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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “The person that called the police doesn’t want to press charges.”

 

Usually, you’d expect that if someone had $500,000 worth of electronics stolen from them they’d notice pretty quickly, right? However, recent reports issued by the Democratic National Convention Committee and LG Electronics appear to prove that it might take years before a theft of that size could be uncovered.

 

Tube TV Charlotte Criminal Lawyer North Carolina DWI DUI AttorneyAccording to a recent article, it took the DNC more than six months and LG nearly two years to come to grips with the vast array of electronics that went missing following last fall’s convention in Charlotte. The DNC revealed that an estimated $496,000 worth of equipment disappeared after the 2012 convention.

 

Included among the missing items were a number of Apple laptops, iPads, printers, BlackBerrys and, most notably, television sets. According to the DNC, the group purchased 600 BlackBerrys prior to the convention. Of those, 282 were eventually returned while a whopping 217 failed to turn up.

 

Beyond the smaller items such as smartphones or iPads that might have accidentally disappeared, LG Electronics, supplier of the television sets used during the event, say that 72 big screen television sets vanished at the end of the convention. The company says that while it noticed the sets had gone missing sometime last year, it assumed that they had only been misplaced. Now, after going through records the company is convinced that the sets were stolen and have asked CMPD to investigate. The televisions ranged in price from $350 to $1,800 and are worth a total of around $75,000.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What happens if I am convicted of a DUI or DWI in North Carolina?”

 

One drunk driver from Lincoln County, North Carolina is facing some serious criminal charges this week after police say he dragged an officer nearly 40 feet and later spit blood in the man’s face.

 

Dead End Sign Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina DUI AttorneyAccording to authorities, the encounter began at around 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday when 20-year-old Jake Nelson was spotted running a red light on Highway 16. An officer saw Nelson and tried pulling him over. However, rather than comply, Nelson chose to run, a decision that could now cost him dearly.

 

After speeding away from the officer, Nelson is said to have driven off down several smaller side roads, nearly losing control of his vehicle at one point. Finally, Nelson ran out of room to drive after making a wrong turn down a dead end street. The arresting officer approached Nelson’s car, but the young man initially refused to roll down the window. After a while, Nelson agreed to crack the window, at which point the officer says he clearly smelled alcohol.

 

Backup soon arrived to help the first officer arrest Nelson who still refused to get out of the vehicle. The first officer then stuck his arm through the cracked window to try and unlock the door when Nelson rolled the window up and put the car into drive. The vehicle then slowly rolled for more than 40 feet, dragging the officer the entire way.

 

Police say they were only able to subdue Nelson after the officer whose hand was caught in the door finally got ahold of his Taser and used it on the young man. In the subsequent tussle, police say nelson spit blood on the officer.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

 

Police say that a man with a thick Boston accent robbed a bank in Lincolnton, North Carolina this week before fleeing the scene of the robbery in a stolen car. Authorities say that the bank, the Peoples Bank, was knocked over just after they opened for the morning, at around 9:15 a.m.

 

Security Camera Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal Defense AttorneyThe robbery took place at a location on Highway 27 West, where they say a white male wearing a t-shirt, hoodie, shorts and tennis shoes walked in and demanded money. According to witnesses, the man walked directly up to a teller and handed the man a note, asking for cash. The man also told the teller to be sure that none of the money contained dye packs, something used by banks to help officers trace and collect stolen money.

 

In the note, as well as in person, the robber is said to have threatened to shoot the teller if he did not comply. Police say that no weapon was ever displayed and that the teller filled up a bag with an undisclosed amount of money before the man turned and ran.

 

Police say thanks to quality security camera footage they were able to identify the suspect as 49-year-old Jean Pierre Gendron. The man has several noticeable tattoos, is bald, skinny and does indeed have a thick Boston accent. Lincolnton police investigators say Gendron has an extensive criminal history and is believed to be armed and dangerous.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What happens if I am convicted of a DUI or DWI in North Carolina?”

