North Carolina Violent Crime Defense Lawyers
Violent crimes include everything from assault and battery to rape and homicide. If you are charged with a violent crime, your reputation, future, freedom, and even your life may be on the line. You face the possibility of years in prison and other potential punishment, including steep fines and loss of certain rights.
About Our Raleigh Criminal Defense – Violent Crime Lawyers
At Kurtz & Blum, our skilled attorneys take a collaborative approach to building a strong defense for our clients. Our legal team meets regularly to explore every angle of our clients’ cases so we can develop thoughtful and aggressive defense strategies.
We deploy every tool and resource at our disposal to challenge the accusations and evidence against our clients and negotiate to have charges dropped or reduced. And we won’t back down from a fight if going to trial is our client’s best option.
If you or a loved one has been arrested on violent crime charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Schedule a free consultation now with our Raleigh violent crime defense attorneys to discuss your case. We will thoroughly review the charges against you to ensure you understand what to expect from each likely scenario for the case. And everything you tell us is confidential.
Defenses Against Assault Charges in North Carolina
No matter what criminal charges you face, prosecutors are required to prove each element of the alleged crime(s) in order to convict you. At Kurtz & Blum, our Raleigh violent crimes defense lawyers will thoroughly examine and challenge the prosecution’s theory of the case, as well as any evidence the state has against you.
A defense may be based on a variety of factors, such as:
- False accusations
- False witness testimony
- Self-defense or defense of others
- Mistaken identity or a faulty suspect lineup
- An alibi, i.e., your ability to establish that you were somewhere else at the time of the alleged crime
- Faulty forensic testing methods and conclusions (particularly with DNA evidence or rape kits)
- Witness, police, or prosecution bias, e.g., racial, socio-economic, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
How Our Raleigh Violent Crime Attorneys Can Help You
Our goal as criminal defense lawyers when representing clients charged with serious violent crimes is to first evaluate whether we have a case with respect to guilt/innocence.
Next, we help our clients weigh the risks of trial against the potential for securing a plea arrangement that could prove beneficial to them. As long-time defense attorneys, we give our clients advice based on our years of knowledge and experience. But in the end, it’s always our client who decides whether to take their case to trial or accept a deal.
If a case moves toward trial, we continue on two tracks:
- Building a defense.As evidence is uncovered in our investigation and in discovery (obtaining the prosecution’s evidence and interviewing witnesses) we may find help for your case due to:
- Flaws and/or contradictions in the prosecution’s case
- Prosecution witnesses who are unreliable
- Witnesses to testify in your favor
- Experts who can testify against the validity of the prosecution’s evidence
- Negotiating with prosecutors.A defendant can agree to a deal with prosecutors at any time before a jury returns its verdict. With our lengthy experience in Wake County courts, we have worked with many prosecutors to suggest alternative charges, come up with help for the defendant rather than punishment, or reduce the length of punishment.
Regardless of the circumstances of your case, you should never agree to a plea deal without speaking to an experienced Raleigh violent crimes lawyer. Schedule a free consultation with our criminal defense law firm today to discuss your options, and let us put our knowledge to work for you.
What to Do After Being Charged With a Violent Crime in NC?
Violent crimes, or “crimes against the person,” are acts of force or bodily harm ─ or threats of force ─ against another person. Any unlawful touching of another person or the attempt to do so is assault under North Carolina law. Physical contact is not even necessary for you to be charged and, potentially, to be sentenced to as much as 60 days in jail for even a first assault conviction.
The single most important thing to keep in mind when charged with any violent crime is that you should not give a statement to police unless a criminal defense attorney is present to advise you. You have rights, including the right to a lawyer and to decline to answer questions — to remain silent.
When under arrest, it is best to remain calm and politely tell police that you want to speak to an attorney. Then, you should contact Kurtz & Blum as soon as possible.
How To Get An Assault Charge Dismissed
If you are arrested for assault in North Carolina, a number of things must occur before you potentially go to trial. If the prosecutor or police officer believes they have enough evidence to obtain a conviction, they can file charges. During a preliminary hearing, a judge can evaluate the prosecutor’s case, and if the judge thinks there is enough evidence, the case could proceed to trial. If the State produces insufficient evidence, the case may get dismissed.
Ultimately, the prosecutor makes the decision whether to pursue an assault charge against you. The weaker the case, the more hope there is of having your assault case dismissed. It’s up to the prosecutor to evaluate the evidence and decide whether or not the case is worth the pursuit of a conviction.
The following steps can put you in a position to potentially get your assault charges dismissed:
1. Hire an Experienced North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney.
The first step to getting an assault case dismissed is to retain a criminal defense lawyer who has extensive experience in handling assault cases in North Carolina. Your attorney’s job is to protect your rights and negotiate on your behalf to get the charges against you dismissed, dropped, or reduced.
Keep in mind that there has to be a good reason for the prosecutor to dismiss charges. If you plead guilty to the assault charges at your arraignment, there is little incentive beyond a sense of fairness for the prosecutor to seek anything less than the maximum penalty. However, once you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh NC, the prosecutor has to consider the possibility of having to take your case to trial, spending the government’s money to prosecute you, and taking time to prepare for your case when there may be more serious cases the prosecutor is handling.
2. Examine the Details in Your Assault Case.
Your assault defense attorney in Raleigh will carefully examine your case and the evidence against you. The lawyer will seek to answer a number of important questions, such as:
- Was the evidence against you illegally obtained?
- Was the assault done in self-defense?
- Is the witness changing from their original story?
- Is this your first offense?
Your criminal lawyer will also consider the nature of the charges against you and your possible legal defenses. The arguments he or she raises will likely be much different if presenting a child abuse defense, for example, rather than a defense against charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Likewise, a domestic violence defense may be much different than defenses in assault cases involving a stranger.
