If you’ve been charged with a crime in Raleigh, prosecutors may make a distinction: specific intent or general intent. Although committing a crime such as theft is a crime no matter what, the two categories of theft are important to delineate the severity of the crime that’s been committed. The main difference is what you were planning to do, which can directly influence the outcome of your case.
This is a crime that is committed for no other purpose than doing it. There is no intent for a specific outcome.
The term “general intent” only refers to the person’s state of mind when committing the crime requiring only the willingness to break the law. It also includes someone who commits a crime and is unaware that it is illegal.
Battery is one example of a “general intent” crime. Defined as “the intentional and harmful physical contact of another person,” the very essence of committing battery is simply to do it without any other intent. If one individual punches another, the intent is established, and the prosecution will only need to show that the assailant intended to commit battery. There is no need to prove that the assailant injured the victim, since the law assumes that the victim was injured.
As the name implies, the crime is committed with a specific purpose. There is not only a desire to commit the crime, but also the desire for a specific outcome. This requires the prosecution to prove that a defendant acted with a motive in mind when committing this action.
Using our battery example, an assailant who commits battery on another for the sole and intended purpose of causing an injury (such as a broken nose or a black eye to the victim) has committed a specific intent crime. The prosecution must then go the extra step of proving that a defendant had a motive for committing the crime.
Crimes that are considered “specific intent” include:
“Inchoate” offenses or crimes, such as conspiracy, attempt and solicitation (taking steps to and preparing to commit a crime)
Another example is auto theft. If an individual takes someone else’s car for the purpose of borrowing it or just to play a prank on the owner, it can be argued that there was no crime committed if there was never an intent to keep the car. However, if a vehicle is stolen by one individual to deprive the owner of their vehicle permanently, the crime is now considered “specific.”
A Defendant’s Mental State
There are two parts to most crimes: the “actus reus,” or the act of the crime, and the “mens rea,” the mental element or motive of the crime.
In the process of a trial, a prosecutor may be required to demonstrate the defendant’s mens rea, or the motive for committing the crime. The difference between a general and specific intent is whether the defendant committeed the actus reus and intended to achieve a specific outcome. Proving that a crime is general intent won’t require the prosecutor to show that the defendant had any specific outcome in mind, whereas a specific crime will.
Defense For Specific And General Intent Charges
There is a wide gap between general and specific intent charges, that makes a big difference when it comes to your defense. If you unintentionally committed a crime without a specific intent in mind, you could be found not guilty. But you’ll need a strong defense in order to achieve it.
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.
Are you considering law school? You’re in a great place for it. Forbes recently rated Raleigh as the “#1 City For Raising A Family.” If you live here, you already know Raleigh is a great place to live.
North Carolina is home to six top-rated law schools. Three of them are in the Raleigh area, with two in nearby Durham. The Raleigh-Durham area is one of the fastest growing areas in the US, with a low cost of living. US News & World Report rates us as #13 in their list of 125 Best Places to Live in the USA.
Campbell University School of Law
Raleigh’s own law school is located right in the downtown area. A relatively new addition to American law schools, it began in 1976 with the first 97 students, and still works with a relatively smaller student body.
Today, Campbell law has more than 3,400 alumni, and the school has one of the highest pass rates for the bar exam in the US.
Campbell Law seeks to educate students to not only train compassionate lawyers who are dedicated to practicing law for a just society, but also from a Christian perspective. The exclusive peer mentoring program assigns incoming students to second- and third-year students who volunteer as supportive advisors. The law school’s active alumni base is both involved and engaged, and they frequently hire students and graduates for internships and jobs.
Most of Campbell Law’s graduates practice in North Carolina, with many in surrounding areas. Two of Campbell Law’s alumni serve as judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. More alumni sit on superior and district courts, as well as 15 district attorneys.
Duke is the first of two law schools in nearby Durham. The Bull City is another great place to live in the state, and Duke fits right in with the rest of the city.
