What to Expect if You’re Convicted of a Sex Crime

When you’re accused of a sex crime, you may feel like you have no chance of beating the charges. Or maybe you think the penalties can’t be all that bad. In some cases, your sex crime may even be charged as a misdemeanor, but all sex crime charges are serious in North Carolina.

If you’re in danger of a sex crime conviction, your future is on the line. Before you do anything else, take a look at the long-term consequences you may face if you plead guilty or fail to defend yourself. Your lawyer can help you avoid the penalties of a sex crime conviction, so reach out for help from The Chetson Firm as soon as possible. 

Read on to learn what to expect if you’re convicted of a sex crime in North Carolina.

You May Face Harsh Penalties 

North Carolina takes sex crimes extremely seriously. That’s why prison time is likely if you’re convicted or a sex crime in our state.

You may also face severe financial penalties. Many felonies, including sex crimes, come with steep fines that may add up to thousands of dollars. That can be difficult to pay off even if you’re able to work but much harder if you have no income while behind bars.

You May Have to Register as a Sex Offender 

One of the lasting impacts of many sexual offenses is the sex offender registry. If you’re convicted of a sex crime, especially a sexual offense involving a minor, you may be forced to register as a sex offender in North Carolina. This registry can limit your housing options, barring you from living close to schools, playgrounds, and other public locations. 

Being registered as a sex offender can impact your family, too. You may lose custody of your children, for example, which can isolate and emotionally destroy you. 

Your Criminal Record May Impact Your Life

But even if you’re not placed on the sex offender registry, your criminal record alone can impact your life for years to come. Anyone performing a background check can see your criminal record. That can hurt your chances to get a job, rent an apartment, take out a loan, buy a house, and more. 

That limits your ability to get back to a somewhat normal life after a sex crime conviction. Your future may be held back indefinitely if you don’t fight your sex crime charge and win.

A Defense Attorney Can Help You: Call Now

Your future may depend on the outcome of your criminal trial for a sex crime charge. If you don’t fight back, you may have trouble recovering from the penalties and getting your life back on track. That’s why it’s so important to act now and seek legal help if you’re accused of a sex crime. 

At The Chetson Firm, we’re prepared to build your defense and represent you in the courtroom. We understand the penalties you could face for a sex crime, and we’re here to help you make sure you don’t get convicted. When you’re ready to start building your defense, text or call 919-352-9411 or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.

How to Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge

When you’re accused of drug trafficking, you need to act on those charges as soon as possible. You may face penalties that can haunt you for life, impacting not just you but your family, who may lose the support you provide.

Because of this, you need to act now to defend your future and get those drug trafficking charges reduced or dismissed with the help of a drug crime lawyer. But getting drug trafficking charges dismissed is not an easy feat. You may have several steps to take to avoid a conviction for drug trafficking, so read on for more information.

Know Your Rights

First, it’s important to know your rights before and during an arrest. You may be able to avoid giving the law enforcement officers more information that may incriminate you. That can help your lawyer defend your case.

For example, you do have the right to remain silent. When you’re arrested, you don’t have to answer all the questions the police may ask you, such as where you were going if you were on the road. You may instead ask to speak with a lawyer, then remain silent until your lawyer can step in and help you.

You also have a right not to be subjected to unlawful search and seizure. Your Fourth Amendment rights state that the police cannot search your property, from your home to your car, without reasonable cause to believe you were committing a crime. For example, if the police pulled you over for a broken headlight, then searched your trunk, evidence they find may be inadmissible in court in some cases.

Get Evidence Early

When you’re accused of trafficking drugs, you need to gather evidence for your defense as soon as possible. Evidence can be lost or destroyed over time, which leaves you without the proof you need to show you’re not guilty.

That’s why your criminal defense lawyer may focus on gathering your evidence right away. Any piece of evidence can be key to your defense, so it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible for your case.

The evidence you gather can vary, depending on what happened and the accusations against you. For example, if you’re charged with drug trafficking, you may have the alleged drugs tested to prove they weren’t drugs. In other cases, you may have a strong alibi that proves you were somewhere else and couldn’t have committed the crimes you’re accused of.

Building a Strong Defense

Once you have the evidence you need, you and your criminal defense lawyer will need to focus on your strategy in the courtroom. Before you head to court, your lawyer will determine who will be called to the stand, what evidence to present, and how you should plead.

If you’re not experienced in a courtroom setting, it can be tough to prepare for this. It’s easy to lose track of evidence, or you may be unsure what to prepare for your day in court. Your lawyer can take charge and help you address the charges leveled against you.