 

In light of pop star Justin Bieber’s recent arrest for drunk driving in Miami, many have begun paying closer attention to local laws concerning underage drinking and driving. The reason is that some were surprised to hear that Bieber had been busted after police found him driving with a blood alcohol level well below the 0.08 percent that many assume is standard.

 

Bottles of Beer Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal Defense AttorneyIn Bieber’s case, Florida’s law says that a person under 21 can be arrested and charged with drunk driving if they are found to have a BAC of 0.02 percent or above. This might come as a shock to many people who automatically assume the 0.08 percent applies to all drivers across the board.

 

Young drivers in North Carolina should realize that a similar law exists in this state which can lead to young people being arrested with far lower levels of alcohol in their system than would be required for drivers over 21. North Carolina’s law is actually even stricter than the one in Florida, with legislators here adopting a zero tolerance approach. That means that any driver under 21 who is found to have any alcohol in his or her blood whatsoever, even something as small as 0.01 percent, could be cited for impaired driving.

 

The rules can be so strict for young drivers because the state’s law clearly explains that it is illegal for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol except for in several very narrow circumstances. These circumstances include religious reasons, medical requirements or educational purposes (chefs and others that might need to cook with wine).

 

Though drivers under 21 make up a relatively small share of the overall drivers in the state, only about 10 percent, the account for a disproportionately higher share of all DUI related deaths every year, 14 percent. Given this disparity, legislators have long felt that a strict approach was the best way to ensure everyone’s safety on the roads.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “How can an attorney help me with my DWI?”

 

Those busted for drunk driving in North Carolina understandably have a million questions following the arrest. Some common examples include how much will the arrest end up costing, is jail time possible and what impact will the arrest have on your future?

 

Handcuffed hands Charlotte Drunk Driving Lawyer North Carolina DWI AttorneyAnother one of the most common questions involves a best case/worst case scenario. Drivers often feel better knowing what the range of possible outcomes is in their case. Though nothing is absolute and your particular circumstances will greatly impact the outcome, the following are some good examples of possible best case/worst case scenarios.

 

The first thing to note is that the law can be surprisingly severe even for first-time offenders. North Carolina’s drunk driving law says that drivers will face fines, possible short jail times or community service, court costs and a suspended license. However, there are a variety of other factors that can ratchet these punishments upward.

 

Specifically, the law accounts for what are known as “aggravating” and even “grossly aggravating” factors, which can increase the severity of punishments facing first-time offenders. Examples of such aggravating factor include arrests while transporting a minor child, having exceptionally high blood alcohol content or prior drunk driving offenses on your record.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”

 

A public hearing took place earlier this week in Raleigh regarding a possible constitutional amendment in North Carolina that would allow criminal defendants to waive their right to a jury trial. If implemented, the measure would permit anyone except those facing a possible death sentence to choose to waive the right to a jury and instead let a judge hear the case.

 

Scales of justice North Carolina DWI Attorney Charlotte Criminal Trial LawyerBoth houses of the General Assembly passed the constitutional amendment last year with almost unanimous support. Before the amendment can be officially implemented, it will first need to be approved by a majority of voters in an election scheduled for the fall.

 

Those who support the measure say that it offers defendants added choices when preparing their defense and also could save the court system serious money. By allowing for a speedier trial process when defendants believe a jury is not in their best interest, the hope is that everyone can benefit.

 

Though the measure passed the legislature with wide margins of support, there are some critics to the proposed change. Public defenders have been especially cautious about the measure, saying that they worry about the possibility that a judge or a prosecutor could exert pressure on a defendant to accept a bench trial. The interest of speed and judicial economy might come to outweigh a defendant’s wishes in some cases, a possibility that worries those in the criminal defense world.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

 

In a curious case out of Rowan County, North Carolina, a couple is facing serious criminal charges after getting caught stealing a pair of cheap sunglasses. The case should serve as a glaring reminder that even relatively minor crimes like shoplifting can spiral into much bigger issues given the right set of circumstances.

 

Sunglasses Charlotte DWI Attorney North Carolina Felony Charge LawyerAccording to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, things started going badly for Ana Marie Isenhour and Michael Shane Hooks one evening in late January. The couple, who live together in Gold Hill, NC, were shopping at the Gold Hill Market located on Highway 52.

