Clifford Law Group
Our legal system can be a complex maze. If you find yourself immersed in it, you can easily be overwhelmed, and the consequences can be dire if you don’t make the right choices. This can be especially true when we comes to the criminal justice system and the immigration system. The wrong choice in the former, and you may lose your freedom. The wrong choice in the latter, and you may lose your right to stay in this country.
Knowledgeable legal counsel can help you overcome your stressful and potentially life altering situation.
Raleigh Criminal Defense and Immigration Lawyers
Our diligent and passionate attorneys at Clifford Law Group help people who are facing criminal charges, or who, voluntarily or involuntary, are wading through the immigration system. With so much at stake, you should have someone at your side who understands the system, can advise you of your best options, and who will zealously represent you in the related proceedings, whether it be to an immigration judge or a jury in a criminal trial.
Our lawyers will fight to protect your rights, and seek to guide you out of your situation as efficiently and painlessly as possible. Call Clifford Law Group at (919) 256-3709 or contact us on our online form today to set up a consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss your criminal or immigration matter.
We serve clients throughout the entire Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, including in Wake County, Durham County and Orange County. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Florida.
In North Carolina Criminal Matters, There Can Be No Reasonable Doubt
To convict a person of a crime, the prosecution must prove every element of their crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes every single charge, even a misdemeanor DWI. The defense must prove nothing — merely call to question the prosecution's evidence and show the jury that reasonable doubt exists. It’s a tough standard to meet, but Wake County prosecutors do it every day.
One of the key weapons a defense attorney has at his or her disposal is seeking to have evidence thrown out. Police must use specific procedures when searching for evidence or making an arrest, and if they fail, the evidence might be thrown out.
Take, for example, if someone was arrested on marijuana charges based on pot found in his or her glove compartment. If the police in that scenario should have gotten a warrant but failed to do so, the marijuana might be suppressed, leaving the police with no evidence against that person. Your Wake County defense attorney will bring the mistakes to the court's attention and explain why the evidence should be inadmissible. The charges could be reduced or thrown out entirely.
Structured Sentencing Means Every Wake County Conviction Leads to More Punishment
North Carolina uses a complicated “structured sentencing” scheme. Every conviction you receive leads to “points” that accumulate on your record. When you are sentenced for any crime, your accumulated points are examined and must be taken into account for the sentence you receive. A first time offender will usually get a lighter sentence for the same charge than someone who has multiple convictions on his or her record.
This means you must make the effort to fight every conviction. For instance, a domestic violence charge that would normally lead to a 4-6 month sentence involving probation and community service could wind up being 8-10 months in jail if you have enough on your record. Don’t let anything go — have a North Carolina criminal defense lawyer fighting for you.
Many Reasons Immigrants Come to Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill
People come to this part of North Carolina from around the world for many, many reasons. The strong tech industry draws talented people from all parts of the globe to come work in the region. But to come, these people need employment visas, which grant them the ability to live and work in the United States. A Research Triangle immigration lawyer can help navigate through the complicated systems to obtain them.
This area is called the “Research Triangle” for good reason. Not only is there a booming tech industry, but there are many world-renowned colleges and universities, including Duke University, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. People come from around the world to study there. They need student visas.
Others come to unite with families already here. Everyone who comes into the country must seek permission, or risk trouble by being here without legal status. The immigration system is extraordinarily complex. A Raleigh immigration attorney can help you navigate the system.
Fighting Deportation for North Carolina Immigrants
One penalty of being in the United States without legal status, or if you are accused of breaking laws, is deportation. In deportation, you are returned to your country of origin — often a place you left for good reason. In some cases, the person deported came to the United States as a child, knows no one in the country and nothing about it, sometimes not even the language.
People in this situation may be eligible for deferred action. Anyone may fight deportation, though. Deportation is a legal process, and you have a right to be represented throughout it by a Wake County immigration lawyer.
You can avoid winding up here without status after a visa expires by seeking a green card, which grants you permanent residence. As a permanent resident, your status will not expire for 10 years, at which point you can seek to renew.
You must be sponsored to obtain a green card, usually through family or your employer. The wait list can take decades in some circumstances, so it’s critical to start as soon as possible. A Research Triangle immigration attorney can help you find the best legal path to obtain legal permanent resident status.
Clifford Law Group | Wake County Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney
Immigration and criminal defense matters are areas of the law where your life as you know it is at stake. In a criminal matter, you could lose your liberty and have a criminal record that haunts you for the rest of your life. For immigration, the right decisions could determine whether you get to work your dream job or attend your dream school in the United States, or, in other cases, whether you must return to a country you intentionally left.
Don’t go it alone. The aggressive Raleigh criminal defense and immigration lawyers at Clifford Law Group can fight for you. Call us today at (919) 256-3709 or contact us on our online form for a consultation.