Criminal Defense FAQ

Answers To Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Questions

We understand that facing criminal charges can feel overwhelming. At Greenwood Law, we want you to have the information that you need to approach your case with confidence.

Below, we provide answers to frequently asked criminal defense questions. However, we encourage you to call our Winston-Salem office at 336-661-8788 or contact us online with any additional questions. All initial criminal defense case consultations are free.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Typically, a felony is a crime punishable by a year or more in prison. There is, however, a multitude of variables as to what makes a crime a misdemeanor versus a felony.

Can a North Carolina police officer stop and ask me questions?

The officer may certainly ask, but you are not required to answer those questions unless the officer has reasonable suspicion. If the officer does have reasonable suspicion, you may be cited if you do not answer his or her questions.

Can a police officer require me to come to the police station for questioning?

Again, the officer may ask but you are not required to unless arrested. It is likely that the officer will get a warrant to bring you in for questioning if he or she has the ability to do so.

Should I have a lawyer present for questioning?

“Anything you say can or will be used against you.” Therefore, it is wise to have an attorney present during police questioning.

What happens when I am arrested?

Once arrested, the police will typically bring you to the police station to be booked and processed. A judicial official will then set conditions of pretrial release. This can include a written promise to appear, custodial release, unsecured bond or secured bond. We recommend contacting an attorney as early as you are allowed. Please remember to always be courteous and respectful to law enforcement officials.

Does getting a criminal defense lawyer truly help my case? What if I plan to plead guilty?

Prior to making any decision, you should consult with an attorney, such as one of our criminal law attorneys at Greenwood Law. We have a deep understanding of the law and the court process. Pleading a certain way can have long lasting effects on your life following your case, and a lawyer can improve those outcomes even if you plan to plead guilty. This can range from getting a case ultimately dismissed to saving our clients months, even years, in prison.