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J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

Several years ago an incident at the North Carolina State Fair grabbed headlines here and across the country after an amusement park ride malfunctioned, sending riders flying into the air and resulting in life-threatening injuries. It’s taken two and half years of investigating by law enforcement officials and prosecutors, but the incident has finally led to jail time, at least for one person.

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Charlotte DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

Carrie Underwood tried to warn us ten years ago of the damage she can inflict on a vehicle.  In her 2005 hit song, “Before He Cheats,” Underwood sings of taking a Louisville slugger to a cheating boyfriend’s truck headlights.  That Louisville slugger would have come in handy on July 11th, albeit under very different circumstances.

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

 

A 29-year-old terminally ill woman is shining her light on “dying with dignity,” a cause she hopes she furthers when she kills herself on November 1.

Poison Botttle and hand Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal AttorneyOn that date, Brittany Maynard plans to take a lethal dose of a medication prescribed to her by a doctor. She said she plans to “painlessly fade away” in her bedroom, surrounded by her loved ones, with her favorite music playing.

Maynard was diagnosed on New Year’s Day this year with Stage 4 glioblastoma, a form of aggressive cancer that would end her life in a matter of months, her doctor told her. Maynard said she is not suicidal. “I want to live,” she told People Magazine, but there is no cure for her disease.

After doctors told her what would happen to her body during the final stages of her illness, Maynard said it was a relief to discover an alternative: Death with Dignity. Death on her own terms is an option because, Maynard said, she lives in one of the few states that allows it. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, passed in 1997, allows “terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose.”

Only five states have so-called “Death with Dignity” laws on the books. North Carolina is not one of them.

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J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”

 

Scott Wiener wants public nudity banned in San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge Charlotte Mecklenburg DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal AttorneyMr. Wiener’s opponent in a race for a spot on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is George Davis. Mr. Davis believes that nudity is free speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Yesterday he went to Times Square and stripped naked, then gave interviews in the nude while “onlookers gawked, laughed and took photos” and one man “loudly read Bible passages.”

Times Square is in Manhattan, a borough of New York City, which is 2,908 miles away from San Francisco. Mr. Davis could just as easily have come to Charlotte to strip, but if he had, he would have been arrested and he probably would not have garnered as much publicity.

Stripping naked in North Carolina would have subjected Mr. Davis to criminal penalties under state law. It is a misdemeanor for anyone to willfully expose his or her “private parts” in a public place “and in the presence of any other person or persons.” It is a felony if the exposure is made to arouse or gratify sexual desire.

State law does not define what “private parts” are, but North Carolina courts have provided an answer. In 1995, Mark Edward Fly pulled his shorts down to his ankles and bent over, exposing the “crack of his buttocks” and his “fanny” to Barbara Glover on the landing outside her condominium. He was convicted of indecent exposure, but the state Court of Appeals reversed his conviction, ruling that “private parts” means “genital organs.” Genital organs, the court observed, are those organs related to “biological reproduction.”

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

 

Police in Lincolnton, North Carolina say they have arrested an 18-year-old and charged him with one count of cruelty to animals after they say he choked a Chihuahua. Jason Hildebran was arrested earlier this week and released on $1,000 secured bond.

 

Puppy Chihuahua Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal AttorneyAccording to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Hildebran was angry because his mother’s Chihuahua was barking at him. Rather than leave the room or try and calm down, Hildebran instead chose to choke the little dog to get it to stop.

 

Hildebran’s mother was obviously concerned and demanded Hildebran hand over the dog, however, her son refused, which resulted in a call to police. When officers arrived Hildebran was still holding the dog who was thankfully not hurt. The teen was handcuffed and arrested and the dog was returned to its concerned mother.

 

Now Hildebran faces serious criminal charges all because he lost his temper with the animal. North Carolina General Statutes Section 14-360 says that anyone who injures, torments, tortures or cruelly beats an animal can be punished with either Class 1 misdemeanor or Class H felony charges. So what’s the difference?

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Recent tragic news reports revealed that a 13-year-old boy from Charlotte, NC was shot to death on a west Charlotte street earlier this week. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they have arrested the 16-year-old they believe is responsible for the killing.

Even more tragically, this is the fourth such shooting death of a teen in Charlotte this year, three in the past five weeks alone. Two teens were shot to death last month, though no arrests have been announced in those cases. Post #2 criminal image 8.30.jpgHawa Gabiddon, 17, was found shot to death in July in a north Charlotte park. Authorities later said she was pregnant. A week later, 18-year-old Kevin Washington was shot and killed after a party in northeast Charlotte.

In the most recent incident, the shooter, Damien Wright, has yet to reveal what led to the shooting. Despite that, police say they have reason to believe the shooting was not random. Wright is a rising freshman at West Charlotte High and will now face life-changing criminal charges as a result of the shooting.

Police say that a young man waived down a passing driver around 1 a.m. at the corner of Tuckaseegee Road and Parkway Avenue, saying that someone had been shot. The driven then called the police who found a victim on the ground. The victim was taken by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center but it was too late and he died in the process.

Despite being so young, Wright has already been arrested three times. Wright was first arrested in January on misdemeanor drug charges. In April, the boy was charged with misdemeanor possession of a firearm by a minor and only one day later he was again arrested for possession of a firearm with the serial number removed.

North Carolina, along with New York, is one of two states that will automatically prosecute all 16 and 17-year-olds in the adult court system, without regard to the type of crime the teen is charged with. There is currently a bill before the North Carolina legislature seeking to change the law so no one under 18 could be prosecuted as an adult for nonviolent misdemeanors.

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