Articles Posted in Court Procedures

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”What is an expungement?”

Most people do not spend time worrying about things like the discovery process. It is legalistic and confusing to those not familiar with the criminal justice system. Though it can be complicated, it is incredibly important and worth understanding. Discovery is meant to shed light on evidence, creating transparency in a justice system that can, at times, be troublingly opaque. As a recent article in the New York Times demonstrates, the discovery process can sometimes go wrong and, when it does, it can have serious consequences.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”

A commonly repeated trope of the criminal justice system is that lady justice is blind. We say this because we hope that all are treated fairly before the law. The hope is that only evidence, cold hard facts, play a role in determining guilt or innocence, not a person’s money, family, background, race, or looks. Though there are reasons to doubt how true this is in practice, especially in years past, it’s been an ideal worth striving for. A recent study appears to indicate that there is plenty of room left to strive, concluding that a person’s physical appearance can have an impact on criminal sentencing.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I ever plead guilty to a charge?”

It’s been more than 10 years in the making, but the criminal case revolving around Bill Cosby came to the end, rather quietly, over the weekend. Though people have speculated for some time that Cosby had behaved inappropriately if not outright criminally with many dozens of women over the decades, it wasn’t clear whether any prosecutor would be able to make charges stick, especially so many years after the incidents were alleged to have occurred. One in Norristown, Pennsylvania tried and ultimately failed to convince a jury that Cosby was guilty of aggravated indecent assault.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”

After former FBI director James Comey’s recent testimony before Congress, the media has been awash in conversation about obstruction of justice. The question on many minds is whether Comey’s testimony made a sufficiently compelling case for obstruction of justice charges, something that could land President Trump in serious legal hot water. But what is obstruction of justice and what might happen in this case even if it is found to have occurred? To find out, keep reading.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

You’ve heard it a million times before, someone who may be in a bit of hot water says they’re going to “plead the Fifth”. It’s happened most recently with President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The Senate Intelligence Committee asked him to come and testify about issues relating to his connections with Russia and it was just revealed that Flynn will be pleading the Fifth, refusing to testify to the Committee or turn over any documents related to the issue. So what exactly does it mean to plead the Fifth and how does it work? To learn more, keep reading.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”What is an expungement?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRNgcf2GsDY

When most people think of the criminal justice system, they likely imagine something similar to an episode of Law & Order. Police officers testifying, prosecutors and defense attorneys arguing, judges slamming gavels and jurors listening in rapt attention. According to experts, while this may be the way things happen on television, it is most assuredly not typical in the real world. An overwhelming majority of cases are resolved through plea bargaining, something that few people fully understand despite the important impact it has on our criminal justice system.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”

Lots of juicy television police procedurals spend time showing what goes on during jury deliberations. The deliberations often make for good television because of the interest people have in what goes on behind the scenes, a space usually out of view to most people. It’s fun to imagine what real jurors have to say to one another, something that in the real world, criminal defendants don’t have the luxury of knowing. The reason for the interest is that in almost all cases, a jury’s deliberations are meant to be secret.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”A past conviction is keeping me from finding work. What can I do?”

For many people, what goes on inside the walls of a prison isn’t the focus of much attention. Most seem content to embrace the idea that what’s out of sight should be kept out of mind. Unfortunately, this tendency to ignore sometimes-difficult issues allows the issues to continue to cause harm.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I ever plead guilty to a charge?”

States across the country are wrestling with finding ways to deal with increasingly large prison populations. People on both side of the issue acknowledge that as the population of people incarcerated continues to swell it presents a multitude of challenges, some budgetary, some logistical, others societal. One approach advocated by many is to try and reverse the trend by reducing criminal penalties for a range of mainly low-level offenses. By reducing the number of crimes that result in time behind bars, you not only save money, but also hopefully address underlying issues through treatment and reduce recidivism.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

When Judge Arnold O. Jones II asked a Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy to dig around in Jones’ wife’s text message records between her and another man, the deputy didn’t tell him no. The deputy didn’t tell him he would need a warrant for accessing such information. And the deputy definitely didn’t tell Jones that he also worked as a member of an FBI gang task force.