Articles Tagged with traffic stops

Published on:

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. This is not to say that a person is lawfully permitted to carry a weapon at all times or own any type of weapon that he or she wants. There are rules and regulations that dictate who can possess a firearm, what types of firearms are permitted, and when and where those weapons can be carried. What happens when a person with lawful possession of a gun is stopped by the police during a routine traffic stop? This is a complex issue and it depends on the situation and context of the police encounter. Different situations and circumstances often lead to different reactions.

Published on:

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.

Published on:

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

James Lee Johnson was indisputably impaired as he drove to his Hendersonville, North Carolina home one night in February of 2013. He blew a 0.13 on the blood alcohol test the police officer gave him—well above the legal 0.08 limit. The officer testified later that Johnson’s face was red, he was glassy-eyed and his speech was slurred. So how did Johnson just defeat a DWI rap?

Published on:

Charlotte DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What am I obligated to do if I’ve been pulled for Drinking and Driving?”

 

The United States Supreme Court is comprised of nine judges whose legal educations began at either Harvard or Yale. With the exception of Ruth Bader Ginsburg—who transferred to Columbia University School of Law—all nine obtained their law degrees from Harvard or Yale.

Police dog Charlotte Criminal Lawyer North Carolina DWI AttorneyThe (alleged) hoity-toity backgrounds of the justices—underscored in a January 22, 2015 Washington Post piece—came into laser focus in oral arguments in Rodriguez v. United States, according to Bloomberg News.

The issue in Rodriguez was whether police can use a dog to sniff for drugs around a vehicle during a routine traffic stop. Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman, who observed the arguments, suggested the “browbeating… conservatives” and “assist[ing]… liberals” on the court, through their questioning of lawyers for Rodriguez and the United States, revealed their ideological divides.

Those divides—and who the justices are—both Bloomberg and the Post suggested, are important issues that sometimes define and nearly always, at least, inform their decisions.

With respect to traffic stops, at least a few of the justices—unlike many high-profile political leaders who use professional drivers and have not driven a car in decades—actually have experience with roadway traffic. In 2011, Justice Antonin Scalia was cited after rear-ending a vehicle on George Washington Memorial Parkway. Justice Stephen Breyer was hit by a car while biking in 1993, proving he has at least had contact with an automobile.

Continue reading →