From its humble beginnings, known then as Trinity College, Duke Law is now consistently ranked as one of the top law schools in the US. The school has consistently ranked as one of the top 14 law schools ranked by US News & World Report. Admitting about 20% of its applicants, roughly 95% of graduates are employed at graduation. Duke Law publishes multiple law journals and has a long list of notable alumni (including one US President, Richard Nixon.)
Duke Law also offers dual-degree JD programs, with Duke’s Graduate School, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke Divinity School, The Pratt School of Engineering, The Sanford School of Public Policy and the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. Academic and professional dual degree programs, as well as law and business degree programs, are available.
North Carolina Central University School of Law
The second law school in Durham, it was founded to help the African-American community become lawyers. A historically under-represented population in law schools and the practice of law, law students are educated to become lawyers who can easily and adequately address the needs of under-served groups.
NCCU School of Law operates 15 student-run legal clinics for low-income clients. Specialties include Intellectual Property, Criminal Defense, Family Law, Domestic Violence, Civil Litigation, and other commonly needed services.
The Street Law program brings second- and third-year law students into middle or high school social studies classes to teach law basics. Students hands-on skills that also help in breaking down complex legal concepts for both students and juries, as well as the skills they will need dealing with clients and going into court. Bringing real-world law issues and concepts to high school students helps them better understand things like Civics and other static subjects. Topics like court systems (state and federal), the criminal law process, and Constitutional law are brought to students and fosters an interest in a future legal career.
UNC School of Law
Chapel Hill’s own law school is just 30 miles west of Raleigh, less than an hour on I-40 West. Like many of our law schools, UNC’s curriculum builds practical skills for a future in the legal workforce. Graduates are not only ready for private practice attorneys in law firms, they’re trained to work in a number of different roles and fields. Corporate law departments, public service as elected officials and other public sector jobs are just some of the jobs UNC law graduates are ready to tackle. “With a Carolina Law degree,” the website says, “our students can go anywhere.” Five previous NC governors are UNC alumni, as are 3 members of the 113th Congress.
US News & World Report rates UNC’s Law School as #45. While the first-year curriculum is the same for all students, second- and third-year students have more flexibility to choose the courses that best suit their career path. Through a partnership with Duke University Law School and North Carolina Central University School of Law, students can also choose courses at either of these schools if they’re not offered at UNC.
UNC also offers more than $2 million every year in scholarship money, helping reduce student expenses (and loans.) Six legal clinics, mentoring and a supportive environment offer students hands-on experience in multiple disciplines.
The UNC School of Law even has its own legal blog. Run by faculty member Jeff Welty, a criminal law specialist, the North Carolina Criminal Law blog is published “to disseminate information about, and to serve as a forum for the discussion of, North Carolina criminal law and procedure and related topics.”
Elon University School of Law
Greensboro is also a drive on I-40 west, but less than 100 miles, and a little over an hour from Raleigh. North Carolina’s newest law school, Elon opened in 2006 and became ABA accredited in 2011. The unique 2.5-year program means you’ll graduate in December, take the bar exam in February and be ready to begin your legal career in the spring. Students in other programs won’t take the bar exam until at least July.
Housed within the School of Law is the North Carolina Business Court, a working court. Real cases in corporate law and other complex commercial disputes are heard and presided over by a judge. The cases are assigned by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Elon is one of the few law schools in the US to have a working court.
One of the hallmarks of Elon Law School’s program is a residency for each student that’s directly relevant to the curriculum. Live experience is available year-round, instead of just during the summer months. Additional hands-on opportunities are available with Elon’s legal clinics, internships, and clerkships. Mock trials, moot courts, and attorney-led case simulations also offer real-world legal experience that prepares you for your legal career.
Tuition is 20% lower than the national average for private law schools. The shorter degree program means you’ll graduate sooner than most, and begin working while other graduates are still in school. Dual-degree programs are also available.
