Morgantown Criminal Defense Lawyer

Home /  Morgantown Criminal Defense Lawyer

Morgantown Criminal Defense Attorney

As a Morgantown criminal defense lawyer, I handle all kinds of cases that fall into the realm of criminal law. If you have been accused of a crime on the list below or other types of criminal charges, I would be happy to consult with you about your legal options.

  • Bail and Bond Hearings: Having legal support by your side when going into a hearing where a judge sets your bail can help set your expectations and make sure your rights are protected.
  • Disorderly Conduct: Disturbing the Peace: If you are engaging in disruptive behavior in public, you might face misdemeanor charges.
  • Drug Possession/Distribution: Morgantown takes drug possession extremely seriously, and you are sure to face penalties if you are found possessing or giving out controlled substances. The exact penalties you face will depend on what drugs you were found with and how much.
  • Other Drug Crimes: There are all sorts of other drug-related offenses you could be accused of in addition to just possessing and distributing. For instance, you could find yourself facing life-changing consequences for manufacturing or trafficking drugs.
  • Open Container: If you are found possessing and consuming an alcoholic beverage in an open container, you can face misdemeanor charges. You can expect to face particularly harsh consequences if you were found with an open container while operating a vehicle.
  • Underage Drinking: Anyone who is found consuming or purchasing alcohol under the age of 21 can anticipate facing a bit of jail time and costly fines. In some cases, depending on the facts of your case, it can also go on your record, such as if it is a repeated offense.
  • Student Crimes: College can be a hectic time in a person’s life, and if you find yourself caught in a bad situation or making mistakes, you could be charged with a serious crime that puts an intimidating roadblock on your life and career.
  • DUI: Driving while intoxicated is a serious criminal charge, and you will need a fierce, experienced DUI attorney to stand up for you against it. If it is your first offense, you can expect a lighter sentence than if it is your second or subsequent offense, but your precise penalties will all depend on how high your blood alcohol content (BAC) was if anyone was hurt, and if there were minors in the car.
  • Aggravated DUI: If you have a serious DUI offense, like reckless driving, prior convictions, or if someone was injured or killed, this is called an aggravated DUI, and you can expect serious punishments.
  • Underage DUI: If you are above 21, then your BAC has to be at 0.08% or higher in order to get a DUI charge. However, if you are under 21, then any BAC above 0.02% can result in facing criminal charges.
  • Assault: If you threaten someone with physical harm, whether with an object or a gesture, then you can face assault charges. Assault is different from battery because assault is the intent to hurt someone, whereas battery is the actual act of hurting them.
  • Battery: If you are charged with physically harming another person, you can anticipate facing serious punishments.
  • Fake ID: It is against the law to manufacture, order, possess, and make purchases with a fake ID. However, this is a common charge that young people under the age of 21 encounter. If you find yourself facing fake ID charges, they could haunt you longer than you realize unless you hire strong legal support.
  • Theft: Stealing another person’s property, whether through grand theft or a small moment of shoplifting, is always against the law. Whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony charge for this offense will depend on how much you stole and what you stole.
  • Crimes against people and property and any other parole violations.

Morgantown Criminal Defense Lawyer

Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in Morgantown, WV?

If you are facing any of the above criminal charges or any charges that are not on the list, you need to act fast to protect your future. Not only is the course of your life at stake but so is the future of your loved ones.

For example, if you are convicted of a felony theft charge, you could go to prison for several years, leaving your loved ones to go about their lives without you. After you serve your sentence, you may very well find it difficult to secure a job, repair strained relationships, and undo the damage to your reputation. The right Morgantown criminal defense attorney can help you fight against this fate.

When you get in touch with a criminal defense attorney, they will immediately start closely examining the facts involved in your case. After a critical review, they will also discuss your questions, concerns, and desires with you to craft a strategic plan of legal action. If you decide to plead guilty, your lawyer will do everything in their power to negotiate a light sentence so you can put this behind you as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if you plead not guilty, then your lawyer will leave no stone unturned in securing strong evidence that defends your position and creating a compelling argument to deliver in court. Additionally, if your case does not result in a favorable outcome, your lawyer can work on an appeal to give you another chance at a positive result.

Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies

There are generally two types of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies. There are key differences between these two categories of criminal offenses that implicate the severity of the crime and potential punishments. Below are the key differences between misdemeanors and felonies:

  • Severity of the Offense: In general, misdemeanors are typically less serious crimes, including petty theft, disorderly conduct, simple assault, or minor drug possession. Felonies are viewed as more serious crimes, such as rape, murder, armed robbery, large-scale drug trafficking, white-collar crimes, and more.
  • Potential Punishments: The punishments for a misdemeanor and a felony differ in severity. Misdemeanors tend to have a lighter penalty, which can include fines, community service, probation, or short-term prison stays in a local jail, typically spanning less than a year. Meanwhile, felonies hold more severe consequences, such as long prison sentences in a state or federal prison, substantial fines, and many other implications, such as the loss of voting rights or firearm possession abilities.
  • Legal Process: The legal proceedings for a misdemeanor case tend to be much simpler and more timely than those of a felony. A felony case typically will involve complex legal proceedings that can include a grand jury indictment, leading to longer trials.
  • Collateral Consequences: While both misdemeanors and felonies can have collateral consequences, these consequences can differ. An individual with a felony charge may have a harder time finding employment than an individual with a misdemeanor on their record. Both can have negative implications on issues like immigration, housing, education, and more.
  • Record Impact: Felonies hold a much higher negative association than misdemeanors when it comes to an individual’s criminal record.

Overall, the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors is within the severity of the offense, punishments, and legal processes involved. Both offenses are viewed and handled seriously, but felonies are generally considered more severe with longer-lasting penalties.

Criminal Defense Litigation Process Explained

The criminal defense litigation process can be complex, involving several stages, from arrest to trial and sentencing. Below is a general overview of the process, but keep in mind that individual cases can differ:

  • Arrest and Booking: The litigation process generally starts with an arrest of the defendant by law enforcement officers based on probable cause. The defendant will then be taken to a police station for booking, where their personal data is recorded, which can include fingerprinting and a photograph for law enforcement records.
  • Arraignment: The defendant will be required to appear in court, where they will be formally charged and can choose to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. In the case that a defendant pleads not guilty, the court sets bail or determines whether a defendant can be released on their recognizance pending trial.
  • Pretrial Motions: Both the prosecution and defense can file pretrial motions and requests for discovery. This involves suppressing evidence, dismissing charges, obtaining evidence from the prosecution, and other relevant information.
  • Plea Bargaining: The defense and prosecution can engage in plea bargaining, where the defendant agrees to plead guilty or contest a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. At this point, the defendant will need to weigh the pros and cons of accepting a plea bargain.
  • Trial: If the case proceeds to a trial, the prosecution will generally first present their evidence in favor of the criminal charges against the defendant. The defense will be given time to present their own argument and evidence on behalf of the defendant. After both sides have shared, the jury or judge will decide upon a verdict based on all of the evidence and arguments presented.
  • Sentencing: In the case that a defendant is found guilty, the court schedules a sentencing hearing, where the judge determines an appropriate punishment. There is often an opportunity for the defense to present arguments for a lenient sentence.
  • Appeals: In some cases, a defendant has the right to appeal the verdict or sentence if convicted by a higher court.

A criminal defense litigation process should be handled with detailed care and thorough investigation and research in order to defend the defendant effectively. The support of a criminal defense attorney can be a vital resource in ensuring a fair trial. If you would like to understand and build a criminal defense strategy to support your case in court, Meadows Law Office is here to help.


Q: What Are Felony Charges in West Virginia?

A: In the state of West Virginia, felony charges encompass a wide range of offenses, which are categorized based on severity. Some common felony charges include robbery, burglary, drug trafficking, murder, sexual assault, aggravated assault, arson, kidnapping, identity theft, embezzlement, and more. The penalties associated with these felony charges can include fines, probation, imprisonment, and other consequences.

Q: What Is the Second Chance Law in West Virginia?

A: West Virginia’s second chance law allows individuals with felony criminal records to appeal to a judge to reduce the legal labeling of their charge to a misdemeanor. The goal of the second chance law is to assist individuals with a felony on their criminal record to find work more easily.

Q: What Is the Most Common Felony Charge?

A: The most common felony charge is drug crimes. These crimes can be related to the distribution or intent to distribute drugs, as well as the manufacturing, cultivation, possession, trafficking, sale, or money laundering of drugs. There are generally two types of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies, with felony offenses leading to more severe consequences.

Q: How Long Can a Felony Charge Be Pending in West Virginia?

A: The duration that a felony charge can be pending in West Virginia can vary greatly as there are many factors that contribute to the overall timeline of a charge. These factors include the case’s complexities, court availability, plea negotiations, pre-trial motions, and other procedural considerations. The state of West Virginia does not hold a specific statutory limit on how long these charges can remain pending before a resolution is required.

Contact a Capable, Dedicated Morgantown Criminal Lawyer Today

Facing criminal charges can be scary and even isolating at times. You might feel like people are judging you or working against you. You do not have to handle this by yourself. I have extensive experience supporting Morgantown residents who have been accused of crimes, and I can respectfully listen to all of your needs and fiercely fight for your rights.

Contact the Meadows Law Office today to find out more. I can serve clients with a wide range of criminal charges as I adapt and personalize my legal approach to each unique situation.


contact us

Request Your Free Consultation

Find Out If You Have A Case Or Ask Us A Question By
Filling Out The Form Below.

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.