criminal defense lawyer with client

Being charged with a crime is one of the most frightening and stressful experiences in your life. You face harsh penalties and long-term consequences if you are convicted of a traffic, misdemeanor, or felony offense in North Carolina. Navigating the criminal justice system can be confusing and challenging—even if you have been falsely accused of committing a crime.

At Browning & Long, PLLC, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to provide our clients with the support and aggressive defense strategies they need to achieve the best outcome in their criminal cases. Todd Browning and Howard Long are former prosecutors who will use their experience prosecuting defendants and extensive criminal law knowledge to fight the charges you face, helping to get your charges dismissed or reduced to a less severe offense. If you have been arrested, call our Charlotte office at 980-207-3355 to schedule your free initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.

Types of Cases Our Charlotte Criminal Defense Attorneys Handle

Our skilled lawyers have extensive experience defending clients against traffic, misdemeanor, and felony offenses in Mecklenburg County. We take each charge our clients face seriously and address all their cases as thoroughly as possible. Types of cases we handle include:

  • Misdemeanor offenses. Marijuana possession, hit and run, and reckless driving are serious misdemeanor crimes. If convicted, a person can face a lengthy jail sentence, hefty fines, and suspension of their driver’s license.
  • Gun offenses. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, possessing a firearm as a felon, and possessing a weapon on school property are a few gun offenses our clients have faced. Some crimes may be charged as misdemeanors, but many are felonies that can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
  • Drug crimes. The possession, sale, or transport of controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, or opiates, are felony drug offenses in North Carolina. If convicted, an individual can be sentenced to decades in prison.
  • Theft crimes. Larceny and shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the property stolen. However, robbery is a felony offense punishable by 47 to 204 months in prison.
  • Violent crimes and assaults. Violent crimes, such as murder or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, are felonies in our state. If convicted of first-degree murder, an individual could be sentenced to life in prison or death. Second-degree murder or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence, ranging from 13 months to 125 months in prison.
  • Sexual assaults. Rape and first-degree or second-degree sexual assault are felonies punishable by up to life in prison. In addition, an individual could be required to register as a sex offender on North Carolina’s Sex Offender Registry.
  • Domestic violence. Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on whether the attack is a simple assault, assault with a deadly weapon, or assault by strangulation. Penalties can include up to 60 days in jail for a misdemeanor or a prison sentence of up to 98 months for a felony conviction.
  • White-collar crimes. Embezzlement, credit card fraud, forgery, and money laundering are common white-collar crimes in North Carolina. Many of these offenses are charged as felonies. The punishments can include a hefty fine, restitution to the victim, and a lengthy prison sentence.
  • Probation violations. A few ways a person can violate their probation are missing an appointment with a probation officer, not paying fines, and not remaining employed. If the judge determines that a violation occurred, they could extend the length of probation, set additional probation requirements, or revoke probation and sentence the individual to their original sentence.
  • Expungement. Having a criminal record can have long-term consequences in an individual’s life. Depending on what crime they were convicted of, it may be possible to have the offense expunged from their criminal record.

Long-Term Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

In addition to the harsh punishments for traffic, misdemeanor, or felony convictions in North Carolina, you face long-term consequences in your life long after you complete your sentence. They include:

  • Termination from your job
  • Difficulty obtaining employment
  • Loss of a professional license
  • Difficulty obtaining housing
  • Being denied child custody or visitation
  • Inability to get a loan
  • Loss of gun rights
  • Loss of the right to vote
  • Discharge from the military

If you think you are guilty of the crime you were arrested for in North Carolina, you may wonder if you should retain a lawyer, especially if you plan to plead guilty. However, there are many benefits to retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges you face and achieve a better outcome in your criminal case.

Consequences of Pleading Guilty in North Carolina

If you decide to plead guilty in your criminal case, you will face harsh penalties in North Carolina. Depending on the offense you are pleading guilty to committing, you could face these sentences and other long-term consequences:

  • Hefty fines
  • Lengthy jail or prison sentence
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Loss of employment
  • Loss of a professional license or disciplinary action
  • Loss of the right to possess a firearm
  • Loss of the right to vote
  • Deportation
  • Loss of visitation or custody of your children
  • Difficulty obtaining employment, housing, and an education

10 Interview Questions You Need to Ask Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you do not know an attorney who handles criminal matters, you will need to find qualified lawyers and research them. One step in the process of hiring a lawyer is to schedule a free consultation and interview your top choices.

You should come to your appointment with a list of questions to ask. You want to focus your questions on their experience, track record of success, defense strategy in your case, and cost. Here are 10 important questions you want to ask:

  1. How long have you practiced criminal law, and how much of your caseload is devoted to criminal cases?
  2. Do you specialize in any area of criminal law?
  3. How many criminal cases have you taken to a jury trial, and what was the result?
  4. How many other cases like mine have you handled, and what was the outcome?
  5. How would you defend me?
  6. What is the likely outcome in my case?
  7. How much will it cost me to hire you?
  8. Will you be handling my case?
  9. How often will you communicate with me, and what is the best way to reach you if I have questions?
  10. Why should I retain you instead of another criminal defense lawyer?

Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers for Legal Advice You Can Trust

Are you or a family member facing criminal charges in Mecklenburg County? You need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to defend yourself. You may have strong defenses to fight the charges—even if you are guilty.

Our knowledgeable legal team will explain your options, possible defenses, and what you can expect in your criminal case. Call our Charlotte office at 980-207-3355 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.