Home> Practice Areas> Criminal Defense >North Carolina

Criminal Defense Lawyers in North Carolina

Lawyer Legion Criminal Defense Information Center of North Carolina

Search Directory for Criminal Defense Lawyers in North Carolina

Change your query below to search for lawyers in other areas. *results are limited to 250 per query

Criminal Defense Lawyers by County


Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in North Carolina

Lawyer Legion Top Picks for 2024

Lawyer Legion created this list of the top picks in 2024 for the best criminal defense attorneys in North Carolina. To rank the top criminal defense attorneys, DWI defense attorneys, and other lawyers in North Carolina, we used both objective and subjective criteria.

The top criminal defense attorneys were selected based on their career accomplishments, success in high profile cases, professional involvement, community leadership, and board certification.

This list represents some of the most highly accomplished criminal defense lawyers currently practicing in Florida. When reviewing this list, please be aware of each of the following:

  • Lawyers cannot pay to be included in this list.
  • Only lawyers who are active on Lawyer Legion were selected.
  • No online directory can accurately determine a statewide list of attorneys who are actually “the best” at practicing criminal law (but our list comes close).
Samuel J Randall IV
Criminal Defense and Federal Crimes Lawyer
Charlotte, NC
View Profile
Michael R Ramos
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Shallotte, NC
View Profile
Daniel Russell Talbert
Criminal Defense and Family Lawyer
Shelby, NC
View Profile
James F Rutherford
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Wilmington, NC
View Profile
B Geoffrey Hulse
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Goldsboro, NC
View Profile
Edd K Roberts III
Criminal Defense and DUI / DWI Lawyer
Raleigh, NC
View Profile
David Roy Teddy
Criminal Defense and DUI / DWI Lawyer
Shelby, NC
View Profile
Mark E Edwards
Criminal Defense and Marijuana Lawyer
Durham, NC
View Profile
Melissa H Hill
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Raleigh, NC
View Profile
Thomas Courtland Manning
Criminal Defense and Federal Crimes Lawyer
Raleigh, NC
View Profile
James Thomas Amburgey
Criminal Defense and Domestic Violence Lawyer
Asheville, NC
View Profile
Daniel Micah Blau
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Raleigh, NC
View Profile

More Noteworthy North Carolina Attorneys

North Carolina Legal Resources

Helpful Videos

Greensboro Criminal Lawyer Who Helps His Clients

Criminal Defense Bar Associations and Legal Organizations

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) - Founded in 1958, NACDL is the largest organization for criminal defense lawyers fighting to preserve fairness within America's criminal justice system. The organization has more than 10,000 direct members including criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders in state or federal court, U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges.
North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) - The North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) is an organization supporting the rights of those injured by the wrongdoing of others, workers, the disabled, those with family problems, consumers, those in debt, and those accused of a crime. Founded in 1962, the NCAJ continues enhancing the practice of attorneys to better serve the cases of clients. The NCAJ is an affiliate organization of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

Specialty Certifications in Criminal Defense

Criminal Law State - The North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization established criminal law as a specialty area of law. North Carolina's board certification program plays an important role in helping the public find the best attorney for their particular case. The attorney that applies for certification as a specialist in criminal law must show substantial involvement in the specialty area through the performance of substantive legal work including significant criminal trial experiences through a certain number of criminal jury trials.
Juvenile Delinquency Law - Attorneys who earn certification as a specialist in juvenile delinquency law must meet certain standards for substantial involvement, specific task requirements, peer review, examination, and completion of continuing legal education requirements. Juvenile delinquency law is generally considered to be a subset of the larger category of criminal law. Also, it is known as juvenile justice, juvenile defense, or prosecution in juvenile court.
Criminal Trial Law - The specialty area of Criminal Trial Law is offered by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) to lawyers. To earn NBTA board certification, the criminal defense attorney must show substantial involvement in at least 45 days of trial, must have served as lead counsel in jury cases through verdict; conducted direct examinations and cross-examinations, and conducted a specified number of voir dire, opening statements and closing arguments.
DUI Defense Law - The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) is an organization that grants specialty or board certification for DUI Defense Law. The ABA has recognized the NCDD as an organization that is accredited to award certification in this specialty area of the law. The purpose of granting board certification in DUI Defense Law is to recognize DUI and DWI lawyers who focus their practice on representing men and women accused of drunk and impaired driving offenses. In order to qualify for board certification in "DUI Defense Law," the attorney must meet specific qualifications and apply for board certification with NCDD.

North Carolina Government and Court Resources

Judicial Branch of North Carolina

Judicial Branch of North Carolina - The Judicial Branch of North Carolina is a fundamental pillar of the state's government, responsible for upholding and interpreting the law. It encompasses a hierarchical structure of courts, including the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Courts, and Superior Courts. These courts collectively administer justice, resolve disputes, and safeguard the rights of North Carolina citizens through fair and impartial legal proceedings.

North Carolina Attorney General

North Carolina Attorney General - The North Carolina Attorney General serves as North Carolina's chief legal officer and advisor. Elected by the people, the Attorney General represents the state in legal matters, offering guidance to state agencies and ensuring fair enforcement of laws. With a mandate to protect North Carolinians' rights, the Attorney General plays a pivotal role in upholding justice, advocating for consumer protection, and addressing critical legal issues.

