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Charlotte NC Criminal Defense Law Blog

Bail considerations: from subjective guesses to math-based formulas

Some of our readers in North Carolina and elsewhere weaned on cop shows and police-station dramas and old enough to remember some of the classics (Dragnet, anyone? Hill Street Blues?) can probably run through a judge's spiel on bail just about as well as, well, a judge.

Does the defendant have ties to the local community that render him -- or sometimes her -- less of a risk to flee? Does the defendant have a steady job? A demonstrated history of alcohol or drug abuse, or violence, perhaps? Is the defendant married? With children?

Marijuana Felony dismissed against Charlotte 94 year old WWII vet

Attorney Chris Connelly was honored to represent Douglas Ponischil in this marijuana felony case and secure a dismissal.  Mr. Ponischil is a 94 yo WWII combat veteran who survived a U Boat attack that left him in the dangerous waters of the Caribbean for several days until rescue.

Burger King for Charleston shooter?

Some negative commentary has been made about the Shelby Police Department's decision to buy a Burger King meal for Roof after his arrest. However, first of all, people in custody HAVE TO BE FED! Regardless the crime, police can not starve a prisoner. Secondly, buying a meal for a prisoner is a valuable law enforcment tool for extracting a confession. The scared & bewildered arrestee now sees the officer as his provider and is much more likley to take them into their confidence and give them a confession. If the $10 BK meal was the leverage to get a confession and seal up this case, it was money well spent. 

Domestic Violence bond conditions extended to dating relationships

For Domestic Violence offenses committed on or after December 1, 2015, a defendant in a dating relationship is now subject to possible 48 hour hold and the requirement that a judge (not a magistrate) set the bond. A dating relationship is defined under NCGS Chapter 50B "as one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship."

Pot-related criminal charges in North Carolina: much to ponder

Say that you're a nice person -- we assume most of our readers are -- and that you easily qualify for the title of "good citizen" that most of your friends would readily bestow upon you.

You've got hobbies, a wide circle of friendships and a job you like.

Observations on the U.S. criminal justice system, Part 2

We noted in our immediately preceding blog post the eye-popping news that "about one-quarter of all the world's prisoners are presently locked up inside the United States" (please see our June 2 entry).

And that figure is not under serious challenge from naysayers. Indeed, it is routinely supplied by many sources, including, as we noted in the above-cited post, a recent Washington Post article discussing the country's harsh criminal law policies and bloated prison population.

Total prison population: Where does the United States rank?

As an observant North Carolina resident who seeks to keep reasonably informed on most matters, you're probably disinclined to immediately offer up a conservative guess as to the above-cited headline question, right?

Because you know that there a good many people housed in state and federal penitentiaries across the country. You know about the criminal law policies enacted in past decades -- those that resulted from the so-called War on Crime and the War on Drugs, such as tough plea bargains and mandatory-minimum sentencing outcomes, even for many nonviolent and first-time offenders-- that continue even now to fill prisons with inmate populations that are swollen and growing by the day.

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