Wake Forest School of Law
Although Winston-Salem is a farther drive (about 103 miles west on I-40 West), Wake Forest’s School of Law may well be worth the move. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools, this top-tier law school emphasizes smaller classes. Graduates routinely have a high bar passage, with an 81% rate from the 2016 class. US News & World Report ranks Wake Forest at #32 in 2018. Graduates find full-time employment within 10 months after graduation. Degree programs include Juris Doctor as well as JD dual degrees.
Wake Forest’s School of Law focuses on “fundamental lawyering skills,” and encourages students to “consider the social and economic settings in which legal principles and rules operate and the ways in which lawyers use those principles and rules in practice.” Other, non-legal instruction is part of a law student’s education. Topics like technology, oral and written communications, and functioning in a world that is quickly and constantly changing are also important for students and graduates.
The School of Law also operates eight law clinics for the public, where law students work with clients under the auspices of professors:
Community & Business Law
Innocence & Justice
Civil & Criminal Externship
The clinics offer real-world, hands-on legal experience for students before graduation. They also provide valuable legal representation to members of the public who may not otherwise be able to get it.
Raleigh is a vibrant American city with industry, culture, performing and visual arts, biotech and high-tech research as well as collegiate and professional sports.
It’s no surprise that Forbes ranked us #1 on their 2015 list of the best places for businesses and careers. Known as the “City of Oaks,” Raleigh is also the third most educated city in the US as well as the capital city.
There are so many things to like about Raleigh. Here are just three.
With The Research Triangle right in the middle of the state, it’s no wonder that Raleigh (and North Carolina in general) is home to some of the biggest industries in the US. Bordered by North Carolina State University, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, it’s no wonder the area is so successful.
With such diverse industries like banking/financial services, pharmaceuticals, paper products, food processing, clothing and textiles and telecommunications, it’s no wonder Raleigh is the second most populous city in North Carolina.
Some of Raleigh’s top companies and employers include:
NC State University
Martin Marietta Materials
First Citizens BancShares
Boasting twelve institutes of higher education, it’s no wonder Time magazine named Raleigh the third most educated city in the US in 2011. Students come from all over the US to study, and many settle in the area after graduation.
If you’re interested in higher education, you have several choices in Raleigh:
North Carolina State University
Wake Technical Community College
Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
Montreat College’s School of Professional and Adult Studies
William Peace University
Skema Business School (the first French Business School to open a campus in the USA)
Are you a foodie? Do you enjoy the process of cooking as well as trying new and interesting food? From small, humble neighborhood eateries and food trucks to the most high-end fine restaurants, Raleigh boasts a thriving food scene that rivals any US city.
Even though Raleigh’s cuisine is primarily southern, inbound migration from other parts of the US (not to mention college students) have brought in other types of non-native cuisines. Despite Texas’ claim that it originated there, aficionados will appreciate both styles of North Carolina barbecue: Lexington style and Eastern style.
Multiple farmers markets offer fresh, locally grown and produced artisanal foods directly from the grower. Visit one of Raleigh’s many “You-Pick Farms” with your kids (or by yourself) and learn about how food is grown as well as picking your own.
From coffee shops to banquet halls, Raleigh has something for every taste and every budget.
Want To Know More?
Whether you’re a lifelong resident, a recent transplant, or you’re considering moving to the Raleigh area, check out the VisitRaleigh website and learn about everything the City of Oaks has to offer.
Raleigh’s Criminal Attorney
Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh. Before working on the defense side, he was a Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He understands the criminal justice system and can handle the most serious felony charges. If you find yourself in trouble, Dewey is ready to help.
Drug possession is always a serious offense, no matter what the amount or circumstances. Marijuana is still illegal in the state of North Carolina, so any amount can be considered “drug possession.” An adult can be charged, tried and convicted, but juvenile drug possession may have a somewhat different path through the criminal justice system.
Drug charges can also have long-lasting consequences. Just being charged can limit choices in school activities as well as reduce college/education, housing, vocation and military enlistment choices. Should your child be asked later if they had any arrests, he or she will have to answer “yes,” and it will show up during a background check. Even a minor drug charge should be taken seriously.
