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Please note : To protect your safety in response to COVID-19, we are offering our current and potential clients the ability to conduct business via telephone at this time.

FAQ Criminal Defense

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Have Questions? We Have Answers.

Facing any kind of a criminal charge can leave you with a lot of questions. The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC, has collected some of the most common questions it receives for your convenience here:

What happens during an arrest?

When the police come to your door or stop you on the highway, they must follow a strict legal procedure. That procedure involves:

  • The actual arrest — The police may frisk you or search your property during an arrest. Prior to an arrest, you have the right to deny a police search if they do not have a warrant.
  • Booking — When police arrest someone, they may fingerprint and photograph them before questioning them regarding a specific accusation.
  • Arraignment — After booking, the person may be held in jail until the first appearance before a District Court judge. You have a right to a speedy trial, as well as legal representation, so it is important to contact an attorney immediately to understand all your defense options after an arrest for any criminal charge.

It is also critical to remember your Miranda rights during the process of an arrest, to avoid incriminating yourself.

Can the police search my car or home during a drug arrest?

Yes, but no matter the drug charge, the police must have both a reason and a warrant to search your property. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides you with the right to deny the police permission to search your property, including your car or your home, if they do not have a warrant.

However, even if the police do have a warrant, there is still a specific procedure they must follow while conducting a search. You still have rights during a police search, such as:

  • Reviewing the warrant
  • Being treated with respect

What happens when someone serves a domestic violence protective order?

Protective order 50B, also called a domestic violence protective order (DVPO), provides alleged victims of domestic abuse protections against the accused party. Essentially, the protective order functions as a restraining order, providing instructions to cease contact of any kind with the alleged victim.

If you are facing charges of domestic violence or assault, a DVPO can seriously impact your:

  • Ability to live in your own home
  • Access to your family
  • Right to keep and bear arms

It is important to contact a defense lawyer as soon as possible if someone serves you with a DVPO. A restraining order is not final, and you can fight both the DVPO and any charges of violent crimes with attorney Michael D. Cleaves working for you.

If you, yourself, are the victim of domestic violence, attorney Cleaves can help you obtain a DVPO to get the protection and peace of mind that you need. As one who regularly represents defendants, he is keenly aware of how to effectively represent plaintiffs.

When does the state revoke a driver’s license? What can I do to get it back?

With North Carolina’s traffic violation points system, it roughly takes 12 points collected in the span of three years for your license to be either suspended or revoked. Most traffic violations are three or more points and include offenses such as:

  • Speeding
  • Accidents
  • Running a red light
  • Reckless driving

There are some instances that lead to an immediate revocation of your license, such as:

  • Driving while impaired
  • Planned racing with another vehicle
  • Significant speeding violations

When the state suspends your driver’s license, you may only have to pay a fine or the amount listed on your ticket to reinstate your license. When your license is revoked, you usually have to start over. First, you will need approval to regain your driving privileges from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Then you will have to work through the DMV to retake both the written and practical driving tests to reinstate your license.

Sometimes it is possible to reopen old cases to improve the result, thus resolving any issues with the NCDMV.

You also may be able to get a limited driving privilege with the help of a skilled traffic violations attorney.

Call An Experienced Lawyer Today For Answers To All Your Questions

Attorney Michael D. Cleaves is available to answer all your questions about criminal defense. Contact us today by calling 888-397-7618 or sending us an email for a free consultation at our Statesville location. Se habla español.