All posts by Chris Moreno

Domestic Violence In Raleigh, NC

It’s become commonplace to read news about violence in a relationship between two people, or in a home situation. Commonly called “domestic violence,” it can occur with individuals in personal relationships, including:

  • Domestic Violence In Raleigh, NCPersons currently or previously married
  • Unmarried individuals who are dating or were dating at one point
  • Unmarried individuals who currently live together, or previously lived together
  • Parents of the same child
  • Parent and child
  • Other relatives, including grandparents and child who act as a parent to a minor child

Domestic violence occurs in all types of homes without regard to race, sex, national origin, or socioeconomic status. In 2020, current statistics show that 43.9% of women and 19.3% of men experience some form of domestic violence in North Carolina. This moves the Tar Heel State into the ten states with the highest rate of domestic violence.

Types Of Domestic Violence

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) defines it as:

“. . .the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional/psychological abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence vary dramatically.”

The NCADV reports that every year, 10 million people are abused by an intimate partner. Family members such as children, siblings, parents, and grandparents can also potential targets of abuse through:

  • Physical violence, including restraining, striking, pushing, or other actions to cause harm
  • Verbal and emotional abuse, using statements to control and demean the other person, making them feel useless and empty
  • Psychological abuse, statements or actions made with the intent to strike fear in the victim
  • Stalking and “checking up,” unwanted and repeated surveillance against another person, including:
    • Showing up at home, work, or elsewhere without notice or an invitation
    • Following you going to work, errands, or elsewhere
    • Calling after being asked to stop
    • Calling work, school, friends, or relatives to ask about you
    • Sending unwanted letters, texts, emails, or voicemails
    • Waiting at places you frequent
    • Following and watching you on social media
    • Causing damage to your home, car, or other possessions
    • Leaving evidence that they’ve visited and are following you around
  • Financial abuse, in which the victim has no control over their finances, or is not allowed to work or even have money.

Victims can request Domestic Violence Protection Orders that offer them legal protection. Ex parte temporary orders are immediate, and protect the victim until trial, about ten days. Final domestic protection orders can last up to a full year. They are issued after a court hearing where the defendant can speak for him or herself in defense. These orders can be extended as needed.

Penalties

North Carolina does not have specific charges for domestic violence. Instead, a person arrested for will be charged for the specific crime, such as assault. Anything related to domestic violence incurs additional penalties. If the court discovers that the individual charged with a crime has a personal relationship with the victim, the records will show that the crime was domestic violence.

The court can include additional terms to probation, including:

  • Treatment, including medical and/or psychiatric as an inpatient
  • Successfully complete drug treatment and rehabilitation
  • Refrain from alcohol consumption and be subjected to monitoring
  • Require the defendant to remain at home except for school, work, etc.

Resources For Victims

There are remedies available for those in a difficult situation. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 24/7.

Domestic Shelters has a listing of shelters in the state where emergency help and housing is available.

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a list of service providers on its website (scroll down past the section on COVID Relief Funds.)

The North Carolina Department of Administration also has a list of programs for those in need of assistance.

If You’re Accused And/Or Charged

While domestic violence is a serious matter for victims, it’s also wielded as a weapon in divorces and child custody cases. Vindictive spouses and partners claim domestic violence with the idea that it will “help” their cases and goals. The intent may be to get full custody of children, a higher amount of financial support or settlement, or a larger share of marital property (such as the family home.) False accusations of domestic violence frequently backfire, but not until it’s done significant damage to the other party.

Accusing another person of anything is easy, including domestic violence. Even an accusation without any evidence can land someone in the back of a police car. It’s the call most police officers fear the most because it also puts them in danger while trying to diffuse tension. Once they arrive, they must make an arrest.

As a defendant, it’s important to adhere to and comply with any restraining orders that are issued against you. If you don’t, additional criminal charges can be filed, be arrested, and spend time in jail.

If you are accused of domestic violence, the only way to defend yourself is in court with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Failing to appear allows the court to issue a permanent order. Your attorney will work to protect your rights and help you avoid additional legal issues stemming from the original charges.

