Published on:

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.

Published on:

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I have an outstanding warrant, what should I do?”

A big case that gripped the nation several years ago has finally come to a close. The case, against the owner and head pharmacist at the New England Compounding Center, garnered tremendous public attention after a fungal meningitis outbreak back in 2012 resulted in injuries to hundreds and death to 64 people. It turned out that tainted injections from the NECC, a compounding pharmacy located outside of Boston, were responsible. In a surprise to many, prosecutors went after the owner not only for things like racketeering and mail fraud, but also charged him with 25 counts of second-degree murder.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

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

In a deeply troubling case, federal prosecutors were forced to drop child pornography charges against one man after the FBI investigators refused to reveal the source of the information being used to implicate him. The case is unusual in many ways, one of which is that the FBI was allowed to commit a terrible crime in an attempt to capture other criminals. It now seems like the sacrifice was for nothing, as the man (and many others) may have their charges dropped.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

In the days since Michael Flynn resigned as President Trump’s national security adviser, there have been a lot of questions and not many answers. Many still wonder exactly what transpired between Flynn and the Russian ambassador he now admits to having had contact with. Though we still don’t know the details of many of those conversations, we can discuss potential criminal aspects of Flynn’s resignation, of which there are several.

American-Flag-Charlotte-Criminal-Lawyer-300x217First, let’s talk about Flynn. Did he break any laws that could result in criminal action? There are two issues at play here: 1) the Logan Act and 2) potential false statements. First, the Logan Act is a piece of legislation that makes it a crime for a private citizen to communicate with a foreign government without proper authority in an attempt to influence the actions of the foreign government. The law is an oldie, but a goodie, having been signed back in 1799 by then President John Adams. The law resulted from actions by a state legislator who went behind the president’s back to try and negotiate a settlement to an undeclared war with France.

Published on:

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

For many people, what goes on inside the walls of a prison isn’t the focus of much attention. Most seem content to embrace the idea that what’s out of sight should be kept out of mind. Unfortunately, this tendency to ignore sometimes-difficult issues allows the issues to continue to cause harm.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

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.