Category Archives: Criminal Defense

The City of Raleigh North Carolina

The city of Raleigh is known as the City of Oaks and is named for Sir Walter Raleigh, the famed English explorer from the Queen Elizabeth I’s reign. As the 2nd most populous state in North Carolina, and the 41st most populous in the US, Raleigh is one of 12 cities within Wake County. It’s been the capital city of North Carolina since 1792.

Raleigh one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, and has a population of 474,069 (as of the 2020 census.)

Education and The Research Triangle

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown city skyline

One of the things Raleigh is known for is the number of educated people that live here. There are twelve universities to choose from, and a wide range of industries that call the Raleigh area home.

The Research Triangle, also called simply “The Triangle” came about in the 1950s after the creation of Research Triangle Park. It is named for the three hub cities of Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill. The area contains North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with the three cities as the boundaries. The area is also home to 13 other universities, as well as multiple high-tech companies that draw residents in from around the country.

Raleigh has slowly welcomed a fair amount of people from around the country, moving to this vibrant city. Since 2020, the entire Triangle area has quietly seen an increase in population, particularly in the suburbs. Raleigh is the tenth most popular city for moving to. While many folks move in from nearby Charlotte and Durham, a fair amount come from New York City. When the pandemic kept people out of the office, many people took their work from home jobs with them when they moved here.

The area boasts a strong infrastructure and affordable housing when compared to other major cities. And the central location means that many major cities are a car ride or a short plane ride to visit. For people with families, Raleigh also has some of the best school systems available. Nationwide, the state ranks midway through the list of best schools.

Things To Do

The area boasts three major state museums: art, history, and natural sciences, and all three are free to visit. Raleigh also has a diverse art scene, complete with touring Broadway shows, the Carolina Ballet, the North Carolina Opera, and NC Symphony.

Foodies have a variety of places to sample and enjoy local fine cuisine any night of the week. Three wineries, two distilleries, and nearly 30 craft breweries offer some of the finest local artisan spirits available. Bustling shopping and nightlife in the downtown area also offer an enjoyable time.

The Carolina Hurricanes are the state’s NHL (hockey) team, and baseball fans can enjoy the Carolina Mudcats Low-A baseball games. Soccer fans can enjoy North Carolina FC men’s or North Carolina Courage women’s pro soccer at the WakeMed Soccer Park. College athletics abound, and stock car racing is also a local favorite.

North Carolina’s Court System

The Tarheel State has a more simplified court system than other states, starting with:

• Legislative
• Executive
• Judicial

The third branch is the one that handles constitutional interpretation, as well as crime and punishment. Judicial is divided into three parts of its own:

• Appellate Division
• Superior Court Division
• District Court Division

Everything is handled at the state level, and there are no local courts. Most people who are arrested and charged with a crime have a trial at the state level. However, the federal court handles crimes and matters on that level, including crimes committed across state lines, on federal land, or are otherwise interstate.

District and superior courts handle crimes and civil matters up to $25,000. The appellate division and the state Supreme Court handle only appeal cases and questions of law and whether a case was properly handled.

Even though the court system is more streamlined than in other states, managing your way through a proceeding can be difficult without the right legal counsel. If you’ve been accused of a crime in the Raleigh/Wake County area, you need a top criminal defense attorney familiar with the Wake County’s court system. It is strongly suggested that you don’t attempt to defend yourself,  especially if a major crime. You could lose your case and go to jail and have a permanent criminal record that will follow you around forever.

Call an Experienced Wake County Criminal Defense Attorney

Dewey P. Brinkley has earned a strong reputation in Raleigh, North Carolina as reputable Criminal Defense attorney. Do not hesitate to hire a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney right after your ticket or arrest. He can help you or your loved one defend themselves against DWI charges, misdemeanors, and serious felony offenses.

Dewey P. Brinkley is the criminal defense attorney you may need. Before working on the defense side, he was a Wake County Assistant District Attorney. His  understanding of the Wake County criminal justice system enables him to handle minor crimes to the most serious felony charges. If you are accused of any crime, Dewey is ready to help.

