We have said it many times before, but it bears repeating: it’s never too early in the criminal justice process to hire a skilled defense attorney to protect your interests.
For example, let’s assume that you have been booked as a criminal suspect in New Hanover County. Under North Carolina law, you will be granted a hearing before a judge to determine whether bail should be extended in your case. You might easily decide that this is a routine matter that doesn’t need the attention of an attorney, and that you can handle it yourself.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
We have worked with a number of people who made the same mistake, and later went on to become our clients. Often, these people have been left in jail because the bail for their cases was out of their financial reach. Of course, without personal freedom, those clients are less able to help us prepare for their defense, and that, in turn, may mean a less satisfactory outcome to their Wilmington criminal cases.
We cannot prove that they would have had a better result if one of our experienced North Carolina bail attorneys had been on hand for the hearing, but our assistance would not have hurt.
How skilled criminal defense representation can make a crucial difference on bail
As you know, a bail hearing is the chance for a criminal defendant to ask a judge to release him before trial. If the judge decides to grant bail, she will set an amount that the defendant must deposit in cash to ensure his return to court when summoned. If the defendant fails to show up for the court date, he forfeits the deposit and can be arrested for his failure to appear.
The decision to grant bail and the amount of money required do not take into consideration the defendant’s financial resources. It’s quite possible that the judge can set a fairly low bail amount—a few thousand dollars—that is still hopelessly out of reach for the average defendant.
The prosecuting attorney will likely argue in favor of denying bail or setting the bail amount unreasonably high. If you are the defendant, what arguments are you prepared to present to the judge to offset the prosecutor’s request? Most likely, you are unprepared for that job. On the other hand, the defense lawyers at Speaks Law Firm have years of experience in arguing for lenient bail conditions for our clients. Among other things, we can tell the judge:
- That your close ties to family in the community make you unlikely to flee the county or state.
- That your negligible prior criminal record suggests you are no danger to others.
- That your previous criminal record not be taken into account because it has no bearing on the current charges.
- That your long and successful employment history make you a prime candidate for being “released on personal recognizance,” without any bail payment at all.
- That the bail requested by the prosecution is outrageously large in comparison to other bail orders for similar offenses set by the court in this county.
Our focus is on your needs
If you hire a defense attorney from Speaks Law Firm in Wilmington, you have a legal representative focused entirely on your case. A public defender will be juggling dozens of court appearances in a typical day and may have a caseload of a hundred clients or more. Even the prosecutor will be answerable to other people. But for us, it’s only your interests that matter when we are together in court.
Call our office today at 910-341-7570 locally or 877-593-4233 toll-free across North Carolina. Our legal team represents criminal defendants throughout the state, with the majority of clients in the Wilmington, North Carolina area, including Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Whiteville, Willard, Fayetteville, and Jacksonville.