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Philip J. Clarke III

Philip J. Clarke III

Experienced , Aggressive Courtroom Lawyer who will stick with you.
  • Criminal Law, DUI & DWI, Traffic Tickets ...
  • North Carolina
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

Our legal system is one of the best in the world, if not the best, but you won't likely feel that way if you ever find yourself charged with a crime or in some legal difficulty. It can be terribly frustrating, disappointing and confusing. It helps to have someone in your corner you can trust to navigate for you. The experience I have gained over the last 15 years in practice, trying cases and negotiating non-trial dispositions with state prosecutors, has equipped me to handle most any state criminal law problem you might have, from traffic tickets in District Court to the most serious felonies in Superior Court, and many other legal situations. I know that every case is unique, and I strive to search out every factual detail and every legal argument that may benefit my clients. I think my life experience prior to practicing law gives me some valuable perspective, though it might be difficult to say exactly how. I did not go to law school until I was 37. And I had not graduated from college until just before law school. I had been working as a civilian on military aircraft at Cherry Point for several years after a brief enlistment in the Marine Corps, and had decided it was time to do something that fit my interests and current sense of calling a little better. I care about people and families, so being a helper, an advocate, and a defender of accused persons in a system that can be very hard on the individual and the family is more than just a job to me.

Campbell Law School
J.D. (2000)
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Professional Experience
Philip J. Clarke, I I I, Attorney at Law
- Current
Clarke & Hewlett, PLLC
Philip J. Clarke, Attorney at Law
Professional Associations
North Carolina Advocates for Justice
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North Carolina Bar Association
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Alliance Defending Freedom
allied attorney
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
North Carolina
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  • Free Consultation
Practice Areas
    Criminal Law
    Criminal Appeals, Drug Crimes, Expungement, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Sex Crimes, Theft, Violent Crimes
    DUI & DWI
    Traffic Tickets
    Suspended License
    White Collar Crime
    Consumer Law
    Class Action, Lemon Law
    Landlord Tenant
    Evictions, Housing Discrimination, Landlord Rights, Rent Control, Tenants' Rights
    Juvenile Law
    Family Law
    Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support, Father's Rights, Guardianship & Conservatorship, Paternity, Prenups & Marital Agreements, Restraining Orders, Same Sex Family Law
  • English
Legal Answers
Q. What is the max jail time for an intoxicated and disruptive charge
A: Intoxicated and Disruptive is a class 3 misdemeanor. The maximum jail sentence depends on the defendant's prior record level -- if 0 to 3 prior convictions then the max would be a fine only ; if 4 prior convictions then 15 days max., if 5 or more prior convictions then the max would be 20 days.
A: From the perspective of a defense attorney: You should keep up with the case and make sure that you let the DA's office know in advance if you will not be available for court for some important purpose. You should be prepared to testify and tell the judge what really happened. And you should be prepared for the defense to cross-examine you aggressively and possibly tell a whole different story. But if your story is true, the judge will likely know it and find him guilty. If you know of any witnesses, then make sure the DA's office knows about them and their addresses well in advance. You may have to make several appearances before the case is tried or pled. Other than that, I would just say, if you want to stop the guy, then testify against him. This is all the kind of thing that I think a prosecutor might tell you, but that is not my normal role in the courtroom, so you should speak to the prosecutor if you have an opportunity. NOTE: NOTHING WRITTEN HERE IS TO BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE GIVEN BY THE WRITER, NOR DOES ANYTHING WRITTEN HERE ESTABLISH ANY ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WRITER AND ANY READER BUT IS PROVIDED ONLY FOR ITS EDUCATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT BENEFIT.
Q. When a lawyer tells u to bring 1500 and charges will be dropped what should I do when I'm innocent to start with
A: I cannot answer for another attorney, but I would expect that most attorneys would make clear that they cannot guarantee the results in a case (as in charges being dropped), as that is something that ultimately requires either the agreement of the District attorney's Office or the ruling of a judge after they have been presented with the facts of the case. But, if after hearing the facts of your case, an experienced defense lawyer firmly believes (99%?) that they can get the charges dropped, then they might be expected to communicate that quite confidently. And of course, some lawyers may just promise more than they can deliver. The issue of the attorney charges for the representation seems to be another question. I trust you have no problem with the charges being dropped, but are bothered by the idea that as an innocent party you feel like you are being asked to purchase the result that the law itself should provide. And I think some folks decide to represent themselves for just that reason. I will not go into great detail, but that is often a mistake. That you are innocent does not mean that getting this done (getting the charges dismissed) will not require work on the part of the attorney. And you are paying for that attorney's skill and reputation in being able to communicate with prosecutors and argue to judges in ways that are effective to get them to see that which is clear to you (but apparently not clear to whoever charged you) -- that you are innocent. The law says you are innocent until proven guilty, with the burden of proof on the state, but the hard reality is that being accused places a big burden on you to defend yourself. False accusations may have to be shown to be so. That is where a good lawyer comes in handy. I recently (just last week) had a felony case dismissed (charges dropped) that was well over a year old. When my client originally told me the facts of the case, I told her I believed we would get the charges dismissed. It seemed pretty simple. But every month since those charges were filed, my client has had a court date. On dates when she had medical issues or other reasons for not being able to appear, I was there to continue her case, and my office kept up with the court dates and continued to urge the prosecutor to look closer at the case because it needed to be dismissed, and my client was not going to plead to anything. In this particular case I believe that the prosecutor would have eventually dropped the case whether the client had a lawyer or not if she had continued to refuse a plea agreement, but she would probably have been called and failed at least once, with an order for her arrest issued, and she would have spent a lot more time in the courtroom had she been representing herself. When it was all over, was she glad she had a lawyer? I believe she definitely was. Was it fair that a person who was falsely accused had to expend time and resources on this? I don't think so. But that is simply the way the system works. Her only recourse would be a civil suit against her accuser. And that is not a realistic possibility. I hope this was helpful. PLEASE NOTE: NOTHING SAID HERE ESATABLISHES ANY ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WRITER AND ANY READER. THIS IS GIVEN FOR EDUCATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT VALUE, AND NOTHING ELSE.
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Philip J. Clarke, III, Attorney at Law
534 North 35th Street, Unit I
Morehead City, NC 28557
Telephone: (252) 222-5252
Fax: (252) 222-5253