Articles Tagged with North Carolina

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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: “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 are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”

Those who follow issues involving criminal law may know that the United States is an outlier among other countries in the world when it comes to punishment of juvenile offenders. For years the U.S. was among only a small number of countries in the world where individuals could be sentenced to life without parole for crimes they committed as minors. That changed about eight years ago, bringing the U.S. somewhat more in line with practices in other developed nations. Though the change was heralded as a good thing by many, a recent case that was granted cert by the Supreme Court highlights the dangerous loopholes that still exist in current criminal practice.

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

When we think of the law we often imagine rules that are set in stone. The law is meant to remain constant, allowing certainty over time and consistent treatment, two ways of ensuring that justice is meted out equally. Given the general presumption of consistency, a recent proposal under consideration in Florida has garnered attention. The plan will allow the state legislature to make new criminal laws retroactive, in certain cases. To learn more about what the plan would mean for residents of Florida, keep reading.

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

When you think of deadly weapons most people imagine the classics: guns and knives. Crimes that include heightened penalties for being committed with deadly weapons thus typically involve defendants who had a gun or knife in their possession at the time. Though this is true in many cases, there are plenty of other items that have been deemed deadly weapons. The Florida Supreme Court will soon weigh in on this issue and decide whether an automobile ought to be deemed a deadly weapon.

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We have previously discussed a new expungement law that will go into effect in North Carolina in just a few weeks. The measure, scheduled to be implemented on December 1, 2017, is aimed at improving the currently cumbersome expungement process. The law is specifically designed to make the process faster and simpler for those hoping for a fresh start. Though we have mentioned several aspects of the new law, we have not yet discussed in detail the requirement by background check entities to delete expunged records. For more information about this issue, keep reading.

 
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Before we jump into the details of the duty to delete expunged records, we should take a moment to reiterate some of the most important aspects of the new law. Currently, anyone interested in an expungement must wait a long time, 15 years for felonies or misdemeanors, assuming the conviction is first-time and non-violent. The newly revised law says that the wait time for first-time, non-violent felonies will be dropped to 10 years. First-time, non-violent misdemeanors will have even short waiting periods, as these will now be reduced to only five years. The new law is also helpful to those eager to get a clean slate in that it removes limits on expungements for dismissed charges or not guilty verdicts.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question:”What is an expungement?”

We have previously discussed a new law that takes effect in North Carolina on December 1, 2017. The measure deals with expungements and aims to streamline the process, making everything easier and faster for those looking to clean their record. Though we have discussed the existence of the new law and what it hopes to achieve, we have not yet spent time delving into details about the kinds of crimes that are eligible under the new expungement law. For more information about that, keep reading.