All posts by Dewey Brinkley

GPS Tracking Your Spouse Could Land You In Jail

Raleigh NC Criminal Defense Attorney

GPS Tracking Your Spouse Could Land You In Jail

Today’s technology, and the technologies coming in the future, have certainly had substantial effects on privacy. Parents are able to track their children through GPS and other tracking software, and if a husband or wife wants to track his/her spouse, he/she certainly has the tools available at his/her fingertips.

GPS Tracking Your Spouse Could Be Illegal | Raleigh Defense Attorney

As such, when the spouse or significant other is spending more time away, they are getting late-night calls or text messages, or you’re having a divorce and you want to find out if your spouse has been having an affair (or is hiding marital assets), you might feel like a little spying is the best way to satisfy your suspensions. Nevertheless, spying on your spouse, whether through GPS or other methods, could be illegal and it could land you in jail.

If you were arrested for spying on your spouse, or for any other domestic relations issues, you’ll need an experienced Raleigh domestic violence and criminal defense lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and vigorously defend your case in Raleigh or Wake County courts. For a free consultation with attorney Brinkley, call our Raleigh criminal defense law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

Possible Criminal Penalties for Spying

There are many tools cheaply and widely available today that were once reserved for intelligence operatives, and things like GPS tracking have become common among spouses, private investigators, and others. In many cases, all the spouse needs to do is attach a GPS device to his/her partner’s car, and then watch the partner’s movements.

Numerous states across the US, however, have strict “anti-spying” laws, where things like GPS tracking and even recording phone conversations can result in a misdemeanor or even a felony. This is especially true if the car (that has the GPS tracking device) is not owned by you or where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

In North Carolina, using GPS tracking on your spouse could result in civil action, and you may be required to pay damages for:

  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish
  • Humiliation
  • Damage to health due to stress and other factors

If you are found guilty of violating the Federal Wire Tapping Act, the very least that North Carolina courts can do is order you to stop the illegal spying acts. If you continue to violate the Federal Act, you could be subject to fines of $500 and you could be facing up to five years in prison.

Additionally, if you are found to be violating the North Carolina Electronic Surveillance Act, you could be looking at a Class H Felony.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Brinkley ASAP

The Federal Wire Tapping Act and the North Carolina Electronic Surveillance Act are most likely the two statues that Wake County courts will use to prosecute you. However, whether or not the GPS tracking is a violation of these laws depend on the unique circumstances of your case. As such, if you were charged with illegal spying, you need to contact your Raleigh criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Although this is a complex area of law, attorney Dewey Brinkley fully understands federal and NC laws, and he can provide a vigorous, thorough criminal defense with the goal of proving your innocence, getting the charges dropped, or achieving reduced or alternative sentencing.

To speak with attorney Brinkley, call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley today at (919) 832-0307. Free consultations are available.

Don’t Spend The New Years In Jail – How To Avoid Getting A DWI

Raleigh DWI Attorney Dewey Brinkley

Don’t Spend the New Years in Jail – How to Avoid Getting a DWI

New Years is one of the biggest party nights of the year, packed full of good cheer, friends and family, good food, and, of course, alcohol. While New Years is a night for memories, the risks for a DWI are also highly escalated. Drunk-driving fatalities often occur around the holidays, including New Years, and every year, Raleigh and Wake County law enforcement are intensely trying to reduce alcohol-related road fatalities by being extra diligent towards suspected drunk drivers.

Instead of spending your New Years in jail, you need to take the extra steps to avoid getting a DWI on New Year’s Eve. The most important (and the easiest) way is to not drive after you’ve drunk alcohol. However, if you were arrested for DWI on New Year’s Eve, make sure to call Raleigh DWI attorney Dewey P. Brinkley as soon as possible. We offer free consultations, and we’ll get started on your case as soon as we hear from you.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley for your Raleigh DWI attorney at (919) 832-0307.

Penalties for DWI in North Carolina

There are no happy holiday endings for drunk drivers, and North Carolina law enforcement, courts, and prosecutors will heavily prosecute individuals charged with drunk driving.

