Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”
It can sometimes seem like we have seen it all before. This is especially true in the criminal law world, where crimes are seldom novel, but often sad cycles continually repeating themselves. Though this is true in some cases, a recent prosecution in Massachusetts demonstrates that individuals can still find new ways to run afoul of the law and, when that happens, it can raise important questions about how these groundbreaking cases ought to be handled.
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.
Except, 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.
Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?
A 29-year-old terminally ill woman is shining her light on “dying with dignity,” a cause she hopes she furthers when she kills herself on November 1.
On that date, Brittany Maynard plans to take a lethal dose of a medication prescribed to her by a doctor. She said she plans to “painlessly fade away” in her bedroom, surrounded by her loved ones, with her favorite music playing.
Maynard was diagnosed on New Year’s Day this year with Stage 4 glioblastoma, a form of aggressive cancer that would end her life in a matter of months, her doctor told her. Maynard said she is not suicidal. “I want to live,” she told People Magazine, but there is no cure for her disease.
After doctors told her what would happen to her body during the final stages of her illness, Maynard said it was a relief to discover an alternative: Death with Dignity. Death on her own terms is an option because, Maynard said, she lives in one of the few states that allows it. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, passed in 1997, allows “terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose.”
Only five states have so-called “Death with Dignity” laws on the books. North Carolina is not one of them.