Call our law offices today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307 or use our online contact form.

How Can I Defend Myself Against Embezzlement Charges

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement charges can have serious ramifications on your career prospects and opportunities for the rest of your life. While an embezzlement charge is considered a “white collar” crime, a conviction will cause you to have a criminal record.

man removing a folder, example of embezzlement

For this reason, it is important that you take every action that you can to defend yourself against embezzlement charges. Most important will be having an experienced criminal defense attorney like Dewey Brinkley representing you. Here are some things to know if you need a defense against embezzlement charges.

Embezzlement is when someone steals money from a person or business. This includes business owners stealing from their business or a home health aide that takes money from a client’s bank account to use for their own personal use.

Embezzlement can occur in many different scenarios. If you take money slowly from a business in small amounts and stash it away, it’s embezzlement. It is also considered embezzlement if large amounts are stolen.

There is typically not a violent component to an embezzlement charge. Regardless,  in North Carolina, embezzlement crimes are always considered felonies.

Complicit With Embezzlement

In some cases, you may not have been the person to actually steal the money. If you altered your company’s revenue reports to hide the embezzlement or could have stopped it but didn’t, you could be held liable. Since business owners, managers, financial advisors, and c-level executives are legally required to create honest reports, they could also be held liable for embezzlement.

Types of Defenses Against Embezzlement Charges

There are 5 common defenses that your criminal defense lawyer might utilize to ensure that you have a strong chance of winning.

Reporting Suspected Embezzlement

If you reported the suspected embezzlement within your company to the police and relevant authorities, this can be used as evidence to support the fact that you didn’t have anything to do with the criminal activities within your company. You merely noticed it.

If you reported your suspicions to someone else that’s higher up in the company, this could also be used to corroborate your story. Even if they didn’t take the necessary steps to notify the appropriate authorities, there is evidence that you tried to escalate your concerns.

You Already Own the Assets You Allegedly Stole

You can’t embezzle something that you already own. If you own the assets that you allegedly embezzled, you can’t be accused of stealing them. You can’t be held on charges for stealing your own property. You would need to be able to provide proof that you own the money or assets in question.

Insufficient Evidence

Embezzlement cases can be notoriously difficult to build. If the prosecutor lacks sufficient evidence, your criminal defense lawyer can cite the insufficient evidence as grounds for getting your case dismissed.

Duress

If you believe that you could be harmed unless you commit a crime, this means that you may be able to use duress as a defense strategy. For example if your supervisor threatens to fire you unless you help embezzle money or cover it up, your actions were made under duress.

Entrapment

For white-collar crimes, law enforcement may try to entrap you. In other words, they will try to get you to commit a crime that you may not otherwise commit. This can also be grounds for trying to get a case dismissed.

Consult a Criminal Justice Attorney in North Carolina

Fighting off an embezzlement charge requires a strong defense. If you or a loved one have been charged with embezzlement, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form. You can discuss your case and decide on what to do next during your initial consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley has experience fighting white-collar charges.

Is Open Carry Allowed in North Carolina?

Gun ownership laws are not very restrictive in the state of North Carolina. It is considered an open carry state that is fairly permissive for gun ownership and open carry. It is your constitutional right to own and carry a gun within allowed places within the state, as long as you are 18 years old or older. However, it is still possible to face illegal carry charges.

Here are some things to know about open carry laws for firearms in the state of North Carolina, as well as some restrictions.

What is Open Carry?

Is Open Carry Allowed in North CarolinaOpen carry refers to carrying a fully or partially visible firearm. It is legal in North Carolina for adults that are 18 years old or older without a permit. Open carry is allowed in public spaces, including sidewalks and roads. However, you cannot open carry in schools or in certain government-owned spaces, such as the North Carolina State Capitol.

Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry

While open carry does not require a permit, concealed carry does require a permit. To get a concealed carry permit in North Carolina, you must be 21 years old or older and successfully complete a state-approved concealed carry training course. There are also a few restrictions on who cannot get a concealed carry permit, such as those that are convicted of violent crimes. For out-of-state visitors, North Carolina honors concealed carry permits from other states.

Open Carry in North Carolina Businesses

Open carry laws do not apply to private properties and businesses that do not allow firearms. If private business posts or states that firearms are not allowed, you are not permitted to bring a firearm into the property. (This applies to concealed carry, too). Businesses and homeowners have a right to restrict firearms on their properties.

There are also some business-level distinctions when it comes to open carry versus concealed carry. According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, you cannot open carry at a parade, funeral procession, or protest. You also cannot open carry where alcohol can be purchased or consumed, or at an assembly where you’ve paid a fee. You can concealed carry with a legal permit in these instances, however.

There are some caveats to this law. The notice must be conspicuously placed or you must be otherwise notified if a private business does not allow firearms. It cannot apply retroactively, where you are later informed that firearms were not allowed in a place that you’ve already been.

Open Carry Laws in North Carolina Schools

It is against the law in North Carolina to open carry or concealed carry a firearm on any educational property, including public and private schools, colleges, and universities. This also covers extracurricular activities sponsored by an educational institution, even if the activity takes place off of school grounds. This means that if the school-sponsored activity takes place in a public space where firearms are normally allowed, you still cannot carry them at the event.

No Specific State-Level Legal Statutes

It is worth noting that there are not any specific state laws in North Carolina restricting open carry in hospitals, sports venues, casinos, or polling places. There might be other restrictions in place for these facilities, such as if polling takes place at a school. It is worth checking the policies of these facilities before visiting them to ensure that open carry is allowed.

Carrying to Create Public Terror

Even though you are allowed to open carry, you are not allowed to carry a firearm with the purpose to invoke terror. It is considered a common-law offense that’s a Class 1 misdemeanor if a person arms themself with a dangerous and unusual weapon for the purpose of terrifying others in public spaces.

Permit to Purchase a Firearm in North Carolina

Counties are responsible for processing applications for permits to purchase firearms. If you do not have a concealed carry permit, you need a permit to purchase a firearm before you are able to legally purchase one. In addition, there aren’t many restrictions on what kind of firearm you can buy or carry. There are no state-level restrictions on semi-automatic firearms. There are no capacity or caliber restrictions in place at the state level.

Consult a Criminal Defense Attorney in North Carolina

If you have been arrested for carrying illegally, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form. There is no cost for the initial consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley has experience fighting wrongful charges.

Defense Against Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct charges are serious and can cause you to have a criminal record. This can have severe ramifications on your life, whether it comes to a background check for employment or getting approved to rent an apartment. Since you can be charged with disorderly conduct for unintentional or relatively minor actions, it is imperative that you do everything within your power to defend yourself against disorderly conduct charges. Here are some things to know about defense against disorderly conduct in North Carolina.

Examples of Disorderly Conduct in North Carolina

Defense against Disorderly ConductAccording to North Carolina § 14-288.4, some types of recognized disorderly conduct charges include:

● Fighting
● The threat of fighting or violence
● Abusive language or gestures
● Seizing control of a school without the authority to do so
● Refusing to leave a building when asked
● Disrupting the education process or peace
● Disrupting a funeral service

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct

The penalties for a disorderly conduct conviction can be severe and impact your ability to live your life the way that you want to in the future. Some of the penalties you may face are:

Fines

If convicted of disorderly conduct charges, you could have to pay a fine. The amount of the fine depends on the severity of the conduct and the judge’s sentencing.

Jail Time

It is possible to face some jail time for disorderly conduct. This will depend on the nature of the charges. While not all disorderly conduct charges have jail sentences, it is a possibility.

