Matthew Suczynski Disagrees With State Cuts to Public Legal Representation

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The Chapel Hill attorney announced his opposition to North Carolina’s attempt to cut the state budget by eliminating access for the poor to legal representation.

Chapel Hill-based criminal defense attorney Matthew Suczynski says that recent cuts by the State of North Carolina in its budget not only eliminates the poor’s access to legal representation, but also reclassifies more than 12 crimes into misdemeanors that will not result in jail time. Read more at

Suczynski and other opponents to the cuts say that its part of a pattern in several states that are seeking to punish certain crimes with only a fine. In other states, the same thing is accomplished by judges and prosecutors stating they will not seek jail time for minor offenses. Although it sounds good, the drawback occurs when the people charged with the crimes are then left to fend for themselves in the courtroom. Often, they lack basic legal skills needed to represent themselves sufficiently, and are not notified of the consequences of being found guilty of even minor convictions.

With a conviction or guilty plea comes an even larger problem. Nowadays, the Internet has made searching for a person’s criminal history extremely easy. When someone is convicted of a crime, even a misdemeanor, it can affect their access to student loans, employment and professional licensing. Suczynski says judges have been waiving counsel on lesser criminal matters for years.

“Most people being charged with marijuana possession are African-Americans, when they’re 17, 18 years old,” he said. “Once they get convicted and have that mark against them, it’s nearly impossible to overcome. Those records are out there forever. It’s a system that just runs people over.”

Studies show that defendants who do not have lawyers are even more likely to plead guilty, pay a fine and be done with the whole process. While it may make the courts run more efficiently, the price is often not seen at the time because defendants lack an experienced lawyer to notify them of the long-term effects.

Matthew Suczynski represents individuals charged with many criminal offenses - including alcohol and drug offenses, assault, fraud, larceny and weapons crimes. He has two office locations: 208 North Columbia St. in Chapel Hill, N.C., and at 115 Market St., Suite 360-E in Durham. For more information, please visit his website at, or call 919-619-3242.

About the Company
The Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski, PLLC’s goal is to provide personal representation to every client. Matthew focuses his representation on individuals accused of crimes, involved in civil litigation, or injured by the acts of another. Matthew has extensive experience appearing in courtrooms throughout North Carolina. As such, he understands that every situation is different and tailors the representation in order to obtain the best outcome possible for each client. At the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski, PLLC, clients will receive personal representation whether the case is a minor traffic offense or a serious felony.

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