The Criminal Justice Process in North Carolina

May 2, 2023

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of the criminal justice process so that you can plan for the best possible outcome.  That’s where our Asheville criminal attorney team comes in.  

Common Types of Criminal Charges

Barbour, Searson, Jones, & Cash, one of the top criminal defense law firms in Asheville, has experience defending serious criminal charges such as:

  • Violent Crimes;
  • Drug Trafficking;
  • White-Collar Crimes;
  • Sex Crimes;
  • Arson;
  • Fraud; and
  • Homicide.

Criminal Charges

The initial step in the criminal justice process is the state’s notification of charges to the individual.  Criminal charges are typically brought in one of several ways, depending on the severity of the crime:

  • Warrant for Arrest;
  • Indictment;
  • Criminal Summons; or
  • Citation.  

Arrest and Securing Release

If an individual is arrested, a typical question is whether or how release would be possible.  The terms of release are determined by a judge or magistrate and are unique to each individual and the charges brought against them.  There are four possibilities for release:

  • Custody release;
  • Unsecured bond;
  • Secured bond; and
  • Written promise to appear.

Pretrial & Trial

The next phase is “pretrial” or the time between the arrest and the trial.  In the pretrial phase, counsel gathers evidence that will help to defend the accused.  

Misdemeanor trials are held in District Court before a judge whereas felonies are held in Superior Court before a judge and jury.  Individuals who are charged with a misdemeanor may request to be tried in Superior Court.  

Asheville Criminal Attorney

When you are charged with a serious criminal offense in Western North Carolina, you need an experienced, strategic team to defend your case.  We understand that facing criminal charges can be daunting.  Arrests and indictments are often confusing, and navigating the legal system is difficult.  Our team will provide you with strong, experienced representation in your case.  Contact us today to learn more about your options and how we can help.

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