Criminal Record

The worst penalty for a disorderly conduct conviction is having a criminal record, especially if your actions that led to the disorderly conduct charge were minor. A criminal record follows you for the rest of your life and can make it difficult to find a job, move to a new apartment, or emigrate to another country. Since you can get a disorderly conduct charge for defending yourself or for being too loud in the wrong place, having this weight of a criminal record on your shoulders for the rest of your life is a tremendous problem to have.

Possible Legal Defense for Disorderly Conduct Charges

It is important that you build the strongest legal defense possible against any charges of disorderly conduct. Your criminal defense lawyer will work with you to decide on the right approach. In general, there are three types of legal defenses for disorderly conduct: self-defense, freedom of speech, or involuntary actions.

Self Defense

If you got into a fight with another person, it is possible to argue that you were defending yourself. If the other party started the fight, it can be a reasonable defense to say that you were trying to protect yourself and end the fight. If you have a witness that saw the other person start the fight, this can strengthen your claims to self-defense.

Freedom of Speech

For disorderly conduct charges related to offensive language or being loud, it is possible to build a Freedom of Speech defense. The United States Constitution protects the freedom of speech under the First Amendment. If you were expressing your feelings, it is within your right to do so. This is the most common legal defense for disorderly conduct charges that relate to being loud or saying things that might offend another person.

Involuntary Actions

If you have a medical condition that causes you to act in a way that you don’t have control of, you could build the defense of involuntary action. For instance, if you have been diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder known as Tourette’s syndrome, you might have a vocal tic that causes you to say profanities. If you have a mental health condition that causes you to be mentally unstable or hallucinate, your lawyer could also argue that you were not responsible for your actions.

Contact a Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney

Every legal case is unique and requires a personalized defense that takes into account the specific circumstances of what happened. If you or a loved one need legal defense against disorderly conduct, it might be time to speak with a Raleigh criminal defense attorney to discuss your defense options to know how to proceed with your case.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney. He understands the criminal justice system and what it takes to build a strong legal defense. Contact the law office of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307 or filling out our online contact form.

When Accused, Don’t Talk to Police

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you. This well-known statement is the Miranda warning that people hear when they are being arrested.

Most people have only heard this line on TV or in movies. If law enforcement says this to you, take this very seriously. Anything you say really is going to be admitted into court.

What It Means

You are going to be questioned about your involvement in something. Whether or not you are arrested depends on what you do next.

When Accused, Don't Talk to PoliceOnce a law enforcement officer indicates that he or she would like to talk to you, be polite and respectful, then clearly state two things:

• I am now invoking my right to remain silent
• I want to speak to an attorney

It is imperative that you speak immediately to invoke your right to silence. You need to state that you are invoking your right to remain silent.  If you do not, it will be considered a waiver of your rights and the police will continue to question you and any more statements will become part of the case. Once you have stated you are remaining silent as is your right, at this point all questioning stops until you are allowed to confer with an attorney of your own choosing or one provided for you. If pressed to continue the conversation, clearly state that you do not want to speak to them and will refuse to answer any questions until you speak to an attorney. Be polite but clear, and do not continue speaking if they keep questioning.

If you are approached by a police officer. In North Carolina, you are not required to provide your name or produce any identification. The exception is if you are driving a motor vehicle. Then you are required to produce your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information upon request. For any other questioning, ask to speak to an attorney.

Why You Shouldn’t Speak to Police Right Away

Even if you are innocent, interactions with police should only occur after consulting with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Chances are that you don’t know what they have in mind. Even if you are driving, stop, once you give them your name and driver’s license, and basic information, you are not required to answer any questions. You should respectfully decline those questions without an attorney present.

No matter what the circumstances, police officers are trained in interrogations, and will say anything to get you to admit to anything, even if it isn’t necessarily the truth. They will also take seemingly innocent statements and turn them into something more insidious, leading to statements that indicate you are lying, or that you’re guilty of a crime when you aren’t. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offers these tips on what to do should you find yourself unexpectedly speaking with the police.

