Articles Posted in Court Procedures

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

If you are facing criminal charges, you probably know that you have the option of pleading “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” Many people do not realize that there is a fourth option in some states, including North Carolina. It is called the “Alford plea,” named after a historic Supreme Court ruling in 1970.

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?”

North Carolina law does not have mandatory minimum sentences for most criminal offenses. In most criminal cases, prosecutors can offer a plea bargain while judges have discretion over the sentences they impose.

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?”

Mens Rea, which is Latin for “guilty mind,” is a standard in North Carolina’s criminal cases that helps prevent people from being punished when their intentions were innocent. The concept helps differentiate between an individual who intentionally committed a crime and an individual who did not intend to do it.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”

Criminal courts use proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest legal standard of proof, to ensure that people are imprisoned for actually committing a crime rather than merely being suspected of committing it.

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I represent myself on a traffic ticket?”

If the mere thought of standing in front of a judge in court is too overwhelming or scary, you may wonder whether your criminal defense lawyer can appear in court for you. If, for some reason, you cannot or do not want to show up at a court hearing in person, can your attorney appear on your behalf so that you do not have to reschedule the upcoming hearing?

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I represent myself on a traffic ticket?”

The coronavirus pandemic, which paralyzed the U.S. court system, made it problematic for defendants to get a speedy trial. Luckily, there are ways to defend your right to a speedy trial despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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

North Carolina’s state prisons are releasing some inmates out early in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. The announcement was made by the state’s corrections officials, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I have an outstanding warrant, what should I do?”

It is scary to think about turning yourself in to the North Carolina police, let alone actually to go to the police station and do it. Many of those who consider turning themselves in are aware of a warrant for their arrest.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”

They say it is better to apologize late than never. However, the same principle does not apply when you are being accused of a crime, especially if you did not commit one.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”

After an arrest, but before an arraignment, there is a period of legal purgatory that can be confusing and stressful for those facing criminal charges. It is during this period of time that an attorney can file a motion requesting a preliminary hearing – or a pre-trial hearing in front of a judge that requires the prosecutor to prove the existence of probable cause.

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