Mocksville Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Mocksville Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing criminal charges is a stressful and frightening matter. Being convicted means potentially facing severe penalties and having it affect multiple areas of your life for a long time. The criminal justice system can be harsh and difficult to navigate, especially under such serious circumstances. Michael D. Cleaves, your Mocksville criminal defense lawyer, can give you the support you need while helping you through the legal process.

Mocksville Criminal Defense Lawyer

How Can a Mocksville Criminal Defense Attorney Help You?

Michael D. Cleaves is a knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense lawyer, contributing over 15 years of experience to each case he handles in Davie County, Iredell County, and surrounding areas. He understands that every case and client is unique and works hard to provide each of his clients with personalized services to fit their needs. As a criminal defense lawyer with a wealth of knowledge surrounding the legal system and legal procedures, here is what Michael D. Cleaves can do for you:

  • Make Sure You Understand Your Rights. It is important for everyone facing criminal charges to understand their legal rights. You are innocent until proven guilty and have the right to a fair trial, which your lawyer can make sure you get. When arrested for a crime, you do not have to speak with any member of law enforcement without your lawyer present.In fact, your lawyer can speak on your behalf any time you interact with law enforcement. This protects your rights and ensures you don’t say anything that could potentially be used against you.
  • Investigate Your Case. Your lawyer has the right and ability to fully investigate your case and the charges that are being brought against you. This means going over evidence, potentially discovering new evidence, and gathering witness testimonies.Your lawyer will gather every piece of evidence they can find that could impact your case. All of it, even something you perceive to be negative, can be used to develop your defense. Investigating can also help your lawyer determine if your case can be dismissed.
  • Develop a Strong Defense Strategy. From the moment your lawyer begins reviewing the details of your case and investigating, they begin forming their defense strategy based on all the evidence presented. The prosecution has the burden of proof, so it is your lawyer’s job to create reasonable doubt in their case. With their knowledge of North Carolina laws and statutes, your lawyer can devise a good defense strategy for you.
  • Handle Negotiations. Negotiations with the prosecution are an important part of the pre-trial and trial process. Your lawyer can potentially negotiate a plea deal in your favor, try to mitigate penalties, or get the case dismissed. Typically, a plea deal is negotiated and turned down or accepted before a trial. It may not seem like a great option to most, but it can sometimes be better than going to court. Ultimately, accepting or refusing a plea is your decision.
  • Court Representation. If you decide to go to trial, you will have your criminal defense lawyer by your side to advocate for you and defend your rights. They will cross-examine witnesses, present strong evidence in your defense, and go head-to-head with the prosecution. Your lawyer will fight for you until the end of the trial and can continue with an appeal if you don’t get an appropriate outcome.

Types of Cases a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Handle

The team at The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC, has the knowledge and experience to effectively defend clients facing all kinds of criminal charges, including:

  • Misdemeanor offenses, such as possession of a simple drug, reckless driving, drunk driving, shoplifting, and simple assault. Someone charged with a misdemeanor can face anywhere between 1 day and six months of jail time, along with additional criminal penalties.
  • Gun offenses, such as possession of a weapon while on school grounds, possession of a concealed weapon without a permit, and possession of a firearm as a felon. Although some gun offenses can be charged as misdemeanors, they are often felonies with penalties of up to 10 years of prison time.
  • Drug crimes. It is a felony to possess, sell, or transport controlled substances like cocaine, heroin, and opiates in the state of North Carolina. The prison sentence an offender can receive depends on the type of drug and the amount.
  • Theft crimes such as larceny and shoplifting. These crimes can potentially result in a felony or misdemeanor charge, depending on the stolen goods’ value. Robbery, however, is charged as a felony. Offenders can face between 2 and 10 years of prison time, depending on the felony class, and up to 17 years in severe cases.
  • Violent crimes and assaults. This includes murder, manslaughter, and assault with a deadly weapon. These are all felony offenses. The penalties range from 4 years to 12 years for manslaughter and assault. Murder carries harsher penalties of 16 to 40 years for second degree and life in prison or the death penalty for first-degree murder.
  • Sexual assault, including rape, first-degree sexual offense, and second-degree sexual offense. These are all felony offenses. Penalties include between 5- and 19-years imprisonment for second-degree rape and second-degree sexual offense. First-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense, and statutory rape all carry a penalty of up to 40 years in prison.

Possible Defenses in Criminal Cases

Determining the right defense strategy to use is the key to beating any criminal charges brought against you. Here are some potential strategies a defense attorney may use in criminal court:

  • Lack of Evidence – In criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. They have to prove their case against the defendant with the evidence they collected. If the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence, your lawyer may be able to have the case dismissed.
  • Constitutional Violations – If you were arrested after an illegal search and seizure, if law enforcement illegally obtained a confession, or if they failed to read you your Miranda Rights when they arrested you, you could potentially have your entire case dismissed.
  • Alibi – With the alibi defense, your team must prove that you were somewhere else when the crime took place. If there are witnesses or other evidence, such as video footage, that places you in another location at the time of the crime, you have a strong defense for the charges being dropped or being found not guilty.
  • Self-Defense – Self-defense can be used when you are facing murder, assault, or battery charges. If your use of violence was a result of a threat of violence or violent actions from the victim, you may be able to claim self-defense.
  • Insanity – When it comes to the insanity defense, the defense team has to prove that the defendant has a mental illness and was suffering from a mental disturbance when they committed the crime. If this defense is successful, the defendant could be institutionalized for treatment instead of incarcerated.
  • Necessity – This defense can be used if the defense can justify the defendant committing the crime because there was a more severe threat of harm. If the defendant was trying to avoid harm to themselves or someone else, and this can be proven, the necessity defense may be a successful defense strategy.


Q. Is Mocksville, NC a Good Place to Live?

A. Overall, Mocksville, NC, is a good place to live. The small town has a population of around 6,000 people, and the crime rates in the city are low compared to the overall crime rates of the state. The cost of living is low, and there is a decent housing market and many schools in the area. Mocksville ranks fairly high in terms of livability.

Q. What Is the Opposite of a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A. The opposite of a criminal defense lawyer is a prosecutor or district attorney. They will typically work for the state government or the federal government if the defendant is accused of a federal crime. While criminal defense attorneys represent those accused of a crime, the prosecutor brings the charges and tries to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Q. What Is the Most Common Criminal Defense?

A. The most common criminal defense depends entirely on the crime, but one of the most common is the alibi defense. Having an alibi means you were somewhere other than the scene of the crime when the crime took place. If there are witnesses or some other kind of evidence that can place you somewhere other than the scene of the crime, you can argue that you couldn’t have possibly committed the crime you are being accused of.

Q. What Are the Four Major Criminal Law Defenses?

A. The four major criminal law defenses are innocence, self-defense, insanity, and constitutional violations. Each strategy can be used in different cases. A criminal defense lawyer’s choice of defense depends on the details of the case and how effective they think each defense will be. Your lawyer will go over each option you have for your defense and determine how to proceed.

Let a Mocksville Criminal Defense Attorney Advocate for You

When you are faced with criminal charges, you want an experienced and skilled legal team in your corner throughout the process. Contact The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC, to schedule a consultation and get started on your defense.

Mocksville Practice Areas

Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense

DWI Lawyer And DUI Defense

DWI Lawyer And DUI Defense

Traffic Ticket

Traffic Ticket


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