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Charlotte NC Criminal Defense Law Blog

Men exonerated 30 years after false conviction

Today, police and prosecutors widely rely upon DNA evidence when investigating crime scenes and pursing convictions. However, prior to DNA testing capabilities, law enforcement officials relied heavily upon witness accounts and circumstantial evidence. In cases where an individual was suspected of committing a crime and arrested, police officers also relied heavily upon information discovered during questioning and interrogation sessions.

In 1984, two half brothers, ages 19 and 15, were picked up by North Carolina police and questioned for five hours about the disappearance, rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. With no lawyer present the brothers, who were known to have mental disabilities, were rattled by the police officers and, desperate to go home, made up a story detailing the girl's rape and murder.

Individuals convicted of white collar crimes face longer prison sentences

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice took steps to retroactively reduce the sentences of many nonviolent drug offenders. Reasons cited for the decision included a stance that mandatory drug sentencing guidelines were bias, discriminatory and overly punitive in nature.

We recently reported about how, similarly, some are calling upon the federal government to reduce sentencing guidelines related to so-called white collar crimes. However, a recent Reuters analysis shows that sentences for white collar crimes have actually increased more than 31 percent from 2009 through 2013.

What are the penalties associated with a DWI in North Carolina?

Individuals in North Carolina who face drunk driving charges may be subject to significant penalties that will have significant and numerous personal and professional ramifications. After a DUI conviction the ripple-effect of consequences is set in motion and can quickly result in an individual losing his or her job, motor vehicle and freedom. Additionally, A DUI conviction is likely to negatively affect an individual's personal relationships and create financial hardships.

Many North Carolinians know that state's DWI laws and penalties are among the most punitive in the country. But most don't know the specific penalties and fines associated with a first or second DWI conviction.

Why mandatory drug sentencing reform is needed

Every day when North Carolina residents open the newspaper or turn on the T.V., there are stories about teens, men and women who have been sentenced to prison for drug-related crimes. According to the nonprofit Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the vast majority of individuals who are charged and subsequently convicted of drug crimes are non-violent offenders many of whom have no prior criminal record. Yet, in North Carolina and other states, a conviction of distributing or possessing a drug such as marijuana, cocaine or ecstasy means an individual is subject to mandatory drug sentencing laws and may spend years in prison.

During the 1980s the passage of punitive mandatory drug sentencing laws quickly resulted in hundreds of thousands of individuals being locked up in federal prisons across the country. The result? Mothers lost sons and daughters, children lost mothers and fathers and individuals lost the ability to overcome drug addictions and obtain the help they so desperately needed to make better choices and build better lives.

Knowledge and know-how critical to successfully defend against criminal charges

Individuals in and around the Charlotte area who are facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges have a lot is at stake. A criminal conviction related to drug charges, DWI, assault, theft or fraud can negatively impact an individual's life in innumerable and often unforeseen ways.

Individuals who are facing criminal charges, feel tremendous stress and fear as they attempt to deal with how to approach and defend against criminal charges. Attorney Christopher A. Connelly understands that an individual's future and important professional, personal and financial matters are on the line.

North Carolina loan officer sentenced to prison for mortgage fraud

For many people, owning a home is a big part of the American dream. A decade ago, purchasing a home was viewed as a smart financial move as home values continued to steadily increase. However, with the collapse of the housing market in 2007 home values, along with the rest of U.S. economy, began to plummet.

As investigations into the cause of the housing market collapse began to come to light, the questionable practices of financial institutions and mortgage providers came under scrutiny. Many of these practices were blamed for helping contribute to the housing market crash. As a result, Congress passed several laws and regulations aimed to protect U.S. consumers from what it deemed to be deceptive mortgage lending practices.

What are my rights when stopped by a police officer?

The nation was recently gripped by the police shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old African American man named Michael Brown. Prior to the shooting, the details of the encounter between Brown and the police officer are still in dispute. The police contend Brown assaulted the officer who subsequently shot him. Eye witnesses, however, say Brown was shot multiple times by the officer after turning around with his hands in the air.

Every day throughout North Carolina men, women and teens are approached by police officers and face the possibility of arrest. An individual may be approached or pulled over by a police or law enforcement official for a number of reasons. Whether an individual is driving and pulled over or a teenager, who fits the description of a recent burglary suspect, is stopped and questioned by an officer; it's important that individuals who are facing a possible arrest know their rights. It's also important that individuals do their best to avoid a possible escalation with law enforcement officials.

Changes could be in store for white collar crime sentencing laws

People facing charges for white collar crime in North Carolina will be interested to learn about a recent push for changes in federal sentencing laws for certain financial crimes. The suggested changes could reduce the penalties imposed on people convicted of white collar offenses such as insider trading, fraud and embezzlement.

Missing girl's parents charged with fraud

The adoptive parents of a missing North Carolina girl are facing federal fraud charges in connection to her disappearance. It is still not clear what became of the girl, whose brother reported her missing last year. 

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

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