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Fact: It is not uncommon for an innocent person to be charged with a crime and face being locked up for something that they did not do. It is even more common that someone who did something wrong is grossly “overcharged,” where the Government tries to punish them far more severely than they deserve. Even more common than that is the defendant who never gets to show the judge the valid reasons why they should be given a break. The criminal justice system can swallow a person swept up in it unless they have an experienced, skillful, and caring lawyer.
Rawls, Scheer, Clary & Mingo’s criminal justice attorneys have been representing people charged with crimes for more than 30 years. Though each lawyer focuses their practice on certain areas of criminal law, as a group the firm represents people charged with any crime – from complex federal fraud conspiracies to major violent crimes charged in state court, to driving while impaired, and even speeding tickets. While the majority of RSCM’s criminal cases are in Charlotte, the firm represents many clients elsewhere throughout North Carolina, the United States, and even occasionally overseas.
Everyone on RSCM’s criminal defense team is a trial lawyer with years of success in trying cases to judges and juries. All are former prosecutors or public defenders. Most are Board Certified Specialists in both State and Federal Criminal Law and have received the distinguished recognition by their peers as “Preeminent” in the field through Martindale Hubbell. They have received numerous other awards as well, but the highest praise comes from their clients, which you can read on each lawyer’s bio page.
The term “criminal defense” encompasses a wide array of cases. A person can be charged with crimes in two separate systems – State and Federal. The State has jurisdiction over almost any crime committed within its borders; petty crimes (such as traffic offenses and misdemeanors), as well as felonies ranging from drug trafficking, violent crimes such as rape and other sex offenses and murder. The State also prosecutes financial or “white collar” crimes in certain cases.
The United States Justice Department prosecutes cases in Federal Court. The federal prosecutors may be based out of “Main Justice” in Washington, DC, or located in the local district offices around the country. Federal cases in North Carolina are usually prosecuted in the District Courts based in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh. Most people know of the Federal cases where interstate or international borders are crossed. Federal prosecutors also charge people for local drug trafficking, bank frauds and other violations of the currency laws, child pornography, tax evasion, gun law violations, environmental crimes, and immigration frauds.
Whether charged in State or Federal courts, criminal cases can be extremely complex. Most of the court cases that make the news are criminal charges. Pretrial publicity, highly technical forensic evidence, and the fear brought on by the mere mention of certain charges make preparing and presenting serious felonies very challenging. Law school does very little to prepare a lawyer to handle criminal cases. Even DWI defense is an extremely technical area of the law that most lawyers are incapable of handling well. Good training, years of practice, a constant desire to learn new things, diligence in keeping up with developments in the law, and absolute commitment to representing people that others assume are bad, are the ingredients to making a good criminal defense lawyer. Every person charged with a crime deserves nothing less.