Protect Your Future with a Defense Attorney

If you’ve been accused of a serious crime like drug trafficking, the penalties may be devastating. Rather than accepting your conviction, you need to act fast to protect your future, your family, and your finances.

Because of this, you may need a lawyer from The Chetson Firm on your side. Our lawyers can help you take the right first steps to getting your charges reduced or dropped completely. When you’re ready to take those first steps, call 919-352-9411 or fill out the online contact form below.

Know Your Rights After an Arrest

An arrest can happen suddenly, and sometimes, you may have little or no warning of the arrest. Worse, you may not fully understand the rights you have when you’re arrested. If you don’t know your rights, it’s easy to make a costly mistake, one that could impact your case and your future.

Because of this, you may need a lawyer on your side. If you’ve been arrested and you need help dealing with the police and other concerns, know your rights and get in touch with a lawyer before you say anything.

Right to Remain Silent

You may have learned about your Miranda rights in school, but what do you really need to know when you’re arrested and read your rights?

Your right to remain silent means you don’t have to answer all the questions the police ask you. Answering these questions may incriminate you, which can be hard to fight in court. You can instead stay silent, protecting your story and limiting the evidence you provide to the police.

Right to an Attorney

When you’re arrested, you’re also given the right to an attorney. Your attorney can help you communicate more effectively with the police, avoiding incriminating answers while providing what’s necessary.

But what if you can’t afford an attorney? You may be worried about the costs that may accrue with a criminal defense lawyer. Here’s the good news—you may have a public defender assigned to your case if you’re unable to pay for a lawyer yourself. While getting a criminal defense lawyer can give you a larger advantage for your case, getting any representation can help you take the right steps after an arrest.

Right to Speak to an Attorney

Once you have an attorney, you’ll want to speak with them about your case. But you may not want the police to overhear your conversation, which may include details or other information that may imply you’re guilty.

Luckily, you do have a right to speak with your lawyer or out-of-court interpreter privately. The police are not allowed to listen to your conversations with a legal professional.

Just remember that the police may be able to listen in to other conversations with other people. Speak with your lawyer about being careful with what you say when communicating with your friends, family, and other parties.

Protect Your Rights with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you’re accused of a crime, you may be worried about protecting your rights following an arrest. But knowing your rights after an arrest is only a piece of your defense case. You then need to consider your best defense if your case goes to court.

At The Chetson Firm, we provide defenses for people accused of serious crimes, and we’re here to help you avoid or reduce those charges. If you’ve been accused of a crime, your lawyer is here to help, from the first reading of your rights to the final decision in the courtroom. When you’re ready to talk with a lawyer, give us a call at 919-352-9411 or complete the online contact form below.

Surrendering into Federal Custody

Watch Brandon Craig Fellows on TikTok as he is driven to federal court to surrender himself for participating in the insurrection at the Capitol building. Fellows was interviewed following the insurrection, insisting he had “no regrets” for disrupting Congress’ efforts to certify Joe Biden as president:

Fellows, who lives in a converted school bus, said he stopped working last spring because of fears of Covid-19. But he said he became disillusioned when New York state denied him unemployment benefits. “For awhile, in early March and April, I was super poor,” he said.

And this is the core problem: an economy that does not work anymore, that leaves people living in extreme precarity or witnessing friends and family facing precarious living conditions, high debt, lack of good jobs, and lack of good health care.

Raleigh Cocaine Lawyer

Cocaine LeafCocaine cases in North Carolina can be punished in either state or federal courts, and through a variety of laws.  In state court, cocaine is punished always as a felony – possession, possession with intent to sell, manufacture, and deliver, or sale and delivery of cocaine and, in cases involving 28 grams or more of cocaine as trafficking by possession, transportation, or delivery involving mandatory minimum sentences that can range from 35 to 175 months in prison.

The same criminal acts can also be prosecuted in federal court, either as possession with the intent to distribute, distribution, or conspiracy cases involving punishments that range between 0 and 20 years, 5 and 40 years, or 10 to life, depending on the quantities.

While state cocaine cases can sometimes be resolved through deferred prosecution agreements, federal cocaine cases – colloquially called “drug trafficking” – are almost never subject to deferred prosecution agreements, and almost always result in at least some prison time, unless won at trial.  Federal cocaine cases that result in conviction are sentenced according to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, regulations drafted by the United States Sentencing Commission and considered advisory by judges.  Judges take these guidelines seriously, using them as the starting point to determine the ultimate sentence.

In either the state or federal system, where mandatory minimum sentences are required according to the count of conviction, a client faces limited opportunities to be sentenced below the mandatory minimum.  In general, in the state system, a person can only be sentenced below the mandatory minimum if the person provides substantial assistance.  In the federal system, a person with a minimal criminal record may also, in certain circumstances, be eligible for a “safety valve” sentence.

