Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “As a parent, what should I be aware of when speaking to police about charges my child faces?”
Facing a charge of “solicitation of a child by computer” can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. You may not only lose your freedom if convicted, but the conviction can also ruin your reputation, career, housing opportunities, and other aspects of your life.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”
In a deeply troubling case, federal prosecutors were forced to drop child pornography charges against one man after the FBI investigators refused to reveal the source of the information being used to implicate him. The case is unusual in many ways, one of which is that the FBI was allowed to commit a terrible crime in an attempt to capture other criminals. It now seems like the sacrifice was for nothing, as the man (and many others) may have their charges dropped.
Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?
Like countless mothers across the United States, Laura Strange spent two hours cradling her newborn daughter Haley in her arms. Unlike most mothers, however, the twenty-five-year-old’s ankle was cuffed to her hospital bed, and those first two hours with Haley were likely the last Strange will spend with her daughter for the next two years.
Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”
In a horrible case that reveals the serious criminal penalties that can be faced by even young children, police in Charlotte say they have charged an 11-year-old boy in connection with the death of his brother. Police say the 11-year-old has been charged with felony child abuse, though his charges will be handled as part of the juvenile justice system.
So far police have not released the boy’s name, but say that he faces criminal charges after supposedly dropping his infant brother on his head repeatedly until he died. The case began this past weekend when police were called to a home in Charlotte, NC where they discovered a seven-month-old boy unresponsive. The child was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Police investigators quickly realized that the baby’s poor health was not accidental but instead the result of physical abuse. They quickly zeroed in on the boy’s 33-year-old mother, Wendy Johnson, as the culprit, a decision that relatives say was an unfair rush to judgment. Wendy was ultimately charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse.
Then earlier this week relatives of the deceased infant approached reporters with a local news station and said that the person responsible for the boy’s death was the 11-year-old brother. Relatives said that the brother admitted to family members that he beat the child because he was jealous of the attention he was receiving and because the little boy would not stop crying.
These relatives also said that at the time of the abuse, Wendy was not even at home but had left to run a 45-minute errand. When the mother returned to the house she discovered her young son dead in his crib.
Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”
A middle school principal from North Carolina has been arrested and faces charges of sexually assaulting a young male student while his parents waited outside the principal’s office. The shocking case of David Ellis Edwards has made national headlines after his arrest last Friday in Fayetteville.
Police say Edwards faces charges of second-degree forcible sex, sexual acts with a student, taking indecent liberties with a minor and crimes against nature. The charges relate to incidents that occurred between 2009 and 2011 when Edwards is accused of molesting at least three boys between the ages of 11 and 14. One of the cases involved a middle schooler who was allegedly attacked while his parent sat just outside the door in the waiting area.
Police say Edwards immediately resigned his position at Douglas Byrd Middle School following the arrest. Before taking his position at Douglas Byrd he was principle of Ramsey Street Alternative School. Police say they believe that sexual assaults took place at both schools. Police officials also say that they believe there were more than the three victims and that interviews with other male students are continuing in the hopes of bringing other victims to light.
If a person is convicted of a sexual offense, the reality is that he or she will have to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years, possibly even for life. This means local schools and day care facilities will be informed of your presence when you move into a neighborhood and you will have to contend with a variety of other restrictions. Neighbors will be also able to see your name and your picture. This stigma can impact not only where you are allowed to live but also what kind of job you can get.
Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “A past conviction is keeping me from finding work what can I do?”
A youth group chaperone in North Carolina has been arrested and charged with a variety of sex crimes involving young boys who were under his care. The arrest came only a few days after the man, Clyde Way, posted a message on Facebook about the good time he had at the religious summer camp.
Police in Albemarle, NC say they have arrested Way after he was accused of sex crimes connected with children from a Baptist church located in Stanly County. The sexual contact is alleged to have taken place in late June at the North Carolina Baptist Assembly in Fort Caswell.
Police say investigators first heard about the case soon after the alleged incidents occurred. Boys between the ages of 10 and 13 came forward and said that Way assaulted them between June 24 and June 29. Way was at the Baptist youth camp as an adult chaperone for his church and not as an employee of the North Carolina Baptist Assembly.
Police say they that after hearing reports of the abuse from the young boys they checked out Way’s Facebook page and noticed a series of messages about the camp. Before leaving, Way wrote a message to his friends that he would be attending the retreat as a youth chaperone, noting that he was “looking forward to a great week of praising the Lord.” After returning home, Way responded to a comment from a friend, saying, “I did have fun.”
Police from the Stanly County and Brunswick County sheriff’s offices worked together to arrest Way. The man has been charged with a total of 24 counts, including 16 counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and four counts of indecent liberties with a child. He is currently being held in jail on $350,000 secured bond.
WBTV recently reported that a 7-year-old girl was nearly abducted. On Saturday, March 31, 2012, the police responded to an emergency on Long Creek Drive. Some reported that a little girl was snatched by a man while she was playing. Witnesses told the investigators that a man picked up the small girl and ran behind the apartment building. Fortunately, the girl knew enough to scream for help and the man put her down and fled the scene.
Police now have a description of the suspect. He is described as a Hispanic male, between the ages of 25 and 30, with dark spikey hair. Since the incident has happened, investigators are taking it seriously and are vigorously investigating the case, but they have yet to arrest anyone for the attempted abduction.
Nearly two months ago, the WFMY News in Greensboro, North Carolina reported an attempted abduction of another small girl in Georgia that had parents on high alert. The report emphasized that parents should be diligent about teaching their children how to avoid being abducted. Since the recent attempted abduction of the 7-year-old on Long Creek Drive, Charlotte parents could benefit from teaching their kids about how to detect danger and how to avoid it.