Structured Sentencing for Misdemeanors

If a person is found guilty or pleas guilty to a crime, North Carolina follows structured sentencing. Structured sentencing means the North Carolina legislator has enacted laws for the courts to follow in sentencing criminal defendants. In evaluating a defendant’s sentence, the process can be broken into four main steps: Step (1) Determine the Misdemeanor (more…)

Fantastic Lies: The Duke Lacrosse Documentary, North Carolina Criminal Law, And The Right To Remain Silent

ESPN, in its “30 for 30” series, recently aired a documentary on the Duke Lacrosse scandal entitled “Fantastic Lies”.  If you aren’t familiar with the story, the Duke men’s lacrosse team hired two exotic dancers for a party at the house of one of the team members on March 13, 2006.  One of the dancers (more…)

Open Container or Trash?

There is a big difference between driving with an open container of alcohol and driving with a piece of trash.  If you have been charged with an open container violation in McDowell County or another county in North Carolina, you may be aware that the difference is often lost on law enforcement.  This post will (more…)

Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent

Call me naïve but even after all of the evil that I have seen both in and outside the practice of law I continue to believe that most humans are good people with a moral compass.  That being said, most of us were taught wrong from right and that it is always better to tell (more…)

Did Another Citizen Take Out Criminal Charges Against You in McDowell County, North Carolina?

In McDowell County, like in other counties across North Carolina, private citizens can go before a magistrate and take out criminal charges against another private citizen.  Under the North Carolina arrest warrant law, the only requirement is that the magistrate be supplied with sufficient information to find probable cause.  If you are reading this, then (more…)

Defending Criminal Charges for College Students

Sending your recent high school graduates off to college can be an exciting yet nervous experience for many parents. Many college students are faced with new experiences that may have long-term implications on their future. Being charged with Underage Drinking, Aiding and Abetting, Possession of Marijuana or illegal substances and Driving While Impaired, are just (more…)

Am I Going to Prison? An Overview of Sentencing in North Carolina

North Carolina uses a sentencing scheme called Structured Sentencing. Structured Sentencing applies to essentially all offenses except impaired driving offenses and drug trafficking. As with any other charge, if you have been charged with one of these special sentencing charges, you should contact our offices immediately. Structured Sentencing was designed to embrace certain principles such (more…)

Can I Own or Possess a Firearm if I’ve Been Convicted of a Felony?

Generally no, you cannot own or possess a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony. This applies even if you have just been charged of a felony and not yet convicted. A firearm is “any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel (more…)

How to Reduce your Bail Bond on a North Carolina Criminal Charge

The setting of a bail bond is a way for the court to ensure that a person obligated to appear in court will do so.  It also is supposed to protect the public from potentially dangerous defendants.  In practice, it is sometimes a spur of the moment decision, and it can be heavily influenced by (more…)

Can I get an Expunction or Expungement of my Criminal Record?

An expunction is the removal of a criminal record by an order of the court. When there is a successful expungement/expunction, a person will be restored to the status she held prior to existence of her criminal record. North Carolina has twelve different expunction statutes. However, the ability to expunge a criminal record in our (more…)