Articles Posted in Court Procedures

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?

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

We have discussed bail before. Specifically, we have discussed the ways in which the current bail system in place in many states is designed in such a way that disadvantages the poor and minority communities. The bail system allows those with money or access to money to avoid incarceration, while punishing those without financial resources by remaining behind bars. Many argue bail is even worse than simply inequitable, it reinforces and even exacerbates financial disparities in the criminal justice system. When a poor person is not able to make bail, he or she will then spend weeks or months behind bars awaiting trial. During this time he or she will likely become unemployed and create substantial hardship for the family left behind, making it even harder to reintegrate as a productive member of society.