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Charlotte NC Criminal Defense Law Blog

For more than 25 years, aggressively defending the rights of North Carolinians

Being arrested and charged with committing a criminal act can be a terrifying experience. Individuals facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges are often unaware of the serious penalties associated with criminal convictions related to drunk driving, theft and drug possession.

In addition to paying costly fines and penalties, an individual may face time in jail or prison, loss of his or her driver's license and probation. A criminal conviction often negatively impacts an individual's personal relationships and employment status. What's more, having a criminal record can continue to have far-reaching implications when an individual attempts to find housing or secure another job. 

Recent Humane Society break-in could lead to serious penalties

Recently, the Humane Society of Charlotte was broken into. The damages - including theft and vandalism - are estimated to be in the thousands of dollars. The damages include two stolen computers, a smashed computer monitor, a broken do and sliced wires. A spokesperson noted that the break-in occurred after all of the employees had left for the night. No animals were harmed during the occurrence.

Even though it might seem like a minor offense, breaking and entering, and vandalism can carry hefty consequences. Not only will an individual accused of this crime potentially face a criminal record that could limit housing and educational opportunities in the future, but there could be immediate penalties as well. A criminal conviction can mean jail time, fines, restitution, community service or probation.

A drug trafficking conviction can have far-reaching repercussions

U.S. and North Carolina drug laws provide stiff penalties for individuals found to be in possession of or distributing illegal drugs. For individuals who are found to be in possession of illegal or prescription drugs and/or large amounts of cash, it’s likely that he or she will also face criminal drug trafficking charges.

Criminal charges related to drug trafficking are classified as felonies and therefore carry stiff penalties including hefty fines, minimum mandatory prison sentences and probation. Additionally, upon release from prison, a felony drug conviction can negatively impact an individual's ability to find a job and secure housing. For many, the stigma attached to a drug conviction also adversely impacts personal relationships and one's own self-esteem, thereby making it difficult to turn one’s life around.

What is mortgage fraud?

During the housing boom of the early 2000s, North Carolinians along with the rest of the nation, scrambled to invest in real estate. As home values continued to steadily increase, purchasing a home was considered one of the most sound and smartest ways to invest money. However, during the mid-2000s as the housing bubble began to burst, millions of U.S. homeowners were suddenly strapped with underwater mortgages and facing foreclosure.

In light of investigations and reports of questionable borrowing and lending practices, the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act was passed in 2009. Today individuals convicted of criminal charges related to mortgage fraud face stiff fines and penalties. Prior to the enaction of FERA, borrowers, appraisers and lenders were allowed to engage in practices that are today considered illegal. It's important, therefore, to understand what types of financial transactions and activities may be considered mortgage fraud.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps facing second drunk driving conviction

During the 2012 London Summer Olympics, many North Carolinians were glued to their television screens as they cheered on the swimming sensation known as Michael Phelps. During that Olympic Games, Phelps went on to break world records, winning a total of 18 gold medals and 22 medals total.

The cheering fans of those Olympic Games likely seemed a distant memory when Phelps was recently arrested and charged with his second DUI. Police near Baltimore report they pulled Phelps over after the vehicle he was operating was observed speeding and crossing the highway's double center line.

Punishments associated with sex crime conviction, punitive and far-reaching

In a few weeks, many North Carolina children will take part in the yearly ritual that is Halloween. As children dressed as ghosts and goblins take to neighborhoods in search of candy, they will likely encounter some darkened homes where no one is passing out candy. In some cases, the darkened home may be by choice. In other cases, the resident inside the home may be legally prohibited from turning on their lights to trick-or-treaters.

North Carolina is among a handful of states that have passed so-called "No Candy" laws targeted at preventing registered sex offenders from passing out candy to children on Halloween. While proponents of the No Candy law contend it helps protect vulnerable children from sexual predators, there is no hard data to support this claim.

New Statute increases second offense of Carrying Concealed Weapon (Gun/Firearm)

Effective December 1, 2014, the offense of Carrying a Concealed Weapon (Gun) will be punishable as Class H felony for a second or subsequent offense. It is being increased from what previously had been a Class I felony.

New Statute may allow dismissals of misdemeanors & low level felonies

Effective December 1, 2014, a new law allows the judge to defer further proceedings without entering a judgment of guilt, with the possibility of conditional discharge later on. Some pre-conditions include that the defendant is guilty of a low level felony or a misdemeanor, that the defendant and the prosecutor consent, that the defendant has not been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors and has not previously placed on probation. The defendant is placed on probation to allow him/her to demonstrate good conduct. If the defendant fulfills the conditions, the guilty finding will be withdrawn and the court will dismiss the proceedings.

Is there a way to get rid of criminal charges?

A criminal conviction can negatively impact an individual's life in numerous and often unexpected ways. From a misdemeanor drug charge related to possession of marijuana to felony charges related to financial fraud, individuals facing criminal charges would be wise to turn to a legal defense attorney for advice and assistance.

In cases where an individual was found not guilty of criminal charges or was convicted of and carried out the terms of a sentence including possible fines and penalties, jail or prison time and probation; a criminal record still exists. In some cases, however, an individual may be able to have a criminal record expunged or essentially wiped clean of any record of all or certain criminal charges.

Meet the Office Mascots

  • Sir Winston Churchill Connelly is a red Labradoodle bred from a mahogany miniature French Poodle and a red English Lab. He is doted upon by staff and clients alike, stealing their hearts with his sweet disposition. More Photos

  • Dustye is a gaited (also known as racking) Registered Tennessee Walking Horse. He is a sweet tempered, playful, noble buckskin who loves to give rides to kids. More Photos