What If The Police “Just Want To Talk?”

If you receive a phone call from a police officer or a law enforcement agent that says, “we just want to talk to you,” this is not a casual conversation. This means they are about to file serious charges against someone, possibly you.

You may be a witness, but they believe you may be a suspect. You are under suspicion, or an arrest may be imminent. Immediately speak to a lawyer before speaking to the police.
Police are given wide latitude when it comes to investigations. This means that they could say anything, true or not, and frequently do. The purpose is not to get to the truth, but to gather evidence and deceive you into believing that they just want to have a conversation.

Should the police show up at your home without a warrant, do not open the door or let them in. Invoke that same right to remain silent. You do not have to offer identification, answer questions, or tell them who is inside. Without a warrant, you are not required to let them in without a warrant. But once you are outside, they may be able to legally search and arrest you.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that contacting a lawyer for yourself will “make you look guilty.” You have the right to defend yourself and to protect your own rights. Even if you believe that you’re just answering questions, law enforcement is allowed to lie and tell half-truths in order to get you to talk to them, never disclosing the point of their investigation.

Before You Speak to Police, Speak With Raleigh’s Criminal Defense Attorney

You have the right to speak to an attorney before being questioned by police. 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 how to handle police questioning and interrogations.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us  using our online contact form.

“It was Just a Joke”—Was it a Criminal Threat?

“I’ll get you for that.”
“Maybe you’ll have an accident on the way home.”
“How would you like it if I. . . .?”
“I’m gonna come to the house and beat the **** outta you!”

Was it a “joke” or a criminal threat? There are times when interactions with others lead to words that probably should not have been uttered, but are. From financial disputes to domestic situations, many people say things they don’t really mean.

You may have been just letting off steam, but that doesn’t mean the recipient understood that. Whether you make the statement in person, on the phone, by email or text, or post them on social media, the other person may not find it as amusing.

Strong statements that include threats of violence during heated conversations may lead the other person to believe that you’ll carry through on those threats. At that point, the statement crosses the line into criminal behavior.

What North Carolina Law Says

"It was Just a Joke"- When Threats are Consider CriminalNorth Carolina General Statute 14-277.1 states that communicating any threat is a Class 1 misdemeanor. This includes:

• Threatening the individual, their child, or other family members, or the threat of property damage
• The threat is communicated to the other verbally, in writing, or by any other means
• The person issuing the threat does so as to make the other person believe that it is genuine
• The recipient of the threat believes the threat to be genuine and will be carried out
The courts do not require actual proof or witnessing any threatening movement, such as making a fist or swinging at someone.

Punishment for communicating threats includes 120 days in jail and a fine at the discretion of the judge. Oddly, simple assault is a Class 2 misdemeanor. This means that the courts have a stronger punishment for someone who threatens to strike someone than the person who actually does hit someone.

What About False Accusations?

Unfortunately, it’s fairly easy to accuse someone of communicating a criminal threat, even without evidence or proof. This happens sometimes in divorce cases that are not amicable. One party may accuse the other of communicating a threat in an attempt to “get the upper hand.” But it’s more likely that the false accusation will eventually backfire once it gets to court. If you are the party falsely accused of communicating threats of violence, it’s vital to seek immediate legal representation to defend you against the charges.

NOTE: The information in this blog should not be considered to be a substitute for the advice and counsel of a North Carolina criminal defense lawyer. If you have been charged with any crime, you should immediately speak with a criminal defense lawyer to learn about your options and how to go forward.

Criminal Defense Attorney For Communicating Threats And Other Charges In Raleigh

Because it’s so easy for someone to accuse a person of communicating a criminal threat or threats, you need to act quickly before a court date—and before anything else happens.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC with a proven track record of defending clients against criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, contact him immediately to begin building your defense.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307.  Or you use our online contact form.

Was I Resisting Arrest?

