Serving the Winston Salem, NC area.

NC criminal defense can encompass several different aspects of law, from investigations to white collar crime and serious felony charges. Our proven track record of success in prosecution of these types of cases gives us special insight into what forms a winning defense strategy for our clients in the Winston Salem area.

UNC’s School of Government reports that in 2019 there were 342,618 felony charges in North Carolina. Of these charges, some of the most common nonviolent cases were as follows:

Misdemeanors, which are less severe charges than felony charges, are even more prevalent with 1.6 million misdemeanor charges in 2019. (Again as reported by UNC.)  Misdemeanor larceny is by far the most common nonviolent charge.

What is the typical process for a criminal defense case?

Criminal defense cases are always different, but there is a pretty standard flow of steps that each case follows. Many of our clients are feeling understandably overwhelmed when they begin searching for a defense attorney.

Let’s talk about how we can help in a free consultation.


Here is the standard process so you can know what to expect from the beginning:

Charges begin with a report of some kind made to law enforcement, which prompts an investigation. It’s important to hire an attorney once it becomes an investigation because your defense attorney can help control the narrative.

Law enforcement may want to talk to you during their early investigation and things you tell them, even with well-meaning honesty, can damage your chances of properly defending yourself.

After the investigation, this is where charges are filed against you. From there:

  1. The charges may be by indictment, citation, summons, or warrant for your arrest.
  2. Once you are arrested, you’ll be processed at a police station. This is again where it is important to consult with your defense attorney.
  3. Initial appearance in front of a judge or magistrate. This is where the judicial official will set bail, which you must pay either through your own funds, property, or via a licensed NC bail bondsman.
  4. Probable cause hearing, grand jury indictment, and arraignment phase.
  5. Plea negotiations and discovery – The government must now produce their evidence through investigation to you and your defense attorney, and all parties can interview witnesses and build their cases. If there is a plea deal offered, the goal is to control the narrative to properly advocate a more favorable offer.
  6. Trial – If there was no plea deal made in the previous phase, the case may then move to trial. The outcome is either determined by a judge in NC district court, or by jury in NC superior court. Trial is where all the gathered evidence is presented in court, examinations with suspects and expert witnesses happen, and either the judge or a jury decides upon the verdict.

Located on 380 Knollwood Street, convenient from anywhere in Winston Salem.

Proven Criminal Defense Attorney - Harkey Litigation