 

The clerk at the store says the two were shopping together for some time and actually ended up buying several items, but the clerk noticed that they had picked up a pair of $14.99 sunglasses and never paid for them. The concerned store employee followed the pair to the parking lot and asked to have the sunglasses back. This confrontation quickly soured and the two pulled handguns out of their vehicle and threatened the clerk.

 

Police say that Hooks was carrying a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun while Isenhour had a .380 semiautomatic handgun. Interestingly, the couple returned to the same market the very next morning to buy gas, this time driving an easily identified vehicle. The owner of the market emerged and insisted that the two leave before he called the cops. Thankfully both drove off without another show of force.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “The person that called the police doesn’t want to press charges.”

 

A man from Concord, North Carolina made national headlines when he was arrested for sucking on a woman’s toes in a Lincolnton Walmart. The arrest of Michael Brown was sensational and prompted a flurry of articles in newspapers across the country. Now that Brown is behind bars, he faces serious criminal charges despite the generally silly tone of many articles

 

High Heels Charlotte DWI Attorney North Carolina Criminal LawyerPolice say that the incident began when Brown walked into the Walmart located on North Generals Boulevard a little after 11 a.m. Shortly after entering the store, Brown approached a female shopper and said that he was a podiatry student. The two struck up a conversation and eventually Brown talked the woman into trying on several pairs of shoes, all with his eager assistance.

 

At some point during the shoe fitting, Brown is said to have held the woman’s foot, put it up to his mouth and began sucking on her toes. The woman was understandably horrified and says that she believed Brown was a Walmart employee. Brown attempted to smooth things over and offered to pay for the woman’s groceries, but that did not do the trick.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

 

A recent article in a Colorado newspaper discussed the current movement here in North Carolina to change the state’s laws regarding juvenile criminal offenders. As it stands now, 16 and 17 year olds arrested in North Carolina are automatically treated as adults, rather than children.

 

Prison bars on blue sky Charlotte DWI Attorney North Carolina 28204 LawyerAdvocates for change note that North Carolina is nearly alone in its harsh treatment of teenage offenders. In fact, New York is the only other state in the country where juvenile offenders in their late teens are automatically treated as adults in the criminal justice system, regardless of the nature of crime that was allegedly committed.

 

Opponents of the current laws point out that 48 other states have gradually shifted away from such a harsh approach, realizing that locking young people in adult prisons seldom does anyone any good. The problem is that teens who are exposed to such violent surroundings often never receive the kind of rehabilitative care they need and instead end up learning even more dangerous habits from the more experienced criminals they are surrounded by.

 

For those young people sentenced to adult punishment for their crimes, the experience can be a traumatizing one. Some who have survived discuss incidents of rape, physical violence and intimidation from the other adult male inmates. With an interest in survival, many young offenders gravitate towards the long-term prisoners and learn new tricks, often becoming more adept criminals rather than reforming their ways.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “A past conviction is keeping me from finding work what can I do?”

 

A terrible recent story out of North Carolina seems to support the idea that no good deed goes unpunished. According to news reports, 20-year-old Lewis James Little, a sophomore at North Carolina Central University, spent nearly a month behind bars after reporting a crime to local police officers who wrongly concluded that he was involved in the matter.

 

handcuffs silver Charlotte DWI Attorney North Carolina Criminal Defense LawyerThe debacle began last summer when Little and a group of his friends from NCCU were getting together at another person’s home for an evening of hanging out. As they were walking into the house, Little and his friends spotted the body of a 25-year-old in the middle of the street.

 

Little says he and his friends were alarmed and while many wanted to call the cops, they were afraid at involving themselves in the matter. Little decided he needed to do the right thing and report the dead body, so he called the local police department.

 

Things started to go bad quickly after officers arrived on the scene when Little says he found himself facing intense questioning and was soon in handcuffs. Police say they thought he played a role in the break-in at a nearby home and that the robbery may have had something to do with the subsequent murder that left 25-year-old Michael Lee dead.

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