During interactions with police officers, most advice involves complying with the officer’s requests. You are required to give your name and provide your identification to the officer. However, you aren’t required to answer any more questions, no matter what the officer says. Raise your hands, speak politely, and don’t do anything that would make an officer believe they are in any type of danger. Request an attorney’s presence to answer any additional questions.

Even with polite interactions, things don’t always turn out the way we hope. You may not have said “no” to a police officer, but you’re being charged with something called “resisting arrest.”

So the question we have to answer is: did you resist an arrest?

North Carolina Law

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

Was I Resisting Arrest?“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.”

Whether you resist arrest or interfere with an officer who is arresting someone else, you can be charged. In fact, anytime someone interferes with a police officer during their normal course of duty, a person can be charged with “resisting arrest.” Police have a wide berth with this charge, and they are given a certain amount of leeway when arresting someone.

How You “Resist Arrest”

This charge isn’t only about running from or fighting a police officer. Actions such as:

  • Directly questioning the officer
  • Giving a false name and address to an officer, or other incorrect information
  • Declining a ticket when the officer hands it to you
  • Using rude and insulting language
  • Inhibiting an officer from carrying out their job-related duties
  • Physically moving away from the officer when approached, even in a non-threatening manner

may result in a charge of resisting arrest. If you are arrested for something different, resisting arrest can be added on if you actually do, whether or not you’re innocent of the other charge.

Defending Yourself Against Resisting Arrest

Should you find yourself the target of resisting arrest, there are defenses that you and your attorney can use, including:

  • False accusations, such as arresting you for something you are innocent of, just because the officer believed it
  • Unlawful arrest, with an arrest under a false accusation, or the officer otherwise exceeds his or her authority
  • Defending yourself from excessive force, when an officer oversteps his or her ability to use some force in the course of an arrest

Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney before going to court to ensure you have the best defense.

State v. Humphreys

In this case, a mother arrived to observe her daughter’s car while a police officer searched after an alert by a police drug-sniffing dog. During the search, the police officer told the woman where to stand while she observed, and not to interfere. She informed the officer, “I’m not breaking no law.” She also used foul language during the encounter but did not interfere with the search, with students going to class, or with the school in general. She told passing students that they were about to witness “an unarmed black woman get shot.” Eventually, the woman was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

At trial, the defendant requested that the charges be dropped for lack of evidence, but was denied by the court. She appealed, and the Court of Appeals eventually found that questioning the officer was not enough to constitute interference. She believed that she had the right to observe the officer’s actions, and contesting the search that she believed to be unlawful. The Court found that there was no substantial evidence to the officer’s claim of resisting, delaying, or obstructing the officer’s duty.

Contact Raleigh’s Criminal Defense Attorney For Resisting Arrest

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 handle resisting arrest as well as other 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 or use our online contact form.

The Penalties For Arrest For Underage Drinking In North Carolina

North Carolina has some of the strictest laws for underage drinking, with zero tolerance. Carrying alcohol, even an unopened container, is also an offense for which a minor can be ticketed. The exception is for those employed by someone with a valid liquor license, such as a driver for a company that makes and delivers alcoholic beverages.

The legal age for the purchase and consumption of alcohol is 21, without exception. This includes minors at home with their parents, or at a private party with their parent’s permission.

Although the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% for adults, any amount of alcohol for anyone under the age of 21 is grounds for a ticket and a possible conviction.

Penalties

The Penalties For Arrest For Underage Drinking In North CarolinaNorth Carolina has strict penalties for those arrested for underage drinking, including:

  • Jail time, up to 120 days
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • Fines and monetary penalties, from $200 to $500, as well as court costs
  • Requirement for community service from one to thirty days
  • Requirement of alcohol and/or substance abuse courses
  • If the drinking occurred on campus, the university or other academic institution may impose additional penalties

If an individual has a prior criminal record of any kind, the penalties can be even more stringent. The overall costs for such an arrest and conviction can be substantial.

Most underage drinking tickets are considered misdemeanors. If the individual were driving under the influence, the charge would escalate to DWI, with substantially higher consequences.

