I tried two criminal cases when I was still a law student, and I won not-guilty verdicts on both (you can start handling misdemeanors during your third year). I tell you this not because I think I'm special, but so you can see that I was dedicated to becoming a criminal defense attorney since day one.
Perhaps the greatest benefit in my continued development as a successful advocate for my clients is the incredible mentors that I have had along the way. By the time I graduated from law school, I had already interned for the largest public defender's office in North Carolina (the Mecklenburg County Public Defender's Office) and then for the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of North Carolina in Raleigh. Upon my start in private practice, I was assigned to defend my first felony case the first week on the job.
Today, I work for Roberts Law Group, PLLC, and I would not want to work anywhere else. With the help and mentorship of Patrick Roberts, I've handled hundreds of criminal cases in more than 40 counties across the State, as well as all three of North Carolina's federal districts. I have achieved successful results for clients in the full range of criminal cases, including driving while impaired (DWI/DUI) offenses, felony drug charges, embezzlement, assaults, sex crimes and federal offenses.
I Am the Only Thing Standing Between My Client and a Jail Cell
I come from a family of lawyers. You could say it's a tradition. Most of the lawyers in my family are "big firm" lawyers - commercial lending and business transactions. But I took a different path. In law school, I fell in love with the courtroom. What drives me most about criminal law is that as a defense lawyer, I am often the only person standing between my client and a jail cell. It is a great privilege to be able to defend people facing the power and authority of the government. It is my responsibility to level the playing field in a justice system that is often slanted against the defendant from the very beginning, and that is a responsibility that I take very seriously.
For As Long As I Practice Law, I Will Be a Criminal Defense Lawyer
I picked up and moved my entire family to Raleigh for one reason: to work for Roberts Law Group. At this firm, I knew I would have the opportunity to handle high-profile cases, from drug trafficking to murder, and I knew I would be able to do so in a collaborative environment with other talented attorneys and staff.
The truth is that for as long as I practice law, I intend to be a criminal defense attorney. There is no doubt about that in my mind. I intend to do this for as long as I can.
My Greatest Achievements
Given the huge number of criminal cases we've handled over the last several years, it truly is difficult to pinpoint one case that I would consider to be my "greatest achievement" in the practice of law. One case that has really stuck with me was a client who was falsely accused of abusing his severely disabled wife by an estranged family member who was seeking to ruin my client's reputation. In actuality, my client was his wife's sole caretaker and confidant, and she completely relied on him for all the basic necessities of daily living. When my client initially hired me, he was not only facing serious felony charges, but he had also been banned from his own home. After completing the type of thorough investigation that the police should have completed before issuing felony charges, I submitted my findings to the District Attorney's Office, and the charges were promptly dismissed. Reuniting that family will always be one of my proudest moments in the practice of law.
A few other achievements of which I'm proud include securing the dismissal of a Possession of Cocaine charge (which saved my client's career in the military), and a verdict of not guilty on a DWI charge despite my client's .08 BAC.
• Dismissal of a DWI in Wake County Superior Court after the Court found that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop on the defendant, despite a .09 BAC.
• Dismissal of a DWI in Hertford County District Court after the Court found that police officers did not have probable cause to arrest Mr. Marcilliat's client for impaired driving.
• Client found NOT GUILTY of Driving While Impaired after a trial in Wake County District Court despite client's .08 BAC.
• Client found NOT GUILY of Driving While Impaired after a trial in Bertie County District Court despite client's 0.18 BAC.
• Dismissal of a Felony Possession of Cocaine charge in Wake County without deferral or diversion program.
• Client found NOT GUILTY of Assault on a Female after a trial in Wake County District Court after the Court found that Mr. Marcilliat's client acted in self defense to evict an intruder from his own home.
Honors and Awards
• ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, NY Regional: Best Advocate, 10th Place, 2012
• Richard A. Lord Moot Court Competition: Finalist and Best Brief, 2010
Professional Associations and Memberships
• North Carolina Bar Association, Member, 2012 - Present
• North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Member, 2012 - Present
• North Carolina State Bar
• Wake County Bar Association
• 10th Judicial District Bar Association
Past Employment Positions
• The Law Office of Heather R. Klein, Associate Attorney, 2012 - 2014• Federal Public Defender's Office, E.D.N.C., Fall Intern, 2011
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