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…)

“Reasonable Suspicion” Necessary for DUI/DWI Traffic Stops

Temporary detention of individuals during the stop of a vehicle by the police, even if only for a brief period and for a limited purpose, constitutes a “seizure” of a “person” within the meaning of Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution and Section 20 of Article I of NC Constitution. “Reasonable suspicion” is necessary to (more…)

First Offender Programs

Everyone makes mistakes.  It is an old cliché that everyone has heard and with which nearly everyone agrees.  All too often, those mistakes that are made end up being violations of the law that lands someone in the criminal system.  Fortunately for those that make these kinds of mistakes, many district attorneys have implemented some (more…)

Gambling

Ever since South Carolina legalized slot machines and electronic gambling several years ago (which has since been made illegal), the number of people participating in illegal gambling in North Carolina has increased.  Video poker machines, slot machines, punch tables, and the like, are still offered in different flavors and varieties in areas of the State (more…)

An update on NC expunctions (a/k/a Expungements)

One ever-changing area of law in North Carolina is expunctions (also known as expungements).  A criminal conviction can be very difficult baggage to carry around, especially if you are seeking employment.  Generally speaking, there are a few ways to get an expunction: The charge resulted in a finding of not guilty; The charge resulted in a (more…)

Accidentally Breaking the Law

I was in court the other day, and the assistant district attorney said to me, “there isn’t anyone around who hasn’t committed several misdemeanors.”  He wasn’t referring to the people in court that day.  He was referring to everyone!  He also wasn’t saying that because he was making a statement on how bad he thinks (more…)