I have received many requests lately for a wide variety of assistance, and I wanted to clarify what kind of work I do.

I make a living working as an attorney. Most of my practice focuses on criminal defense. I practice trial courts and appeals court at both the state and federal level. I also handle post-conviction cases, which involve trying to overturn convictions after the appeal period is over based upon new evidence.

I take a small number of civil rights cases. I screen these cases very carefully, and only take a select few. These cases are usually claims for excessive force against police officers and sheriff deputies. I also have taken discrimination cases and first amendment cases for protesters.

State Trial Court

My state trial court practice involves a wide variety of cases from traffic tickets to drug trafficking, to murder cases. I focus primarily in state courts in Durham, Orange and Wake counties.  So if you have a traffic ticket, misdemeanor marijuana charge, or something more serious in Durham, Orange, or Wake counties, then I can probably help you out. Another area I handle is known as “white collar crime,” people charged with fraud, embezzlement, or obtaining property by false pretenses in business settings. I also represent murder cases in state trial court, and have won two murder cases in the last two years in Durham County.

State Appellate Court

I handle appeals from the trial court to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and North Carolina Supreme Court. I take these cases from all over North Carolina. I work on appeals for all kinds of state charges, robbery, trafficking, fraud, murder, etc… So if you were convicted in any county in North Carolina, or have a loved one who just lost a trial in North Carolina, I can help you with the appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Raleigh.  I also handle appeals for capital murder cases to the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Federal Trial Court

I represent persons charged with crimes in federal court in the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina.  This means if you have been charged with a federal offense from Winston Salem to Wilmington, North Carolina, I can probably help. These cases often involve drugs, guns, illegal re-entry, mail fraud, and robbery. They cases require a good bit of travel around the state to meet with clients, attend court, and investigate cases.

Federal Appeals

I represent persons with criminal appeals to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond Virginia.  This means if you have been convicted, or had a loved one convicted at trial or after plea, in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, or Maryland, I can probably help with the appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Post-Conviction

After the trial, and after the appeal, there are sometimes things that can be done to reverse a conviction or reduce a sentence.  In federal court there are amendments to the guidelines for people sentenced under the crack laws that allow for a reduction of sentence. I have successfully helped reduced some federal sentences under the new guideline amendments.

Also in federal court there is a recent ruling that redefines what constitutes a “felony” that has broad impact for people charged with a wide variety of offenses. For example, some people sentenced as a “career offender” may be entitled to a reduction in their sentence; and, other people convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm may be actually innocent.

Also in State Court, there are some old convictions based upon forensic evidence form the State Bureau of Investigation that can be reviewed due to misconduct by the state laboratory.

Civil Rights

I will sue on behalf of people who have suffered a violation of their civil rights. Most often these involve people who were seriously injured by police as a result of excessive force. Sometimes I represent people who were discriminated against. I am very selective in these kinds of cases, and only take a few. I am on retainer with the Mexican Consulate to assist in the investigation and representation of civil rights violations against Mexican Nationals.

Other Interests

I have a wide range of other interests and community issues. I am a Quaker delegate to the United Nations Commission on Crime in Vienna Austria, representing the Friends World Committee on Consultation. I advocate for reforms in our international standards of justice and the treatment of immigrants, prisoners, and people charged with crimes.

I am also working with a group in Durham to assist people re-entering our community with circles of support, safety and accountability. These “circles” of trained volunteers help people who are coming out of prison re-integrate with the community. I am working with a group of people helping bring “restorative justice” to Durham. Restorative Justice is a reform movement in the criminal justice system to focus more on healing the victims, bringing the community and neighborhood into the process.

I am also working with groups of attorneys and people of faith to defeat the Marriage Amendment to the North Carolina Constitution in May 2012.

I also am a support and dancer for the Triangle Youth Ballet, and have a kid’s band called “Flying Hippo” that plays music at events for children and children’s causes.

Other Practice Areas in my Law Firm

I work in a vibrant law firm with some great attorneys for other practice areas.  Jeremy Spears represents people in cases involving family law, custody, and equitable distribution.

Ryan Lockamy represents persons in cases involving personal injury and traffic accidents. He also represents home owners associations in need of assistance with civil litigation.

Darin Meece handles real estate transactions, home closings, re-finances, wills, and estates.   If you are starting a business and need to form a corporation, draft by-laws, or get legal advice he can help you with that too. He represents commercial and governmental clients in more complicated real estate transactions,

If you have any other legal needs we can either help you directly, or make a good referral to a fine attorney to help you with your problem.