Frequently Asked Questions
Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with a criminal offense in Raleigh can be a tough thing to go through, and as our criminal defense lawyers have seen, clients often have many questions about their criminal charges. Below you will find the answers to some common questions, but if you require further assistance you should contact a Raleigh criminal defense attorney at Hopper Law Firm PLLC to make sure your specific questions are addressed.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a petty offense punished by less than a year of confinement. A felony is a more serious crime, like arson or murder, and carries harsher penalties such a long prison sentences. A felony will remain on your record and may affect your future job prospects and can be held against you should you be charged with a crime in the future
If I am pulled over by a policeman, arrested, or searched, what are my rights?
If you get pulled over, you have the right to ask the officer why you were stopped. The police may legally pat down your clothing to check for concealed weapons, but you have the right to refuse any other searches if the police do not have a warrant. Upon arrest, an officer must inform you of your Miranda rights, otherwise, your case might not be valid and will be dismissed accordingly.
If I am asked to take a breathalyzer test, do I legally have to take it?
Yes, you must take a breathalyzer test if police request it. Failure to take the test may result in additional criminal charges.
If I have been charged with DUI and my BAC was over .08, is there any point to me having a lawyer?
Even if your BAC was over the legal limit, a criminal defense attorney can still be very helpful in having your charges reduced or dismissed, and can at least make sure you don’t face unnecessarily harsh penalties if convicted. Having a lawyer to argue on your behalf and defend your rights will always be beneficial.
The police did not read me my rights when I was arrested. Will my case be dismissed?
Failure to advise you of your Miranda rights does not automatically result in dismissal of the case against you. It is possible to get your statements thrown out in certain circumstances, but you should discuss the facts of your case fully with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal law attorney at Hopper Law Firm PLLC.
Am I at fault if I rear-end another vehicle?
Almost always, yes. The law states that you must maintain a safe distance to be able to stop safely if a car stops in front of you.
What is a criminal traffic offense?
A criminal traffic offense such as driving under the influence, fleeing a police officer or leaving the scene of an accident, requires a court appearance and it carries with it criminal penalties which may include a fine, court costs and/or the possibility of a jail term.
What is a civil traffic infraction offense?
A civil traffic infraction is a non-criminal charge that can be disposed of by payment of a civil penalty, requesting a court hearing, or election of a defensive driving course. A court appearance is not required, except in cases where the violation involves serious bodily injury or death of another person.