Domestic Violence Is A Serious Charge

If you’ve been charged with any form of domestic violence, you must have a strong defense when going to trial. Without it, you could be facing jail time.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC who can defend you against charges of domestic violence. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

 

Can You Be Sued For Breaking And Entering A Home Or Business In North Carolina?

Breaking and entering are generally considered to be a criminal act, for which you can be arrested. But if you do damage to someone’s property in the process of breaking and entering, can you can also be sued?

Civil Vs. Criminal

Can You Be Sued For Breaking And Entering A Home Or Business In North Carolina?Criminal charges are either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the intent. If someone just breaks into a home, it’s usually a misdemeanor.

Add larceny (theft) or another crime, such as the intent to terrorize someone, breaking into a house of worship, or breaking into a motor vehicle, and the charges become a felony. In either case, these criminal charges can trigger an arrest.

If an arrested individual causes a significant amount of damages, an affected person can choose to file a civil lawsuit to recover money for damages committed during the criminal activity.

Civil Damages

An individual who is the recipient of a breaking and entering attempt will frequently suffer damages as a result of the crime, such as:

  • Damage to a home, apartment or other dwellings
  • Damage to a vehicle, such as broken glass, broken doors, etc.
  • Property damage inside of the home or business, such as furniture, fixtures, plumbing, structural fixtures (such as damage to walls) or other private property

Much like a personal injury case, the plaintiff can also sue for compensatory damages for the costs of repair and/or replacement, as well as legal costs, medical costs, loss of wages, and other associated expenses. Punitive damages are also a possibility, as well as things like pain and suffering.

Statute Of Limitations

Someone who has suffered damages from an individual breaking and entering has three years from the date of the break-in to file a lawsuit for monetary compensation. North Carolina General Statutes section 1-52 details the conditions, including 5: For criminal conversation, or for any other injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract and not hereafter enumerated.

A civil suit for these damages is separate from a criminal case, tried in a different court. Even if an individual is incarcerated for breaking and entering, he or she can still be sued in civil court and served with a summons. The rules are the same for timeliness and jurisdiction whether or not the person is in prison, and it does not stop the civil process.

However, a person who intends to sue someone who committed breaking and entering should consult with an attorney before proceeding, especially if the damages are significant.

Defend Yourself Against Breaking & Entering

Being charged with breaking and entering doesn’t always follow with a conviction. With the right criminal defense, you could see your charges reduced, or even dropped.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC. Before working as a defense attorney, he was a Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He understands the criminal justice system and can represent you for a wide range of criminal charges.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

 

 

Facts and Penalties for DUID in North Carolina

While much attention is focused on the problem of alcohol-related driving and accidents, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) offers another possibility for arrest.

North Carolina law prohibits the operation of any motor vehicle while under the influence of “an impairing substance.” This includes alcohol as well as many types of drugs, some of which are legal.

Chapter 14(a) of the North Carolina statute states:

Alcohol, a controlled substance under Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, any other drug or psychoactive substance capable of impairing a person’s physical or mental faculties, or any combination of these substances.

The statute is far-reaching enough to include both legal and illegal drugs as well as alcohol.  North Carolina General Statutes Section 20-381.1 also states that an individual does not necessarily have to be intoxicated by a specific drug, only that the person has a Schedule 1 drug in his or her system at the time they were driving. However, the wide reach of the law may also include individuals who have chronic conditions that require certain types of drugs that could mimic the chemical structure of Schedule 1 substances.

Illegal Drugs

Facts and Penalties for DUID in North CarolinaThe usual Schedule 1 drugs are covered here:

  • Marijuana
  • Opiates such as heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Synthetic marijuana substances
  • Amphetamines and other stimulants
  • Other street drugs

Under other circumstances, these drugs also have other charges that could be levied. But during a traffic stop, they are not detectible with a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test.

