The Law Offices of Mark T. McCullough

Mark's Philosophy

MARK'S PHILOSOPHY

A person accused of a crime will go through one of the most difficult and trying times of his or her life. People sometimes make bad decisions in moments of strife which should not define them. A lot of things are classified as crimes in North Carolina. North Carolina has one of highest numbers of crimes classified as felonies in the country.

Mark uses the title "Attorney and Counselor at Law." Mark is an attorney (lawyer), but the most important aspect of what he does is counseling. Being accused of a crime places an intense burden on a person to make important and potentially life-changing decisions. A lawyer needs to do more than just put options in front of someone; he needs to be compassionate and reassuring, but he also has to be forthright and candid. A situation must be explained plainly, the analysis of the evidence and strength of the State's case has to be discussed realistically and practically and in a way which the client understands and which leaves the client comfortable with the attorney's recommendations or with making his or her own decisions. The client must feel comfortable with the decisions being made so that what is being done and said in court leaves the client confident that the decisions made are the correct ones and that the attorney has the client's best interests at heart. Emphasizing the counselor relationship allows the attorney and the client to work as a team to achieve the most desirable result possible.

Criminal defense attorneys sometimes get a bad reputation for "getting criminals off" their charges. Defending those accused of crimes is not always popular, but without attorneys willing to protect the rights of those currently accused of crimes, there would be no guarantee that anyone else's rights would be protected if they were accused of a crime. Sometimes defendants are innocent. Sometimes defendants are guilty, but of an offense less than the one charged. And sometimes defendants are guilty of the charged offense, but there are reasons the punishment should be less than what is typical. Rights of criminal defendants are the cornerstone of a free society. Justice is reaching the right result and the right punishment under the circumstances considering the reasons for the offense and the evidence in the case, including how the evidence was obtained and whether the method of obtaining evidence violated the clients rights. Thomas Jefferson said, "Better 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man be condemned." He, like most Founders, understood that justice is the cornerstone of a free society.