Articles Tagged with police

Charlotte DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question: What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?

Police officers in North Carolina are on alert after a recent incident of vandalism left many unsettled. The graffiti wasn’t merely an eyesore, but instead advocated for members of the community to physically harm police officers. Now the local police chief is saying he thinks the behavior goes beyond simple vandalism and ought to be considered a hate crime. To find out more about the recent incident, including what qualifies as a hate crime under North Carolina law, keep reading.

J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police office Randall Kerrick avoided conviction on manslaughter charges last week when the North Carolina jury deadlocked, forcing the judge presiding over the case to declare a mistrial. Experts say it is unclear how prosecutors will move forward, whether they will bring Kerrick up on similar charges a second time or consider other options.

J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”

Five years after he was issued two criminal summonses by a New York City police officer for alleged trespassing and disorderly conduct, twenty-four-year-old Sharif L. Stinson is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the City of New York alleging that police officers—under the pressure of a Police Department quota system—“have engaged in an illegal pattern and practice of issuing summonses,” according to the New York Times.

J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”

In general, a person’s privacy rights extend as is “reasonable.” Persons do not, for instance, have a reasonable expectation of privacy when they walk on a public street. They may be photographed and recorded in a variety of settings and formats, and their words and behavior can be freely observed, noted and memorialized.

J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Should I ever plead guilty to a charge?”

 

The criminal law, it is said, evolves as technology does, and criminal codes and doctrines grow to fit the new circumstances and technologies that criminals, would-be criminals and unknowing criminals commit. It should come as no surprise, then, that longstanding criminal doctrines are being applied to actions taken on devices that have become ubiquitous in modern American life: phones.

Texting closeup Charlotte DWI Lawyer North Carolina Criminal Defense AttorneyExcept, devices that people carry around these days have come a long way from the banana-sized box lawyer Johnny Cochran made famous carrying around in the early-to-mid 1990s. It is said that the law cannot keep pace with society, evolving about twenty years slower than the culture, but even the United States Supreme Court has caught on to the uniqueness of the modern “cell phone,” calling the devices “minicomputers that also happen to have the capacity to be used as a telephone” in a landmark case last year called Riley v. California.

In that case, the high court unanimously rejected the United States government’s position that when a person is arrested, a law-enforcement officer is entitled to seize everything off the arrestee’s phone. The court ruled officers need a warrant to do that.

Phones—or whatever one calls them nowadays—are still bringing individuals into criminal jeopardy, however, as a recent case from Massachusetts illustrates.

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J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “If I have an outstanding warrant, what should I do?”

 

The “Hands up, don’t shoot!” moniker is all the rage in the United States, with prominent professional athletes in the National Basketball Association and National Football League, as well as well-known celebrities, politicians, political pundits and media figures adopting the meme—some displaying the same on tee shirts proclaiming the phrase.

Police stop Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Mecklenburg DWI AttorneyLong before the rage—before Michael Brown was shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and before New Yorker Eric Garner died after being wrestled to the ground by a small team of New York City police officers—an unarmed backseat passenger in Billings, Montana was shot to death for failing to raise his hands during what began as a simple traffic stop.

Officer Grant Morrison said that on the night of April 14, 2014 he saw a car “turn quickly and decided to follow it.” After following it, Morrison said, he pulled the car over because of a “light violation.” Richard Ramirez was a passenger in the car.

Morrison testified at a hearing that after pulling the car over, he noticed that the back right passenger was pushing against the door. Morrison ordered all of the car’s occupants to raise their hands, but the 38-year-old Ramirez kept fumbling for something in his pocket.

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