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If you’ve been arrested in north carolina,
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dwi is a serious offense. If you’ve been charged,
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Criminal Charges can have life-changing consequences.
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the legal process. Contact us for a free consultation.



Even a “minor ticket” can cost you significantly when translated
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before paying a citation, Contact us for a free consultation.


Welcome to the Powers McCartan PLLC website. Whether you are just beginning to research attorneys, or if you already know exactly what kind of help you require and best suits your needs– you’re in the right place.

With a deep bench of experienced lawyers, we focus in three main practice areas: Criminal Defense, DWIs and Traffic Tickets.  In fact, Founding Partner Bill Powers is a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist in North Carolina, as recognized by the National Board of Trial Advocacy / National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.

Criminal Defense: We recognize that the day clients call us to discuss their criminal defense matters, it may be  one of the worst days of their lives. We are ready to help you, with compassion, understanding and years of experience. Learn more about our criminal defense experience and services here.

DWI: If you need help with this extremely common but still distressing legal issue, we are on your side. We’ll help you navigate the complexities of this potentially life-altering and disconcerting charge. We approach each case with no judgement and a lot of experience in helping our clients get through their DWI case.  Find out more about our DWI experience here.

Traffic Violations:  If you have received a traffic ticket, we can help with that as well. Understanding the point system, navigating fee reductions…it can be confusing to know what your rights are when it comes to handling a traffic ticket. Go here to read more about our traffic ticket services.

Overall, the goal of this website is first to help you understand the general nature of your legal needs. We suggest you start with the main practice areas we cover: Criminal, Traffic and DWI Impaired Driving Defense. From there we can get more specific about your individual circumstances and what legal support we can offer.

You may also want to review our extensive credentials, certifications, recognitions, as well as our blog posts, and videos. Though our text or video summaries will give you some general background information, obviously, each case is different. Therefore, it makes sense to talk to one of our attorneys to make sure a particular law may apply or what best reflects your goals

Under most circumstances, your first consultation is entirely free.

The other purpose of our website is to assure you that you are in good hands when you hire us as legal counsel. Read more about who the Powers McCartran PLLC lawyers are, and what experience they have here.


It’s important to remember, when you are researching legal help, that not all lawyers focus their practices on Criminal, Traffic and DWI Driving Defense. If you’re facing criminal charges in a North Carolina or South Carolina court of law, you want an experienced, zealous legal advocate by your side. Not only to defend you, but to guide you from beginning to end through the legal process and what to expect.

We are a multi-jurisdictional  law practice with offices in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Our attorneys are available for consultation during most business hours. We also have an after-hour service with an “on-call” attorney for emergency situations or in the event standard hours are not convenient to you.


(You may obtain additional information regarding membership requirements and criterion for inclusion for such groups as Super Lawyers North Carolina, Martindale-Hubbell AV “Pre-Eminent Lawyer” recognition and the other referenced organizations by going to the individual lawyer profile pages.)

The Awards & Certifications listed below apply to attorney Bill Powers, who has over two decades of experience. These are his associated certifications, professional associations / leadership, awards, recognitions, and accolades.

  • Powers received special commendation with the “Ebbie Award” for exceptional service and inspired commitment to the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.
  • Bill Powers currently serves as the 2016—2017 President of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice.
  • Bill Powers has been included on the 2017 “Top 100” North Carolina and “Top 25” Charlotte Super Lawyers 
  • Powers McCartan, PLLC has been included in the 2017 S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Publication. The firm has been named a Charlotte Tier 1 “Best Law Firms” for the area of DUI/DWI Defense.
  • Bill Powers is also listed individually within The Best Lawyers in America 2017 publication for his work in DUI / DWI Defense and Criminal Defense: General Practice.
  • In 2017 Bill Powers was named “Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year” Criminal Defense: General Practice, Charlotte NC by The Best Lawyers in America.

Simply put, Bill is respected by his peers.


At Powers McCartan, PLLC it is our strong belief that information and preparation make for a strong legal defense. We want you to understand your specific case and how the legal system works in the North Carolina courts. We know you have a lot of questions:

  • What is the worst-case scenario?
  • What should I do?
  • Do I have to go to court?
  • What happens to my license?
  • Will I possibly go to jail over this?
  • Can you help me with my case, based on my specific circumstances?
  • How much will this all cost?

Our goal is to provide you the information and resources you need to understand your charges and what to expect.

But since every persons’ situation is unique, we strongly encourage you to contact one of our attorneys for a free, no-obligation consultation. They will be happy to explain the laws to you as they pertain to your case and specific circumstances.

Since many charges are time sensitive, you should not delay in seeking legal counsel. You can contact us today at 704-342-HELP (4357).


