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CRIMINAL LAW BASICS


1.   Look for an attorney with experience in the type of criminal charges you face.

2.   Don't be afraid to ask questions.

3.   Talk with your attorney to understand your rights

​4.   Call us to schedule your free 30-minute consult!



What is the difference between a civil case and a criminal case?

The
two types of laws in the U.S. are civil and criminal. Both types of law involve a plaintiff (who initiates the complaint) and a defendant. Civil cases usually involve a person or organization as the plaintiff, whereas in criminal cases the plaintiff is the government because crimes are considered offenses against the state. The defendant is the person accused of the crime or offense. The burden of proof for the plaintiff is different in civil and criminal matters, as are the consequences that can be imposed. 


What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Criminal offenses are
classified by severity and the terms misdemeanor and felony reference this. Misdemeanors generally carry less significant penalties, in terms of monetary fines or jail time, than do felonies which are more serious.  Misdemeanor cases may be heard and decided by a judge, however felony trials provide the right for a jury to hear the arguments of the case.


Do I need to hire a criminal defense attorney?


There are various options available to you when it comes to defending yourself against criminal charges. You can choose to represent yourself, which is called pro se meaning “for yourself.” Of course, the other side is represented by professional attorneys and unless you have the capability to become an expert this position can put you at a significant disadvantage. If you qualify financially, you could engage a public defender. This is an attorney who is employed by the state but whose job it is to work representing defendants. The third option is to hire a criminal defense attorney who will be dedicated to working for you. One of the considerations you’ll need to examine is how serious the consequences could be. In a misdemeanor a conviction might not make a permanent and lasting impact on your life. But if you are convicted on felony charges you may:


  • Lose eligibility for public housing and student loans
  • Be disqualified from many good paying jobs
  • Lose your driver's license
  • Lose the right to vote
  • Face deportation, if you are not a citizen


Because of the seriousness of these consequences having the best representation possible is essential.


What should I look for in a defense lawyer?

You will want to consider any potential attorneys' expertise level, including years of practice and past results. A good criminal defense attorney may be able to help you by reducing the charges, for example, from a felony to a misdemeanor. Another goal could be to minimize the severity of the punishment, such as trying to obtain probation in place of active time. An attorney with experience can accurately advise you when it might be in your best interest to accept a plea bargain, and when you are better served by devising a defense strategy for trial


What types of cases are your specialty?

Mr. Pearson’s extensive time in criminal practice allows him to fully understand the repercussions of, and to vigorously represent clients with complex felony cases including drug possession and drug trafficking. He also handles appeals, Motions for Appropriate Relief (MARs), and criminal record expunctions


Have a traffic law or DWI/DUI concern? 


Get more information at our Traffic & DWI/DUI page.


Need a defense attorney with the expertise necessary for your complex case? Contact Attorney Douglas Pearson today at (828)424-9859 to schedule your free 30-min consult!
 


Disclaimer: The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of this website or any links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between The Pearson Law Firm, PLLC, and the reader or user. 

Mr. Pearson has extensive experience in criminal law, prosecuting and defending at all levels. His experience includes everything from traffic tickets to homicide cases. When you find yourself facing criminal charges the process is often confusing, overwhelming, and can be downright frightening. Because of our experience level we know the in's and out's of the criminal justice system. We are here to walk you through the process, advising you of the applicable laws and protecting your rights.


Mr. Pearson offers a free 30-minute consult for all criminal matters.​​ Call us at (828)424-9859 to schedule your appointment today!
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IF YOU FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES, ACT QUICKLY TO RETAIN COUNSEL & LEARN ABOUT THE LEGAL OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO YOU.

Criminal Law

CLIENT FEEDBACK

"Mr. Pearson is excellent! I would definitely recommend him to anyone, very reasonable on his price. And you get what you pay for. He treats you more like a friend than a client. He means what he says. He's trustworthy and just plain good at what he does. He got me probation out of my second felony charge. There's so much more I can say about him. But I'd rather have you find out for yourself."    -- J. E.


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The Pearson Law Firm


Hendersonville, North Carolina

(828) 424-9859