Articles Posted in Court Procedures

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.

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

While uncommon, it is not out of the realm of possibility that someone who is due in court for a criminal matter forgets about it and fails to appear. When you have a court date, you are required to appear at the specified date and time, unless other arrangements have been made. Failing to appear could result in a warrant for an arrest be issued. Whether you simply forgot about the court date, were too scared and did not show up, or were confused on the dates because of matters in other jurisdictions, an arrest warrant can be issued and make matters worse.

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

It is not surprising that minors and adults are treated differently under the law when it comes to committing crimes. Minors are still learning and growing into adults and often face less stringent repercussions for committing, or being accused of a crime than an adult committing the same crime. This begs the question, who is considered a minor for crimes committed in North Carolina? Is there always a strict age defining a minor, or can the age of minority shift depending on the crime?

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

Police are an integral part of society; they keep the peace, catch criminals, and put their lives at risk to keep the general population safe. Since the police play such a large role in solving crimes and convicting criminals, it is not surprising that police officers are often called to testify during court proceedings. An issue arises with police testimony, however, when the officer testifying was not involved with the incident at all. Instead, that officer is offering an opinion, based off of his or her police experience, as to what happened or would have happened. This practice is controversial because someone without actual knowledge, or only investigative knowledge, of the incident is offering testimony that could sway a jury.

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.