If you’re under 21 years old, the penalties for underage drunk driving (if your BAC is under 0.08) may include court fees, fines, jail time, and license suspensions. If your BAC is above 0.08, you may be looking at any of the following penalties:

Level 5 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $200 fine
  • Between 24 hours and 60 days in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Level 4 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $500 fine
  • Between 48 hours and 120 days in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Level 3 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $1,000 fine
  • Between 72 hours and 6 months in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Level 2 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $2,000 fine
  • Between 7 days and 12 months in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Level 1 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $4,000 fine
  • Between 30 days and 24 months in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Aggravated Level 1 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • Between 12 months and 36 months in jail
  • Continued alcohol monitoring
  • Substance abuse assessments

Prior convictions or aggravating factors can dramatically increase the penalties for a DWI. Some aggravating factors may include:

  • Being grossly impaired or having a BAC of 0.15 or more
  • Reckless or dangerous driving
  • Negligent driving that led to an accident
  • Driving with a revoked license

Plan a Sober Ride Home

The penalties for drunk driving on New Year’s Eve are certainly harsh, and due to the increased dangers this night, police and prosecutors might not hesitate to deliver the most severe penalties possible. As such, with the prospect of jail and substantial penalties, and the possibility of gravely injuring other people, the best way to avoid a DWI on New Years is to not drive drunk. Plan a sober ride home instead. Contact a taxi, rideshare, or try to organize with a sober driver.

Contact Raleigh DWI Attorney Dewey Brinkley

If you are arrested for a DWI on New Years, don’t panic and call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh NC as soon as possible. With decades of experience representing and defending individuals charged with drunk driving related offenses, DWI attorney Brinkley will thoroughly guide you through the legal process while aggressively defending your case at every stage. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Raleigh DWI defense law firm, call us today at (919) 832-0307.

What is the Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault?

Criminal law is an extremely nuanced field where specific details can have a major impact. In criminal courts in North Carolina, the guilt or innocence of the alleged offender can depend on a single detail; it is the same with punishments regarding the severity of a crime. For instance, aggravated assault can result in years behind bars, while an assault charge can result in lesser penalties.

Assault & Aggravated Assault | Raleigh Defense Attorney Dewey Brinkley

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we boast full and in-depth knowledge of North Carolina laws, especially regarding the differences between severe crimes, such as aggravated assault, and less severe crimes, such as assault. In this post, we’ll explain the difference between these two offenses, and how each ruling may affect your future.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one was charged with assault or aggravated assault, it’s critical to call the leading Raleigh criminal defense attorney in the Wake County area. Call attorney Dewey Brinkley today for a free consultation.

Misdemeanor Assault and Battery Crimes

In order to best understand the differences in law and penalties for assault and battery, it can be helpful to look at the various levels of assault in North Carolina. The lowest level of assault is misdemeanor assault, and there are three levels of misdemeanor assault and battery, including:

  • Assault that involves physically injuring someone else
  • Attempting to commit assault, involving a show of force that makes assault imminent
  • Affray, or a fight between two people in a public area, that frightens others

The North Carolina laws detailing misdemeanor assault include N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 14-32 and 14-33.

It is important to note that simple assault and affray result in minor physical injuries. In this situation, the alleged offender may be looking at a Class 2 misdemeanor. With no prior convictions, a Class 2 misdemeanor may result in probation and a sentence of 1 to 30 days in jail (with prior convictions, the jail time may be increased to 60 days).

Serious Assault, Assault and Battery, and Affray

If the alleged assault included more serious injuries, certain victims, or specific weapons, the penalties can be increased to Class A1 or Class 1 misdemeanors. For instance:

  • Serious injury – Although N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-33 doesn’t define serious injury, many North Carolina courts will consider a serious injury as one that could require medical attention (the victim doesn’t necessarily need to get medical attention). An assault that inflicts serious injury is a Class A1 misdemeanor.
  • Using a deadly weapon – A deadly weapon is one that could kill an individual, including guns, knives, and blunt objects, as well as any other object used in a deadly manner. Using a deadly weapon to commit assault is a Class A1 misdemeanor.

A Class A1 misdemeanor is punishable by 1 to 60 days of probation, supervised probation, or jail time. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by 1 to 45 days of probation or jail time.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is the more severe assault charge in North Carolina, and it is a Class E or Class C felony, depending on the circumstances of the alleged charge. In general, for an assault offense to be a felony, it either needs to involve very serious injuries or use of a deadly weapon.

Assault with a deadly weapon, when coupled with serious injury or deadly intent, is a Class E felony. A Class E felony may be punishable by 15 to 31 months in prison.

