Criminal Defense

Have you been charged with a traffic citation, misdemeanor, felony, or other serious crime? Do you need experienced representation to protect your rights and your freedom, your finances, and your licenses? Do you have a defense against a search warrant, the use of some confidential informant, or an illegal search and seizure? Were you given your Miranda rights? There are many issues involved in a proper criminal defense – are you aware of all of them? »

Each criminal case is different and involves variables that are difficult to discuss in general terms. However, there are several rules that apply to all criminal cases. It is extremely important that you do not talk to anybody other than your lawyer about your case.

Anybody that you speak with might possibly be used against you at a later date and anything that you say might be used against you at a later date. For example, even friends or relatives may have been recruited by the police and they can try to get you to admit something. Anything that you tell your lawyer is confidential.

Help is close at hand if you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina or South Carolina.  Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC have been helping and defending people like you for over 166 combined years of legal experience.  Our attorneys are up to date, aggressive and attentive to your needs and perspectives.  Your point of view regarding your arrest is our starting point.  Other avenues of defense often include the following issues:

  • The arrest: Did the police have probable cause? Was anything about the arrest handled inappropriately?
  • The charges: Were you appropriately charged? In some cases, motions to have charges dismissed when the charges did not match the evidence or the alleged crime can be successful.
  • Were there any irregularities in the investigation leading up to the arrest? For example, was a complaining witness of questionable credibility or motive?
  • Was the evidence gathered correctly? Does it fit the allegations? Was it seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution?
  • If DUI/DWI is the charge, is the breath test analysis verifiable? If there are drug charges, was the urine analysis credible?

Regardless of the crime or the circumstances, our goals include:

  • Keep you out of jail.
  • Keep bond as low as possible.
  • Aggressively pursue the most favorable disposition attainable.
  • If appropriate, craft creative plea bargains, including mitigating factors such as community service, drug or alcohol treatment or anger management in lieu of jail time, or high bail.

A criminal arrest is a legal emergency that must not be left to chance. No matter what the charges, the consequences of a conviction can have devastating consequences such as the following:

  • Jail time
  • House arrest
  • Probation
  • Travel limitations affecting the ability to visit Canada or other countries at will
  • Career limitations
  • Loss of driver's licenses and/or professional licenses

Perhaps you made a regrettable mistake, were a victim of circumstances, or have been falsely accused. A knowledgeable and effective lawyer on your side can mean the difference between a favorable outcome (dismissal of charges, reduction of charges, or a positive plea bargain) and serious trouble for years to come. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer with Wright, Worley, Pope, Ekster & Moss, PLLC as soon as possible to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected at every step in the criminal justice process.

Among our criminal defense lawyers is a former prosecutor who has handled over 400 criminal cases from the side of the prosecution, whose insights into the tactics and expectations of the prosecution are used to help us build strong defense cases.

Have you been issued a citation for a speeding violation, license charge, improper registration or inspection, or other driving violation? Did you get a ticket as a result of a car accident? Has your license been revoked? »

Probation Violations

If you are on probation and you are served with a violation report, you need a good attorney to try to keep a judge from activating your sentence and sending you to jail. Contact your full service local legal team.

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Traffic Violations

Have you been issued a citation for a speeding violation, license charge, improper registration or inspection, or other driving violation? Did you get a ticket as a result of a car accident? Has your license been revoked?
Has your license been revoked? Are you trying to get your license back but have been unable to? Do you need representation at a DMV hearing?

If you have any traffic violations, including speeding, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, or related crimes such as vehicular homicide, contact your full service local legal team. On most traffic violations, we can appear on your behalf so that you do not have to make another trip just to attend court.

Driver actions believed to endanger the well-being of others may result in a charge of reckless driving/endangerment. Drivers who run a stop sign, pass a loading school bus, or pass in a "no passing" zone, may be charged with reckless driving/endangerment or other traffic violations; if an officer involved believes a driver's actions demonstrate an indifference or neglect toward the safety of others.

