Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

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

We have discussed civil asset forfeiture many times before, usually noting the ways in which the practice is used to unfairly seize assets from often-innocent individuals, enriching law enforcement agencies at the expense of the public. Given how lucrative civil asset forfeiture can be for law enforcement agencies across the country, there is little incentive for states to take action to reform the broken system. Thankfully, legislators in one state appear to be ready for a change and are considering important revisions to the existing law.

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

Those who follow issues involving criminal law may know that the United States is an outlier among other countries in the world when it comes to punishment of juvenile offenders. For years the U.S. was among only a small number of countries in the world where individuals could be sentenced to life without parole for crimes they committed as minors. That changed about eight years ago, bringing the U.S. somewhat more in line with practices in other developed nations. Though the change was heralded as a good thing by many, a recent case that was granted cert by the Supreme Court highlights the dangerous loopholes that still exist in current criminal practice.

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

When we think of the law we often imagine rules that are set in stone. The law is meant to remain constant, allowing certainty over time and consistent treatment, two ways of ensuring that justice is meted out equally. Given the general presumption of consistency, a recent proposal under consideration in Florida has garnered attention. The plan will allow the state legislature to make new criminal laws retroactive, in certain cases. To learn more about what the plan would mean for residents of Florida, keep reading.

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

One of the many new changes going into effect on December 1, 2017, involves North Carolina’s private warrant system. The subject seldom gets much attention, but because of the important consequence it can have, deserves some explanation. To learn more about what private warrants are, how they operate in North Carolina, and what is set to change as of December 1st, keep reading.

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

It can be hard to imagine anything worse than having a loved one pass away. The death of a child, a parent or a spouse can be crippling. It is not only emotionally draining, but can be financially taxing as well. You are forced to cope not only with great loss, but are then busy dealing with administrative issues and must also  figure out how to pay the often pricey bills associated with burial or cremation. For those in already tight financial circumstances, this can feel impossible.

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

The mugshot is something that an average person would immediately associate with a brush with the law. The assumption is that anyone and everyone who is arrested or convicted of a crime must have been booked and had his or her mugshot taken. While that is true in many cases, it is not the case all the time. A recent high-profile case dealt with exactly this issue and ended with the defendant being ordered by a judge to report to have his mugshot taken.

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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: “Should I clean up my social media profile after being charged?”

We have discussed civil asset forfeiture cases previously, noting each time how these important matters tend to happen under the radar. Few people understand that the police have the power to simply take a person’s property. Even fewer realize just how low the burden of proof is in many states to justify the seizure of property. Thankfully, after a recent investigative report by a news organization in Chicago, the matter received significant attention, enough to prompt the legislature to take action.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I am charged by campus police could I still face jail time or probation?”

It’s something relatively few people have experienced (thankfully), but if and when you do, the practice likely comes as a terrible surprise. Police, unbeknownst to many, have the right in many states to stop people and seize assets they believe might have some connection to a criminal act. These seizures can take place without first convicting a person of committing a crime and, in some cases, even without ever charging the person with a crime. The practice likely seems shocking given that it appears to run counter to one of the foundational ideas of the American criminal justice system: that all people should be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

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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.