Tag Archives: wake county criminal lawyer

How Are Juvenile Crimes Treated Differently In Raleigh, NC?

Children who break the law are generally treated differently after their arrest, especially if the crimes they are charged with are minor, nonviolent and aren’t considered felonies.

Over 100 years ago, arrested juveniles were sent to jail with hardened, dangerous criminals. The juvenile justice system in the US was created in 1899 to separate young people from the adult criminal population. The focus was on punishment for juvenile crimes as well as rehabilitation to keep them away from a life of crime and live productively.

Woman discussing juvenile crimes with a young man in a black leather jacket in a dark police interrogation room.

Because of this long-held mindset, when a juvenile is arrested, he or she has a number of options for rehabilitation that an adult offender would simply receive in a jail sentence.

The Benefits Of Juvenile Court

As a parent, you never want to hear that your child has been arrested. When it happens, there are key differences in the way a child is treated than an adult.

Any infraction that a juvenile commits is called a “delinquent act,” not a crime. However, older juveniles who commit violent or serious crimes are tried and sentenced as adults, no matter what their age.

Juveniles have “adjudication hearings” instead of trials. Since these hearings are heard by judges, they are not subjected to open court as they would be in a criminal court trial.

If the delinquent acts are not violent, prerelease is possible.

Juvenile records are sealed so that their criminal record does not follow them around for life. If the individual has met certain conditions, such as completing community service, anger management or other rehabilitative orders, the record can be expunged when he or she turns 18.

Juveniles also have the right to an attorney, including a public defender at no charge.

Rights of A Juvenile

Unlike adult court, a juvenile arrest does not include the right to have:

  • Bail
  • Jury trial
  • Speedy trial
  • Self-representation

Should a juvenile be transferred to adult criminal court, these rights are restored. However, if tried as an adult, a juvenile will be subjected to prison sentences and a permanent criminal record.

A juvenile does have the right to:

  • Remain silent and decline to answer questions
  • Have an attorney present during questioning
  • Have a parent, custodian or guardian present during questioning

However, your defense goal should be to keep a juvenile out of the adult criminal justice system, and ensure that he or she is not tried as an adult.

Currently, 16- and 17-year olds are tried as adults in North Carolina, even for nonviolent offenses. In December of this year, that will change, and they will be tried and treated as juveniles until the age of 18. Currently, North Carolina is the only state that tries them as adults. The “Raise The Age” reform is estimated to keep more than 5,000 teenagers out of the criminal justice system every year, saving them from a permanent criminal record.

When A Juvenile Is Tried As An Adult

Young people who commit juvenile crimes such as drugs, weapons possession, assaults, alcohol/tobacco possession or usage and other serious felonies are automatically tried as adults.

There are three ways that an individual can be sent to adult criminal court for juvenile crmes:

  • Previous adult charge—if the juvenile has had a prior case transferred, they will always be sent to adult court
  • Discretionary waiver—should a juvenile of 13 or older be charged with an adult felony offense, the juvenile court can request a transfer to an adult criminal court
  • Mandatory waiver—a juvenile court is required to transfer a juvenile of 13 or older to adult criminal court if he or she is charged with an adult felony and there is a motion ordering the court to do so

If the prosecutor or court is asking for your child’s case to be transferred to adult criminal court, he or she can defend themselves against the request. The court must have probable cause demonstrated at a hearing before the transfer can take place.

Raleigh Juvenile Court Attorney

Dealing with juvenile court can be a harrowing experience, but a court-appointed attorney is not your only option. Having a defense attorney who can help you and your child through the system can make things a lot easier, and ensure that your child’s rights are protected.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He can aggressively defend your child in juvenile or adult court against any charges, major or minor, and work with you through the entire judicial process.  Call our juvenile defense attorney today at 919-832-0307 or use our contact page to schedule your free consultation.

Is There Such a Thing as “Attempted Drug Possession” in Raleigh, NC?

Drug possession as a charge can bring a number of outcomes depending on the type and quantity. North Carolina’s scheduling of drug severity spells out the penalties and specifics of the different charges, including possession.

But what if you attempted drug possession? Here we’ll discuss the types of possession and what that may mean to you if you’re arrested and charged.

NC’s Drug Possession Schedules

The state uses categories to distinguish Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) and rate their seriousness. Included in the schedule are the substances used to create the drugs.

Is There Such a Thing as "Attempted Drug Possession" in Raleigh, NC?

  • Schedule 1 – Includes but not limited to; Heroin, Peyote, and Ecstasy

 

  • Schedule 2 – Includes but not limited to; Cocaine, Morphine, and Methadone

 

  • Schedule 3 – Includes but not limited to; Anabolic Steroids, Ketamine, and some Barbiturates

 

  • Schedule 4 – Includes but not limited to; Valium, and Xanax

 

  • Schedule 5 – Includes but not limited to; OTC cough medicines that include codeine

 

  • Schedule 6 – Includes but not limited to; Marijuana, and Hashish

 

  • The entire schedule is available, including the penalties for possession. Trafficking is different than possession and therefore carries much higher penalties.

Types Of Possession

North Carolina has two types of possession:

·        Actual possession, in which the drug was on your person, you’re aware of it, the drug is readily available and you had the intent to use or dispose of it. For instance, you’re considered to be in actual possession if the drug is found in your pocket, in a wallet, bag, or another accessory.

·        Constructive possession, where you didn’t have actual possession, but you have intent and the capability to have control over the drug. This would include a drug in a car you were sitting and/or riding in, even if you were just a passenger and were not aware of the presence of the drugs.

Marijuana possession carries the least amount of penalties. The amount of sentencing you receive all depends on the amount you had in your possession:

  • For 0.5 oz or less—no jail time, but a fine of up to $200
  • For 0.5 – 1.5 oz—1 to 45 days jail time and a fine of up to $1,000
  • For 1.5 oz – 10 lbs—3 to 8 months of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000

Larger amounts of marijuana, or anything that looks like it’s packaged for sale or distribution, can upgrade your charges to a felony called Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver (PWISD). You could also be charged with drug trafficking.

North Carolina’s drug laws, including possession and trafficking, are available in their entirety online.

Fight Your Drug Possession Charge

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley is now an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend you and work towards the most favorable outcome. He can defend you against drug charges, fight any wrongful charges and work for a more reasonable sentence if convicted. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form.)