Our office continues to operate during our regular business hours, which are 8:30 am - 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday, but you can call the office 24 hours a day. We continue to follow all recommendations and requirements of the State of Emergency Stay at Home Order. Consultations are available via telephone or by video conference. The safety of our clients and employees is of the utmost importance and, therefore, in-person meetings are not available at this time except for emergencies or absolutely essential legal services.

Articles Posted in Expungement

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”A past conviction is keeping me from finding work. What can I do?”

We have all done things in our past that we would like to forget. Unfortunately, if what you want to forget was a conviction for a crime, your criminal record will make that difficult. However, some crimes might be able to be wiped from your criminal record. There are different tools that might be used to clean up a person’s criminal record, but one of the most common is expungement.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “The person that called the police doesn’t want to press charges, can I still be prosecuted?”

The prospect of facing criminal charges can lead to anxiety and uncertainty, regardless if the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor. You might think that the only possible outcome is being found guilty or innocent. However, in North Carolina there are additional results for criminal charges. It is important to note that there is no guarantee of any outcome in a criminal charge. Instead, it is helpful to know all of the possible outcomes for your case. Criminal convictions can have life-altering consequences that follow you for years to come. The following are alternatives to a finding of guilt or innocence in a criminal charge.

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

Being charged with a crime in North Carolina can be scary. Suddenly, you are facing serious penalties and even a prison sentence that could be devastating to your life. In criminal cases, most people think of a defendant being found “guilty” or “not guilty.” Not guilty is the ideal finding in a criminal case, but that is not always the result. When defendants hear a guilty verdict, they might think that their lives are ruined. In criminal cases in North Carolina, there are some options for a defendant, even after a finding of guilt.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”What is an expungement?”

We have previously discussed the important changes that will soon go into effect regarding expungements in North Carolina. The law is set to change and will make it easier for more people to wipe the slate clean, deleting from their criminal history certain one-time mistakes that have continued to haunt them years into the future. But what if you do not qualify for expungement? Even though the laws have been loosened to allow more people to experience the benefit of expungement, there are still numerous restrictions that exclude many people in North Carolina.

We have previously discussed a new expungement law that will go into effect in North Carolina in just a few weeks. The measure, scheduled to be implemented on December 1, 2017, is aimed at improving the currently cumbersome expungement process. The law is specifically designed to make the process faster and simpler for those hoping for a fresh start. Though we have mentioned several aspects of the new law, we have not yet discussed in detail the requirement by background check entities to delete expunged records. For more information about this issue, keep reading.


Before we jump into the details of the duty to delete expunged records, we should take a moment to reiterate some of the most important aspects of the new law. Currently, anyone interested in an expungement must wait a long time, 15 years for felonies or misdemeanors, assuming the conviction is first-time and non-violent. The newly revised law says that the wait time for first-time, non-violent felonies will be dropped to 10 years. First-time, non-violent misdemeanors will have even short waiting periods, as these will now be reduced to only five years. The new law is also helpful to those eager to get a clean slate in that it removes limits on expungements for dismissed charges or not guilty verdicts.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”What is an expungement?”

We have previously discussed a new law that takes effect in North Carolina on December 1, 2017. The measure deals with expungements and aims to streamline the process, making everything easier and faster for those looking to clean their record. Though we have discussed the existence of the new law and what it hopes to achieve, we have not yet spent time delving into details about the kinds of crimes that are eligible under the new expungement law. For more information about that, keep reading.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”What is an expungement?”

Starting December 1, 2017, a new North Carolina law will make the path to the expungement of non-violent criminal convictions significantly shorter and easier for individuals hoping for a clean slate. The wait time for qualifying felony and misdemeanor convictions will be considerably shortened, and the current restrictions on the number of dismissed or not guilty charges will be lifted creating an exciting opportunity for qualifying residents of the Charlotte and Lake Norman area.

J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question: “What is an expungement?”

Today was a big day for those advocating change to harsh criminal laws that allow young offenders to be charged in the adult criminal justice system. Currently, New York and North Carolina are the only two states in the country where 16 and 17-year-olds are automatically prosecuted as adults. Though this still remains true, New York took a huge step to rectifying some of the problems caused by trying juveniles as adults.

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: A past conviction is keeping me from finding work what can I do?


The State of Georgia has employed a woman to protect its most vulnerable children despite her convictions for forgery and on charges stemming from a 2011 road-rage incident.

Machine gun simulator Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Mecklenburg DWI AttorneyThe woman—Paige Newsome—was employed last May in Cherokee County by the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services as a child-protection investigator. Applicants for employment by the State of Georgia are required to report any convictions or pending criminal charges on their employment applications. Newsome reported four traffic convictions, and she noted that charges were pending against her related to defrauding her father out of more than $1,700 by forging his name on checks.

Newsome failed to report that she pled guilty to charges in Louisiana stemming from a 2011 Interstate 20 road-rage incident in which Newsome allegedly pointed a revolver at another driver after cutting in front of him. The State of Georgia discovered the road-rage conviction but hired Newsome anyway.

A month after Newsome began working for the Division of Family and Children Services, she pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery for signing her father’s name to checks without his permission. She was fined $250 and placed on probation for a year.

Continue reading

Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “A past conviction is keeping me from finding work what can I do?”

In a shocking statistic that would likely stun most North Carolinians, 1.5 million out of the state’s 9.5 million residents had a criminal record at the end of 2010. Even more amazing is that according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, North Carolina saw a 30 percent increase in the number of residents with criminal records between 2006 and 2008.

Eraser Charlotte North Carolina DUI DWI Criminal Defense Lawyer Attorney.jpgThankfully, recent reforms have helped stem the rising tide, and between 2008 and 2010 the total number of people with criminal records actually fell by one percent. How does that happen? Thanks to efforts by lawmakers to create new ways for people to erase and expunge their old criminal records. Recent efforts which allow adults to expunge first-time nonviolent misdemeanor crimes or low-level felony convictions have helped allow some people to clear their records and pave the way for a better future.

The recent push to allow for expungement of old criminal records is based on the understanding that even old convictions or charges can seriously harm an individual’s ability to be successful. After the recession began, hiring became a much more difficult process and many people discovered that even convictions from decades ago were enough to cause them to lose job opportunities. Given the ease of conducting criminal background checks, almost all employers and landlords are finding out about previous legal trouble. Rather than only deny those who recently committed violent felonies, these landlords and bosses are denying people with decades-old arrests on their records. Beyond lost jobs and difficulty securing housing, criminal records can also lead to the loss of public benefits, state license and can even interfere with child custody cases.

Continue reading

Contact Information