Assault with a deadly weapon is a Class C felony when both intent to kill and serious injury are present. If convicted of a Class C felony, the offender could be punished by a prison term between 44 and 98 months.

Contact Raleigh Defense Attorney Dewey Brinkley

Whether convicted of misdemeanor assault or felony assault, it’s critical to contact a prominent and skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we’ve successfully defended many individuals charged with assault in North Carolina, and we have the legal resources and know-how to help you too.

To speak with attorney Brinkley regarding the details of your case, call our Raleigh law firm at (919) 832-0307. Free consultations are available.

Will 18-Year Olds Soon Be Tried As Juveniles?

At first thought, most people think of juveniles as being 18 years old or younger, while adults are over 18 years old. However, in the North Carolina legal system, this isn’t necessarily so. If you are a 16-year-old in North Carolina (one of two states in the USA that follow this distinction), you can and will be tried as an adult for both violent and non-violent crimes.

North Carolina Juvenile Law | Juvenile Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley

As one of the leading juvenile defense attorneys in Raleigh, we are often confronted with the question, “Why isn’t my 16-year-old son/daughter being charged as a juvenile?” Historically, the law in North Carolina designated 16-year-olds olds as adults, no matter if the juvenile was charged with a misdemeanor or felony. However, this law may soon change.

If you are a juvenile, or a parent of a juvenile, and you were charged with a crime, don’t hesitate and contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh. We offer professional, comprehensive criminal defense strategies, and our goal is to prove your innocence, get the charges dropped, or reduce the penalties and long-term consequences of the alleged charges. Call us today at (919) 832-0307.

Possible Changes in North Carolina Juvenile Law

There are only two states in the United States that put adult criminal responsibility on 16-year-olds, including North Carolina and New York. Unfortunately, the statistics regarding youths in adult prisons is not very positive. For instance, youths in adult prisons are more likely to re-offend, and although juvenile records are sealed, youths convicted as an adult will face a criminal record which may haunt them for years to come.

The goal is to turn this system around. The North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, convened by the North Carolina Supreme Court, released a preliminary proposal in August 2016, asking the state to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18. The General Assembly may consider this proposal in 2017.

In short, if this proposal is accepted, the 18-year-olds may be charged as juveniles for most non-violent crimes and some violent crimes.

Exceptions to the Proposed Changes

There are some exceptions to the proposed changes. For instance, the proposed changes don’t apply to juveniles charged with first-degree murder. The proposed changes may also not apply to the law that allows 13-year-olds to be transferred to adult courts for especially serious or violent crimes.

Nonetheless, most youths don’t commit violent crimes, especially murder. Most North Carolina youth are convicted of non-violent crimes related to drugs and larceny.

Contact Raleigh Juvenile Attorney Dewey Brinkley

These proposed changes will have a major impact on juvenile courts in North Carolina, and it’s always important to have a full understanding of the law if you or your child is arrested in Raleigh, Wake County, or throughout North Carolina.

No matter the exact age of the alleged juvenile offender, we at the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley will do everything under North Carolina law to mitigate the consequences as much as possible. Whether drug crimes, non-violent crimes, or even violent crimes, we realize that adult courts can have dramatic consequences that may lead some convicted juveniles to re-offend and face other difficulties in terms of schooling, housing, and finding a job.

To speak with attorney Brinkley regarding your case, make sure to call our Raleigh law firm as soon as possible. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our firm, call us today at (919) 832-0307.

Yes, You Can Be Ticketed For Texting And Driving – Even If You’re Not Moving

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, people from all over Raleigh and Wake County call us or stop by our office with questions regarding traffic law in North Carolina. One comment that we often hear (surprisingly) is, “I was ticketed for texting and driving, but I wasn’t even moving.” In North Carolina, it is not illegal to use a cell phone while driving (except in certain circumstances), but the state has banned all texting while driving.

Raleigh NC Texting While Driving Attorney | Dewey Brinkley Law

If you were ticketed for texting and driving, you can benefit by calling the leading Raleigh traffic attorney, Dewey P. Brinkley. We will work closely with you, one-on-one, to try and mitigate the consequences of this ticket, and we provide professional service while protecting your interests. For a free, no-obligation consultation with Raleigh defense attorney Dewey Brinkley, call our law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

Texting and Driving Laws in North Carolina

In North Carolina, there is no law banning mobile, hand-held phone use while driving, except for drivers under 18 years old and school bus drivers. However, the State of North Carolina bans all texting while driving, and if a police officer sees you texting (or emailing, messaging, etc) while driving, then the police officer can pull you over and issue a citation.