How Does Court Work In North Carolina? What If I Have To Work On The Day The Officer Is Assigned To Court?

As tough as it may sound, you may need to take the day off from work.  Give us a ring right now and we’ll explain how the process works. We can tell you whether we can appear on your behalf for preliminary matters or how to obtain a Limited Driving Privilege, if that’s what is needed.

Video Evidence: Is It Required? Can I See What Happened?

Video and audio recordings are occasionally used in trials for criminal offenses.  It is important to note many officers do NOT have audio-video equipment in their patrol vehicle.  Some police officers now have body cameras that are capable of recording what happened.

The laws in North Carolina on obtaining video evidence are always evolving.  Obtaining materials in preparation of a defense is a sometimes complicated, time-consuming process.  It may involve the filing of Motions, requests for Voluntary Discovery, issuance of Subpoenas and other legal materials.  Upon being properly retained, we request available documentation form the respective law enforcement agencies, and/or custodians of records when legally appropriate.

What Does 18-CR-0001 Mean? What Is A Case Number? How Am I Tracked In The System?

Each person charged with a crime in North Carolina is assigned a case number.  Case numbers are normally written on the charging materials, such as Warrants and arrest documentation.

They also may be written on a Ticket or Uniform Citation if they are available to the police officer.  Case numbers begin with the year of the offense, for example “18-CR-xxxx.”

The “18” indicates the year 2018.  “CR” is the Clerk of Court’s designation of a Criminal Offense.

The numbers following the “CR” are normally assigned in the order in which people are arrested or charged with various offenses, but that can vary depending upon the jurisdiction.

The first person charged or cited on January 1, 2018 is given the case number of “18-CR-0001.”

If your paperwork reflects 16-CRS, the “S” denotes a Criminal case in Superior Court.

How Do I Get Court Date And Location Information?
  1. You Can Call Our Firm.

You can contact our office by phone at:  704-342-4357

We offer a confidential consultation with an attorney, at which time we are willing to explain the court process, discuss how the legal system works, and confirm upcoming court dates.

During the consultation we normally review the paperwork associated with the case.  This consultation is completely free.

If you seek only to determine the court date, you may wish to review the charging documentation provided or follow options 2 and 3 below.

  1. You Can Call The Clerk Of Court.

You also can call the Clerk of Court.  Please reference for Clerk of Court listings in North Carolina.  Be advised, their phone systems are often busy.  Usually Thursdays and Fridays are good days to call.  Don’t wait until the last minute!  You will need your case numbers if you decide to try calling.

  1. You Can Check On-Line.

Given the very serious consequences for missing court, like going to jail for a Failure to Appear or FTA, checking multiple sources and confirming appearances make sense.

On-line resources are not always real-time.  Updating the system may take time or otherwise be delay.  If an Order for Arrest or Warrant exists for the case(s), they too may not be referenced on the online database.


REMEMBER: Preparation is Key!

Preparation is key for a zealous defense of criminal charges.  Although documentation is provided to people upon release from jail, some documentation may not be immediately available or provided.  As such, we obtain the important paperwork for the client, once we are properly retained.

The following materials can be important to review before trial or making a decision on the best manner in which to proceed:

  • Charging Officer or Officers’ Affidavit(s)
  • Video and Audio Recordings
  • Notes, Maps, Drawings, Reports, and Supplemental Documentation

Please call now for your free consultation.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Powers McCartan, PLLC


How Much are Legal Fees? 

Our fee structure centers on what you want.  Ask yourself these important questions:

  • What is my goal or goals?
  • What are my options?
  • What can I afford?
  • What is the best case scenario?
  • What is the worst case scenario?
  • Do I want to plead guilty?
  • Do I want a trial?

We offer several different options to meet your needs, such as:

Review and Confirm

The attorneys at the firm will review important court documentation and provide an honest assessment of Options and Possible Outcomes.

The “Review and Confirm” aspect centers on Confirming whether the State has a case and the realistic possibility of avoiding a conviction.

What We Do:

  • We will assemble the documents necessary for the Judge to review, seeking to make the process as quick and painless as possible
  • We will guide you through a sometimes complex legal system
  • We will help you understand how to move forward

It makes sense before making any important decision to seek out Experienced Legal Advice from a trusted, experienced attorney.

The Review and Confirm Option allows clients to confirm, at a competitive legal fee, they have made a good-faith effort to review the materials and are making the best decision that suits their needs.

“We offer help and compassion.  We also let the client decide what is best for them.”  – Bill Powers

If we see grounds to challenge the charges, we will advise you of that.  You may thereafter decide to proceed forward with additional legal services that may involve the filing of Motions and a Trial.

NORTH CAROLINA Misdemeanors and District Court Motions and Trial

Many criminal cases (but not all) are handled in District Court in North Carolina.