The Juvenile Court System
There are two forms of criminal justice for juveniles—one for underage misdemeanors, and one for adults. The focus of the juvenile court system is rehabilitation, not incarceration. Numerous programs exist in Wake County that aim to reduce and prevent juvenile crime and offer diversions from such behaviors, as well as entry into the juvenile and adult criminal court systems.
Anyone arrested under the age of 16 is considered a juvenile, particularly for non-violent offenses (truancy, shoplifting, etc.) There are penalties and punishments for breaking the law, but the judge has the option of using alternative sentencing, such as drug counseling, probation with conditions and community service.
Juveniles won’t have a trial by jury as an adult would (unless they’re tried as an adult), and would attend a hearing with only a judge. After a caseworker evaluation and report, the judge will decide on the best disposition and sentencing for the child. The child has the opportunity to have the charges dismissed and the records sealed at the age of 18 once his or her sentence is completed.
However, if the juvenile is charged with a felony (i.e., drug trafficking, weapons possession), no matter what the age, they’ll probably be sent directly into the adult criminal justice system. Should that happen, the child will then will be tried as an adult, can serve jail time and may not have the opportunity to have any charges eventually dismissed.
First Offender “Forgiveness”
North Carolina offers a “First Offenders Program” that allows, under certain circumstances, the first offense to eventually be dismissed. This only works one time, and a second drug charge allows the first to be used in court.
An attorney experienced in drug possession defense and juvenile crime can help you and your child decide if the First Offenders Program is right for your case, and if so, help you through the process.
What If Your Child Is Actually Innocent?
It’s not uncommon for several teenagers in a car or other close proximity to all be charged with drug possession when only one actually has it. This is particularly true of marijuana when a police officer detects the odor at a traffic stop. If your child has a solid legal defense, such as insufficient evidence, or if he or she were the victim of an illegal search/seizure, it’s better to go to court with an attorney and present that defense instead.
If your child is innocent, don’t use up his or her only chance at the First Offender’s Program instead of going to court and being acquitted. An attorney experienced in juvenile drug possession charges can discuss this with you and prepare an effective defense for an acquittal.
Get The Legal Help Your Child Needs
If your child has been charged with juvenile drug possession in Raleigh, it’s time to find an attorney who can help, right now. You need someone who is experienced and can represent you and your child in court.
As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley is now an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you and your child through the court process. He can defend your child against drug charges, fight 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 child’s case at (919) 832-0307.
If you find yourself facing a drug charge—especially if it’s your first—you may not understand everything that’s involved. There are varying degrees of drug charges based on how much you were found to be in possession of, as well as the type of drug you were carrying.
While it doesn’t take much to trigger a drug charge, it’s always a serious offense, and should never be taken lightly. Instead of a public defender, hiring a experienced Raleigh drug possession defense attorney to defend you may be the difference between jail and probation, or a long sentence vs. a short sentence.
• Misdemeanor Drug Laws
• Felony Drug Laws
• Felony Drug Trafficking Laws
• Federal Drug Laws and Federal Drug Trafficking Laws
Everything depends on what you were arrested with, how much, and how the substance is classified.
Marijuana Is Still Illegal In North Carolina
Nine US states have legalized marijuana for personal use, and 29 states allow marijuana to be prescribed by a doctor for medicinal use. While medical evidence shows the benefits of cannabis therapy for a number of conditions, North Carolina isn’t in either “pot-friendly” group. You can still be stopped and arrested for its possession and/or distribution in the state, and a “doctor’s note” or prescription is not acceptable as a valid defense.
Class 1/Class 2 Misdemeanor
• Possession of drug paraphernalia (N.C.G.S. § 90-113.22): any kind of tools or equipment used in the production, sale, or use of controlled substances.
• Possession of marijuana, up to 1.5 ounces, and may include up to 45 days of jail time.
• Possession of Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV drugs (opioids, codeine, cocaine, marijuana.)
