Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”
After 108 homicides in Charlotte last year, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department prepared a map of violent crime “hot spots” in the city. The map was shown to members of the Charlotte City Council. The department told council members that it would use all available data to address crime as a public health issue. However, CMPD also complained that it would not be able to lower violent crime on its own, as reported by WFAE.
Charlotte DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is an expungement?”
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is currently considering moving forward with a plan that could lead to those convicted of certain crimes from being banned from entering certain parts of town for up to a year. The plan calls for the creation of “public safety zones” similar to prostitution-free zones that were created by the police department nearly 10 years ago. Critics have said that not only are the proposed public safety zones unconstitutional, but they’ve been shown to be ineffective in reducing crime.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”
Two Mecklenburg County Superior Court judges have indicated that they may be willing to unseal court records detailing how law-enforcement officers have used secret surveillance of cellphones and other wireless devices in closed investigations.
Superior Court Judge Richard Boner told the Charlotte Observer that the legal justification for sealing court records ends “once everything is over and done with” in a case. Superior Court Judge Robert Bell also indicated a willingness to consider unsealing some court orders that authorized the use of secret surveillance.
The surveillance equipment—known as StingRay, Hailstorm, AmberJack or TriggerFish—imitates a cellphone tower and enables officers to uncover the location of cellphones and wireless devices in the area, their serial numbers and other information. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have denied using the surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on conversations or store data from innocent people.
A number of Charlotte criminal defense attorneys told the Observer that they were unaware of CMPD’s use of the equipment until the Observer’s recent stories on the matter. In the stories, CMPD acknowledged that law-enforcement officers have been using the surveillance equipment for at least eight years.