Ultimately, your Raleigh criminal defense attorney will try to find out everything about you, the alleged victim, and the altercation that resulted in you being charged with assault. This can help your lawyer determine the best legal defense to mount and how to proceed with your case.
3. Persuade the Prosecutor to Drop the Charges
Once the case has been filed, only the prosecutor or judge can dismiss the charges against you. However, your attorney may be able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the case due to factors such as:
If you and your girlfriend got into a fight but have since made up, she may no longer want to have the charges pressed against you. If the prosecutor believes that she would not be a cooperative witness, they may decide not to pursue the charges against you. Since many assault cases come down to he-said, she-said, the prosecutor may not feel they have enough evidence without her testimony. Your girlfriend, though, does not get to decide whether to drop the charges. If the prosecutor can prove the case in some other way, they may decide to go forward with the case even without the help of the witness.
In order to secure a conviction for a crime, the prosecutor must show by proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed all legal elements of the crime. For simple assault, this requires showing you:
- Touched or applied force to the body of another person (or attempted to do that)
- With intent
- Without any legal justification or excuse
If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed all of these legal elements, the case should be dismissed. Your assault defense attorney in Raleigh may be able to convince the prosecutor that the case against you is not strong enough to result in a conviction and to dismiss the charges against you.
In other cases, there may have been some type of procedural issue that justifies dismissing your case. For example, your case may have been unnecessarily delayed, violating your right to a speedy trial. Or, the cop who arrested you may have forgotten to read you your Miranda rights, so that the prosecution cannot use the things you said against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh can carefully review all the circumstances surrounding your arrest and booking to determine if your rights were violated in such a way that dismissal is the only proper remedy.
Lack of Resources
The criminal justice system is funded through taxpayer dollars. Some cases that are not as serious may not be prosecuted because the expense to prosecute them outweighs any benefit to society. The prosecution may voluntarily choose to dismiss the charges against you to allocate limited resources to the prosecution of more serious crimes.
In some situations, the police or prosecutor’s misconduct may be so severe that dismissal is the only possible way to right the wrong against you. For example, police may have searched you without legal justification and then tried to use the weapon they found on you as evidence to support the arrest. You may have been questioned by police even after you clearly stated you wanted to speak with your criminal lawyer. The prosecutor may have the charges against you dismissed in these types of situations when prosecuting you would reveal law enforcement’s own illegal conduct or that evidence is not admissible in your trial.
4. Propose a Better Outcome
One of the objectives of the criminal justice system is to punish people who commit crimes. However, there are other objectives. One is to rehabilitate a guilty offender. Another is to provide balance to society.
Your Raleigh criminal defense attorney may be able to propose a better outcome than trying you, such as:
- Completing domestic violence education
- Attending individual and/or family counseling
- Going to a rehabilitation facility if drug or alcohol abuse played a role in the crime
These options may be more likely if you are a first-time offender.
5. Seek a Dismissal from the Court
If the prosecutor has not been convinced it is best for everyone to dismiss the charges against you, your Raleigh criminal defense attorney can still fight for a dismissal of charges through the court system. He or she may be able to establish there is insufficient evidence at trial.
Types of Violent Crime Cases We Handle
Our respected criminal defense law firm works with clients who have been charged with violent crimes such as:
- Murder (Homicide)
- Rape / Sexual Assault
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Domestic Violence / Assault on a Female
- Child Abuse
- Simple Assault and Battery
- Assault by strangulation
- Gun or Weapons Violations
- Terroristic Threats
At Kurtz & Blum, we see many violent crime cases that stem from situations that “got out of hand” or moments of heated passion or emotion. Regardless of the reasons behind an incident, a violent crime allegation is serious and can lead to severe penalties, particularly if the alleged crime rises to the level of felony. It is a terrible mistake to face a violent crime charge without experienced legal representation. Let us help you.
What’s the Punishment for a Violent Crime in North Carolina?
Crimes in North Carolina are classified as felonies or misdemeanors according to the act and the severity of harm.
Misdemeanor Violent Crime Penalties
Misdemeanors are lesser crimes with less-severe penalties. North Carolina has four classes of misdemeanors with penalties ranging from 1 day to 5 months in prison.
Felony Violent Crime Penalties
Felonies such as homicide, rape, and assault with a deadly weapon are more serious crimes and carry the harshest penalties. North Carolina law recognizes 10 classes of felonies, for which penalties range from 3 months to life in prison, or death by lethal injection.
Prison sentences available to judges for felony convictions include “presumptive” sentences, as well as more or less time for sentences in the aggravated or mitigated ranges, respectively.
In addition, if you are convicted of a felony, you will lose your rights to:
- Own a gun
- Obtain public housing and other social services benefits
- Obtain or retain legal custody of your children, in some cases
- Be employed in certain fields
- Travel abroad to certain countries
Prosecutors in North Carolina work aggressively to convict defendants charged with violent crimes. If your rights and potentially your freedom are to be protected, you must obtain the services of an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being accused.
Contact Our Raleigh Violent Crime Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with a crime of violence in North Carolina, what you do next can have a serious impact on your future. You need a knowledgeable and understanding criminal defense lawyer to fight fiercely for you.
Schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with the experienced legal team at Kurtz & Blum today. Our Raleigh violent crime defense lawyers can answer any questions you have about serious charges such as assault, robbery, rape, or murder. Contact us for an honest assessment of your case.
Our North Carolina criminal defense law firm serves clients throughout Wake County, North Carolina. We frequently work with people in Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs, Garner, Apex, Wake Forest, Rolesville, New Hope, Zebulon, Knightdale, Wendell, Morrisville, and Fuquay-Varina. Our team will also travel anywhere in the state to help clients who are facing serious felony charges.