Aiding & Abetting

While someone under 21 may not be able to purchase alcohol, sometimes friends old enough may purchase it on their behalf. This, too, is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with penalties of:

  • Revocation of a driver’s license for one year
  • Fines of $500
  • 25 hours of community service
  • Possible jail sentence

A second conviction of Aiding and Abetting within four years of the first conviction can lead to fines of $1,000 and 150 hours of community service.

Consequences Of Conviction

Even though the ticket is a misdemeanor, a conviction has serious, long-term consequences that can last for many years, including:

  • A criminal conviction that appears on every background check for employment
  • Limits on types of employment, since most employers perform criminal background checks
  • Loss of employment, in some cases
  • Limits on student financial aid and less available education
  • Loss of public housing and public assistance benefits
  • Denial of professional occupational licenses if the crime is directly related to the occupation, such as nurses or pilots
  • Limitations on housing, both rental and for purchase
  • Possible loss of the right to own a firearm
  • Inability to get security clearances for employment

These are in addition to the sanctions imposed by the court.

The UNC School of Government offers this free tool that explains collateral consequences under North Carolina’s law. While it does not offer legal advice, it can give an idea of the type of consequences you could face with a conviction.

Defense For Underage Drinking Charges

A charge of underage drinking is not a minor offense and can bring serious consequences. If you or your child have been charged with underage drinking, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Without legal help, you could be facing serious, long-term consequences.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC with a proven track record of defending clients against criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, contact him immediately to begin building your defense.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us by using our online contact form.

Assault With A Deadly Weapon Penalties in the North Carolina Courts

Most assault cases are misdemeanors in North Carolina. Assault can be a serious charge by itself. Add in anything that can be considered a deadly weapon, and a misdemeanor charge escalates into a felony charge immediately, even if no one was hurt. The reasoning is that the involvement of a weapon greatly increases the chances that a victim will be seriously hurt or even killed.

There are multiple levels of “assault” in North Carolina, both misdemeanor and felony. If you’ve been arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, these are felony charges with serious consequences.

The Charge

There are three ways that someone can be charged with Assault With A Deadly Weapon in North Carolina:

  • Assault With A Deadly Weapon Penalties in the North Carolina CourtsWith the intent to kill, in which serious injury is inflicted, a Class C felony
  • With intent to kill but no serious injury is inflicted, Class E felony
  • Inflicting serious injury, a Class E felony

Intent to kill is established by the actions and words of the assailant that he or she clearly meant to kill the victim, even if they did not.

A “serious injury” is one that:

  • Permanent and serious disfigurement
  • Long-term/permanent pain
  • Long-term/permanent impairment
  • Loss of function of a body part or organ
  • Long-term hospitalization
  • Comatose condition or significant risk of death

One particularly important point is whether the alleged victim actually suffered injuries that could be considered serious. A defense attorney will seek to prove that the other party did not suffer major injuries or any injuries at all.

What Is A “Deadly Weapon?”

As you might imagine, guns, knives, blunt objects, and other items are considered deadly weapons, but the statute doesn’t have a strict definition. So everyday objects used in a deadly weapon case that results in someone’s death will fit that definition.

This means that picking up anything that’s handy and using it as a weapon will still be considered as a “deadly weapon,” even if it isn’t a firearm. If during an assault, for instance, a person picks up a cast-iron pan, a baseball bat, a fireplace poker, or a hand-sized object made of glass or marble to strike someone, the object becomes a deadly weapon. No matter what the object, its weight, size, and/or shape can cause serious injury or even death if used against someone the right way.

Sentencing And Penalties

A sentence will depend on the class with which the person was charged.

  • Class C felony for Intent To Kill with serious injury: between 44 and 231 months, or 3.6 years to 19.25 years.
  • Class E felony for inflicting serious injury or intent to kill without injury: between 15 and 88 months, or 1.25 years to 7.3 years. However, prior convictions can increase the sentence as high as 182 months or 15.2 years.

