crimes. While a plea deal may not be the best course of action for every case, it can offer some defendants a way to avoid a trial and the possibility of a harsher sentence.
In other cases, there may be grounds to challenge the evidence, investigative and arrest procedures, or the witness testimony. If evidence was seized without probable cause for a warrant or the defendant was not Mirandized, it may be possible for the case to be dismissed. The burden of proof always lies with the prosecution, and challenging evidence and officer statements, if warranted, can help create reasonable doubt.
There are many different possible outcomes in cases involving charges of violent crimes. Every situations is unique, and a criminal defense attorney can gather the details and help defendants better understand their options moving forward. If the case goes to trial, an attorney's legal knowledge and trial experience can be invaluable in ensuring the defendant's rights are protected and the proper protocols are followed.