Articles Tagged with Criminal Defense

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

You’ve heard it a million times before, someone who may be in a bit of hot water says they’re going to “plead the Fifth”. It’s happened most recently with President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The Senate Intelligence Committee asked him to come and testify about issues relating to his connections with Russia and it was just revealed that Flynn will be pleading the Fifth, refusing to testify to the Committee or turn over any documents related to the issue. So what exactly does it mean to plead the Fifth and how does it work? To learn more, keep reading.

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

Though sticks and stones may break our bones, words are never supposed to hurt us, right? The reality is that words hurt all the time and when they do, they can sometimes cause serious damage. In the legal world, cases involving hurtful words and accusations fall under the umbrella of defamation or libel.

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

When most people think of hate crimes they imagine criminal acts that occur because one person was motivated by a particular animus against the victim. This animus can be based on a number of things, such as the victim’s race, gender or sexual orientation. If such animosity motivates a crime, it stands to reason that the defendant could be charged with committing a hate crime. However, as a case in West Virginia demonstrates, that might not always be true.

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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?”

A recent incident in Wilmington highlighted an area of legal uncertainty. The case involved an Uber-driving criminal defense attorney, a smartphone and an irritated police officer. Though this particular dispute was resolved with a public apology by the Wilmington Police Department, it begs bigger questions about how other similar incidents might be handled in the future, especially if a case were to make its way to court. To learn more about the legal issues surrounding recording police officers in North Carolina, keep reading.

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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.

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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 the divided political world of 2016, it’s something that conspiracy theorists love to discuss. What impact could a group of “faithless electors” have on the election results? Though individuals chosen to vote in the Electoral College have previously switched sides, at no time was it more controversial than it is today. Already, at least 9 people have come forward to identify themselves as being interested in voting contrary to the way in which their state’s popular vote outcome. These people have said they intend to vote for a consensus Republican candidate instead of Donald Trump, saying they cannot in good conscience vote for the man. Though political nerds love to discuss the potential mayhem this could cause in Washington, legal experts focus instead on the potential criminal implications should such faithless electors emerge.

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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?”

Most people assume that if they’ve never been arrested and charged with a crime, there’s no way their personal information would be inside a criminal database. After all, as the name implies, criminal databases collect information about and concerning crimes and criminals, not ordinary citizens. Though it’s certainly understandable why you might assume that, you’d be wrong. As reported in a recent piece by NPR, law enforcement agencies across the country have amassed a collection of images of 50 percent of Americans’ faces. How did they get them and what are they doing with them? To find out, keep reading.

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

For those following the 2016 election, it’s been a very interesting past year or so, to say the least. No one could have predicted many of the headline-grabbing events that have occurred, including the most recent involving the release of a tape where Donald Trump made lewd comments regarding women. In an attempt to change the national conversation, Trump made a rather dramatic pronouncement at this weekend’s second presidential debate. According to Trump, if he wins in November, he will launch a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton and her use of a private server while serving as Secretary of State. Though some cheered while others were left aghast, many more wondered whether such a thing is even possible. To find out more, keep reading.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What steps should I be taking outside legal guidance to help my DWI case?”

Two (2) new deadlines for DWI trials in North Carolina took effect at the beginning of this month, and it’s a mixed bag for defendants.

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

Anyone who’s even remotely familiar with the criminal justice system or, for that matter, television shows revolving around the criminal justice system, has likely heard of plea-bargaining. Plea bargains are deals reached between defendants and prosecutors, which allow both sides to avoid the uncertainty of trial. Though plea bargains are incredibly common in the United States, they aren’t so common everywhere. Up until now, China’s criminal justice system has never allowed the use of a plea bargain, something that’s poised to change as of September 4th. To learn more about the recent changes in Chinese criminal law, keep reading.