That means they are ruled upon by a District Court Judge.

In District Court the Judge acts as both Judge and Jury.

  • Sometimes cases rise and fall on Legal Arguments to Judges
  • Other cases involve a Trial to the Reasonable Doubt standard
  • Finally, some cases necessitate Motions and a Trial

It’s crucial to remember that Criminal Charges and Cases often are an exercise in patience.  The consequences of being charged and convicted, even for what some might call “minor” criminal charges or misdemeanors, are very serious and sometimes life-changing.

It is therefore wise to proceed with care and caution.

Legal Fees for District Court trials are based in part on an estimate of the time and resources necessary for the firm to repeatedly attend Court.  In setting fees, Lawyers also take into consideration their level of training, experience, and professional accolades.

You should too!

Superior Court Motions, Trials, and Appeals

There are times when neither the Client nor the Lawyer are satisfied with the Legal Ruling or Findings in District Court.  That is in no way meant to disparage the Court.  Reasonable minds can and do occasionally differ on complicated cases and legal issues.

That’s why there is a process to “appeal” the District Court Judgment and ruling, giving you the opportunity to litigate the issue in Superior Court.  Superior Court appeals may involve re-hearing on a Motion, bringing a new Motion to Dismiss or Motion to Suppress.

The appeal process, even for issues that have been previously argued in District Court, take time and in many instances, require filing of more formalized documentation challenging the Legal Issues.

Superior Court Jury Trial and Pleas

Some cases or disputes just have to be heard in Superior Court and at times, by a Jury.  In North Carolina Superior Court, Juries normally determine what happened factually.  Juries are therefore traditionally known as the “Finders of Fact”

In Superior Court, the Superior Court Judge, who is different than a District Court Judge, is deemed the “Finder of Law.”  Judges decide Legal Issues such as whether law enforcement had Reasonable Suspicion or Probable Cause to proceed.

Remember, in a North Carolina Superior Court**:

  • Jury = Finder of Fact
  • Judge = Finder of Law

While a Superior Court Judge may Rule on the Admissibility of Evidence or even Dismiss a case when legally appropriate, they often do not decide Guilt or Innocence.**

Make no mistake, the Superior Court Judge has considerable authority and discretion in determining what Evidence is admissible and therefore what Evidence the Jury hears.  The Constitution of North Carolina provides to you, in Criminal cases, the right to a Trial by Jury.  It is an important right afforded to you.

**There is now an important exception in North Carolina.  The Constitution of the State of North Carolina was amended in 2015 to allow a Superior Court Trial by Judge in certain circumstances.  Furthermore, for some “lower-level” felony charges, District Court Judges have been empowered to take pleas on certain matters, subject to the laws of the State of North Carolina.  For more information, please seek out the advice of competent legal counsel. 

“Is This What You Want?”

By now, you will have noticed a pattern — we set legal fees based on the services you want.  We will follow your direction.

  • Do you want help getting through the process, thinking you would like to explore options regarding a Deferred Disposition?
  • Do you want to plead guilty and move on?
  • Do you prefer to challenge the allegations, knowing that in every case there are many different variables to consider?

We have experience helping people.  We believe the best decisions are made after considering good information.  At regular intervals throughout our representation we like to ask: “Is this what you want?”

“We want to explain your options, give sound legal advice and then let you decide what is best and makes sense for you.”  – Bill Powers


Just thinking about a legal matter can be stressful. The anxiety of not knowing what to do or who to talk to may exact a heavy price. Rather than carry the burden alone, we encourage you to seek legal counsel. At Powers McCartan PLLC, we provide experience; resourceful and professional legal advice. When you’re going through a difficult time in your life, you need an attorney who can protect your interest and has the experience to give you the legal insight to make good decisions. Information and preparation are important tools in any legal presentation. The legal process can be confusing, take action. it’s important to know your options. If you have questions, we have answers for you at Powers McCartan PLLC. We’re here to help.



        Mr. Powers and his associates took my case on very short notice and got the results I needed! They have treated me with the greatest of respect and welcomed me as a valued client; making calls in person and giving extra effort to help me understand the processes of my case. This is the place to go to genuinely get things taken care of. Thank you Mr. Powers, and your staff and associates!



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        The attorneys of Powers McCartan have accumulated a wealth of legal resources and information and made it available to the general public.

        If you are looking for preliminary legal information on a DWI, Criminal Defense or Traffic Ticket issue, our guidebook to navigating the legal system is a good place to start. Click here to download our guide. We also feature additional legal resources in the legal resource section of our website which you can find here.

        If you have specific questions about a legal matter, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys who will be happy to discuss the specific circumstances of your case.


        Charlotte, NC

        Concord, NC

        Rock Hill, SC