Elizabeth City Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing an arrest can be a terrifying ordeal. Even when you have not been arrested, finding out you are under investigation for a crime can produce fear and anxiety. You do not have to go through these experiences alone—and you should not. Our firm can protect your rights and help you resolve the matter in the most favorable manner possible.

An Elizabeth City criminal defense lawyer represents people charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. You should reach out as soon as you are arrested or realize law enforcement officials are investigating you.

Our Firm Handles the Following Types of Criminal Law Cases

Protecting the Rights of the Accused

When police arrest or investigate someone for a crime, they must follow certain procedures. The U.S. Constitution provides certain rights, and courts have clarified those rights over the years. A criminal defense attorney can ensure law enforcement in Elizabeth City does not violate your constitutional rights.

For example, to make a traffic stop, the police must reasonably suspect a person committed a crime. Law enforcement cannot search a car without having probable cause to believe there is contraband in the vehicle. The police must have a search warrant to enter someone’s home or office. If they arrest someone, they must inform the person of their rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present when answering questions.

An investigation into police conduct often reveals violations of the rights of an accused person. A legal professional could bring a motion asking a judge to throw out evidence police discovered through improper means. When a prosecutor learns the defense has proof of police misconduct, they might decide not to move forward and ask the judge to dismiss the charge.

Resolving Charges Favorably

Getting charges dismissed is sometimes impossible. Often, a prosecutor is confident in their evidence and unwilling to let an accused person walk away without suffering consequences. A defense attorney in Elizabeth City can use their negotiating skills to achieve a satisfactory result in such criminal cases.

Prosecutors routinely charge people with more serious offenses to provide room to negotiate: in some cases, a felony charge could be reduced to a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor to a non-criminal infraction. Depending on the type of offense, a prosecutor might accept probation, a fine, community service, drug treatment, anger management counseling, or some combination of these.

A defense attorney tries to achieve the outcome that best serves their client. Depending on the person’s criminal history, and the crime they are charged with, achieving a result that avoids jail time may be possible. If the person has a substantial criminal record, the goal is to prevent a conviction that could lead to habitual offender status.

Habitual Offenders Face Harsher Sentences

Someone with an extensive criminal history faces enhanced sentencing upon conviction. The law considers anyone with three guilty pleas or convictions for a felony a habitual felon. A similar law applies to people who are habitual misdemeanor offenders.

The state classifies felonies from most serious, Class A, to least severe, Class I. According to North Carolina General Statutes § 14-7.6, the judge in the case must impose a sentence appropriate to a felony four classes higher when sentencing a habitual felon. For example, the judge will sentence a habitual felon convicted of a Class H felony as if they committed a Class D felony.

The law is complex, and many factors could influence sentencing for a habitual offender. A defense attorney in Elizabeth City is familiar with the nuances of the habitual offender laws and could work to help an accused person avoid the enhancement being proposed.

Contact an Elizabeth City Defense Attorney When Facing Criminal Charges

Criminal charges carry significant consequences. Do not risk your future by trying to handle a criminal investigation or charge without seasoned counsel. Parks Zeigler’s Elizabeth City criminal defense lawyers will work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome. Call immediately when you are arrested or know you are under investigation for criminal activity.

Areas We Serve

Centrally located on the waterfront in downtown Elizabeth City, our team provides quality legal representation across the following counties in the Northeast North Carolina region.

  • Camden County
  • Gates County
  • Chowan County
  • Pasquotank County
  • Currituck County
  • Perquimans County
  • Dare County

Also serving only criminal and traffic cases in the following counties:

  • Beaufort County
  • Tyrrell County
  • Martin County
  • Washington County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
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524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
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200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
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