Articles Tagged with Charlotte

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

In a blow to federal immigration officials and the politicians, like President Trump, who have taken a hard line as it relates to the issue, the U.S. Supreme Court found an element of an important immigration law unconstitutional. The law is a significant one in that it has served as the basis for deporting thousands of immigrants in the U.S. who are convicted of committing what it deems “serious” crimes. Those convictions, which critics say could be for even relatively minor infractions, then result in deportation, even for immigrants with a long and stable history in the U.S.

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

A woman named Julie Cantu recently experienced one of the (many) negative aspects of today’s information age. While out on a first date, the man asked her several normal get-to-know-you questions, but then included an odd one about whether she had experienced any brushes with the law. Julie was perplexed about the question and when she got home Googled herself. She was horrified to discover that there, after her LinkedIn photo, was another, much less flattering one: her mugshot from years before when she was arrested for drunk driving.

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

When most people imagine the IRS, the first thing that comes to mind is the prototypical big, bad government bureaucracy. The IRS is the kind of institution that sets rules and never loses. That is why when the IRS comes calling, most people do what they can to comply and get out of the way. Challenging the IRS seldom ends well and, as a result, is not commonly done. Thankfully, some people are willing to run the risk of getting on the wrong side of the IRS. That’s what happened recently with a small business owner from Buffalo, NY who fought the IRS and, to the surprise of many, won.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What should parents tell their children to do when interacting with police officers?”

It may come as a surprise to some that the right to bond, or at least the right to a hearing to determine if bond will be granted, is not a right afforded equally and to everyone. In a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, it is now clear that the right to periodic bond hearings does not exist for many immigrants, even ones with permanent legal status or those seeking asylum. In practice, this means that certain categories of immigrants could be held for months, years, even indefinitely, without a right to petition a judge for bond.

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

We have discussed bail before. Specifically, we have discussed the ways in which the current bail system in place in many states is designed in such a way that disadvantages the poor and minority communities. The bail system allows those with money or access to money to avoid incarceration, while punishing those without financial resources by remaining behind bars. Many argue bail is even worse than simply inequitable, it reinforces and even exacerbates financial disparities in the criminal justice system. When a poor person is not able to make bail, he or she will then spend weeks or months behind bars awaiting trial. During this time he or she will likely become unemployed and create substantial hardship for the family left behind, making it even harder to reintegrate as a productive member of society.

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

Stand Your Ground laws have been around for more than a decade now, with Florida serving as one of the first states to pass such legislation back in 2005. Though not a novel concept, the laws are new in some states. In these places where the laws are new, the local judiciary may be unfamiliar with how to apply the laws, meaning there is a bit of a learning curve in the months and even years following passage. This can be problematic for both prosecutors and defendants, as neither knows what to expect.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”

We have discussed civil asset forfeiture before and how there is growing consensus around the country that the practice has many negatives and unfairly impacts those who are already among the most vulnerable. The system enriches local law enforcement departments, allowing them to seize the personal property of individuals who may never be charged with a criminal offense. Critics have long complained about the practice and those complaints seem to finally be catching the attention of lawmakers empowered to pass meaningful reforms.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”

If you have seen the movie “Minority Report” starring Tom Cruise, you are familiar with some of the scary and seemingly futuristic ways that technology could come to influence the criminal justice system. Though we are not in danger of implementing some of the most terrifying ideas found in the movie, it is undoubtedly true that technological advancements are playing a greater and greater role in courthouses all across the country. We must all begin to grapple with these changes and decide how far we are comfortable letting computers and artificial intelligence shape our justice system.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”

We have discussed civil asset forfeiture many times before, usually noting the ways in which the practice is used to unfairly seize assets from often-innocent individuals, enriching law enforcement agencies at the expense of the public. Given how lucrative civil asset forfeiture can be for law enforcement agencies across the country, there is little incentive for states to take action to reform the broken system. Thankfully, legislators in one state appear to be ready for a change and are considering important revisions to the existing law.