Statesville Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Statesville Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing a criminal charge in the Statesville, North Carolina, area, the dedication and diligence of a Statesville criminal defense lawyer can make a positive difference in your future. That lawyer is Michael D. Cleaves, a criminal defense attorney representing clients throughout Iredell, Davie, and Alexander counties.

Michael D. Cleaves is a versatile defense attorney who handles all types of criminal law cases, including felonies and misdemeanors, drunk driving charges, traffic offenses, and probation violations.

The Experienced Representation You Need

A felony conviction can put you behind bars for years, drain your finances with substantial fines and restitution, establish a criminal record, and impose severe probation conditions upon your release back to society.

Mr. Cleaves provides efficient defense representation for individuals who are facing various criminal charges in Statesville, NC, including:

  • Drunk drivingDWI
  • Drug offenses — Possession, distribution, and trafficking
  • Traffic violationsSpeeding, reckless driving, DWI, driving without a valid driver’s license, driving without insurance and leaving the scene of an accident
  • Theft — Burglary, larceny, robbery and embezzlement
  • Violent crimes — Sexual assault, aggravated assault, domestic violence, kidnapping and homicide

Are you being accused of domestic violence in your own home? Are assault charges against you the result of self-defense or mistaken identity? No law says you have to surrender to this bleak outcome without a fight. Act now to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

What Does a Statesville’s Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

When you work with a criminal defense lawyer in Statesville, he or she is responsible for ensuring that you are given a thorough defense against your charges and that your rights are protected. In particular, the protection of your rights begins as soon as you decide to work with us.

Protect Your Rights

Most people think of the Constitutional rights that you have when you are arrested, such as your right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. You have rights, though, even if you are being investigated, such as the right not to be subject to unlawful and warrantless searches. It’s your Statesville lawyer’s job to help protect those rights from being violated.

Investigate Your Case

If you are charged with a crime in Statesville, NC, your defense is our job. That usually begins with our own investigation of the crime you’re charged with. We look for evidence that can help clear you of the charges and avoid a conviction. The kinds of evidence we gather are based on the type of crime and the specifics of your situation, but we may:

  • Subpoena important documents and information.
  • Potentially use video or photo evidence.
  • Speak with any witnesses involved.

Build a Defense

While we are investigating, we can work on the early stages of formulating your defense. A key element of this process is trying to think like the investigator and understand the case that they may be planning to put forward. It’s important to remember that an effective defense only needs to create a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury, so we try to identify the weak points in the prosecution’s argument to inspire that doubt.

The specifics of your defense will depend very much on the circumstances of the case. We look at the totality of the evidence available and try to understand what may be the right option for you. In some situations, this may mean arguing that you never committed the act in question. In others, though, it could mean admitting that the act occurred but that mitigating circumstances, such as self-defense, mean that it wasn’t criminal.

Pre-Trial Motions

Before there is a trial, there is likely to be a series of pre-trial motions where we can attempt to:

  • Get the case dismissed altogether.
  • Get unlawfully collected evidence tossed out.
  • Establish other parameters of a trial.

There may also be a plea bargain deal that is offered. In that case, it is our responsibility to negotiate and see if there is a deal that is acceptable to you. If not, though, the case will likely go to court.

Represent You in Court

When a case goes to trial, it’s our job to represent you before the court. We can challenge the case that the prosecution puts forth, identifying their weaknesses and magnifying them for the jury. We can also put forth a proactive, aggressive defense for you, using evidence that we’ve discovered in our investigation to further attempt to put doubt in the minds of the jury.

There are times when even the strongest argued cases still may return a guilty verdict. We still fight for you even after that point, though, as we argue for minimal sentencing and can later make any applicable appeals.

Why Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer in Statesville, NC?

Any criminal charge can have serious repercussions that impact your life and future. However, it is possible to stand up against criminal charges with the help of a dedicated and skilled criminal defense lawyer.

Attorney Michael D. Cleaves, of The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC, can represent you against any criminal charge, from a DWI to speeding ticket, or assault to larceny. With more than 20 years of experience to offer, Mr. Cleaves provides you with knowledgeable counsel and tailors his strategy to fit your best interests. Facing criminal charges can be stressful and frightening, but Mr. Cleaves is committed to safeguarding your life and future.

Invaluable Support In Criminal Cases

Some people may hesitate to call a defense lawyer. This could be for a variety of reasons, including their personal situation or worries about their case. Regardless of your situation or the charges against you, having an experienced defense attorney on your side could be the difference between winning and losing.

The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC, can help you:

  • Protect your rights — You have specific rights in any criminal case that are outlined in the United States Constitution, as well as the North Carolina Constitution. These include the rights to legal representation, due process and a speedy trial. It is important to know all your rights when dealing with criminal charges, and an experienced lawyer can help you do so.
  • Understand the process — The legal process for criminal cases can be confusing. Mr. Cleaves can help you navigate through the details of your case, outline all the options open to you and help you choose the wisest way forward with your case.
  • Negotiate the best possible outcome — Attorney Michael D. Cleaves understands how the North Carolina justice system works and how prosecutors think. He will be committed to your cause and work closely with you to reach the best possible outcome. He will also work with you for criminal record expungement if necessary.

Consulting a defense attorney is a strategic and necessary move to protect your future when dealing with criminal charges. The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC, puts knowledge and experience together to work for you.

FAQs – Statesville Criminal Defense Lawyer

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:

Q1. 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.

Q2. 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

Q3. 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.

Q4. 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.

Contact Our Statesville Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Contact The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC, to arrange a free initial consultation and confidentially discuss your legal issues. Call us toll-free at 704-871-0425 or send an email message. The sooner you are in touch, the sooner our law firm can begin the hard work of safeguarding your interests.

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense

Traffic Violations

Traffic Violations

Personal Injury

Personal Injury

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation


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