Class 3 Misdemeanor
Very small amounts of marijuana, less than a half-ounce, is called “simple possession of marijuana.” This includes derivatives hashish and hashish oil. Simple possession incurs a $200 fine, but a first offense doesn’t usually include jail time. A second offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which can include 30 days in jail.
Any charge for these substances is a felony on the first arrest. Schedule I is the class of drug that includes:
Other “harder” drugs may be included. A first arrest for one of these substances is always a felony with at least 4 months of jail time, as is the second.
A first offense for these drugs is a Class 1 misdemeanor charge, but a second offense becomes a Class 1 felony:
Harsher penalties are involved with stronger and larger amounts of drugs, turning drug possession into a felony. North Carolina drug felonies are classified as Class G, H, or I, and include:
The sale of any Schedule I or Schedule II drugs (Heroin, Opium or Cocaine) are considered Class G felonies.
The manufacture of methamphetamine (Meth) is a Class C felony. If “manufacturing” is found to be only packaging and/or labeling meth, it’s a Class H felony.
The sale of Scheduled III, Schedule IV, Schedule V, and Schedule VI drugs are punishable as Class H felonies. This includes marijuana, a Scheduled VI drug; it’s punishable as a Class H felony.
Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver (PWISD) of Schedule III through Schedule VI drugs, (except cocaine and heroin), a Class I felony.
Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver (PWISD) or sale of any counterfeit drug, a Class I felony.
Possession, sale, transportation, warehousing or distribution of prohibited substances always comes with prison time. Providing “substantial assistance” to authorities can help reduce your sentence, and the judge has some leeway in sentencing. But you’ll need to speak a lawyer right away in order to ensure that your case is handled properly.
While the laws generally address large amounts of illegal drugs, sometimes the amount involved is relatively small. There are multiple levels of punishment for each type of drug, varying from 2 years (25 months) to more than 18 years in prison. This includes (but isn’t limited to) marijuana, meth, cocaine (crack or powder), heroin/opium, LSD and MDMA.
Whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, your defense is critical to the outcome. A criminal defense attorney experienced in drug cases can defend you in court and make sure your rights are protected. 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. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation.
You’re driving down a highway, minding your own business, and then you see the flashing lights. The police, doing a random checkpoint for DUI. No problem, until you realize you’ve had a craft beer. Or a locally made wine. Or a glass of whiskey with a friend. What do you do now? Are these DUI checkpoints even legal? Can they really do that?
DUI Checkpoints Are Legal
North Carolina has some of the toughest DUI laws in the US. DUI is taken very seriously, and the state allows random checkpoints to find and detain inebriated drivers before they cause crashes, injuries and possibly deaths on the road. Checkpoints can also be used to find unlicensed and uninsured drivers, something that can’t be observed by general driving behaviors.
These checkpoints are legal under N.C. Gen. Stat. §20-16.3A. While the Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures, the Supreme Court has ruled that DUI is serious enough problem that random checkpoints are legal, and not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Police cannot use checkpoints as a regular method of general crime control, that is, seek out non-traffic related violations.
DUI checkpoints are required to be random, not in the same place on a regular basis. Since surprise is the most effective way of catching inebriated drivers, checkpoints are only identified by flashing police lights.
Generally, the police must have probable cause to stop someone. But in response to the epidemic of drunk driving, checkpoints became an easier way to find and remove drivers from traffic. The government has a direct interest in combating drunk driving, and checkpoints are effective in finding those drivers to get them off the road. The US Supreme Court ruled them legal in response to the demand in 1990.
North Carolina also allows checkpoints to look for uninsured and unlicensed drivers, as well as those using suspended licenses. They don’t need a warrant, only need to follow written policies and ensure that the checks are completely random.
Your Rights DUI Checkpoints
Since the checkpoints are lega but controversial, you can object, but you are still subject to being stopped and questioned.
You can refuse a Breathalyzer test at the checkpoint, but you may be required to take other sobriety testing. Refusing may also imply guilt, you could be brought to the station, and it could harm your case later.