Additionally, there are fines, court costs, restitution to the victim, probation, and other miscellaneous penalties. You may also be sued in civil court for financial damages as a personal injury or other types of case.

Criminal Defense Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley In Raleigh

Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious crime that can include a long-term jail sentence. If you’ve been accused of this crime, it’s important to find someone to defend you in court who has your best interests in mind. Your future, your life, and your rights are on the line, so it’s important to begin working with a criminal defense attorney who will work for you.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC with a proven track record of defending clients against criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, contact him immediately to begin building your defense.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us by using  our online contact form.

In North Carolina, What Are My Chances Of Probation in a DWI Manslaughter Case?

North Carolina takes any charge of DWI seriously. The state aggressively prosecutes anyone arrested on DWI manslaughter, and punishments are harsh. However, some cases may be less serious and probation may be a possibility.

Definition Of Manslaughter

DWI Manslaughter Defense AttorneyIn North Carolina, DWI manslaughter is an action resulting in the death of someone that wouldn’t be classified as murder. There are three types of manslaughter:

  • Voluntary, the killing of a person with intent, such as a self-defense situation where deadly force wasn’t warranted
  • Involuntary, the killing of a person without intent, such as in the act of a non-felony crime, was criminally negligent or engaging in negligent conduct at the time
  • Vehicular, in which a person dies through an action involving a motor vehicle driven by someone in a reckless or negligent manner. Also called “death by vehicle,” it includes DWI, texting while driving, speeding, and other offenses.

Vehicular manslaughter that involves DWI is the most serious. At the least, an individual convicted of DWI will spend 24 hours in jail or have 24 hours of community service, along with a $200 fine.

Probation Is Possible

It is possible to receive probation after a DWI manslaughter case, but it will depend on the facts of your case, such as prior convictions and mitigating or aggravating factors. While it may not include incarceration, probation is not a “get out of jail free” card, either.

North Carolina has two types of probation: supervised and unsupervised. Both types have specific requirements and last for a specific length of time which are decided by the judge. This will include not participating in any criminal activity.

  • Unsupervised Probation has fewer conditions and is less restrictive. You will not have a probation officer but will have certain conditions you will have to meet. They can include:
    • Payment of all fines and court costs ordered by the judge by a specific deadline
    • Completion of an alcohol assessment and treatment program
    • Perform a defined term of community service, with the number of hours ordered by the judge
    • Being barred from driving without limited driving privileges or have a legal right to drive
  • Supervised probation requires you to follow the conditions for unsupervised probation, and all conditions issued by the judge, which may also include:
    • Paying all fees and court costs associate with being on probation
    • Regular meetings with your probation officer as required
    • Being either enrolled in school or employed, and notifying your probation officer if you are no longer employed or enrolled
    • Requiring permission from your probation officer to leave the state for any reason
    • Submit to blood, urine, or breath tests, or warrantless random searches if your probation officer sees the need
    • Submit to warrantless searches by law enforcement if they believe you may have been involved in any criminal activity.
    • Not possessing any illegal drugs or any controlled substances without a prescription from a licensed physician

Of course, you must strictly adhere to the terms set out by the judge for your probation. If you don’t follow the requirements, your probation can be revoked, and you can be sent to jail.

Getting to the point of probation requires the help of a skilled DWI attorney who can help with a case of DWI manslaughter.

DWI Manslaughter Defense Attorney

DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is always a serious charge in Raleigh, and anywhere in North Carolina. If you’ve been arrested for DWI Manslaughter or any DWI charge in Raleigh, it’s vital that you have a strong legal defense. Without it, you could be facing a longer jail sentence without the possibility of probation.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a Raleigh DWI defense attorney who can aggressively defend you against any DWI charges and protect your rights in the courtroom. We will work to have your charges reduced to probation or even dismissed.  Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your DWI case at (919) 832-0307. You can also use our online contact form.