Prescribed Drugs

Because of the state’s definition of a “psychoactive substance,” a range of drugs that are regularly and legally prescribed by a physician can also cause a DUID charge, including:

  • Antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs
  • Opiates prescribed as pain medications (i.e., Oxycontin, morphine, etc.)
  • Prescription antihistamines
  • Sedatives, such as Valium

This is just a shortlist of the many medications that can cause you to be impaired while driving.

Taking medication in a doctor’s office with the understanding that it could impair your ability to drive is not a defense and holds you to the same standard as someone driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. Law enforcement is also allowed to order chemical tests to detect drugs in the system.

Over The Counter Medications

You’ve probably seen the warning labels on medications about not operating heavy machinery while taking it. That’s because some drugs such as antihistamines (allergy medications) and cold and flu treatments (i.e., Nyquil, Theraflu) can make you tired and drowsy.

Over the counter (OTC) sleep treatments can be natural formulas such as melatonin and valerian, or they can be a combination of antihistamines and Diphenhydramine HCL (such as Unisom.) Other medications that cause fatigue include diarrhea/nausea medications. Some of these medications can leave you with drowsiness in the morning, just in time for you to head to work or school.

But even though you may consider them “safe” because they are readily available at any pharmacy, they can still cause you legal problems if you are in an accident while taking one of them.

Drug Interference

When taking prescription or OTC medications, it’s important to understand how they affect you before you ever get behind the wheel. This is particularly true of medications with warnings about drowsiness.

If you take more than one, it’s possible that the drug interaction can also cause drowsiness or even cause you to fall asleep while driving. Discuss your prescriptions and OTC meds with your doctor if you find yourself with the slightest bit of tiredness. It’s possible that they should be taken at different times of the day to avoid this side effect.

Consuming alcohol can also exacerbate the effects of a “sleepytime” medication if it’s taken around the same time. It may be wise to avoid alcohol altogether to prevent the interaction that could put you at risk of an accident, as well as avoiding the drug if possible to avoid times when you would be driving.

Penalties For DUID

Much like a DUI for alcohol, DUID can bring equally harsh penalties including:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment
  • License suspension of a year or more
  • Court costs
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Dramatic increase in car insurance rates
  • Vehicle seizures for habitual offenders

North Carolina has five levels of severity for DUI charges, from 1 through 5, with 1 being the most serious. Subsequent instances of DUI/DUID bring increased penalties, including a mandatory minimum jail time of one year, which can’t be suspended or waived.

Much like an alcohol-related conviction, a DUID means you’ll face other, more serious consequences, including issues with employment.

Call Raleigh’s Experienced DUID Attorney, Dewey P. Brinkley

Dewey P. Brinkley is a Raleigh attorney who can aggressively defend you against DUID charges and protect your rights in court. He will work with you to review all the evidence in your case and ensure that you have a fair trial.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your DUI case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

Charged With Resisting Arrest During Protests In Raleigh?

Free speech is still an American right. Expressions of free speech are protected by the First Amendment, and gatherings of these types have increased in numbers since the death of George Floyd in May. While many demonstrators were peacefully protesting, others were not, leading to violence and destruction in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Charlotte, and other cities around the Tar Heel State.

Police nationwide have arrested both peaceful protesters right alongside looters and violent mobs to prevent more vandalism and harm to residents. What do you do if you were in one of these protests and found yourself arrested?

The Right To Protest

Help When Charged With Resisting Arrest During Protests In RaleighProtesting comes under the First Amendment and “free speech.” This means that you have the right to express an opinion in public, anytime, anywhere, with some limitations. (Not all speech is “protected” by the First Amendment, such as inciting riots or “fighting words.”) Protests and demonstrations on private property, such as a place of business or employment, are not as protected.

However, protests that evolve into more than civil disobedience and involve illegal activity such as rioting, burning, looting, and other conduct that can cause injury or property damage can lead to arrest and other police intervention.

Large-scale demonstrations generally require permits to accommodate the additional police presence for the protection of attendees.

