Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

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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.

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

When most people think of hate crimes they imagine criminal acts that occur because one person was motivated by a particular animus against the victim. This animus can be based on a number of things, such as the victim’s race, gender or sexual orientation. If such animosity motivates a crime, it stands to reason that the defendant could be charged with committing a hate crime. However, as a case in West Virginia demonstrates, that might not always be true.

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

When most people think about their last interaction with a police officer it almost always involves a traffic stop. A person was speeding or not wearing a seat belt or ran a red light or was talking on a cellphone and a cop does what cops do and pulls the person over. This traffic stop can serve as a window to other, potentially more serious things. For instance, the cop could use the traffic infraction as an excuse to investigate other, potentially unrelated, crimes. In some especially tragic instances, the traffic stop can prove deadly, with officers engaging in violence.

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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?”

When most people think of paying a “debt to society” the first thing that comes to mind is time behind bars. The phrase is used to evoke some kind of sacrifice, almost always of time and freedom, that is “paid” to atone for some kind of misbehavior. A recent article discusses how the idea of paying a debt to society is being taken literally in many cases, with a seriously detrimental impact on some.

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

Lots of juicy television police procedurals spend time showing what goes on during jury deliberations. The deliberations often make for good television because of the interest people have in what goes on behind the scenes, a space usually out of view to most people. It’s fun to imagine what real jurors have to say to one another, something that in the real world, criminal defendants don’t have the luxury of knowing. The reason for the interest is that in almost all cases, a jury’s deliberations are meant to be secret.

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

Anyone who has been watching the news recently has likely come across a number of stories about problems associated with the police. The Black Lives Matter movement grew after a number of African-Americans were injured or killed by police officers engaged in questionable behavior. Even putting aside these most tragic cases, many agree that aggressive policing tactics have caused problems that our society must now address as many people feel victimized by those who are meant to protect and serve.

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

The news became a national sensation almost immediately after it happened. A group of four black young people in Chicago attacked a mentally-challenged white teenager, tied him up with tape and proceeded to torture him while hurling racial epithets. The group also yelled derogatory things about President Elect Trump. Making matters even more heinous, the group broadcast the video, streaming it live on their Facebook feed.

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

Though there’s been surprisingly little coverage, experts say that this year appears to serve as yet more proof that American’s interest in using the death penalty as an instrument of criminal punishment may be in decline. There’s been no specific legal or legislative reason for the shift, but those who follow the issue closely say it’s clear  society has begun to change, slowly at first and now more quickly, leading to a potentially important evolution in the criminal justice system.

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

Here in the U.S. we’re used to applying multiple levels of criminal laws. There are local ordinances, state laws and federal statutes and someone’s behavior can, at times, implicate all three. Though it’s fairly new, an emerging area of interest is international law and the punishments that can occur when crimes are committed by someone abroad. Taking things one step further, what happens if a crime is committed in space? A recent article in the Washington City Paper explored this unusual question.