Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

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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.

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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.