Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense Law

The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC zealously defend their clients on a number of different criminal and traffic matters. These matters may include drivers license privilege issues (license revoked/suspended, license violations, DMV hearings, drivers license restoration); drug charges (drug possession, drug sale and trafficking, marijuana possession); expungements; gun permit denials/weapons offenses; MAR (Motion for Appropriate Relief); DWI/DUI (driving while impaired, boating while impaired, drunk driving); traffic citations (speeding tickets, running a red light, passing a school bus); and underage drinking.

Some other charges that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing are domestic violence charges (50B protective order hearings or violations, domestic violence defense); property crimes (larceny, embezzlement, employee theft, breaking and entering, burglary, robbery, theft, white collar crimes); sexually related offenses (sexual assault, public masturbation, indecent exposure, sodomy/crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); vehicle seizures; and violent crimes (assault, manslaughter, homicide, murder).

Depending on the charge and severity of the case, there are three different courts where cases may be heard. District court is where traffic matters and misdemeanor cases are heard. In \Mecklenburg County, District Court is divided into administrative courts and trial courts. The Administrative Courts are where traffic offenses are typically resolved, pleas to misdemeanors can take place, and felony cases begin. The District Court trial courts are where most misdemeanor charges are handled. Other counties surrounding Charlotte, where Arnold & Smith, PLLC attorneys also frequently practice, have the same structure but do not have a separate Administrative Courtroom. In these counties, misdemeanors, traffic offenses and felonies go directly to the “trial” District Courtrooms.

Another type of court is Superior Court. This is the highest trial court level, and it is where felonies must be resolved. While felony cases begin in district court, unless the district attorney amends the charges to misdemeanors, all felony pleas and trials must be handled in Superior Court. In addition, appeals to misdemeanor cases are heard in Superior Court. Superior Court is a part of the court system in surrounding North Carolina counties as well.

Lastly, Charlotte is home to one of four Federal courthouses that are housed in the Western District of North Carolina. Federal courts only hear matters where a federal crime has been committed. While some crimes can be prosecuted either by state governments or by the federal governments (such as drug offenses and gun offenses), other crimes are purely federal, like federal tax evasion, or crimes which occurred on federal land or on Indian reservations.

The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are in District Court and Superior Court fighting for their clients on a regular basis and are well versed in court procedures and trial strategies. On any given day, our attorneys could have as many as ten District Court matters and thirty Administrative Court cases. In addition, they try up to three trials a week either in District or Superior Court. The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have also had some Federal Court cases. Our attorneys put their experience and expertise to work for you to create the best possible outcome for your case. Call Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for a free consultation to see what they can do for you.

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