Resisting Arrest

North Carolina General Statutes, Article 30, Section § 14-223 states that:

“If any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

In addition to resisting arrest when you’re told, it also means interfering with any police officer who is doing his or her job. This includes the act of interfering when an officer is arresting someone else. Additional causes include using abusive language towards law enforcement, giving false information such as name and address, refusing to accept a citation, and preventing an officer from doing his or her job, such as interfering with another arrest.

Not complying with a police request can also be considered “resisting arrest,” based on the officer’s judgment. Therefore, it’s important at such a public event to allow the police to do their job, and comply with their requests.

If you’re charged with a different offense, such as disorderly conduct, actively resisting arrest can bring a second charge, even if the first one for disorderly conduct is eventually dropped. If you’re innocent of the original charge, resisting arrest is a separate charge for which you will be tried.

Should you be part of an arrest during a protest that turns dangerous or violent, you have the right to the criminal defense attorney of your choice. A defense attorney can help you through the court process and work to have the charges reduced or even dropped.

Need Help With Resisting Arrest Charges? Contact Raleigh’s Criminal Defense Attorney

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC. Before working as a defense attorney, he was a Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He understands the criminal justice system and has experience with resisting arrest as both misdemeanor and felony charges.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

Having Your Criminal Record Expunged In Raleigh.

A long-ago arrest and charge may be preventing you from getting employment, from obtaining housing (or evicted from public housing), and even student aid. Although most employers may go back seven years, there is no law prohibiting anyone from doing a complete criminal background check going back many more years.

Many people believe that after a certain point, a dismissal or a charge that didn’t lead to a conviction will simply “fall off” your record. This may be true of items on a credit record, but a criminal record is an entirely different matter. Unless you specifically petition the court to have something expuncted (also called “expunged”), that charge, arrest, or minor conviction will stay on your record forever.

It is possible to have a previous North Carolina criminal record expuncted. If you are successful, you can answer the question of a criminal record with a confident “no.”

What Is Expunction?

Having Your Criminal Record Expunged In Raleigh.It’s the process by which you request that the court eradicate a past charge, arrest, and in some cases, convictions. The request is made to a judge in the court where the arrest occurred, who reviews your records and makes the determination. If approved, the criminal record is destroyed by court order.

Note that this isn’t the same thing as a pardon, which is an order signed by the governor. An expunction is signed by a judge.

The UNC School of Government has a web-based tool called C-CAT that offers information on criminal convictions, and an additional site that includes information on expunction. They are for information only and do not offer legal advice.

What Charges Can Be Eliminated

Not all charges can be expuncted, and there are waiting periods for some convictions. Generally, you can request an expunction for:

  • A first-time conviction of a nonviolent offense
  • A first-time conviction of certain offenses committed before age 18/22
  • A charge that was dismissed or ruled as not guilty

It’s estimated that around 25% of North Carolina residents have some kind of criminal record, and many are eligible to take advantage of expunction. Even though the strict criteria limits the number of eligible cases, very few eligible people actually avail themselves to the expanded opportunities for expunction. It’s worth it to discuss the possibility with a Raleigh criminal defense attorney who understands the rules and laws around expunction.

Under North Carolina state law, (§15A-145.5(a)(8a)). DWI convictions are specifically excluded from expunction (as well as felony convictions that include violence.) DWI convictions can no longer be expuncted, no matter how old they are. Violent crimes as well as other more serious crimes are also ineligible for expunction.

The complete statute for North Carolina §15A-145 regarding expunction is available here.

Reduced Waiting Periods

The recent changes in the law mean that:

  • For a nonviolent misdemeanor, the waiting period is now five years
  • For a nonviolent felony, the waiting period is now ten years
  • Dismissals can be expuncted immediately since there is no time or number limit on them. Any number of dismissals can be expuncted. However, the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation is currently experiencing a backlog of cases since the law was passed.
  • These dismissals can be expuncted as long as the individual has not been convicted of a felony.

Some types of charges have filing fees involved, so check with the clerk of court prior to filing.