You can also request to wait for your attorney. But that may be interpreted as giving yourself time to allow your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) to decrease before it’s tested.
Don’t Turn Around
If you see a checkpoint, your first temptation may be to turn around and go in the other direction, even if you haven’t been near alcohol.
You may get away with it, and you may not. Police have the right to follow you and pull you over to ask why you decided to avoid the checkpoint. Even without alcohol, police see it as a presumption of guilt and avoiding them. You could even be taken into the station.
The Easy Way To Get Through A DUI Checkpoint
It’s simple: stop when told, answer questions, be polite, comply with the officer’s requests, take a test if asked, and you’ll be on your way. If you haven’t been drinking, you’ll be driving again quickly.
Need Help After A DUI Checkpoint?
Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He’s aggressively defended numerous DUI cases and will fight for you in court. DUI isn’t something to be taken lightly, and you need someone in your corner. Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free DUI consultation.
No parent ever wants to hear the words “juvenile court.” It’s unfortunate, but inevitably, some parents will.
North Carolina sees “juvenile delinquents” as individuals who can be rehabilitated. “Adults” of any age will be held responsible for criminal acts they commit, so they are arrested, charged, put on trial and sentenced if they are found guilty.
If your child is in trouble with the law, it helps to understand how it all works, and what you can expect.
The focus of juvenile court is rehabilitation instead of jail time. If someone underage commits a wrongful act that’s classified as misdemeanor, it’s generally called a “delinquency.” There is no jury in juvenile court, and all decisions are made by a judge, who has a wider selection of rehabilitation options instead of just incarceration.
While juveniles are given punishment for breaking the law, there are a number of options besides standard jail sentences available for youthful offenders. They can also have their records wiped clean after 18 or 21 by participating in rehabilitation. Alternative sentences, such as spending time in a youth development center, probation and driving restrictions are also available.
The word “crime” usually refers to an adult offender. There are juveniles who commit “adult” crimes, and these individuals are tried as adults. The severity of the crime allows a judge to bypass the juvenile court system. Incarceration is the most likely outcome.
Delinquent vs. Undisciplined
A “delinquent” is a juvenile who has committed a crime, including traffic citations. The severity of the crime is the determining factor. Most individuals in the juvenile court system are accused of misdemeanors, such as vandalism, underage drinking, and shoplifting.
An “undisciplined” juvenile is one who skips school frequently, goes into places they shouldn’t be (i.e., bars), has been a runaway, and is outside the discipline of his or her parents, custodians or guardians.
This is the name North Carolina gives to the division of the criminal justice system that deals with anyone under 15 that commits a criminal act. It also deals with 16- and 17-year olds who get into trouble. Most offenses can be expunged, sealing off the court record.
Court proceedings are handled in state district courts.
When a juvenile is accused of a crime, a citizen or law enforcement officer files a complaint, and a court counselor takes him or her through the intake process. The counselor evaluates the complaints and decides whether court action is warranted, or if community resources should be deployed. This takes between two and four weeks.
The counselor identifies the juvenile’s needs and matches him or her with community resources as needed, and can create a “diversion plan” with the parents.
A judge can also order probation, “diversion” (similar to probation, without a court appearance) and detention, which involves confinement. Detention is usually reserved for repeat offenders, and may require him or her to stay until the age of 21.
Once the restriction period and/or incarceration is successfully completed, some juvenile offenses can be expunged.
If your child has been arrested for breaking the law, you’ll need an attorney who understands the juvenile court system in Wake County to help you through the process and through court. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney, and will aggressively defend your child in court against any charges, major or minor. Call today at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free consultation.
If you or someone you know has a child who’s involved in wrongdoing and is going through the criminal justice system, you may not understand the different proceedings and penalties. In this article, we’ll discuss the basic difference between a crime and delinquency as it relates to underage offenders.
There are two different court systems for offenders in North Carolina: juvenile court & criminal justice and the adult criminal court system.
