Criminal Defense Attorney in Wendell and Raleigh, NC

Being convicted of a crime can affect the rest of your life – not only if you are sentenced to jail or prison, but that conviction will also follow you around for the rest of your life. Having a criminal record can negatively affect your ability to get a job, apply for assistance, rent property, or get custody of your children. If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh who is on your side. Having a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to provide you with counsel and representation can be the difference between a not guilty and guilty verdict which can affect your entire future.

At Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler, & Thomas, LLP, we offer the experienced, compassionate representation you need. Attorney Jeffrey Cutler is a certified Legal Specialist in Criminal Law, and he and our criminal defense legal team can help you with a variety of charges, ranging from DWI charges to manslaughter and murder.

When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

The earlier you can consult with a criminal defense lawyer, the better off your case will be. If you’re under investigation or have been charged with a crime it’s important to follow these guidelines:

  • Remain calm and respectful to law enforcement officers. Resisting arrest, becoming aggressive, or even being rude can all harm your case.
  • Remember your right to remain silent. With the exception of necessary information, such as your name, where you live, and your phone number, you should stay quiet. As the Miranda Rights state, anything you say may be used against you.
  • Ask to speak with an attorney. You have the right to representation. Officers may try and convince you that you don’t need a lawyer, but if you are being questioned, ask to speak with your lawyer.
  • Speak to your attorney before posting bail. Your lawyer can review your case and fight for lower bail or even determine if it’s likely for the charges to be dropped during your arraignment.

You are not familiar with the legal system and it is important that you hire a criminal defense attorney who will be honest with you about your case and the potential outcome. Too many attorneys promise unattainable results to their clients and in the end, can’t come through.

Misdemeanor and Felony Arrests in North Carolina

While both misdemeanors and felonies are serious and require representation from an experienced criminal lawyer, it’s important to understand the charges you’re facing.


In North Carolina, misdemeanors are divided into four categories: A1, 1, 2, and 3.

  • Class 3 Misdemeanor: This is the least serious type of charge with a maximum penalty of 20 days in jail and a $200 fine. These crimes include simple marijuana possession, trespassing, and concealment of goods.
  • Class 2 Misdemeanor: Maximum penalty is 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, and examples include carrying a concealed weapon, simple assault, or resisting arrest.
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Maximum penalty is 120 days in jail and a fine at the discretion of the judge. Examples include possession of drug paraphernalia, property damage, and larceny.
  • Class A1 Misdemeanor: This is the most serious charge, carrying a maximum of 150 days in jail and a fine at the discretion of the judge. Examples include assault with a deadly weapon and sexual battery.


Being charged with a felony in North Carolina is much more serious. Not only do they carry much stricter penalties, but having a felony conviction can affect your rights moving forward, including being unable to own a firearm, enlist in the military, and, if convicted of sexual offenses, having to register on the Sex Offender Registry.

Felonies range from a Class A felony, the most severe class which carries the death penalty or life without parole, to a Class I felony, which carries a prison sentence of 3 to 12 months.

Why Choose Our Criminal Defense Law Firm?

We understand that you may be considering a public defender or even going without representation. However, public defenders often carry dozens of complex cases at a time and have minimal resources. While they may do everything to act in your best interest, they simply don’t have the bandwidth to dedicate to your case and may urge you to accept a plea bargain to avoid going to court.

At Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler, & Thomas, your case is our top priority and we have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to help you get the best possible outcome on your case.

Areas Of Criminal Law

Our criminal defense attorneys are able to represent you for a variety of charges, including:

YouTube video

Featured Testimonial on a Criminal Law Case

criminal law attorney“It is easy (and important) to announce a not guilty verdict and have us all chime in on the victory. What is not easy but just as important is to recognize great work that still results in a guilty verdict. Last month, Jeff Cutler, a Wake County contracting attorney, tried a case in which his client was accused of two murders. His client was 15 years old at the time of the crimes. The evidence was that the assailants were looking for some pay back against a rival gang. They shot up the house where the gang members once lived. Tragically, the new residents were a young couple and their children. The parents were killed. Jeff fought the good fight, cross-examined the informants mightily and gave great openings and closings.

After the jury found his client guilty, he then fought just as hard at the sentencing hearing that his client deserved a chance of parole one day. The judge sentenced his client to life.

I want to thank and recognize Jeff for working so hard for his client. And I thank all of you for the hard work you do every day.”

– D. Tucker Charns
Regional Defender Judicial Divisions I & III NC Office of Indigent Defense

Read more client reviews about our law firm here.

Contact Our Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you’re under investigation or are charged with a crime, reach out to our criminal defense attorneys in Raleigh. We want to provide you the representation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at (919) 615-2473.

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Information presented on this website should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship.  Additionally, any email sent to Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas, L.L.P. or any of its lawyers at the email addresses set forth in this website will not create an attorney-client relationship.