While it may be possible to request to have a criminal record expunged on your own, consult with an attorney who understands the process and can discuss your case and your chances of a successful outcome.

Ready To Let Go Of A Previous Charge?

Don’t let a previous arrest, charge or conviction stop you from living your life. Find out if you are eligible for expunction so you can finally be free of the past.

Dewey P. Brinkley has defended thousands of clients against various criminal charges and helped many with the expunction of a long-ago minor criminal record.  Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation. You can also email us at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.

Can You Be Charged For Possessing Drug Paraphernalia Without Any Drugs Present In Raleigh, NC?

During a routine traffic stop, a police officer finds that you’re in possession of some small, self-sealing clear plastic bags that are commonly used to hold jewelry and other small handmade items. Inexpensive, and purchased at a local craft store chain, they’re sold in packages of 150 and are available in sizes from 1½” x 2” to 4” x 6”.

But the officer doesn’t buy your explanation of your jewelry making business for craft shows and an Etsy store online, calling them “baggies.” Now, you’re facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia. What just happened?

Defining Drug Paraphernalia

In a literal sense, nearly anything that can be used in the production, packaging, or use of a drug can be considered “drug paraphernalia,” including everyday items like the aforementioned small plastic bags. The prosecutor must also prove that these items were intended for a drug-related use.

If the officer discovered drugs or drug residue on an item, this charge will generally accompany another one. Other ordinary items that could be considered drug paraphernalia include:

Can You Be Charged For Possessing Drug Paraphernalia Without Any Drugs Present In Raleigh, NC?

  • Plastic food storage bags of any size with a zipper-lock (i.e., “baggies”)
  • Scales of any kind, including kitchen food scales to measure small amounts
  • Items that can be used in drug processing such as:
    • Bowls
    • Blenders and other mixing tools
    • Spoons
    • Containers, such as balloons, envelopes, capsules and other items for compounding
    • Small-scale containers for storing
  • Containers used to store and/or conceal controlled substances

Other items that are considered drug paraphernalia include:

  • Pipes used for inhaling
  • Grinders
  • Bongs
  • Rolling papers (which can also be used for tobacco)
  • Planting/cultivation kits and equipment, including grow lights
  • Separation gins and sifters (to clean and remove twigs and seeds from marijuana)
  • Hypodermic syringes and needles for injecting controlled substances
  • Objects that assist with ingesting controlled substances, such as pipes and masks

The North Carolina Drug Paraphernalia Act has a complete listing of these items, as well as a description of different related charges.

Penalties

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by a jail term of 120 days and possibly fine at the judge’s discretion. However, this also depends on one’s past criminal history.

This charge is frequently combined with other drug-related charges, such as:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.)
  • Sale/intent to sell and deliver
  • Drug cultivation
  • Drug manufacturing
  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug distribution

A charge of marijuana paraphernalia (items used with marijuana consumption) is a Class 3 misdemeanor with lesser penalties.

Even though possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a misdemeanor, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. A criminal defense attorney can defend you against the charge or charges, as well as:

  • Challenge the circumstances of the search and arrest
  • Request the search warrant involved
  • Request if the officer had reason to believe that the items were used with or intended for use with drugs
  • Ensure that your rights are protected in court

Your charges may be dropped or reduced when your defense attorney raises these defenses.

Contact Dewey P. Brinkley For Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Raleigh

If you’ve been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, call us! It’s important to have strong legal counsel to help you fight the charges. Going to court without legal representation raises the odds that you will lose your case and see jail time that will affect every aspect of your life.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial. He has considerable experience defending those charged with drug-related offenses and works for the best possible outcome. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation.

Reasons You Could Get Your Driver’s License Suspended In Raleigh, NC

It’s happened—your driver’s license is suspended, and you need to get around. That means you’ll need to make arrangements to get around for a while. If you’ve been considering carpooling, taking public transit or bicycling to work for a while, you’ll be covered. But you’ll still need to deal with the suspension, and getting your license back.

Why Your License Was Suspended

North Carolina has a number of reasons why your license might be suspended, including multiple traffic violations.

