Articles Tagged with police

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”

Police are an integral part of society; they keep the peace, catch criminals, and put their lives at risk to keep the general population safe. Since the police play such a large role in solving crimes and convicting criminals, it is not surprising that police officers are often called to testify during court proceedings. An issue arises with police testimony, however, when the officer testifying was not involved with the incident at all. Instead, that officer is offering an opinion, based off of his or her police experience, as to what happened or would have happened. This practice is controversial because someone without actual knowledge, or only investigative knowledge, of the incident is offering testimony that could sway a jury.

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, a driver can be charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI) if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, or driving with an impairing substance or with any amount of a Schedule I substance in his or her system. DWIs are dangerous for all parties involved. As such, this is a serious charge that can result in severe consequences that impact one’s life. Even so, it is important that a driver arrested and charged with this crime is entitled to proper criminal procedure. Law enforcement officers are human; they too can make mistakes. If law enforcement makes a mistake while arresting a driver, this can be used to reduce charges or even dismiss a case. The following are common mistakes that officers might make during a DWI arrest.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”

Law enforcement officers are not permitted to arrest individuals anywhere they want. Throughout the United States, North Carolina included, there are different jurisdictional restrictions that law enforcement officers face. Local law enforcement are often restricted to making arrests within their own city or county, depending on the specifics of their position and any statutes outlining their jurisdiction. State law enforcement officers, however, generally are able to arrest people and serve outside of one city or county. There are situations in which an officer is permitted to serve outside of his or her jurisdiction, like when actively pursing a suspect. What happens, however, when a law enforcement officer makes an arrest outside of his or her jurisdiction? Can that arrest be suppressed?

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I talk to the police?”

As technology improves, it’s all but guaranteed that some enterprising criminal will find new ways to perpetrate crimes. After all, where there’s a will, it won’t be long until there’s a way. Though technological advancement has proven useful for those perpetrating crimes, it’s proven to be even more of a boon for those investigating criminal matters. Police have stayed several steps ahead of the courts, taking advantage of ambiguities in the law to use technology for their benefit.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I am charged by campus police could I still face jail time or probation?”

It’s something relatively few people have experienced (thankfully), but if and when you do, the practice likely comes as a terrible surprise. Police, unbeknownst to many, have the right in many states to stop people and seize assets they believe might have some connection to a criminal act. These seizures can take place without first convicting a person of committing a crime and, in some cases, even without ever charging the person with a crime. The practice likely seems shocking given that it appears to run counter to one of the foundational ideas of the American criminal justice system: that all people should be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”

Anyone who has been watching the news recently has likely come across a number of stories about problems associated with the police. The Black Lives Matter movement grew after a number of African-Americans were injured or killed by police officers engaged in questionable behavior. Even putting aside these most tragic cases, many agree that aggressive policing tactics have caused problems that our society must now address as many people feel victimized by those who are meant to protect and serve.

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

Whether you’re an avid catcher of Pikachus or are convinced the era of technology taking over is upon us, you’ve no doubt noticed Pokémon’s rather public reentrance into society lately. Advocates have lauded Pokémon Go’s ability to get gamers off the couch and moving…and get them moving it has. Some have walked straight into varying degrees of trouble with the law, including one man with an open warrant for his arrest who wandered by his local police station to battle his creatures there. Other reports have fallen more on the crime fighting side—two Go players helped catch a man wanted for attempted murder, and one woman found a dead body in her Pokémon Go meanderings.

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

North Carolina now joins the ranks of other states attempting to block the release of potentially inflammatory body camera footage. Earlier this month the governor, Pat McCrory, signed a bill into law that prevents law enforcement recordings, either from body cameras or dashboard cameras, from being released, except with very narrow exceptions. Though some officers have cheered the news, many other groups, including the ACLU and the state’s attorney general have offered criticism, saying the new law makes it harder to hold law enforcement accountable in the event of the use of excessive force.

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

Hate crime legislation is designed to protect those who are victims of discrimination or violence perpetrated by others. The laws are written to provide this protection to groups based on ethnic, religious and, in some cases, gender or sexual orientation grounds. This means that should a person be attacked specifically because of his or her religion or national origin, the law would treat that attack differently than if religion or national origin had not been a factor, usually by increasing penalties.

Charlotte DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

It’s been two months since a North Carolina Judge declared a mistrial for the police officer who killed Jonathan Ferrell. After four days of debates, the jury was deadlocked, 7-5 on an initial vote and 8-4 on the succeeding three votes. And when Judge Robert C Ervin asked the jury foreman if further discussions would resolve the dead end, the response was no. Ervin then declared a mistrial.