Experienced Murder Defense Attorney in Gastonia, North Carolina

It is no exaggeration to say that a murder accusation can end your life as you know it. If you are convicted of first-degree murder in North Carolina, a conviction could literally mean a death sentence. This is no time to learn as you go or try do-it-yourself murder defense. If you face murder charges, now is the time to make sure you have a proven criminal defense attorney fighting to protect your rights and your future.

In Gastonia and surrounding communities, you can turn to Marcilliat & Mills PLLC, for the fierce defense you need from proven lawyers. We have extensive experience navigating the criminal justice system on behalf of our clients and know what it takes to minimize your exposure to harsh criminal penalties and collateral consequences.

We are led by a former North Carolina prosecutor who understands the system inside and out. You can rely on us to thoroughly investigate the accusations against you, examine the evidence, consult with highly qualified experts, and make sure the burden of proof remains with the prosecution. They must prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that you committed murder.

Don’t wait another day to protect what matters most. Call 919-838-6643 for a free consultation with our Gastonia murder defense attorneys.

Can A Murder Conviction Result In The Death Penalty?


First-degree murder — when accompanied by aggravating factors such as the commission of a felony, the use of a deadly weapon or committing a murder to personally gain something — is a capital offense in North Carolina. A conviction can result in you making your home for the foreseeable future on death row as you await your execution.

As sobering as the possibility of the death penalty is, it is important not to overlook the other potential penalties. Short of the death penalty, a first-degree murder conviction can result in a sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole. A conviction on second-degree murder can result in a long prison sentence, followed by living the rest of your life with the complications that arise from having a criminal record.

Whether you are facing first or second-degree murder charges, it is crucial to have an experienced attorney working on your defense. The stakes are simply too high to settle for anything less than representation you can count on.

What Can You Expect?

Every case is unique but there are some things that are common to most murder cases.

First of all, it is time to zip your lips unless you are in the presence of your attorney. No matter how vocally talented you are, there is nothing you can say to the investigating officers or the prosecutor to improve your situation. The only talking you should be doing is with your attorney as you consider your best defense strategy. Your attorney can handle all interactions with law enforcement and the prosecution in order to ensure you don’t say anything that can be used against you.

We will make sure you understand all of the options available to you and provide you with the information you need to make an educated decision about whether to pursue a plea agreement or pursue an acquittal via trial. In some cases, we are able to negotiate a plea agreement that results in a conviction on crimes with lesser sentences. This is especially important if you are charged with first-degree murder, where a conviction can result in the death penalty.

“Do I Need An Attorney?”

You are not required to have an attorney, but the following saying is well-known for a reason: “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client”. Your emotional investment in your own case can actually be a detriment to your defense even if you have formal legal training. It is common for attorneys to hire other attorneys to represent their interests in criminal and civil cases for this reason.

We will be able to take a rational and calculated look at your circumstances, the evidence and your defense options. You can trust us to provide you with the unvarnished truth about your case, so you can have peace of mind about your defense.

The Collateral Consequences Of Murder Charges

Even if you are charged with a lesser offense like voluntary manslaughter or attempted murder, a conviction can have lasting ramifications for you and your loved ones. After you have served your time and paid your debt to society, having a criminal record can make it difficult to find gainful employment, obtain reliable housing and pursue educational opportunities. It is important to mount an aggressive defense against all charges in order to minimize your exposure to criminal penalties and collateral consequences.

Speak To An Attorney About Your Defense Options

Everything is on the line if you have been accused of murder in Gastonia. It is critical to have an experienced defense attorney protecting your rights, your reputation, your freedom and your future. Call 919-838-6643 or contact us online today for a free consultation. We will take care of the rest.

State v. B.S.: Not Guilty Verdict in First Degree Murder Case.

In this case, our client was charged with First Degree Murder in connection with a “drive by” shooting that occurred in Charlotte, NC. The State’s evidence included GPS ankle monitoring data linking our client was at the scene of the crime and evidence that our client confessed to an inmate while in jail. Nonetheless, we convinced a jury to unanimously find our client Not Guilty. He was released from jail the same day.

State v. S.G.: First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed.

Our client was charged with First Degree for the shooting death related to an alleged breaking and entering. The State’s evidence included a co-defendant alleging that our client was the shooter. After conducting a thorough investigation with the use of a private investigator, we persuaded the State to dismiss entirely the case against our client.

State v. B.D.: First Degree Murder Charged Dismissed.

After conducting an investigation and communicating with prosecutor about the facts and circumstances indicating that our client acted in self-defense, the case was dismissed and deemed a justifiable homicide.

State v. I.R.: Reduction from First Degree Murder to Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of Death.

Our client was charged with the First Degree Murder of a young lady by drug overdose. After investigating the decedent’s background and hiring a preeminent expert toxicologist to fight the State’s theory of death, we were able to negotiate this case down from Life in prison to 5 years in prison, with credit for time served.

State v. J.G.:

Our client was charged with First Degree Murder related to a “drug deal gone bad.” After engaging the services of a private investigator and noting issues with the State’s case, we were able to negotiate a plea for our client that avoided a Life sentence and required him to serve only 12 years.

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