Reasons You Could Get Your Driver's License Suspended In Raleigh, NCFor a single offense, you can lose your license for:

  • 30 days if you were driving over 55 mph and at least 15 mph over the speed limit
  • One year if you fail to stop and offer aid when involved in an accident
  • Three years for illegal street racing with another individual, which includes the seizure of your vehicle

Having more than one offense or conviction can also lead to a suspension:

  • One year if you have two or more convictions for driving over 55 mph and 15 mph over the speed limit.
  • A conviction of reckless driving and one of the aforementioned speeding
  • A conviction of speeding over 75 mph
  • A court sentence that prohibits your ability to operate a motor vehicle for a specific time period

You can also request a suspension hearing by calling your local DMV or writing to the DMV in Raleigh. They will notify you by mail of the time and place for your hearing. You can appeal their decision within 30 days.

Non-Driving Reasons For Suspension

So your driving record is perfect, but your license was still suspended? There could be another reason for that, including:

  • Not appearing in court for other traffic or parking tickets
  • Drug/alcohol rehab
  • Not paying court-ordered child support
  • Fraudulent actions
  • Leaving a vehicle running with an unattended child inside
  • Other court probations and/or violations

Suspension Vs. Revocation

A suspended driver’s license is only suspended for a period of time, such as 30 days. You will not have to re-apply for your driver’s license and re-take any tests. You may be required to pay fines to tickets as well.

A revocation indicates that your license was canceled completely, along with your driving privileges. Your license can be reinstated once you meet the state’s eligibility requirements.

Getting Your License Back

The suspension isn’t the same as a complete revocation, and you can drive again. Once your suspension period is over, you can have it restored by:

  • Paying a restoration fee of $65 to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  • An additional $50 fee if you didn’t turn your license into the DMV before the start of the suspension period
  • An additional $130 fee if your suspension was for Driving While Impaired (DWI)

Working with an attorney who specializes in driver’s license suspension can make the process easier, especially if you experience any obstacles in the process or need to file a DMV appeal.

You Can Drive Again

Having your driver’s license suspended is a serious inconvenience, and can cost a considerable amount of money if you’re unable to get to work or get around. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for getting your license back and your driving privileges restored. Call today: 919-832-0307 (or contact him online) to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.

Can I Go To Jail For Not Paying State Taxes In North Carolina?

Springtime in North Carolina brings a number of stressors, including filing tax returns. Although this year’s state and federal tax deadlines have been extended, you’re still responsible for taking care of both returns, federal and state, as well as paying tax amounts. North Carolina is also considering eliminating tax penalties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When you don’t complete your tax returns and fail to pay state taxes, you’re actually breaking the law. However, the penalties will depend on whether you made an honest mistake, or you deliberately committed fraud to avoid paying taxes.

Willful Failure

Tax Evasion and Financial Crimes DefenseIt is possible to receive jail time—and incur a criminal record—for not paying your state taxes.

North Carolina General Statutes Ch. 105 addresses the intentional failure to pay one’s state income taxes. According to the statute, “willful failure” is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can include jail time of as much as 120 days, as well as a discretionary fine.

The penalties for willful failure include:

  • 5% penalty per month, up to a maximum of 25% of the balance due
  • 10% late penalty
  • 20% “collection assistance” fee if you don’t pay within 90 days
  • An additional 50% “fraud penalty” upon conviction

Penalties can also include tax liens against properties and a damaged credit record.

Tax preparers who participate in willful failure or other misleading tax schemes can also be charged. Filing a “frivolous return” also incurs penalties, including a $500 fine.

Intentional Fraud

Tax fraud or tax evasion is the intentional act of submitting false and/or misleading information on a tax return in order to change the amount owed. Both the federal government and the state of North Carolina have penalties for purposely committing tax fraud.

In addition to the above sanctions, any actions that lead to under-paying state income taxes is a Class H felony, which carries potential jail time from 4 to 24 months. A conviction will also bring substantial financial penalties including fines and interest, as well as an additional 50% penalty of the defrauded amount.