Depending on the specifics of your case, the charge(s) against you, your prior driving record/history, you could be facing a temporary loss of your license, expensive fines, and a permanent mark on your driving history. Your local legal team works with the court in seeking a reduction of charges and sentence against our clients. If your driving record is clean and you are willing to enroll in a driver's education program, the court may be willing to reduce the charge against you to a minor moving violation. While this may take more time than simply pleading "guilty," doing so could save you thousands of dollars in insurance cost in the long run, and help protect your criminal record and/or driver’s license. Prevent unnecessary, potentially harmful accumulation of points, which may eventually lead to a driver's license suspension, by contacting your local legal team. We are committed to helping our clients obtain the most favorable dispositions after receiving a traffic ticket, such as:

  • Charges dismissed.
  • Charges reduced.
  • Penalties wiped out or lessened.
  • Prevention of additional points on your driving record with the state and with your insurance company.
  • Protect your driving record, your auto insurance rates, your driving privileges and possibly your professional license, including a trucker's license or police credentials if you are a law enforcement officer.
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Violent Crimes

If you have been charged with assault, battery, communicating threats, homicide, arson, domestic violence and other violent crimes, including aggravated assault, contact your full service local legal team. Further, when an aspect of criminal law, such as domestic violence, touches another area of law, such as family law, we are prepared to handle all of the unexpected challenges that you face.

Whether this is a first-time arrest or you have been in trouble with the law in the past, your future and your freedom may hang in the balance. You must take whatever action you can that might prevent your violent crime charges from having devastating long-term effects on your future. A conviction could result in unwanted consequences such as: Jail time; Fines and penalties; a criminal record that affects your employability; a threat to your professional license; an impact on your right to possess firearms and/or to hunt; difficulty in various areas of life such as job applications, housing applications, security clearances and the ability to cross international borders. Canada, for example, often turns away visitors from the U. S. at border crossings when criminal convictions are on the books.

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DWI/DUI

Have you been charged with Driving While Impaired or Driving Under the Influence, either while driving a car, boat, or other vehicle? Are you trying to get your privilege to drive back after being charged with one of these crimes?

If you have been arrested on DWI/DUI charges for the first time or for repeat violations, contact your full service local legal team. These charges are more than simply a traffic violation. A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol could have serious consequences, including a criminal record, heavy fine, and driver's license suspension. Penalties for repeat violations are tougher still. Further, if you have received a citation for DWI/DUI there are two components which must be resolved:

  1. An administrative hearing involving your driving privileges. Your driver's license may be suspended or revoked, depending on factors such as whether you consented to a breath test and whether it is a first or repeat offense.
  2. A criminal matter that may result in fines and penalties, jail time and a permanent criminal record.

A DUI/DWI arrest is an urgent situation that calls for experienced legal counsel and representation. Did you know you could:

  • Challenge the traffic stop: did the law enforcement agent have sufficient probable cause to stop you while you were operating a motor vehicle?
  • Challenge of the sobriety test: did the field sobriety test and/or breathalyzer results determine conclusively that your blood alcohol content was above the legal threshold?
  • Challenge of the charges through plea bargaining.
  • Challenge of the sentence: aggressive legal representation may result in a reduced sentence even if the evidence is strong that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Even if an officer has reasonable suspicion to pull you over and correctly administers a field sobriety test, the breathalyzer used to measure blood alcohol content (BAC) may not be functioning correctly. Our attorneys consult equipment technicians to determine if the breathalyzer used in your arrest was calibrated correctly or had a history of maintenance problems and false-positive readings.

After your arrest, your lawyer will be interested in answers to questions such as:

  • Did the law enforcement agent properly inform you of your rights?
  • Did you take the breath test? Was the Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer properly calibrated?  Are the test results reliable? Was the officer properly licensed and certified to use the machine?
  • Was any other field sobriety test administered to you, such as "walk the line" or "count backward"?
  • Was this a first or repeat DWI/DUI charge?
  • Were there other complicating factors such as a traffic accident fatality or a suspended driver's license?

Have you been charged with a possession, selling, manufacturing, trafficking, or other drug charge? »

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