Felony Defense Attorney in Raleigh, NC

If you’ve been charged with a Felony in Wake County, North Carolina. What should you do? The sooner you engage an attorney, the better. Having legal representation early means that you’ll have more options open to you in terms of bail, plea bargains, and potentially reduced charges. Putting off finding a lawyer can mean that you don’t have any legal representation during interrogations and questioning, having a lawyer present means that you can have a legal expert advising you on questions you should and should not answer. Regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent of the crime you are charged with, you deserves a fair defense and your day in court.  Make sure that you have one of the most experienced lawyers in Wake County on your side. Contact John McWilliam today.

Types of Felony Cases That We Provide Legal Representation For

John McWilliam has been practicing law in Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas since 1993. This means that he has the experience you want in the courtroom, defending your reputation against the allegations and charges that have been levied against you. Because of his experience within the Wake County court system, John knows the people to talk to and the arguments that have the best chances of getting you a favorable outcome in your felony defense.  The Law Office of John McWilliam has experience with the following types of felonies:

John McWilliam’s Felony Defense Background

For the first 12 years of John’s legal career, Wake County operated without a Public Defender’s office. This meant that indigent criminal defendants were represented by private criminal defense lawyers who made themselves available to represent the indigent by way of various court-appointed lists. In 1993 McWilliam immediately signed up for the misdemeanor list, quickly proved his worth and was soon taking on court-appointed felony work. McWilliam was asked to join the committee that oversaw and vetted the lawyers applying for inclusion on the various lists; he eventually chaired that committee. It quickly became apparent that McWilliam could and would represent anyone charged with anything – in particular sex offenses that so many lawyers recoiled from: child sex offenses.

Zealously and Effectively Representing the Accused Since 1993

To this day, McWilliam has lost only one child sex offense case and that was only after two mistrials; it took 36 jurors to finally convict his client. His most remarkable sex offense case has to be a statutory rape charge lodged against a black, male defendant who was accused of having sex with his white girlfriend’s underage white daughter, and the defendant confessed. The jury found this defendant not guilty.

McWilliam’s most memorable sex offense case, however, was another statutory rape charge against a defendant who was truly innocent. Representing the truly innocent is the most stressful thing a criminal defense lawyer can be called upon to do. In this case, the mother of two girls and one boy, whom the defendant had raised as if they were his own children, convinced the children to lie and say that he had had sex with them. She managed these separate lies by telling each of the children, individually, that he had raped the other two. The State’s last witness was the boy.

On cross-examination, McWilliam, having established that the boy had loved the defendant as a father, asked the boy why he no longer loved the defendant; the boy – an alleged victim himself – answered: “because of what he did to my sisters.”  McWilliam asked no more questions. The jury was out less than 25 minutes and came back with verdicts of not guilty to all the charges. McWilliam’s truly innocent client walked free that day after spending 13 months in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

In addition to all his sex offense cases, McWilliam has represented individuals charged with all manner of felonies, including murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, burglary, larceny, assault, habitual felonies, habitual DWI and white collar crimes. McWilliam’s first felony jury trial was an embezzlement charge in which, during the jury selection, he noticed that everyone in the courtroom was acting particularly deferential to a potential juror dressed in a suit. McWilliam eventually picked up on the fact that this person was a Court of Appeals Judge. The judge was called to the box, the DA kept him on and McWilliam was damned if he was going to kick a Court of Appeals Judge off the jury, and kept him on. The judge, along with his 11 fellow jurors, found the defendant not guilty.

Today, McWilliam’s felony practice tends to be less unwieldy than it was in the pre-public defender days.  He finds himself representing more white collar defendants as well as individuals charged with serious drug offenses, habitual DWI, habitual felons and, of course, sex offenses.  McWilliam prefers Superior Court to District Court; the formality and insistence on proper procedure – by both the State and Defense – as well as the intellectually stimulating legal arguments; and, of course, jury trials, appeal to McWilliam’s aggressive, unpredictable yet formal style of representation.

McWilliam enjoys bragging that in July of 2013 he tried (and won) the first jury trial in Wake County’s fancy palace of justice, The Wake County Justice Center.  He is still waiting for his commemorative plaque.

If you have been arrested or are facing felony charges in Wake County, NC, contact us or call us at 919-772-4000

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