Mistakes

It happens and is correctible. Making a mistake is not the same as a willful failure or intentionally committing fraud.

If you’ve made a mistake on your tax return, it’s easy to file an amended one. For a 2019 return, you’ll fill in the circle on Form D-400 indicating that you’re filing an amended return. Complete and attach the Form D-400 Schedule AM for a North Carolina Amended Schedule to the front of Form D-400.  Then attach all the required schedules and supporting forms.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley For Financial Crimes Defense

You really can go to jail for as long as 120 days for willful failure to file your North Carolina tax return.

If you’ve been charged with willful failure, tax evasion, or any financial crimes, you’ll need the help of a financial crimes defense attorney immediately to avoid a potential jail sentence, fines, and penalties, along with a permanent criminal record.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley immediately for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

 

Juvenile Crime Statistics in North Carolina

“Juvenile Justice” is the name given to the juvenile court system in North Carolina, emphasizing rehabilitation over incarceration. The idea is that it’s easier to help teenagers before they develop into a life cycle in and out of jail.

But North Carolina has seen a decrease in juvenile crime over the last few years, according to the 2018 annual report from the NC Department of Public Safety.

The Statistics

Juvenile Crime Statistics in North CarolinaThe latest report from DPS indicates that since 2010, juvenile crime has decreased by 41%.

Additionally, the report states that the number of teens who were destined to a detention center has dropped a whopping 62%.

School-based complaints went from 16,097 in 2010 to 10,453 in 2018, a decrease of 35%. 75% of the complaints were about male students, and 25% were for female students.

Trends for gang affiliations also went down from 8.7% in 2010 to 7.2% in 2018.

In Wake County, the latest available information indicates that for every 1,000 youth, the rate of delinquent complaints against juveniles ages 6 through 15 received by court services offices is 6.7.

In detention center admissions, 81% of admittees were male, and 19% were female. Of those that engaged in Youth Development Center Commitments, just 9% were female, and 91% were male.

Out of 11,136 juveniles, there were a total of 23,580 complaints, many of which can have multiple outcomes. Of those complaints, 16% were closed, 24% were diverted, and 50% were approved for court.

Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) data also shows that out of 21,248 high-risk youths that were served by community-based programs that offered successful alternatives, there was a 21% recidivism of these individuals in a three-year period.

Youth Education

The report also offers success stories on some of the students who participated in the Youth Development Center (YDC) education programs:

  • Twenty of the students passed all five sections (Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies) of the HiSet assessment to obtain their high school equivalency diplomas while enrolled in YDC. One student transitioned back to his community to begin job searching and was scheduled to begin attending community college courses in spring 2019.
  • Out of a total of 167 HiSet section tests taken, 81% of the students passed the tests, with 30% of test scores at the “College and Career Ready” level. Students enrolled in traditional middle or high school courses earned credit for 88% of classes, and 90% of students were promoted to the next grade level.
  • Stonewall Jackson YDC piloted a five-student vocational training program, called C-Tech. Learning skills in copper cabling and telecommunications, all five mastered the material and earned an industry-recognized certification.
  • Stonewall Jackson YDC also offered 48 students training through the horticulture and greenhouse operations program. Several worked toward a Master Gardener certification or a certification in greenhouse management.

Raise The Age

A significant factor in the decrease is the Raise The Age campaign, which successfully sought to raise the age of those charged in non-violent adult crimes to 18. Signed into law and implemented on December 1, 2019, the law allowed these teens to stay in out of the adult court system and avoid an adult criminal record.

North Carolina became the last state in the US to implement this change, allowing more 16- and 17-year olds to avoid criminal charges in adult court as an under-age offender for non-violent offenses. While these teenagers will still be held accountable for their actions, they will not have to suffer the lifelong consequences of an adult criminal charge.

Class A to G felonies committed by 16- and 17-year olds will still be transferred to adult court after a notice of indictment or a court that finds probable cause.