A “juvenile” in North Carolina is defined as someone under the age of 16. Juveniles are usually sent to the juvenile justice system for misdemeanor offenses (shoplifting, vandalism, underage drinking, etc.). If a juvenile is charged with a felony, even as young as 13, they will bypass juvenile court and be tried in the adult court system.
There are two definitions of a juvenile: a “delinquent,” who has actually committed a crime, and an “undisciplined” juvenile, who is out of the control of parents or guardians, has run away from home, skips school and commits other infractions.
A delinquency is a wrongful act committed by a juvenile, whereas a “crime” is generally attributed to an adult, over the age of 16. But there are differences based on the severity of the crime committed.
The Juvenile Court
The goal of juvenile court is rehabilitation rather than incarceration. Juveniles are punished for their offenses but given the chance for a clean slate after they turn 18 through rehabilitation and alternative sentences such as probation, time in a youth development center, or prohibited from operating a motor vehicle. Many offenses can be expunged at that time and court records sealed.
Juveniles In Adult Court
Sometimes juveniles commit more serious crimes that send them into the adult system before the age of 18. Since North Carolina considers anyone over 15 to be an “adult” for these purposes, it is at that point the “delinquency” becomes a “crime,” particularly if it’s a serious one (including felonies such as murder.) “Adults” of all ages are held responsible for their actions, arrested, charged with a crime, sent to trial, and if found guilty, incarcerated.
Some of the more common crimes committed by “delinquent” juveniles include:
Crimes like these and other felonies will send a juvenile into the adult system where they will be tried as an adult, and if convicted, sent to prison. The juvenile has the right to legal counsel, but no longer has the right to privacy, and the case will be made public as if he or she were over 21.
Juvenile Criminal Defense in Raleigh
If your child is charged with a juvenile or adult offense, Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you and your child through the court process, defend your child against charges and work for a more reasonable sentence. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your child’s case at (919) 832-0307.
Teenage drivers are the largest group of offenders, but every day over 660,000 people in the US are doing something else while they’re driving in broad daylight:
· Talking on their cell phone
· Texting/emailing using their cell phone
· Adjusting the stereo or another entertainment system
· Other tasks that take attention away from driving
North Carolina’s “It Can Wait” campaign, as well as tougher new laws, aren’t having the positive effect officials hoped it would. That means a lot of people are still driving around and not paying enough attention to the road and other vehicles. If this is you, there are a few things you need to know.
Driving Distractions Cause Accidents
Anything that distracts your full attention from the road can cause a driver to be distracted enough to cause a crash. Texting is particularly dangerous not only because of the distraction factor but also by the cognitive actions involved—typing, reading, sending. (This is also called “inattentional blindness.”) All drivers are prohibited from texting in North Carolina.
While we know there are times where you “really need to take this call,” play it safe and pull over to the side of the road to do so if you can.
The Police Can Pull You Over For Texting
If your vehicle is in motion and you are caught texting behind the wheel, you can be pulled over and ticketed, with a $100 fine. This is true even if you’ve committed no other traffic violation (such as speeding or running a red light.) It’s not illegal to read or send texts or emails if your vehicle is stopped or parked (such as at a red light or in a parking lot while waiting for someone.)
“Novice Drivers,” those who are under 18, are prohibited from all cell phone use while driving, not just texting.
School bus drivers are also prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. This includes handheld and hands-free phone use.
GPS devices are currently allowed, however, they are also a distraction and can also cause an accident, as does using a cell phone’s GPS app.
Although there is a movement to stop all cell phone while driving in North Carolina, not just texting, it hasn’t happened yet. Deaths in North Carolina have been attributed to distracted driving, but there really isn’t anything beyond the texting ban, yet.
Earlier this year, the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program launched “One Call Could Wreck It All,” an initiative to remind drivers to stop driving distracted. AT&T launched “It Can Wait” in 2013, and continues to promote safe driving, along with encouraging drivers everywhere to take their pledge and not drive distracted.
