State crimes follow the same rules and punishments throughout the state. In the state of North Carolina, courts are divided into counties and charges occur where the crime is alleged to have occurred. Those charges are tried in courts in those different counties. There are times when a defendant is charged with different crimes in different counties and there are considerations to handling those types of cases. In this blog we will discuss having criminal charges in multiple counties. Like all our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only, and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
Criminal charges in multiple counties and sentencing.
In the state of North Carolina criminal sentencing is based on the class of the crime, and prior criminal history of the defendant. We discuss this in detail in or blog about the North Carolina Sentencing Guidelines. When you have criminal charges in multiple counties that are pending, this will eventually affect sentencing.
Taking pleas and trying cases when you have pending charges in other counties should be handled with purpose and a plan. For every new conviction, you are increasing your number of prior conviction points, and you should consult a lawyer before resolving any cases, when you have multiple cases pending.
Criminal charges in multiple counties and seeking an attorney
Every North Carolina criminal defense attorney who is licensed to practice is licensed throughout the state. Attorneys choose to work in certain counties due to the office location, personal preference, time constraints, and many other reasons. When you have charges in multiple counties however, you may want to consider having as few attorneys as possible handling these cases.
Ideally if it is possible, we would recommend having one attorney or at least one law firm handle all the cases you have pending in North Carolina. This allows for a streamlined process regarding managing court dates and keeping track of how one case may affect the others. It also helps in managing expectations. While all counties in North Carolina follow the same law, you would be surprised how much the procedures and the plea offers can vary.
If you have criminal charges in multiple counties, and you are seeking representation, do some research as to what attorney would be best to hire. Set up consultations and try to get the best representation for your situation.