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North Carolina
Criminal Statutes

North Carolina has the authority to arrest, charge, prosecute, and convict individuals who violate state laws, which are set out by the North Carolina General Assembly. These statutes establish the state’s criminal code and classify offenses into felonies and misdemeanors. This categorization depends on the type of violation and its severity. Felonies are the most severe crimes, while misdemeanors are lesser offenses with less serious penalties.

Felony Charges
There are numerous levels of felonies in Charlotte with drastic consequences, including a permanent mark on your criminal record, expensive fines, incarceration ranging from three months to life in prison, or even the death penalty.

Misdemeanor Charges
There are four types of misdemeanors in North Carolina with penalties ranging from one day to five months behind bars in addition to other collateral repercussions. While these are less severe, misdemeanors still carry life-altering penalties.

The criminal laws in Charlotte can become complicated very quickly, and the consequences of a conviction are harsh. With aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation, however, you can move through the process with confidence that your voice will be heard, and that the best possible outcome is being pursued. To discuss your situation with an experienced defense attorney from Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, call (980) 237-4579 or contact us online for a free, initial consult.


The repercussions of a criminal conviction in Charlotte are far-reaching and often permanent.

If you have hopes of advancing your career, keeping your driver’s license, avoiding time behind bars, or securing a better future for you and your family, a criminal conviction may significantly limit your chances of obtaining such goals. At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we know all too well that criminal charges require serious attention. We are among the select few Charlotte law firms with a board-certified specialist in both state and federal criminal law.

We also are the only firm to feature the co-authors of the book on North Carolina Criminal Procedure published by LexisNexis. As a result, we are authorities in these specialized areas of law and can develop defense strategies in any of the following areas aimed at securing dismissals, reducing the potential consequences, and gaining vindication at trial.


From first time DWI charges to second and third DWI offenses and potential classification as a habitual DWI offender, we know how DWI cases are built, and we can identify their faults and what it takes to obtain the best possible result.

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Weapon Crimes

State and federal laws regulate the possession, purchase, use, sale, and transfer of firearms. Violations, such as accidentally bringing a gun to the airport, can result in very serious penalties and to properly understand what you’re facing, contact Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys today.

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Traffic Offenses

Driving mistakes are bound to happen, but your driving record and bank account should not be needlessly impacted as a result of such errors. By consulting a knowledgeable Charlotte traffic lawyer, you may be able to avoid expensive fines, a license suspension, and higher insurance premiums.

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Violent Crimes

From assault charges like simple assault and assault on a female, to domestic violence and homicide, crimes involving violence towards others are pursued aggressively in North Carolina and their consequences can last a lifetime. Don’t take chances with your future. Contact an experienced attorney right away.

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Drug Crimes

A drug crime on your record can drastically influence your life for a long time after a conviction. Whether you’ve been charged with drug possession or drug trafficking, you’ll need to know all your options from an experienced Charlotte drug lawyer.

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Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are complex, and conviction can result in long periods of incarceration and life-long registration as a sex offender. Defending against these claims, from being accused of rape to child pornography charges, takes considerable skill and sensitivity from a highly-skilled sex crimes lawyer.

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There are various types of theft crimes in Charlotte. From shoplifting to robbery, the effects of a conviction for a theft offense are harsh. Learn more about theft charges and how an attorney can help.

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White Collar Crimes

These offenses typically involve the financial gain of the accused at the expense of another. The issues and evidence can be very complicated in these cases, requiring an attorney who knows how to build the most effective defense possible.

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Federal Crimes

These are violations against the United States government. Federal offenses often carry higher penalties than state crimes, but with our comprehensive experience in the federal system, Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys is well-prepared to handle your case.

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Property Crimes

This practice area relates to offenses involving the destruction of someone else’s property. There are varying degrees of severity, but they are still serious matters with harsh penalties. It’s best to discuss your situation with a lawyer to evaluate your options.

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Juvenile & College Crimes

Young people are known for making rash decisions with little regard to the consequences. Juvenile and underage offenses, like underage drinking, move through the criminal process differently than adult crimes. To protect your child’s future, contact an experienced Charlotte juvenile lawyer right away.

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The North Carolina criminal process affords some individuals a second chance by removing specific offenses from their criminal records if certain criteria are met. Learn about your options and eligibility to clear your record from a knowledgeable expungement lawyer in Charlotte, NC.

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Know and Assert Your Rights at Every Stage

Criminal cases begin with an allegation that you committed some sort of offense
or witnesses observing you allegedly committing a crime.

From there, law enforcement and prosecutors become involved, and the Charlotte criminal justice process begins. This system has several stages, each with its own burden or standard of evidence. Depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the crime, these phases may include:

  • The initial investigation and arrest
  • The filing of charges and your first appearance
  • Pre-trial hearings and motions
  • Plea negotiations and trial
  • Verdict and sentencing

When people are confronted with the harsh reality of the Charlotte criminal process, they may believe that they can handle matters on their own. You might think that the officers and prosecutors are looking out for you, or that the situation can be quickly resolved if you are just given a chance to explain. However, this is typically not the case. Prosecutors and law enforcement agents are highly-trained in securing convictions and know how to frame questions to get you to say too much or pressure you into accepting an agreement that does not consider your long-term interests.

Simply put, officers and prosecutors are not your allies if you’re accused or charged with a crime. You need someone on your side to explain the process and help defend your rights. To properly protect yourself and ensure all your rights are respected in a criminal case, it is always best to consult a trusted attorney.

It’s important to remember that regardless of the criminal charges, everyone has the right to remain silent and speak with a lawyer before any law enforcement questioning. Call Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys at (980) 237-4579 today and get the quality representation you deserve.

a diagram outlining the criminal defense process

Other Criminal Justice Process Information

As the co-authors of the fourth edition of Criminal Procedure in North Carolina, Charlotte criminal attorneys Samuel Randall and Ryan Stump are well aware that Mecklenburg County fiercely pursues criminal charges. The police will try to gather as much evidence against you as possible, and the prosecutors will usually present you and their findings in a negative light. If you are facing criminal charges in Charlotte or any of its surrounding areas, you need a highly-skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyer to refute the claims, point out the flaws in the so-called evidence, and advocate on your behalf.

Some things you should know about facing criminal charges in Charlotte include:

Illegal Search and Seizure

Every citizen has the right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion into their persons, homes, businesses, and property. However, sometimes government agents overstep these limits, and everyday citizens pay the price. These violations of your rights can lead to unjustified criminal charges, and it will take effective legal representation to set things right.

Asset Forfeiture

This allows for the confiscation of your property if it is believed that your assets were the proceeds or instruments of criminal activity. While it is meant to remove ill-gotten profits, in practice, asset forfeiture is fraught with the potential for abuse and oversight. If your property was unfairly confiscated, contact a lawyer to review your recovery options.

Defending Against False Accusations

It is not easy going up against the state of North Carolina or the federal government if you are charged with a crime. The government will have seemingly endless resources at their disposal, and the deck can feel stacked against you. However, it is important to keep in mind that the burden of proving your guilt is very hard to meet, and you are entitled to tell your story.

At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our criminal defense lawyers have a history of achieving impressive results for our clients as well as a commitment to professional excellence, personalized client services, and practical legal guidance throughout the criminal justice process. We’ll fight to help dismiss your charges and protect your future.