It is important to note, that in an attempt to reduce and eliminate driving while texting (which is said to be almost as dangerous as driving while impaired), police officers can give you a ticket for texting while driving even if you aren’t moving. The specific statute regarding this law is § 20-137.4A, and it states:

  • “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area while using a mobile telephone to:
    • (1) Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or
    • (2) Read any electronic mail or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored in the device nor to any caller identification information.

In other words, if you are looking at your phone in your lap, or simply have your phone in your hand, then a police over may be able to pull you over on the grounds you were texting and driving. In some cases, police officers may issue a ticket for reckless or careless driving, as opposed to texting while driving.

However, and this is important, the law doesn’t apply to GPS, apps, and games. This somewhat muddies the differences between texting and, for example, setting a destination in your GPS. Technically, to charge you for this traffic violation in a court of law, the judge would have to prove that 1) you were using the smartphone and 2) you were conducting text-based communications.

Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley

There are many nuances to this law, and, in some cases, it can be difficult to prove that you were, in fact, texting while driving. Nonetheless, if you weren’t moving (aside from being lawfully stopped or parked), you can still receive the ticket. If found guilty, you could be facing a $100 fine and the costs of the court. If you’re a school bus driver, as defined in G.S. 20-137.4(a)(4), and you were caught texting while driving, you could be facing a class 2 misdemeanor.

If you were pulled over and ticketed for driving while texting, whether you were moving or not, make sure to call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley as soon as possible. We offer professional, experienced-backed criminal defense. Call our Raleigh law firm at (919) 832-0307 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

New Felony Goes Into Effect Dec 1 – Boating While Impaired

Beginning on December 1st, there’s a new felony in North Carolina that you should be aware of: boating while impaired. This law, and the increased penalties associated with it, are due to a crackdown on drunk boating. As such, starting on December 1st, you can be convicted of a felony if you were impaired, driving a boat, and you caused serious injury or death.

Boating While Impaired Defense Attorney | Dewey P. Brinkley Law

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we have defended many individuals charged with DUI and other alcohol-related offenses. We understand the difficulty and anxiety associated with these charges. As one of the leading criminal defense attorneys in Raleigh, we will give your case a comprehensive, strong defense. To speak with attorney Brinkley regarding your case, call our Raleigh office today at (919) 832-0307.

The Boating While Impaired Law in North Carolina

Boating while impaired is not a new law in North Carolina. In the past, boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and with a BAC of 0.08 and above, could result in a misdemeanor. According to G.S. 75A-10(b1), “No person shall operate any vessel while underway on the waters of this State:

  1. While under the influence of an impairing substance, or
  2. After having consumed sufficient alcohol that the person has, at any relevant time after the boating, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.”

Additionally, the law bans any individual from “manipulat[ing] any water skis, surfboard, nonmotorized vessel, or similar device on the waters of this State while under the influence of an impairing substance.”

Violating either of these laws can result in a class 2 misdemeanor. The new law, however, expands on the punishments of boating while impaired. Called Sheyenne’s Law, the law is named after 17-year-old Sheyenne Marshall, who was killed on Lake Norman in 2015 by a drunken boater. In addition to Sheyenne, there were also 25 other boating deaths in North Carolina in 2015, and nearly half of them involved alcohol.

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence

If you’re caught driving a boat or using water skis (or other non-motorized vessels) while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be facing a class 2 misdemeanor. In North Carolina, this may involve 1 to 60 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment. An active punishment signifies jail time, and intermediate and community punishments mean that the judge can impose alternate penalties.

The new boating while impaired law, which takes effect on December 1st, alters this penalty structure. Sheyenne’s Law makes it a felony if an impaired boater causes serious injury or death. The specific penalties are as follows:

  1. If an incident causes great bodily injury, then it may be punishable by a fine of $5,000 to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
  2. If an incident results in death, then it may be punishable by $10,000 to $25,000 fine and up to 25 years in prison.

Operating a sailboat or a powerboat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, without property damage or serious injury, is still a misdemeanor. For a first offense, the alleged offender could be looking at $200 fine or up to 30 days in jail. For a second offense, the penalties may include $2,000 to $5,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. For a third offense, the penalties may include $3,500 to $6,000 in fines and up to three years in jail.