In the federal system, any drug trafficking offense – including cocaine cases – where guns are possessed in furtherance of the drug trafficking offense can result in additional charges called 18 U.S.C. Sec. 924(c) charges that require the sentencing judge to impose at least a 5 year term of incarceration in addition to the sentence imposed for the underlying drug offense.  This consecutive sentence also means that the person is ineligible for certain other reductions, including RDAP drug treatment reductions.

Fünf Mythen des Geständnisses

In whatever language or country, a criminal defense lawyer’s advice will be the same: Shut Up, Halt die Klappe, Boucle-la, Тише, ¡Cállate!

It’s Christmas, and work is slow before the four or five murder trials I will have in 2021, so I’m reading up on the German criminal process and criminal law. (In law school I took comparative law and we learned a little bit about various European systems.  It turns out that the differences are not so great.)

Reading about other countries system at least helps you remember when you are in the sort of awful system that is the American judicial system that it doesn’t have to be this way.

But – throughout the world – defense lawyers – Strafverteidiger in German – have the same basic advice for clients: Do not speak to the police with out a lawyer present.

1. A Confession will Drop the Charges

While it may be appropriate to give a confession – Das Geständnis – a suspect (person, human being, the accused) often wants to give a confession at the beginning of the process in order to – they hope – convince the police to not issue an arrest warrant.

This never happens.  Police never drop charges simply because they now have an explanation for why the crime was committed.  In fact, police are far more likely to pursue charges because you’ve now made the crime easy to solve and another statistic that they can record in the “Win” column.

Police would only drop a charge in a case so minor and insignificant that it isn’t worth worrying about in the first place.

2. Early Confessions are Believable

Clients sometimes assume they should confess early in order to get credit for the confession they’ve given on the theory that an early confession will be more believable. While it’s true that a late or delayed confession can be harmful, an early confession can harm as well.  A confession given before the lawyer has sufficient information about all of the facts can be catastrophic in a case, closing off the opportunity for an even better result.

Early confessions are quite simply not necessarily more believable.  A person may only partially confess (which makes the confession unreliable) or the person may confess inadequately – not accept full moral culpability.  Or the person may be actually confused or mistaken about what happened because they didn’t see anything, and render an inadvertently false confession.

Finally, in their rush to confess, a client may be incomplete in his or her confession, resulting in confusion by the police that will later be blamed on the client.

3. Early Confessions Get Me More Credit

An early confession, some clients believe, will get them more credit.  Compared to what?

Once a person has confessed, in almost all cases – and notwithstanding Miranda – they will not be able to to take the confession back. At the very least, the police have heard the confession and will pursue the case vigorously to secure a guilty result.

As a consequence, if a person has confessed to a crime that the police could not have otherwise proved or investigated, the person may have gotten themselves more credit as compared to having not confessed in the prosecution but a lot more punishment as to the crime itself which may not have been properly investigated absent the confession.

Furthermore, police always want a confession now, “now” being the moment before they get the confession.  In other words, police would be nearly as happy – and happy enough – to get your confession after you talk to your lawyer as before your lawyer, understanding that they want to get the confession as quickly as possible.

Because the confession is almost always an unknown piece of information that police are desperate to get, a confession is almost always valuable.  At the very least, a confession – in the form of a guilty plea and allocution – avoids the necessity for a trial and will be rewarded in almost all cases.  But more generally, a confession done early enough in any case will – depending on the applicable law – create statutory avenues for reductions in sentence.

Early confessions are rarely important, and should rarely be done, and only done with an attorney’s advice.

4. I Need to Confess Now!

Whether and when to confess is always a fact-specific issue, and should be discussed with your lawyer.  But there are almost always – as noted above – multiple opportunities to confess.  It may – for technical reasons – be necessary to confess before a specific date or event, but even if that date passes, some benefit may be had from a late confession.

But early confessions can’t be retracted.  There is no imperative to confess now or now or even now.  Rather, there are various times where a confession may be valuable, and by talking to your attorney you can figure out whether and when you should confess.

5. The Best Confession

There is no “best confession.” A good confession, however, is truthful and consistent with all the other believable evidence, and comes at a point in the case where maximum benefit can be gained without losing other advantages.  Therefore, a good confession is a confession that results in the least possible punishment (given the other realistic outcomes).

Confessions cannot relieve the defendant of all responsibility, except in extremely minor crimes.  Confessions can only minimize the impact.  The fact that the person is required to confess is itself an imposition on that person that cannot be undone.

Life is never the same after the police coming knocking.  Don’t confess without a lawyer.

