Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I ever plead guilty to a charge?”
States across the country are wrestling with finding ways to deal with increasingly large prison populations. People on both side of the issue acknowledge that as the population of people incarcerated continues to swell it presents a multitude of challenges, some budgetary, some logistical, others societal. One approach advocated by many is to try and reverse the trend by reducing criminal penalties for a range of mainly low-level offenses. By reducing the number of crimes that result in time behind bars, you not only save money, but also hopefully address underlying issues through treatment and reduce recidivism.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “How is getting charged with a crime on a college campus different from being charged off campus?”
Anyone with access to the internet has likely heard about the mess Ryan Lochte and his fellow American Olympic swimmers recently got themselves into in Brazil. The group of four Olympians initially claimed that they were the victims of a robbery, appearing to be yet another example of how Rio is a dangerous place. Days later, a different story began to emerge, one which seems to indicate the group was behaving more like spoiled frat boys than heroic Olympians.
Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers callers’ questions during a 30 minute radio interview with the Legal Forum. Recorded in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County North Carolina.
The Supreme Court voted 7-1 to place limits on laws that make it a crime for drivers suspected of drunk driving to refuse to submit to an alcohol test. The decision says that police must obtain search warrants before requiring a driver to submit to a blood alcohol test. A warrant will not be required, however, for breath tests.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”
The Washington State legislature is considering changes to the state’s criminal code that would dramatically alter the manner in which marijuana-related crimes are prosecuted in the state.
Under a bill sponsored by Republican State Senator Ann Rivers, most marijuana-related crimes would be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. Voters in Washington legalized the recreational use of marijuana in a statewide referendum in 2012.
Seattle’s city attorney John Schochet said he wants the possibility of jail time for “lower-end violators” eliminated. He likened minor offenses to buying a bunch of beer at Costco and selling it out of the trunk of his car. If he sold enough marijuana in that fashion, he could be subject to a felony trafficking charge.
Attorneys like Schochet and city attorney Pete Holmes want to eliminate criminal penalties for sharing marijuana. As it stands, it is a felony to give any amount of marijuana to a friend, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Schochet and Holmes also want to see criminal penalties lessened and removed for users who make their own “homegrown” weed. Under current law, it is illegal to grow one’s own marijuana in Washington. In other states that have legalized marijuana use, growing a small amount of marijuana for personal use is permitted. In Colorado, for instance, it is legal for individuals who are 21-years-old or older to grow as many as six plants, as long as they are kept in an “enclosed, locked space.” Alaska also allows users to grow up to six plants, while users in Oregon can grow as many as four plants and can legally possess as many as eight ounces of usable marijuana.