No matter the charge, even if it was just your first offense, you may also lose your boating privileges. A first offense may restrict your boating privileges by around six months, while a third offense could keep you from driving a boat for up to three years.

Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley

Boating while impaired is certainly dangerous, and Sheyenne’s Law is North Carolina’s attempt at making the state’s lakes and rivers increasingly safe. Nonetheless, the law can be complicated, and if you were arrested for boating while impaired, you need to call the most experienced criminal defense lawyer in the Raleigh area. At the Law office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we’ve successful defended many individuals charged with DWIs as well as boating while impaired charges.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with defense attorney Dewey Brinkley, call our Raleigh law firm today at 919-832-0307.

What Constitutes “Expert Testimony” in a Criminal Trial?

Some crimes, ranging from violent crimes to white-collar crimes, involve complex circumstances. Whether those circumstances includes convoluted financial transactions or voluminous documents, the State or the defense may wish to assist the jury in wading through this information through an expert testimony.

Expert Testimony in NC Criminal Trials | Raleigh Defense Atty Brinkley

Expert testimony can be a useful tool in criminal trials, whereas the defense calls on an expert in some field to clarify facts or further define the defense to the jury. Nonetheless, if using expert testimony, you need a highly experienced defense attorney who can achieve the most benefit from the expert. Depending on the unique circumstances of the case, Raleigh NC criminal defense attorney Dewey Brinkley may consider using expert testimony. To speak to attorney Brinkley about the circumstances of your case, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

Expert Testimony in North Carolina Criminal Trials

North Carolina law (Chapter 8C, Article 7) describes many of the legal rules and other aspects of using expert testimony in criminal trials. Although substantial controversy existed in North Carolina courts regarding the use of expert testimony, the nominal North Carolina Supreme Court case Howerton v. Arai Helmet, Ltd put much of this controversy to rest.

Essentially, this controversy refers to when an expert testimony is admissible in the court proceedings. The Howerton case rejected the U.S. Supreme Court’s gatekeeping test and reiterated its previous three-part test, which includes:

  1. Is the expert’s proffered method of proof sufficiently reliable as an area for expert testimony?
  2. Is the witness testifying at trial qualified as an expert in that area of
  3. Is the expert’s testimony relevant?

If these three aspects apply to the expert testimony, then the testimony may be admitted to the case.

Testimony By Experts

The prosecution and the defense cannot handpick an individual off the street and claim “expert testimony.” Instead, expert testimony is only admissible in court “if scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” Furthermore, the witness must be qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, who can testify in the form of an opinion.

Lastly, the following conditions must apply to the expert testimony:

  1. The testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data.
  2. The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods.
  3. The witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.

Expert Testimony on Character or a Trait of Character

When it comes to the character of the accused, and whether the accused’s character or trait of character may shed light on his/her role in the crime (or lack of a role in the crime), expert testimony is not admissible. Although there are several reasons for this, the main reason is that circumstantial evidence of character is not a suitable piece of evidence in a criminal trial.

Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh NC

Especially in cases where the defendant is facing severe punishments, expert testimony can be a very important tool to help clarify and further explain some highly technical details. At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we’ll only call for expert testimony when it is legally admissible and when the case can benefit from it. At the same time, we boast years of experience challenging the state’s expert testimony, and how that testimony relates to the alleged offenses.

If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony in North Carolina, make sure to call the leading Raleigh criminal defense attorney. For a free, no-obligation consultation with attorney Dewey Brinkley, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

Does My Child Have to Disclose a Juvenile Arrest When Applying for a Job?

When your son or daughter was arrested as a juvenile, it’s understandable to feel a bit worried for their future. This is especially true when it comes to job aspects or other applications that require a criminal background check. After an arrest and conviction, whether for a misdemeanor or a felony as a juvenile, it’s important to understand some of the challenges and barriers that your child may face when looking for a job.

Juvenile Arrest Records in Raleigh NC | Juvenile Defense Attorney

As the leading juvenile criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh, NC, attorney Dewey P. Brinkley boasts years of experience representing juveniles. As a diligent and knowledgeable defense attorney, we can provide a rigorous defense following an arrest; after a conviction, however, we can help with criminal record expungements as well. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Raleigh law firm, call us today at (919) 832-0307.

Does My Child Have to Disclose a Juvenile Arrest?

