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I wasn’t given my Miranda Rights! Can my case be dismissed?

TV has romanticized Miranda Rights and the implications of a failure to be informed. Law enforcement does not necessarily have to read you any rights in order to arrest you and charge you with criminal offenses. Your Miranda Rights are required when you are in custody and law enforcement wants to interrogate you. If there is a violation of your rights, the evidence seized from the violation may be able to be suppressed. In any event, remember to ask for an attorney and remain silent until we can be with you during questioning.

Do I have to let law enforcement search my house, car, bag, etc.?

Absolutely not, but you cannot stop them. If you are asked for permission to search, the answer is ALWAYS no. Remember to always be polite when invoking your rights and do not try to stop law enforcement from doing anything. If they search your property without your consent, respectfully stand by and let us know as soon as possible.

Someone told me that if [fill in scenario] occurred, then my case will be dismissed. Is that true?

Most of the time, it is not true. If there is an easy way to get a dismissal, we will find it. The problem with this sort of question is that it is always fact specific and the person asking the question does not know the facts of the other case. If your case is dismissed, we will attempt to adequately explain how and why the case was dismissed. However, know that just because your case was dismissed doesn’t mean that another person’s case with similar facts will also be dismissed. Every case is unique and requires a unique defense.

Can I sue law enforcement or the District Attorney for prosecuting a case that was dismissed or acquitted?

Yes, but it is a difficult and expensive proposition and the probability of prevailing is almost nonexistent. In order to prevail, you are going to have basically prove that law enforcement or the District Attorney knew you were innocent or did something completely negligent and reckless.

Can I sue the person who alleged that I committed a crime against them?

Yes, but again, this is a difficult and expensive course of action. Even if you can prevail in showing the person lied about the allegation (which is a completely different situation than being acquitted of a crime), you need to consider whether the person has any assets that would justify the law suit. In other words, if the person doesn’t have any money, suing them is not going to get you any money.

Can you sue for spending a long time in jail and then being acquitted by a jury?

Yes, but the chance of prevailing is again a daunting task. Consult with a civil litigation firm for further discussion.

Can a conviction be expunged?

Yes, but only under very specific circumstances. Acquittals and dismissals are far easier to expunge, more affordable, and more probable. In most situations, under North Carolina law, you can only have one expunction per person per lifetime.

Is there any correlation between the money paid to an attorney and the quality of service rendered?

This is a difficult question to answer. Each firm has its own method of billing and should explain to you how bills are generated. When considering an attorney, you should take into account the attorney’s reputation in the community, the attorney’s knowledge of the law, and your overall comfort with the attorney. If you do not trust the person you are talking to, you should consider another attorney. Cheap attorneys are not always bad and expensive attorneys are not always great.

How can anyone afford to hire an attorney?

Do not let money stop you from hiring the attorney you want. As you know, your very freedom may be on the line. We provide several payment plans and options and will work to accommodate nearly any budget. Please see our financing page for further details.

What is the percentage of cases that you win?

This question presupposes that a high victory rate is indicative of a good attorney. However, it might be indicative of an attorney that simply pleads everyone guilty and only tries slam-dunk cases. A better question would be, “How many jury trials have you done?” This sort of question will provide insight as to the attorney’s experience in the courtroom and in front of juries. If an attorney has only tried and won a single case, his victory rate would be 100%. However, that does not mean the attorney has any useful or practical courtroom experience.

Why should I pay an attorney if I am innocent?

You should have an attorney ESPECIALLY if you are innocent. Even with simple matters, unless you know the rules of evidence, you do not want to represent yourself. You may have a mountain of exculpatory evidence (evidence that tends to prove that you are innocent), but if you cannot get your evidence admitted at trial, you may very well find yourself convicted of a crime you did not commit.