Greensboro Criminal Defense Lawyer

Greensboro Criminal Defense Attorney

Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is incredibly stressful, but conviction is not automatic. You may have been wrongfully accused or made a mistake, but your greatest chance of avoiding long-term criminal penalties is to hire a skilled Greensboro criminal defense lawyer to protect you. Even a small criminal charge can become a complicated case that affects the rest of your life. You deserve a strong defense.

Dedicated Criminal Defense in Greensboro, NC

Criminal charges have the potential to affect your finances, family, reputation, and freedom. You need a criminal defense attorney who will remain by your side throughout the entire criminal court process, standing in your corner and fighting for the most beneficial outcome. At LAWSMITH, The Law Offices of J. Scott Smith, PLLC, we are here to support you. Our attorneys have many years of legal experience in criminal defense, and we can guide you through the process.

Our firm has a respected reputation in all the communities we represent, and we have strong professional relationships with the prosecutors and judges in the locations we serve. We are proud to protect the rights of our clients and do what is possible to avoid the long-term consequences of conviction. Whether or not you committed the crime, we defend your interests and determine your options for defense.

Criminal Cases We Manage at LAWSMITH, The Law Offices of J. Scott Smith, PLLC

When you find yourself arrested or charged with a criminal offense, you have the right to legal counsel. It’s crucial that you find the right lawyer who can effectively help you through your case to achieve the ideal outcome. Your attorney should have experience with criminal defense, the type of crime you are being charged with, and the severity of the offense. When you find an attorney with relevant experience, your case is more likely to be handled quickly and effectively.

The attorneys at LAWSMITH, The Law Offices of J. Scott Smith, PLLC, have worked for many years in criminal defense law and have experience in some of the following types of criminal law cases, among others:

  • Drug Crimes

It is illegal to possess, manufacture, or sell controlled substances. Drug offenses are harshly prosecuted in North Carolina, and many drug crimes are charged as felonies. The severity of a drug crime offense relies on the type of controlled substance, its categorization, the amount of the substance present in the offense, and the specific drug offense committed. It also depends on whether the charges involve constructive or actual possession.

Conviction can result in fines, jail or prison time, and substance abuse assessment and treatment. LAWSMITH, The Law Offices of J. Scott Smith, PLLC, understands the stakes in drug offense cases and works tirelessly to protect your future against conviction.

  • Traffic Violations and DWI

Some traffic violations, such as certain speeding restrictions and moving violations, are not charged as criminal offenses but as infractions. Other offenses, such as driving on a revoked license or a hit-and-run, are considered criminal offenses that can result in jail or prison time in addition to fines.

There are many different driving offenses, which may have both a criminal hearing and a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). An attorney can represent you in these hearings, determine if you should contest tickets, and help you defend against criminal offenses.

One serious traffic offense is driving while impaired (DWI). If you are arrested for or charged with a DWI, you need an attorney. You can be charged with a DWI for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or for driving impaired, even if your BAC was below this level.

DWIs have several sentencing levels based on the unique factors of your case. Depending on which sentencing level is applied to your charges, your penalties could include probation, time in jail, and fines. An attorney is essential in reviewing the traffic stop and arrest to determine if your rights were violated during the process.

  • Probation Violation

Probation is typically an alternative sentence to jail time. It requires an offender to adhere to certain conditions, such as community service, meetings with a probation officer, alcohol monitoring, and other terms.

Failing to meet these terms may be considered a probation violation. If you are charged with this crime, you need an attorney. You could receive a longer or stricter probation sentence if the judge rules that a violation occurred. In other cases, you could serve your sentence in jail.

  • Theft Crimes

Larceny or shoplifting, which can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, are the most common types of theft crimes. The severity of larceny crimes typically depends on the value of the items stolen, and the threshold of $1,000 makes the difference between a misdemeanor or a felony offense. However, larceny can become a felony in other ways, even if the items are valued at $1,000 or less. This crime may be charged as a felony if the defendant has prior larceny convictions or if the case involved the theft of an explosive or firearm.

Like any criminal offense, a larceny conviction can have a significant effect on your future. It can result in immediate penalties, like jail time and fines, as well as the long-term consequences of a criminal record. It’s crucial to find a skilled theft attorney to represent you.

  • Burglary

Burglary is the crime of illegally entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony. A dwelling may include a house or an apartment. If there is someone present in the dwelling when it is broken into, the crime is charged in the first degree.

  • Robbery

There are several types of robbery in North Carolina. Common law robbery is defined as taking another person’s property through threat or force. This crime is charged as a Class G felony. Robbery in which the life of an individual is threatened or endangered with a dangerous weapon or firearm is charged a Class D felony. Other robbery crimes include train robbery and safecracking.

