A conviction in a criminal case can be devastating. A conviction could result in serious penalties that could have a lasting impact on you and your family. When found guilty of a crime, you will face the sentence that a judge imposes based on the severity of the crime. You may hear that many people appeal their convictions, and some of them are successful. There is a legal method in place to file an appeal. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will help guide the appeal process.
North Carolina has various punishments for different crime convictions. The most serious of all crimes have the most severe penalties. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is only to be used for crimes that result in death, such as murder. Only about half the states have capital punishment in place. Capital punishment is a penalty for first-degree murder in North Carolina.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”
The man suspected of planting the bombs on the Jersey Shore and in Manhattan last month is being represented by attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after being denied access to a federal public defender.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Am I allowed to videotape an interaction with police? Can they make me stop filming?”
Whether you’re an avid catcher of Pikachus or are convinced the era of technology taking over is upon us, you’ve no doubt noticed Pokémon’s rather public reentrance into society lately. Advocates have lauded Pokémon Go’s ability to get gamers off the couch and moving…and get them moving it has. Some have walked straight into varying degrees of trouble with the law, including one man with an open warrant for his arrest who wandered by his local police station to battle his creatures there. Other reports have fallen more on the crime fighting side—two Go players helped catch a man wanted for attempted murder, and one woman found a dead body in her Pokémon Go meanderings.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I clean up my social media profile after being charged?”
Lawmakers frequently look for new ways to appear tough on crime. In Tennessee, one popular approach was to target gang members with enhanced criminal sentencing guidelines. Though the law was a popular one among prosecutors, a state court recently struck it down as being unconstitutional, forcing legislators and prosecutors to go back to the drawing board to find legally acceptable ways of cracking down on gang crime.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “If I have an outstanding warrant, what should I do?”
North Carolina is not the only state that boasts of rich fall foliage painting its Appalachian hillsides and mountains annually. Now one eastern seaboard state is counting on the falling foliage to uncover an accused cop killer.
Eric Frein, a self-described “survivalist” and trained marksman who—according to his father—“doesn’t miss” when he shoots, has been on the run in Pennsylvania’s mountainous Appalachian region since September 12. Police allege Frein shot Cpl. Bryon Dickson to death and critically injured Trooper Alex Douglass outside their Pike County, Pennsylvania barracks.
Frein, who is considered “armed and extremely dangerous,” ambushed the officers and then fled into the forested Poconos Mountains. The Poconos are part of the Appalachian range situated in northeast Pennsylvania.
The search for Frein has dragged on for over a month and, according to officials, it is costing taxpayers in the Keystone State some $1.1 million per day. Before the shooting, Frein lived with his parents in Seneca Lake, Pennsylvania. After his son went missing, Frein’s father told authorities Frein was likely armed with an AK-47 and a .308 rifle with a scope, which were missing from the home.
Frein was trained by his father to shoot the weapons and also knows how to survive in the woods. On September 29, searchers found a cache of food, two pipe bombs and handwritten notes detailing the shootings of Dickson and Douglass when they stumbled on Frein’s recently abandoned hideout.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Should I talk to the police?”
Bradley Cooper—not the actor—was convicted of first-degree murder in 2011 after a 36-day trial that featured testimony from over 100 witnesses. That was all for naught. The Court of Appeals overturned the verdict in 2013 after ruling that Cooper’s defense team was prematurely foreclosed by the trial court from adequately investigating the reasons given by law-enforcement officers for not turning over evidence extracted from Mr. Cooper’s computer.
From the very beginning, Cooper’s defense lawyers argued that the investigation into Nancy Cooper’s death was flawed. The crucial piece of evidence linking Cooper to his wife’s slaying was a Google Maps search that investigators said Cooper made in order to hide his wife’s body. Cooper did not testify at the 2011 trial; he told investigators that his wife went jogging and never returned.
That story changed in court in Raleigh on Monday, when Cooper acknowledged killing his wife and dumping her body on Fielding Drive. Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings told the court that Nancy Cooper had been strangled.
Cooper agreed to consent to the adoption of his daughters, who are now eight and ten-years-old, respectively. They will be adopted by Nancy Cooper’s sister. The agreement between Cooper and the State also meant that Cooper would plead guilty to second-degree murder and receive credit for the more-than-five years he has spent in jail awaiting disposition of his case.
Brad Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”
A York, S.C. man was arrested over the weekend after a disagreement over a bicycle he said a man stole from him. The man, Randall L. Hunnicutt, said the man stole his bicycle and money out of his wallet. The man admitted he had borrowed Hunnicutt’s bike four days earlier, but he told police he had returned it. He denied taking the money.
The argument began on Hunnicutt’s porch in York. After being accused by Hunnicutt, the man tried to walk away. Hunnicutt asked his son to bring him his shotgun. He then loaded the shotgun and began poking the weapon in the man’s face.
The man started to walk away, but Hunnicutt followed him and pushed him down, poking him with the shotgun. After Hunnicutt pulled the trigger, the man ran to a neighbor’s house and called police. Apparently the weapon did not discharge.
Nevertheless, Hunnicutt was charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. It is unclear whether additional charges are pending.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Hunnicutt’s age, as listed on the police report, is 29. The age of Hunnicutt’s son is unclear; also unclear is whether the son retrieved ammunition that Hunnicutt used to load the shotgun. In any case, the inference can be drawn that Hunnicutt’s son was too young to be employed as a shotgun-retriever in a drunken late-night argument between adults.