North Carolina Court of Appeals

North Carolina Court of Appeals - The North Carolina Court of Appeals serves as an intermediate appellate court within North Carolina's judicial system. Comprised of 15 judges, the North Carolina Court of Appeals reviews decisions from trial courts and administrative agencies. It ensures legal correctness, fairness, and adherence to the law in various cases, contributing to the efficient administration of justice in North Carolina.

North Carolina Legislative Branch

North Carolina Legislative Branch - The North Carolina Legislative Branch operates under a bicameral system, consisting of the North Carolina Senate and the North Carolina House of Representatives. The Senate comprises 50 members serving two-year terms, while the House has 120 members also serving two-year terms. The Legislature is responsible for proposing, debating, and passing laws that govern the state. Its duties include formulating the state budget, levying taxes, and addressing various policy issues such as education, healthcare, and criminal justice.

Office of Indigent Defense Services of North Carolina

Office of Indigent Defense Services of North Carolina - The Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) in North Carolina oversees legal representation for indigent defendants, ensuring training standards, effective service delivery, and cost-effectiveness. The IDS's objectives include recruiting skilled attorneys, offering necessary support, and managing the indigent defense fund efficiently. The IDS Commission establishes rules for service delivery, attorney recruitment, evaluation, and compensation in capital and appellate cases.

Supreme Court of North Carolina

Supreme Court of North Carolina - The Supreme Court of North Carolina, established in 1818, stands as the apex of North Carolina's judicial framework. With seven justices, it exercises jurisdiction over appeals, constitutional questions, and rule formulation. This institution profoundly influences legal precedents and safeguards justice by rendering authoritative decisions on diverse legal issues, thereby serving as a cornerstone of North Carolina's legal landscape.

The North Carolina Judical Branch

The North Carolina Judical Branch - The North Carolina Judicial Branch has a rich history, rooted in the state's colonial past and shaped by its commitment to justice. Established during the colonial period, the judiciary is responsible for interpreting and applying the law, adjudicating civil and criminal cases, protecting individual rights, ensuring due process, and overseeing family law matters such as divorce and child custody. The state's judiciary has been instrumental in shaping legal precedents.

North Carolina Law Enforcement Agencies

North Carolina Department of Public Safety - The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) is a state agency dedicated to enhancing public safety and well-being. It encompasses divisions like law enforcement, emergency management, and corrections. The NCDPS ensures effective response to disasters, enforces laws, manages corrections facilities, and supports crime prevention initiatives. Through its comprehensive approach, the NCDPS plays a vital role in safeguarding communities and maintaining order in North Carolina.

North Carolina Department of Public Safety
512 North Salisbury Street,
Raleigh, NC 27604
Phone: 919-710-8885

Overview of North Carolina Criminal Defense

At Lawyer Legion, we created this information center for topics related to criminal defense in the State of North Carolina.

Criminal defense in North Carolina pertains to the legal advocacy offered to individuals facing criminal allegations within North Carolina's borders. North Carolina criminal defense attorneys assume a pivotal role in upholding the rights of the accused, overseeing a just legal procedure, and championing advantageous resolutions in criminal proceedings. Presented below is a comprehensive outline of North Carolina's criminal defense landscape.

Qualifications for Criminal Defense Attorneys in North Carolina

Prospective attorneys must first complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. After obtaining a bachelor's degree, they need to attend an accredited law school and earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Upon graduation from law school, aspiring attorneys must pass the North Carolina Bar Examination.

Applicants, then, must undergo a character and fitness evaluation, which involves disclosing personal and professional background information. The North Carolina State Bar thoroughly reviews applicants' moral character, ethical conduct, and fitness to practice law.

After becoming licensed, attorneys in North Carolina must fulfill ongoing continuing legal education (CLE) requirements. The minimum requirement for active North Carolina attorneys is 12 credit hours annually, which includes at least two hours in the area of professional responsibility and ethics and one hour devoted to technology training. This ensures that attorneys stay updated on changes in the law and maintain their competence in their respective practice areas, including criminal defense.

While not mandatory, attorneys can pursue specialization in criminal law through certification programs offered by the North Carolina State Bar. A certification demonstrates a higher level of expertise in criminal defense and can be advantageous when building a practice. In addition, joining organizations like the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) or the American Bar Association (ABA) can provide networking opportunities, access to resources, and a platform for professional development.

Criminal Law in North Carolina

North Carolina has its own set of criminal laws and sentencing guidelines that outline the elements of various offenses and their corresponding penalties. North Carolina criminal defense attorneys must have a thorough understanding of these laws to effectively represent their clients.

North Carolina's structured sentencing system categorizes offenses into different levels (A through I), with corresponding ranges of punishment. Each level is associated with a presumptive range of imprisonment, and judges have limited discretion to deviate from these ranges. Criminal defense attorneys work within this framework to advocate for sentences that align with their clients' circumstances.

North Carolina also has specific rules governing the discovery process, which involves the exchange of evidence between the prosecution and defense. Attorneys must be familiar with these rules to gather and analyze evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and other materials that can influence the outcome of a case.

North Carolina's court system includes District Courts, Superior Courts, and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Cases are initially heard in District Courts, and more serious offenses are elevated to Superior Courts for trial. North Carolina's Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) oversees the provision of legal representation to defendants who cannot afford to hire private attorneys.

Criminal defense in North Carolina requires a comprehensive understanding of state criminal statutes, court procedures, and the ability to navigate the complexities of the legal system. Criminal defense lawyers work diligently to protect the rights and interests of their clients while striving for the best possible outcomes under the law.

Suggest an Edit

Thanks, your suggestion has been sent to our support team