Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I have an outstanding warrant, what should I do?”
A new report by the FBI showed a slight decrease in hate crimes in Charlotte metro last year compared with 2017. The Federal Bureau of Investigation tracks the number of hate crimes, along with all other types of non-violent and violent crimes, on a year-over-year basis.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Am I allowed to videotape an interaction with police? Can they make me stop filming?”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) has announced drastic changes to its electronic monitoring program in the city amid concerns that people released from jail before trial pose a serious public safety risk.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question: I was found not guilty of a charge, but my record still shows the charge
It’s thankfully pretty rare that North Carolina criminals land on the front pages of newspapers across the country (and even the world). But that’s just what happened this past week after a man from Concord, NC was arrested more than 14 years after renting and failing to return a VHS tape.
Charlotte DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is an expungement?”
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is currently considering moving forward with a plan that could lead to those convicted of certain crimes from being banned from entering certain parts of town for up to a year. The plan calls for the creation of “public safety zones” similar to prostitution-free zones that were created by the police department nearly 10 years ago. Critics have said that not only are the proposed public safety zones unconstitutional, but they’ve been shown to be ineffective in reducing crime.
Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?
A partner at a major national law firm is currently experiencing the fallout from a series of bad decisions she made during a recent flight from Charlotte, NC to London. The case illustrates not only the dangers of mixing alcohol and prescription sleep drugs, but also the serious penalties that can result from misbehavior onboard an airplane.
Charlotte has a major heroin problem. The city is ranked fifth in the country when it comes to the sale and distribution of black tar heroin, much of which occurs in Charlotte’s more affluent communities. This problem has been described as Charlotte’s “invisible drug epidemic” and there are some disconcerting numbers to prove it.
In 2013, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department – South Division, released reports showing that in 2013 south Charlotte heroin related overdoses and arrests increased by over 30 percent. What is also alarming is the average age of heroin users is decreasing as well. In a survey of heroin users, 33.3 percent first used heroin when they were 16-18 years old. Of those users surveyed, 53.2 percent said they could usually obtain heroin within 30 minutes. This easy accessibility can be attributed to the largely untouched market in the south charlotte area, which has generally had low gang activity making it a target for drug dealers to expand their market and find new customers.
Heroin is an opiate that shares properties with commonly abused prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin. These painkillers are being abused more and more over the last decade, causing addictions that required constant use just to feel “normal”. As more state governments began regulating these drugs the illegal market’s supply dwindled causing a substantial increase in prices. As prices rose, those abusing these painkillers have begun to turn to heroin as a much cheaper alternative at around nine dollars per bag versus 60-100 dollars per pill. It has also become a common practice for heroin dealers to offer deals for buying in bulk.
The sale of heroin in Charlotte has become increasingly easy. Phone numbers float around where a user can call and make an order, the dispatcher instructs the customer where to go (usually a safe place like a mall parking lot or a public park) and a runner meets the customer with the heroin; the exchange can take place without ever leaving the car.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”
Last week, Amy Arrington illustrated how not to handle an impending court appearance. Arrington, of Gaston County, faked her own disappearance during a weekend trip to Myrtle Beach in order to avoid court in Charlotte on fraud charges. She turned herself in after additional charges were levied against her and husband Paul Arrington over the staged disappearance.
Now police have identified 48-year-old Jeffrey Wayne Greene as the man who illustrated Sunday how not to handle the problem of outstanding warrants. Police received a tip early Sunday that Greene was staying at the Days Inn in Huntersville. Greene was a wanted man in Mecklenburg and Lincoln Counties in North Carolina and York County, South Carolina. He faced a slew of charges ranging from resisting an officer and fleeing arrest to obtaining property by false pretense.
Before police officers could arrest him, Greene fled, leading officers on northbound Interstate 77 from Exit 28 to Exit 33. Greene then exited the interstate and continued north on Highway 21 until he struck a patrol car while making a U-turn.
Greene then fled south, again on Interstate 77, before crossing the median at mile marker 24 and heading northbound again. Greene then exited the interstate and fled south on Highway 21 before crossing the centerline and crashing into two oncoming vehicles. Six people, including Greene, were injured in the crash. All are expected to survive. Police said Greene will be facing additional charges when he is released from the hospital.
The Greene and Arrington cases appear to illustrate a simple truth: you can run from the law, but you won’t get away.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “If I have an outstanding warrant, what should I do?”
A Gaston County woman did not drown in the ocean near North Myrtle Beach on July 5. Police are sure of that, but they do not know where Amy Lynette Arrington is. Her husband, Paul Arrington, reported her missing, and initial news reports focused on Mrs. Arrington’s last-known whereabouts: she was last seen on the beach near 24th Avenue North wearing a red bathing suit with a floral design and brown trim. Police used jet skis and boats to locate her.
Now police say Mr. Arrington’s report was false. They have charged him with filing a false police report and said they have reserved the right to seek repayment for costs associated with searching for Mrs. Arrington.
Questions about Mr. Arrington’s missing person story were raised after it was revealed that Mrs. Arrington was supposed to appear in court in Charlotte for trial the following Monday. She was charged with identity theft in October 2013 after she allegedly used another woman’s account to buy thousands of dollars of merchandise on Amazon.com and pay cable and bank bills.
Mrs. Arrington reportedly has a long criminal history, with convictions in Wake, Union and Mecklenburg Counties. If she faked her own death or disappearance to avoid her day of legal reckoning, she is not alone. In fact, faking one’s death or disappearance to avoid court is quite common.
In 2011, a Tennessee woman accused of stealing $2,500 from a Macy’s department store had her case dropped after court officials received a death certificate showing the woman had died in Kentucky from a drug overdose.
2013 Best Lawyer In Charlotte winner Brad Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”
An old client of mine called me yesterday to report some exciting news: the truth was setting him free. He had been accused of a crime. The police called him and asked him to talk. He did, then he called me.
I told him the last thing he should do is talk to the police. When they called asking him to take a lie-detector test, he told them he would exercise his 5th Amendment right to remain silent. Good for him.
A few days later, a police officer called to tell him the prosecutor didn’t think there was enough evidence to charge him.
“It’s not over,” I told him. “Just because they don’t have enough evidence now doesn’t mean they won’t gather more evidence and charge you later,” I said. I repeated the ages-old advice from criminal lawyers to clients: Silence is golden.
Many clients of mine – and most people in general – fail to grasp the complexity inherent in how and why people are charged with crimes. In some cases, it seems like the government is in a rush to hold someone accountable for a crime, while in other cases the plodding, methodical conduct of law enforcement and prosecutors drives a justice-hungry public crazy.