  • Assault and Battery

Assault, assault and battery, and affray can involve attempts at an assault or any physical altercation that causes others to be frightened. Aggravating factors in an assault or assault and battery case include the victim being under the age of 18, a pregnant woman, or an officer of the state completing their duties. The use of a firearm or deadly weapon is another factor that could increase the severity of your charges.

  • Domestic Violence

Domestic violence crimes are serious and involve intentional bodily injury, the attempt to cause harm, rape, and sexual battery, or placing the other party in serious fear of harassment or bodily injury.

These crimes are considered domestic violence when they are committed against a person with whom the defendant has a personal relationship. This includes current or former spouses, parties who have lived together in a relationship, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, current or former household members, and other relationships.

  • Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are severely prosecuted criminal offenses. These crimes also have a significant social stigma and, sometimes, a societal presumption of guilt. There are varying degrees of rape and other sexual offenses, with aggravating factors such as the age of the victim, the relationship between the victim and the offender, and other factors. Sex offenses also include charges like indecent exposure, peeping, prostitution, and obscenity.

Although some sex crimes are charged as misdemeanors, many are charged as felonies, including rape and statutory sexual offenses. Conviction of a sex crime often requires mandatory registration as a sex offender.

  • White-Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes are financial crimes that are often committed within a business. Some of these crimes include embezzlement, money laundering, forgery, and extortion. White-collar offenses also include several types of fraud, including credit card fraud, tax fraud, obtaining property under false pretenses, identity theft, insurance fraud, and fraudulent and deceptive advertising.

These crimes are frequently charged as felonies. In addition to criminal charges, white-collar offenses frequently result in the victims filing civil claims to recover their financial losses.

  • Homicide

Homicide charges include murder and manslaughter. The difference between murder and manslaughter is the existence of malice and premeditation in a murder charge. Murder has two degrees, which are both charged as felonies.

Homicide charges may also apply when someone kills another person with their vehicle in an accident. These charges must be taken incredibly seriously, and you need a skilled and dedicated defense attorney by your side from the moment law enforcement officers begin an investigation.

How Can a Greensboro Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?

A criminal defense attorney has significant and in-depth knowledge of criminal laws and defense strategies, and they can use this experience to your advantage. Your attorney can help you take the right steps immediately after an arrest or when charges are filed against you, including assistance with administrative hearings or pre-trial motions. An attorney has a thorough understanding of the criminal justice system, and they may be able to reach a positive conclusion more efficiently.

An attorney also ensures that you are not alone during this stressful process. You are supported from end to end of your criminal case with compassionate legal representation.

You are more likely to secure a lower sentence or lighter penalties with an attorney. You are also more likely to potentially avoid conviction when a knowledgeable lawyer builds your defense and advocates for you in court.


Q: How Much Does a Criminal Lawyer Cost in North Carolina?

A: A criminal defense lawyer in North Carolina can range in cost. Sometimes, attorneys charge an initial retainer fee. An attorney’s hourly fees depend on many factors, and some may charge flat fees for some straightforward criminal cases. Fees may rely on:

  • Their level of experience and success in criminal defense law
  • Where their firm is located
  • The complexity or severity of your criminal case
  • Whether the case is expected to go to trial
  • Whether professional or expert witnesses will be necessary for your case

Q: What Is the Most Common Criminal Defense?

A: The most common criminal defense can vary based on the unique criminal offense and case. One of the most straightforward criminal defenses is that of innocence, stating that the defendant did not commit the crime.

The defendant in a criminal case does not hold the burden of proof, but an innocent defense is more effective when there is a strong case disproving the evidence of the prosecution. Other types of defenses include affirmative defenses, such as self-defense, and constitutional violations.

Q: Is Simple Assault a Misdemeanor in North Carolina?

A: Simple assault is charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor in North Carolina. However, certain factors can cause an assault to be charged as a Class 1 or Class A1 misdemeanor. An assault against a sports official will result in a Class 1 misdemeanor. Factors that can result in a Class A1 misdemeanor include assaulting a pregnant woman, a child under the age of 12, or an officer or employee of the State, among other factors.

Q: What Is the Law on Theft in North Carolina?

A: Theft in North Carolina is defined as taking someone’s property without permission or receiving or possessing stolen goods, knowing that they were stolen. If the defendant reasonably should have known they were stolen, they could still be convicted. This crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the stolen property is valued at $1,000 or less and does not meet other qualifications to be charged as a felony. Theft is a felony in the following situations, among others:

  1. Theft of incendiaries or explosives
  2. Theft of firearms
  3. Goods worth more than $1,000

Criminal Defense From LAWSMITH, The Law Offices of J. Scott Smith, PLLC

Much is at stake in a criminal case. It’s advisable to work with an understanding and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. The earlier you begin working with our attorneys, the sooner we can begin crafting your defense and determining the ideal steps for your case. Contact our firm today, and let us guide you through this hard time.

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