In North Carolina, the juvenile code typically limits access to juvenile records by public and state entities, and there is little opportunity for future employers or colleges to access these records. Under certain circumstances, however, others may be able to access your child’s juvenile records.

Furthermore, the disposition of a juvenile case (in legalese, “disposition” essentially refers to the court’s decision of a case) is known as an adjudication, and not a
conviction. As such, if the job application asks whether the applicant was convicted of a crime, you are telling the truth by saying “No.”

According to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7B-3000, a juvenile’s record (which contains all documents or information referring to arrests, complaints, referrals, juvenile petitions, and orders) is generally confidential. There are some exceptions to this confidentiality, including:

  • Probation officers and prosecutors may share information with other law enforcement individuals
  • Court counselors and prosecutors may access your child’s record
  • The child’s school principal can access the child’s record (the principal must be notified if the child was adjudicated for an act that would be a felony)
  • Specific agencies can access the child’s record, such as agencies investigating child abuse or neglect
  • The child’s attorney, his/her parents, and the child him/herself can access the records
  • The juvenile record can be disclosed under court order

Expunging or Sealing a Juvenile Court Record

Even if the juvenile record is confidential in North Carolina, it still exists. This can bring some anxiety for both the child and his/her parents. Fortunately, North Carolina law understands that juveniles sometimes make mistakes.

When “removing” these records from the child’s file, there are two options: sealing and expungement. In terms of sealing, it is the juvenile court judge who has the authority to seal records at the time of the court proceedings.

For maximum confidentiality, the child can have his/her records expunged after turning 18. An expunged record functions as if it doesn’t exist, and the child is never required to disclose information about the expunged juvenile record (except in very specific, rare circumstances).

To expunge your child’s record, he/she he may file a petition for expungement in the court of his or her adjudication.

There are some exceptions to expungement, however. If the child was arrested for  Class A, B1, B2, C, D, or E felonies, and the child was charged as an adult, then he/she may be unable to expunge those records.

Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley

If your child was arrested for a crime and adjudicated in juvenile court, then he/she may be able to expunge his/her juvenile records at the appropriate time. At the time of arrest, however, you can always benefit by having an experienced and competent juvenile defense attorney. At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC, we’ve successfully defended numerous juveniles for a wide variety of alleged offenses, and we can also help with your record expungement as well.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with attorney Brinkley, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

What is the Difference Between a DWI and a Wet Reckless Charge?

Being arrested for a DWI can present some serious consequences in North Carolina. Although a DWI is not a felony, it is still a serious criminal offense, especially when various aggravating factors are involved. However, with the help of an experienced and diligent Raleigh DWI defense attorney, you may be able to receive a reduced sentence or plea bargain in North Carolina courts.

Wet Reckless Charges in NC | Raleigh DWI Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley

When reducing an offender’s sentence to a less serious crime, the courts may offer a “wet reckless” charge. A wet reckless charge is, essentially, a reduced plea arrangement where the driver pleads to reckless driving with alcohol involved (hence, the “wet reckless” term). If you’ve been charged with a DWI in the Raleigh and Wake County areas, we at the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley will fight for your innocence, but if the evidence is truly stacked against you, we will do everything under North Carolina law for a mitigated sentence.

What is a “Wet Reckless” Charge?

When drinking and driving, the driver is being reckless in his/her actions. A dry reckless charge generally involves excessive speeding or other actions that put other drivers (or the public) at risk. A wet reckless charge, on the other hand, is reckless driving involving alcohol; this charge is more serious than reckless driving but less serious than a DWI charge.

Due to public pressure and strict punishments for driving while intoxicated, prosecutors can be hesitant to offer a plea bargain and a wet reckless charge. In North Carolina courts, however, a wet reckless charge may be an option for first offenders who’s arrest involved several mitigating circumstances, such as:

  • The defendant’s first DWI in North Carolina or any other state
  • The defendant was impaired by alcohol, and not any other substance
  • The defendant’s BAC was 1.0 or under
  • The defendant has a safe driving record
  • The defendant was polite and cooperative with officers

Second Arrest for a DWI in North Carolina

Because a wet reckless charge offers several benefits over a DWI charge, North Carolina courts often include several conditions with the reduced charge. Of course, one condition is to not drink and drive again. If the defendant is arrested again for DWI, then the previous wet reckless charge will count as a prior DWI for sentencing purposes.

Penalties for DWI vs. Penalties for Wet Reckless

DWIs in North Carolina carry fairly severe penalties, even for a first offense. Even a first DWI can carry six months of jail time as well as hefty fines. Furthermore, a DWI stays on the defendant’s criminal record, which could affect current or future job prospects and professional licensing.

As a reduced offense, a wet reckless charge carries several advantages. A wet reckless charge calls for much lighter penalties, and having this charge on your record is certainly less serious. In general, the fines are lower, there is less of a possibility for jail time, and license suspension or revocation is less likely.

Specifically, a DWI is presumptively a Class 1 misdemeanors in North Carolina, while a reckless charge is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Moreover, a DWI puts 12 points on the defendant’s insurance, suspending his/her license for at least a year. A wet reckless is 4 points on the defendant’s insurance and 4 points on his/her license.

Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley Today

The chance of achieving a wet reckless charge may be slim, but it’s nonetheless a possibility. If there is overwhelming evidence proving your guilt in a DWI stop, then you and your attorney should consider a wet reckless charge as a possibile option. To speak with the leading Raleigh NC criminal defense and DWI attorney, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

What is a SCRAM Bracelet and How Does It Work?

Following a DWI or another alcohol-related arrest, the court may order a “Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring” bracelet, also known as the SCRAM bracelet. This bracelet is fairly well-known from its media portrayals, and it essentially provides the North Carolina courts with a way for courts to monitor people, 24/7, who have been ordered to not drink alcohol.

If you’ve been arrested for a DWI, domestic violence that involved alcohol, or another alcohol-related offense, then call Raleigh NC criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Instead of extensive jail time and huge fines, the courts may order a SCRAM bracelet for a certain period of time. This may be advantageous as an alternative punishment, and it’s always good to have an experienced attorney to provide a rigorous legal defense based on your interests. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call our Raleigh criminal law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

What is Court-Ordered Alcohol Monitoring?

When an individual is arrested for an alcohol-related crime, the court may order the defendant to stop drinking as an alternative to more severe punishments. This is because, in many cases, the defendant has a history (or is beginning a history) of criminal action that’s caused by alcohol consumption. If the defendant keeps drinking during this period, the court concludes that jail or more extreme punishments may be the only solution for vindication.

In addition to DWI cases, the court may order alcohol monitoring in domestic violence cases, defendants under the age of 21 who were caught drinking, and for drug addicts who drink as part of their addiction. Generally, the court will order the defendant to wear a bracelet for a set period of time, such as between 60 and 90 days. Sometimes, alcohol monitoring can last as long as a year, as a term of probation or parole.

Alcohol monitoring devices, such as the SCRAM bracelet, are designed with anti-tampering features. If the defendant tries to remove the bracelet, or tampers with it in any way, or the device reports alcohol consumption, the monitoring device will notify the courts.

How Does the SCRAM Bracelet Work?

A SCRAM bracelet works by taking measurements of the offender’s perspiration every 30 minutes. By reading the offender’s perspiration, the bracelet can tell if the wearer has been drinking, similar to the way a breathalyzer measures alcohol content. The results of the tests are then uploaded via modem to a private company, and if the wearer tests positive for alcohol, the company will send the results to the court.

Generally, SCRAM bracelets are scientifically sound, whereas evidence of alcohol consumption and/or tampering are admissible in courts. Furthermore, in order to challenge a SCRAM report, the defendant will need to prove that the bracelet was malfunctioning.

How Much Does a SCRAM Bracelet Cost?

For many offenders, one negative aspect of the SCRAM bracelet is its cost. Remember, a private company monitors the SCRAM bracelet, and those costs are passed onto the offender. Nonetheless, as an alternative to more severe penalties, the benefits of SCRAM can outweigh the costs.

In general, when ordered to wear a SCRAM bracelet, the offender is required to pay a one-time installation fee (from $50 to $100) as well as the daily monitoring fee (from $10 to $15). In total, the monthly cost of a SCRAM bracelet can be up to $450.

Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley Today

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC, we are the area’s leading criminal defense attorneys for DWI offenses. No matter the circumstances of the case, we will always put your interests at the forefront of our criminal defense strategy, and we’ll fight for not-guilty, dropped charges, or if the evidence is truly stacked against you, a reduced or alternative sentence, such as through SCRAM monitoring. To speak with attorney Dewey Brinkley today, call our Raleigh criminal law firm at (919) 832-0307.