Articles Tagged with North Carolina

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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 Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What should parents tell their children to do when interacting with police officers?”

A chair is thrown in a cafeteria. What is your first reaction to that? Silly high school antics? Assault? Is this a crime? The North Carolina Court of Appeals had to deal with this very question. A high school student under the age of 16 threw a chair in the cafeteria of his high school and ran out of the room. A school resource officer followed the chair throwing student out of the cafeteria, snuck up on him, and grabbed him by his shirt. After being confronted about the chair throwing incident, the student claimed that he was just goofing around with his brother when the chair was thrown. Initially, the student was caught off guard being apprehended by the school resource officer, but calmed down within minutes of being approached and taken to a conference room.

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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?”

The Charlotte region is blessed with a number of boat worthy lakes including Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, Mountain Island lake and many others. With the warm weather of Summer comes the desire to be outside and boat on lakes, rivers, and the ocean. In addition to enjoying a day out on the water, people like to have a few drinks while doing so. This may seem fun and enjoyable in the moment, but there can be criminal charges that result.

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

Being charged with a crime in North Carolina can be scary. Suddenly, you are facing serious penalties and even a prison sentence that could be devastating to your life. In criminal cases, most people think of a defendant being found “guilty” or “not guilty.” Not guilty is the ideal finding in a criminal case, but that is not always the result. When defendants hear a guilty verdict, they might think that their lives are ruined. In criminal cases in North Carolina, there are some options for a defendant, even after a finding of guilt.

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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.