Let Dewey P. Brinkley Help
If you’ve been in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact our office at 919-832-0307 for a free consultation today. Mr. Brinkley is a Board Certified Specialist and an experienced defense lawyer who will represent you in court and ensure you have a fair trial with the strongest possible defense. He has extensive trial experience as a prosecutor in Wake County, North Carolina, and will work closely with you to build your case for trial. Don’t wait–call today.
Hiring a lawyer can be one of the most nerve-wracking things you’ll ever experience, especially if it’s for something you weren’t expecting. Ask these 5 questions before you hire a lawyer.
You may have a lot of questions, and that’s OK. (Skip generic, personal questions, like “where did you go to law school?”) Write them all down and take them with you for your first visit. You’ll want to find a lawyer who knows how to handle your particular case successfully, and interviewing them is a first step to easing your mind about your legal issue.
Many lawyers offer free consultations like we do. A lawyer will ask you about your case, but you should be asking your own questions, too. Here are five basic questions to ask a lawyer before you hire one.
1. What experience do you have in handling legal matters like mine? Is my case in the focus of your main practice area?
While general legal practitioners do still exist, finding a specialist who is an expert in your particular legal matter is a better idea. If you need a lawyer for a traffic violation, you wouldn’t want to find someone who is better skilled at divorce law. Consider it this way: would you go to your family doctor for brain surgery? Of course not—you’d want to find a skilled brain surgeon who knew exactly what he or she was doing. It’s the same as asking your favorite personal injury lawyer to handle a criminal case, especially if it’s one where you could face jail time.
2. How will you charge me for your services? This is a detailed question that you definitely need to ask. Don’t just ask, “how much is this going to cost me?” It’s not that simple.
Lawyers have different fee arrangements depending on the type of cases they handle. Personal injury and some other types of lawyers frequently use something called a “contingency fee” arrangement, where their fees are a percentage of any financial settlement you might receive (like one from a car accident.) But some charge either a flat fee or by the hour. You won’t know until you ask.
If your lawyer charges an hourly rate, you’ll also want to ask how often you’ll receive a bill, how they charge for parts of an hour, and if you’ll be charged for calling or emailing a paralegal or other member of their staff for updates about your case.
You should also ask if you’ll be charged a deposit for them to take your case.
3. Who will be my primary point of contact? Will you be handling my case, or will it be assigned to another lawyer or a paralegal?
This is important because you need to know who you’ll be talking to and who to ask for if you call. Paralegals and other support staff often take care of “back-office” work in law firms and handle phone calls so that the lawyer is freed up for court appearances and other legal tasks.
a. What’s the best way to communicate with you? Find out if they’d prefer calls, emails or even text messages for questions and short updates.
4. Do you have references?
Just like a job interview, references can be important. But because of privacy laws, a lawyer can’t just give you names and numbers of previous clients. He or she can, however, pass your contact information to a former client who may (or may not) contact you to discuss how their particular case was handled.
5. Do you have a written representation agreement that I can read before I sign?
Asking for this agreement will allow you to read carefully what happens when you hire this lawyer. You’ll know what to expect, and there shouldn’t be any “surprises.” If you do have any additional questions before you hire him or her, you should have an opportunity to ask them.
Additional questions are available at the North Carolina State Bar’s website. Don’t be embarrassed to ask—most lawyers welcome the opportunity to help, and will be happy to answer them for you.
Most of us don’t hire a lawyer very often, so we don’t know if we’re doing it right or not until we have a problem along the way. Asking questions and understanding the process of your particular legal matter is important to ensure that you’re working with your lawyer for a positive outcome.
We’re happy to answer all of your questions about your case, whether it’s a traffic violation or offenses, drug charges, financial crimes or one of our other case specialties. Call us today at 919-832-0307 for a free initial consultation.
Dewey P. Brinkley is a former assistant district attorney in Wake County and has successfully defended thousands of clients in the Raleigh/Wake County area. Mr. Brinkley will discuss your DWI case with you and design your defense so you are properly represented.