However, what has yet to be addressed is the fate of these teenagers who were already in the system when the law took effect.

Call Juvenile Crime Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley

If your child has been charged with a crime, it’s important to find a juvenile court attorney who can investigate and determine your chances at trial and keep your child’s case in the juvenile court system and out of adult criminal court. Alternative sentencing, education, and training and other similar state services may be available in lieu of jail time, but you might not be aware of these options on your own.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He can aggressively defend your child in juvenile or adult court against any criminal charges, major or minor. He will work to ensure a fair trial and that your child’s rights are protected.  Call today at 919-832-0307 or use our contact page to schedule your free consultation.

How Bad Is A “Disorderly Conduct” Charge In Raleigh, NC?

Of all the things a person could be charged with, “disorderly conduct” sounds rather tame. Another name for it is “disturbing the peace.”

But if it happens to you, realize that it’s because a police officer interpreted your conduct—whatever it was—as a disturbance. When you reach trial, it will be up to a judge to determine if what you were doing actually was disorderly conduct. That’s where a criminal defense attorney can make the difference.

Take even a first-time charge seriously. However tame it sounds, you could still be convicted, serve time in jail, pay fines, and walk away with a criminal record.

What North Carolina Considers Disorderly Conduct

North Carolina Code §14-288.4How Bad Is A "Disorderly Conduct" Charge In Raleigh, NC? describes disorderly conduct as “a public disturbance intentionally caused by any person” who commits any one of a number of described actions, such as:

  • Fighting or other violent activity
  • Abusive language, including abusive gestures
  • Overtaking school premises without permission
  • Refusing to leave a building after being asked to by either law enforcement or other administrator
  • Interfering with or otherwise disrupting the teaching of students in any educational environment
  • Congregating in any fashion after being told not to by law enforcement or other administrators
  • Disturbing the peace on a school bus
  • Interfering with or otherwise disturbing any religious activity

“Failing to disperse” is a similar charge that is sometimes used when three or more individuals do not leave as ordered by law enforcement after a period of time or creates the risk of injury to another person.

What Happens If I’m Arrested?

When you or a family member is charged with disorderly conduct and/or failure to disperse, it’s important to act quickly to be ready for a court appearance, and with good legal representation.

After your arrest, a judge may require you to post bail to leave, depending on any prior convictions you may have, and if the judge considers you to be a flight risk. If not, you may be released on a promise to appear for your court date without bail.

Right away, it’s time to find and retain legal counsel to begin building your defense. You need to be represented in court by someone who will defend you against the charges and give you the best chance at a positive outcome.

Convictions And Sentencing

For a first offense, you may be required to pay a fine without jail time. However, the judge’s discretion determines your sentencing.

Since Disorderly Conduct is a Class 2 misdemeanor, it’s possible to be sentenced to 60 days in jail with a $1,000 fine for a first offense. Second offenses are classified as a Class 1 felony, increasing jail time to as much as 12 months in prison. Third and subsequent offenses become Class H felonies, with as much as 25 months in prison.

If convicted, a criminal defense attorney may be able to get your charges reduced to a misdemeanor, or possibly dismissed outright.

Defending Yourself

When you find yourself in charged with disorderly conduct, remember to:

  • Never resist arrest, even if you’re wrongly charged—that’s a separate charge for which you can be convicted
  • Strongly exercise your right to remain silent, and only speak with your lawyer, no one else. Literally, anything you say can (and likely will) be used against you later.
  • Find and retain a skilled and experienced Raleigh criminal defense lawyer who will investigate your case and create a compelling and persuasive defense strategy to have your charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.

Gather any available evidence that can prove your innocence as well, from digital information such as GPS coordinates, texts, and emails to physical evidence such as photographs, tickets, or other information that can positively prove your whereabouts at the time the crime was committed. Your attorney can use them when building your defense.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley For Disorderly Conduct Charges

False accusations do happen, but even if you have committed a crime, a strong defense is your best chance in court.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law. He has considerable experience defending those charged with disorderly conduct and works for the best possible outcome. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation.