Articles Posted in Court Procedures

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

A Johnston County court has appeared in the news recently for kicking a woman out of court while she was breastfeeding her baby in a sling, according to WRAL. Danielle Bell needed to appear in traffic court. She brought her 3-month old child with her. While waiting for the case to be called, sitting in the back of the courtroom, she breastfed her baby who was covered up in a sling. A deputy of the court told her that children under the age of 12 were not permitted in the courtroom and asked her to leave. Bell’s husband took the child outside of the courtroom.

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

One of the fundamental principles of the criminal justice system in the United States is the right to have a trial by a jury of your peers. With any jury trial comes a set of instructions that either side wants to be read to the jury, if a judge so allows. Usually, instructions include explanations or definitions to various aspects of the case and charges at hand. These instructions are a matter of fact and relate to the case and the types of charges a defendant is facing.

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

The criminal court process can be difficult to understand. If you have never been charged with a crime, or even if you have, it can be difficult to determine what the next step should be. However, if you are facing a criminal charge in North Carolina, it is important to know what to expect and the steps that will occur throughout the case. There are two types of criminal charges in North Carolina — misdemeanor and felony charges. Each charge has a different process through the North Carolina criminal court system.

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

The criminal court process can be difficult to understand. If you have never been charged with a crime, or even if you have, it can be difficult to determine what the next step should be. However, if you are facing a criminal charge in North Carolina, it is important to know what to expect and the steps that will occur throughout the case. There are two types of criminal charges in North Carolina — misdemeanor and felony charges. Each charge has a different process through the North Carolina criminal court system.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “I was found not guilty of a charge, buy my record still shows the charge. What is going on?”

Imagine being charged with a crime, going through the entire trial process, being found not guilty, and still being worried about the prosecution bringing the charges against you again. Fortunately, the United States court system is set up in a way that a defendant can not be charged twice for the same crime. This is called double jeopardy. You may have heard this term before, but let us take a deeper dive into understanding the concept and what it actually means for North Carolina residents.

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

A fundamental part of the United States court systems is the right for the accused to have a trial by a jury of their peers. However, included in this right is the inherent idea that those serving on a jury need to be provided with the proper instructions and legal theories in order to make a well informed decision about whether a defendant is guilty or not. In order to reach this decision, proper instructions need to be given. What happens if incorrect instructions are given? The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently ruled on this issue.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Am I allowed to videotape an interaction with police? Can they make me stop filming?”

If you watch any TV crime drama, you will likely hear the phrase “right to a speedy trial.” This phrase is thrown about in many television scenes, but most people do not know what that means in real life. For most, a speedy trial means that criminal charges and prosecution must be done as quick as possible. Determining what the court finds to be “quick,” however, varies on many different factors.

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

Being charged with a crime can be overwhelming. Suddenly, you are thrust into the court system and worried that you will be found guilty and face serious penalties for an action you may or may not have taken. Your criminal defense attorneys has the goal of achieving the best possible results for you under the circumstances. Most people assume that the only possible outcome for their case is the judge or jury finding them guilty or not guilty. While these are certainly two possible outcomes in criminal court, there are others. Criminal defendants in North Carolina are sometimes offered a plea bargain.

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

If you watch a television drama that follows the story of a crime and its prosecution, it seems like a quick process. A crime is committed, suspects are identified, a suspect is charged, the court hears the case, and an outcome is decided. Reality is not like television. Sometimes it takes days, months, or even years to determine who committed a crime. Is there a time limit for bringing about a charge on a suspect? Or can charges be brought anytime after the crime was committed and a suspect was found? The answer to those questions vary from state to state, but in North Carolina it depends on whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony.

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

The world that we live in today often requires an extra level of security. The ever-present threat of an individual, or individuals, bringing dangerous weapons to public settings creates the need for buildings to adopt safety procedures to keep everyone safe. Court houses have security at the entrances of the building to stop people from bringing contraband in like guns, weapons, lighters, and other prohibited items. While metal detectors and security guards give off the impression of safety, are they constitutional? The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that individuals are to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. Are there exceptions to searches and seizure protection?