Articles Posted in Theft

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

States across the country are wrestling with finding ways to deal with increasingly large prison populations. People on both side of the issue acknowledge that as the population of people incarcerated continues to swell it presents a multitude of challenges, some budgetary, some logistical, others societal. One approach advocated by many is to try and reverse the trend by reducing criminal penalties for a range of mainly low-level offenses. By reducing the number of crimes that result in time behind bars, you not only save money, but also hopefully address underlying issues through treatment and reduce recidivism.

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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?”

A man in Italy found himself in the odd situation of having a conviction overturned not because he didn’t do the crime, but because the court decided he shouldn’t have been punished for it in the first place. The case, oddly similar to the storyline of “Les Miserables”, has garnered substantial attention both in Italy and abroad, with experts debating whether the appellate court was right to throw out the conviction.

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

A busted pair of bank robbers in Brazil had resorted to an interesting method of disguise for their attempted heist: the duo covered themselves head to toe in aluminum foil for their early-morning raid.

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Charlotte DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?”

Recent news reports indicate that crime is up in various parts of North Carolina, with a recent article revealing a double-digit rise in criminal activity in Charlotte in 2015. Other places have fared better and, as a result, have more time on their hands to direct money and energy at problems that are rarely seen as priorities.

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

In a case that will surely make headlines across the country, a man from Clayton, North Carolina has been arrested after police say he left his wallet at the scene of the crime. Being arrested and charged with a crime is bad enough and often requires the skills of an experienced attorney to help defend your freedom and argue on behalf of innocence. Putting on a strong defense goes from merely difficult to nearly impossible when the burglar leaves behind a picture ID at the victim’s house. If recent news reports are true, this means that Joseph Alan Sherman’s attorney is going to need all the help he can get.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

 

It’s pretty rare to hear about a police department dedicating resources to tracking down a person for stealing diapers. However, authorities in North Carolina say they are eagerly searching for the person who they say stole 13,000 diapers from the Diaper Bank of North Carolina earlier this month.

 

Stack of diapers Charlotte Theft Lawyer North Carolina Criminal Defense AttorneyThe nonprofit organization, based in Durham, provides diapers to needy families with young children. The founder of the organization says she went into the office on a Monday morning to pick up an order for a nearby homeless shelter when she noticed diapers strewn across the floor and many others missing.

 

Upon closer inspection, the director found that specific sizes of diapers were missing in large numbers. Apparently, diapers in sizes 4 and 5 are among the most popular because babies are often able to remain in those sizes for up to a year. As a result, they are in high demand from families and tough to keep in stock.

 

Beyond the theft of diapers from the homeless shelter, the director said that the thieves also knew to target a reserve room that holds extra diapers, something that no one outside immediate employees should ever have known about.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?”

 

Though welfare fraud may not sound like an offense worthy of jail time, those who are found defrauding the government in Cabarrus County, North Carolina might soon find themselves behind bars. Officials with the county say that an investigation revealed more than a million dollars in government assistance fraud has taken place in the past two years alone. To combat the problem, prosecutors say they are going to get tough with offenders and start locking up those responsible for wasting taxpayer money.

 

Pile of coins Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyer North Carolina DUI LawyerOfficials say that $150,000 out of the million dollars in fraud is directly linked to people lying about their situation, either their income or their number of dependents. Already officials say 15 cases have been referred to prosecutors and six cases were formally brought just this past week.  A spokesperson says that the director of Cabarrus County Human Services identified those involving fraud and that prosecutors are now sifting through information related to those case before bringing formal criminal charges.

 

According to authorities, the instances of fraud were largely revealed thanks to anonymous tips, many received by friends or family members of those responsible for lying. The tipsters would call the Human Services Office and explain how someone had lied to extract more money in benefits. In many cases, those being charged lied about their financial circumstances to get more money in food stamps, Medicaid and other government assistance programs.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”

 

Chalk this story up to a bizarre crime that many people would be shocked to learn is actually criminal. Authorities in western North Carolina recently announced that two men who were arrested last October for poaching wild ginseng have now been sentenced for their actions. Not only were the two charged with a very real crime, they will now spend time behind bars for their decision to dig up the root.

 

Blue Ridge Mountains Charlotte DWI DUI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal Defense AttorneyThe whole mess began last October during the government shutdown. Twenty-six-year-old Daniel Mizell and 33-year-old Derek Vann Whitson were both found in a closed portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The two were caught red-handed digging up wild ginseng. In the end, the two had managed to unearth a combined three pounds of ginseng.

 

Though digging up a root in the woods may not seem like a dastardly crime, the two men were handcuffed by officers and taken to jail for booking. Now, months later, they have been sentenced for their actions that day.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

 

In a curious case out of Rowan County, North Carolina, a couple is facing serious criminal charges after getting caught stealing a pair of cheap sunglasses. The case should serve as a glaring reminder that even relatively minor crimes like shoplifting can spiral into much bigger issues given the right set of circumstances.

 

Sunglasses Charlotte DWI Attorney North Carolina Felony Charge LawyerAccording to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, things started going badly for Ana Marie Isenhour and Michael Shane Hooks one evening in late January. The couple, who live together in Gold Hill, NC, were shopping at the Gold Hill Market located on Highway 52.

 

The clerk at the store says the two were shopping together for some time and actually ended up buying several items, but the clerk noticed that they had picked up a pair of $14.99 sunglasses and never paid for them. The concerned store employee followed the pair to the parking lot and asked to have the sunglasses back. This confrontation quickly soured and the two pulled handguns out of their vehicle and threatened the clerk.

 

Police say that Hooks was carrying a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun while Isenhour had a .380 semiautomatic handgun. Interestingly, the couple returned to the same market the very next morning to buy gas, this time driving an easily identified vehicle. The owner of the market emerged and insisted that the two leave before he called the cops. Thankfully both drove off without another show of force.

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Attorney J. Bradley Smith answering the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”

Three people in Shelby, North Carolina have been arrested due to their suspected involvement in a series of brazen ATM robberies. Let’s stop for a second and specify exactly what kind of robbery we’re talking about. The three are accused not of holding up customers using the ATMs, but instead of stealing the entire ATM itself.

 

ATM Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal Defense AttorneyPolice officials say that the arrests came after yet another ATM was ripped out of a Cleveland County convenience store. Believe it or not, this is not the first ATM the trio are accused of running off with. The three are suspected of being behind several thefts or attempted thefts in the area dating back to early December.

 

The most recent incident took place at Lisa’s Express convenience store, which is located on Washburn Switch Road. The store was equipped with surveillance cameras, which recorded the suspects arriving at the store in a stolen van. The group then drove the van through the front door of the convenience store and tied ropes around the ATM to pry it loose from the floor. Police say it took several attempts until the ATM finally was dislodged and they were able to throw it into the back of the stolen van and drive off.

 

Police from Shelby responded to the store alarm and saw a van matching the description given by a witness pass right by them. The officers pulled the van over and arrested two suspects while a third managed to get away on foot. The third person, Anton Smith, was apprehended later that afternoon.

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