Carteret County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested on criminal charges in North Carolina, Joel Hancock, lead attorney of Hancock Law Firm, is the person to call. A native of Carteret County, he is deeply committed to helping extricate you from the legal trouble you’re in. No matter what you stand accused of, he will presume your innocence and provide you with a free, confidential consultation. You can count on being reassured from the time you first make contact with his devoted office manager, Keri Flippin, to the time you meet Joel himself and feel his immediate understanding and support.

Call Hancock: A Criminal Defense Attorney You Can Trust

Joel Hancock never thinks of you as a criminal defense case; he thinks of you as a person with a problem he is qualified to solve. He will listen carefully to your account of the events precipitating your arrest and quickly begin to figure out which defense strategy will work best to result in a positive outcome. His primary goal is getting you a dismissal or winning you an acquittal in court. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, he will never give up on you and will work tirelessly to negotiate a favorable plea bargain.

After 6 years of working on thousands of criminal defense cases, Joel has a great deal of experience in the field as well as extensive knowledge of North Carolina criminal law. He is sensitive, however, to the fact that you are not nearly as familiar as he is with law enforcement and judicial procedures, and that you are most likely feeling frightened and disoriented. He is eager to reduce your anxiety as he becomes your most energetic advocate. You can count on Joel to guide you through each step of the criminal justice process — arrest, arraignment, pretrial negotiation, plea, bond hearing, trial, sentencing, appeals, and post-trial relief.

Hancock Law Offers Comprehensive Criminal Defense

No matter what type of law you are accused of breaking, Hancock Law Firm is ready to provide you with outstanding criminal defense. Joel Hancock will defend you by doing a thorough investigation, examining police data, interviewing witnesses and exploring defense options. His clients report being treated with concern and respect and coming away not only with positive results but with a strong sense of gratitude and relief. Criminal charges Joel will defend you from include felonies and misdemeanors such as:

Felony Assaults

Assault is the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon another person, or a serious threat to do so, but not all assaults in North Carolina rise to the level of felonies. Felony assaults are typically those [1] inflicted on a child [2] involving a deadly weapon with serious injury or with intent to kill or [3] involving strangulation.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes are taken very seriously in Carteret County, North Carolina. Such crimes range from possession, sale or delivery, to cultivating, manufacturing or drug trafficking. Harsher penalties result when you are found to possess or distribute larger quantities of illegal drugs. The seriousness of the crime is also dependent on which category of drug is involved. The categories of drugs, known as “schedules,” are separated according to the potential for abuse and addiction, as well as according to whether they have known positive medical properties:

  • Schedule I — including heroin, ecstasy, peyote, and opiates
  • Schedule II — including cocaine, opium, morphine, codeine, and methadone
  • Schedule III — including ketamine, anabolic steroids, and barbiturates
  • Schedule IV — including Valium, Xanax, Darvon, barbital
  • Schedule V — including over-the-counter cough medicine with codeine
  • Schedule VI — including marijuana, hashish, hashish oil

Sex Offenses

Sex offenses include prostitution, soliciting, possessing or distributing child pornography, sexual assault, and rape. The most serious sex offenses involve force, penetration, physical injury, or assault on a vulnerable person such as a child, someone mentally challenged, or an incapacitated, elderly, or cognitively impaired person.

Gun Crimes

Gun crimes include illegal possession, illegal concealment, having an unregistered weapon, or leaving a gun accessible to a minor.

Burglary and Robbery

Both burglary and robbery are more serious types of theft than shoplifting. Burglary involves breaking into a dwelling or other structure with the intent to steal, while robbery involves using a threat of physical harm to steal directly from another person.


Arson is the act of intentionally setting fire to property.


There are many types of homicide (killing another person). These include voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, murder in the first (premeditated) or second degree, felony murder (while committing another felony), and vehicular manslaughter. Punishments are harsher when crimes are intentional and/or premeditated.

Collateral Consequences of Conviction

At Hancock Law Firm, we are fully aware that beyond any sentencing if you are found guilty of a serious crime, you will have to cope with collateral consequences, such as loss of employment, loss of reputation, and possibly loss of civil rights like the right to vote and the right to own a gun. Even more importantly, you may lose custody of your children or even the right to visit with them. We realize we are defending not only your freedom and your finances but also your future.

Possible Criminal Defenses

As you undoubtedly know, punishments for criminal acts get harsher the more frequently you commit them. Being labeled a habitual felon makes it harder for even a talented criminal defense attorney to defend you. Nonetheless, when you call Hancock, you can be assured that Joel Hancock will presume you are innocent no matter what your background and work hard to protect you from prosecution. He has well-honed legal skills and knows which defense strategies will work best in your situation.

Joel Hancock has many defense strategies from which to choose and is savvy enough to know which is likely to work best in your particular case. Depending on how his discussions with you and his examinations of evidence and witness testimony go, he may be able to get your charges dismissed or win you a not guilty verdict at trial by proving that:

  • You have an airtight alibi
  • You were coerced into committing this crime
  • You were misidentified by the victim or a witness
  • You were acting under duress (being threatened)
  • Someone was framing you
  • You were acting in self-defense or in defense of another
  • You were entrapped by law enforcement
  • You did not have any criminal intent
  • You committed the crime while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • The person claiming to be your victim was actually consenting to your action
  • You were having a medical or psychiatric episode at the time of the alleged crime

Contact Hancock to Be Your Carteret County Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

At Hancock Law Firm we want nothing more than to protect and support you in your quest for justice. We will do everything in our power to spare you the financial, physical, and emotional discomfort of a guilty verdict and harsh punishment. Remember that saving you from harm is our top priority. As soon as you Call Hancock we will start working for your best interests. Contact us for a FREE consultation! 

Hancock Law Firm serves residents in Beaufort, Morehead City, and throughout all of Carteret County.