North Carolina Drug Stop or Arrest

Being pulled over on suspicion of having drugs in your vehicle can be a frightening experience, and all you may be thinking about is the potential for getting arrested and sent to prison. But remember, you haven’t even been arrested yet, much less tried and convicted! If you act calmly, know your rights and exercise them, you may not avoid arrest, but you can place yourself in the best position for a positive outcome in the end. You actions and behavior during a traffic stop can help or hurt your chances at trial. Read below for more information about getting pulled over for drugs in North Carolina or Henderson, and contact North Carolina drug crime lawyer Damon Chetson if you have been arrested in Vance or Wake County.

Stay Calm and Remember Your Rights

As the police approach your vehicle, the best position to be in is seated with your hands on the steering wheel. You may want to get your driver’s license and registration out to be ready for the police, but your actions could look like you were hiding drugs or retrieving a weapon, either of which might put the police on heightened alert or give them reason to order you out of the car and search your vehicle. You may naturally be nervous, but there is no need to make the police nervous as well.

The police may ask you if you have any drugs in the car, or they may spot drugs or paraphernalia in the vehicle and arrest you on the spot. When questioned, you don’t need to admit or say anything, and it is also not generally helpful to offer some explanation for the drugs or paraphernalia. There is not really any way you will talk yourself out of an arrest; more likely you would only be giving the police more grounds to arrest you, along with statements they can use against you at trial or to force a guilty plea.

If no drugs or paraphernalia are in plain sight, the police will want to search your car. In most instances, the police need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a search. If they don’t have these, they may simply ask you for permission to search your vehicle. It may sound like you don’t really have a choice, or you might think that refusing to cooperate makes you look guilty, but the truth is that you have a Constitutional right to refuse consent to a search, and you cannot be punished for exercising that right. In most cases, there is not anything good that will come from letting the police search your car.

Police officers are well-trained in search and seizure law, so they know if they are permitted to conduct a search or not. If the police order you out of the vehicle while they conduct a search (of you, your belongings, or your vehicle), it isn’t helpful to resist or argue. If the police conduct an illegal search, your attorney will bring up this point at the appropriate time and fight to get the charges dropped or the evidence suppressed.

Help is Available after a North Carolina Drug Stop or Arrest

You can help yourself best during a traffic stop by being calm, polite and respectful, and complying with police requests as much as possible, without giving up important rights such as consenting to a search when you don’t have to or answering questions that might incriminate you. Put yourself in the best position to fight a drug arrest, and contact Damon Chetson in North Carolina for a free consultation on your case with an aggressive and effective Wake County criminal defense attorney.

North Carolina Criminal Lawyer

The stakes are high whenever you have been charged with a felony offense, or even a misdemeanor drug offense or DWI. You could be sent to jail, forced to pay thousands in fines, or lose your driver’s license or even your vehicle. Also, having a criminal record can affect you in your job, your housing, your reputation in the community, and more.

Without an attorney on your side, you may rightfully feel like you are at the mercy of the system, ordered about in an environment where everyone seems to know the rules and hold the power but you. All of that changes when you call on an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to help you out. Mr. Chetson knows the system from the inside out and can provide you with the level of advice and representation you need to get the best result possible when you have been arrested.

Comprehensive North Carolina Criminal Defense

The Chetson Firm is here to assist you in North Carolina state and federal courts involving any of the following offenses, among others:

As a person accused of a crime, you have important rights guaranteed by the U.S. and North Carolina constitutions, including the right to remain silent, the right to defend yourself against criminal charges, and the right to have an attorney represent you. These rights are crucial to your success, but they can be unintentionally or unnecessarily waived if you don’t know what you are doing, or if you are convinced to do so by the police. Always remember that the police and prosecutors are not on your side in a criminal case. They are only interested in securing your conviction in the easiest way they can, or for the maximum penalty they can get. Having an attorney on your side who is as knowledgeable as the prosecutors puts you on a level playing field with the other side.

When charging you with a crime, the prosecutor must be able to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If they can’t do that, you go free. We make sure you get a fair trial and utilize every defense available to you.

The single greatest thing you can do to help yourself after an arrest is to call an attorney as soon as possible, and not talk to anybody else until you have spoken with your lawyer. We will make sure you do not waive any important rights or give up any evidence or statements that the prosecution can use against you, however innocent they may seem at the time. Let us help you get the best result available by calling our office as soon as possible after an arrest.

Stand Up for Your Rights; the Hauter Law Firm, PC will Stand Up with You
For aggressive, effective assistance in any North Carolina or federal criminal matter, contact us at (919) 352-9411 for a free consultation with an experienced and dedicated North Carolina criminal lawyer.

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