Articles Tagged with Cornelius

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

A fundamental part of the United States court systems is the right for the accused to have a trial by a jury of their peers. However, included in this right is the inherent idea that those serving on a jury need to be provided with the proper instructions and legal theories in order to make a well informed decision about whether a defendant is guilty or not. In order to reach this decision, proper instructions need to be given. What happens if incorrect instructions are given? The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently ruled on this issue.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Am I allowed to videotape an interaction with police? Can they make me stop filming?”

If you watch any TV crime drama, you will likely hear the phrase “right to a speedy trial.” This phrase is thrown about in many television scenes, but most people do not know what that means in real life. For most, a speedy trial means that criminal charges and prosecution must be done as quick as possible. Determining what the court finds to be “quick,” however, varies on many different factors.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

In most instances, police officers are required to have reasonable suspicion when they conduct a traffic stop. Speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, using a phone while driving, or other traffic violations give an officer reasonable suspicion to pull a car over and investigate what is happening. When an officer conducts a traffic stop, he or she usually asks for your license, registration, and insurance, and then runs your information through their system to check you out. However, what happens if the reason the officer conducted the stop, providing reasonable suspicion, disappears? Can officers still conduct the traffic stop and ask for your license? The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently ruled on this issue and found that yes, an officer can continue the traffic stop even if the cause for the stop disappears.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “How can an attorney help me with my DWI?”

After being charged with a crime, your mind might be reeling. Suddenly, you are thrust into the criminal justice system and are trying to figure out what to do next. Driving while impaired (DWI) is a common charge in North Carolina, otherwise known as drunk driving. An experienced DWI attorney can help qualm your fears and prepare the best possible defense for you. One defense to a DWI that is not always the first to come to mind is necessity. In some instances, it could be a valid defense to a DWI. This is not to say that using necessity as a defense will be an automatic “win,” but instead one of the many defenses that might be used to defend the individual facing a DWI charge.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What am I obligated to do if I’ve been pulled for Drinking and Driving?”

In North Carolina, drivers can be charged with driving while impaired (DWI) if they are under the “influence of an impairing substance,” have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, or are driving with any amount of specific controlled substances in their system. For most people, when they are charged with a DWI, they feel discouraged and like there is no way the situation will end with a positive outcome. Yes, a DWI is a serious offense that law enforcement is adamant about prosecuting it. However, this does not mean that anything that law enforcement does while arresting you or while suspecting you might be impaired is acceptable. Like anyone, law enforcement officers can make mistakes. A mistake by law enforcement could help your case. Police must follow a strict protocol. The following are common mistakes to look out for in a DWI arrest.

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

Criminal charges and the subsequent trial that follow can raise legal questions for North Carolina courts. There are always new issues that arise and new considerations to be taken into account. Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals has further expanded upon drug identification in criminal cases. The appeals court has ruled on drug identification at different points throughout the year, but this new ruling adds in an extra wrinkle to identifying drugs.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What am I obligated to do if I’ve been pulled for Drinking and Driving?”

Throughout the country, we often hear a lot of debate about an individual, or his or her property, being subjected to search by law enforcement. The Fourth Amendment of the constitution gives us the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. While there are many cases and court opinions that detail when law enforcement is able to search an individual, or his or her property, we often forget that an individual is able to voluntarily consent to a search. With voluntary consent to search comes a whole host of questions. Can a voluntary search be inferred? Are there particular factors that indicate a person has consented to a search? In the recent case of State v. Bartlett, the North Carolina Court of Appeals found that an individual’s race may be a factor in deciding whether or not a person has voluntarily consented to a search.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

The state of North Carolina is strict on drug crimes. In an effort to eliminate the use of drugs throughout the state, courts and lawmakers have been eager to crack down on the use, sale, and possession of controlled substances. Recently, the North Carolina Supreme Court has broadened the meaning of “maintaining a dwelling” as it pertains to using, selling, or storing a controlled substance. In State v. Rogers, the court disavows previous courts’ use of  “maintaining a dwelling” and broadens the use of the term.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I simply intend to plead guilty, why do I need a lawyer?”

If you watch a television drama that follows the story of a crime and its prosecution, it seems like a quick process. A crime is committed, suspects are identified, a suspect is charged, the court hears the case, and an outcome is decided. Reality is not like television. Sometimes it takes days, months, or even years to determine who committed a crime. Is there a time limit for bringing about a charge on a suspect? Or can charges be brought anytime after the crime was committed and a suspect was found? The answer to those questions vary from state to state, but in North Carolina it depends on whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony.

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

It is unsurprising that the general population is hesitant about having those who have been convicted of sex crimes re-enter society. Therefore, there are a variety and programs that have been set up to monitor offenders and even keep them out of certain areas, like schools. In North Carolina, there is another option, satellite-based monitoring (SBM). Depending on the level or severity of the sex crime of which a defendant is convicted, in North Carolina there is an SMB program into which some offenders must enter. There has been contention over SMB and when it is a reasonable part of a defendant’s sentence. Issues have arisen regarding whether SMB is a reasonable search that the Fourth Amendment grants. The court of appeals examined these issues in State v. Griffin.