Category Archives: Criminal Defense

Breaking and Entering Penalties

If you are implicated in a breaking and entering offense in North Carolina, understanding the penalties and how they apply to your specific case is vital. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer should be your first step. While it might be daunting to navigate through the complex legal system, partnering with a seasoned defense lawyer can guide you through every legal turn, potentially reducing your sentencing or even getting charges dropped altogether. In this article, we discuss breaking and entering charges in North Carolina so penalties if convicted.

What is Breaking and Entering in North Carolina?

breaking and entering

Breaking and entering have penalties ranging from probation to prison time. In North Carolina, breaking and entering is defined as illegally entering someone else’s property without permission or authorization. It is considered to be a type of burglary, which is usually classified as either a first- or second-degree offense, depending on the circumstances of what happened.

The severity of the sentence for breaking and entering will depend on a variety of factors, such as whether any property was stolen or damaged during the incident. The judge will also take into account whether or not this was your first offense or what other charges are on your criminal record.

First vs. Second-Degree Burglary

With first-degree burglary, there were people in the home or commercial building that has been entered. It cannot be the area around the home, and there must be an intent to commit a felony. According to NC § 14-51., it is punishable as a Class D Felony and is punishable by up to 204 months of incarceration.

Second-degree burglary charges can be filed against you even if you are in the curtilage, or area around the dwelling. Usually, the dwelling isn’t occupied. The maximum jail time for this Class G Felony is 47 months.

Contact a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been charged with breaking and entering North Carolina, it’s important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. As an experienced attorney, Dewey P. Brinkley will be able to review your case and develop a strategy that will help minimize any potential penalties that you may face.

He will also be able to explain all your options so that you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed with your case. Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Is Boating Under the Influence (BUI) a Crime in NC?

Boating Under the Influence in North Carolina is illegal. Boating Under the Influence (BUI) laws are related or similar to driving while impaired (driving under the influence) (DWI/DUI) laws and carry similar consequences if convicted. It may be necessary to reach out to a DWI defense attorney for advice and help.

The key difference between DWI/DUI and BUI is that DUI is for cars and other motor vehicles on land whereas the BUI means operating a boat or other watercraft, such as jet skis, when impaired by alcohol or other controlled substances (drugs). In this article, we’ll provide an overview of BUI laws in North Carolina and some comparisons to DUI. If you have been arrested for this crime or DWI/DUI, you should retain a good North Carolina defense attorney.

What is BUI in North Carolina?

boat capsized due to BUI (boating under influence)

The state of North Carolina defines “boating under the influence” as operating any boat while having consumed enough alcohol or drugs to impair one’s ability to do so safely. It outlines this in G.S. 75A-10(b1). North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter 75a-10 refers to Operating a Vessel While Impaired – “Boating While Impaired” commonly referred to as “BWI” “Drunk Boating” or “Impaired Boating.”

It should also be noted that minors, those under the age of 21, are prohibited from operating any watercraft after having consumed any amount of alcohol or other intoxicants; otherwise, they face harsher penalties than adults would for similar offenses.

Drunk Boating Vs. Drunk Driving

The main difference between BWI and DWI is that one occurs on the water while the other occurs on land. While both offenses are dangerous, drunk boating has the potential for even greater danger due to a lack of boating experience, lack of marked roadways, and the unpredictable nature of the environment. Not only does this increase the risk of an accident occurring, but it also increases the chances of severe injury or death due to drowning.

On the other hand, there are many more drivers on land as it is our chief form of personal transportation. So statistically you are more likely to be in a car accident or possibly cause a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 31% of traffic fatalities in the US involve drunk drivers (with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher).  Every day, about 37 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes. There is no comparison when it comes to BWI accidents. Boating under the influence though accounts for 50% of boating accidents according to stats.

Despite sharing common definitions with impairing driving laws, boating while impaired and surfing or skiing while impaired are not implied consent offenses. This means that boaters, skiers, and surfers—unlike drivers—are not considered to have provided consent to testing to a chemical analysis if charged with a BUI and that a refusal to be tested does not cause driver’s license revocation.

Penalties from a BUI Conviction

If you are arrested for Boating Under the Influence in North Carolina, there are numerous potential consequences that could result from your conviction. Penalties can be harsher depending on factors such as prior criminal history and degree of intoxication at the time of arrest.

Possible punishments range from fines and jail time to license revocation and community service requirements; however, it is important to note that these vary greatly based on individual circumstances and the severity of the offense. For instance, first-time offenders may receive leniency when compared to multiple-offense offenders who could face more severe punishments such as mandatory jail time or loss of their boating privileges permanently.

Most North Carolina BUIs are class 2 misdemeanors. The sentence a court can impose depends on the offender’s criminal history. But generally, North Carolina BUI offenders face $250 to $1,000 in fines and a maximum of 60 days in jail.

For DWI/DUI penalties, see our site.

Defenses to a BUI Charge in North Carolina

Lack of Evidence: One of the most common defenses to a BWI is that you were not impaired or operating the vessel in a negligent manner at the time of your arrest. This can be established through witness testimony or physical evidence, such as sobriety tests or breathalyzer results. However, if no chemical analysis was provided, then that particular physical evidence has not been provided and is not available as proof of impairment.

Lack of Probable Cause: Additionally, it is possible to argue that the arresting officers lacked probable cause for making the arrest in the first place, rendering any evidence obtained from it invalid.

Inaccurate Results: Another defense involves challenging the accuracy of breathalyzer results. These devices are not always accurate and can be affected by factors such as radio frequency interference, improper calibration, or even environmental factors like temperature and humidity. If these issues can be demonstrated in court, then it may be possible to have any breathalyzer evidence thrown out and have charges reduced or dismissed.

Mitigating Factors: There may even be mitigating circumstances surrounding an individual’s charge that can reduce liability or result in lesser penalties if accepted by a judge or jury. For example, an accused person may have been found operating their vessel after consuming alcohol due to an emergency such as medical distress or a mechanical malfunction on board their vessel. By demonstrating these extenuating circumstances in court, it may be possible to avoid conviction of a BUI charge in North Carolina.

Contact a DWI Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with BUI, it’s important to have experienced legal representation. Working with a criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your rights and options in North Carolina.

Leading DWI defense attorney lawyer Dewey Brinkley has helped many clients fight against DWI/ DUI accusations. He understands the seriousness of the charges and will act with discretion while vigorously challenging the prosecution’s case. If he cannot assist you with your BUI charges, his legal reputation and associations within the North Carolina legal community will enable him to make recommendations.

Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

Possible Outcomes If You Are Arrested

If you are arrested, it can be a frightening experience. Whether you are guilty or innocent, the experience can be stressful, time-consuming, and potentially life-changing. When you are arrested, it is crucial to understand your rights and what could happen next. The potential outcomes of an arrest can vary depending on the circumstances of the arrest, the charges against you, and other factors.

Some of the possible outcomes if arrested are you may have to deal with legal fees, potential jail time, court appearances, and a criminal record that could follow you for years. In this article, we will explore the possible outcomes of being arrested and what you can expect if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Dismissal or Nolle Prosequi

criminal defense arrest by police

Dismissal, also known as nolle prosequi, is a decision made by the prosecutor where they choose not to pursue the charges against the defendant. This would be a good outcome if arrested.

A dismissal of all charges can be based on various factors, such as insufficient evidence, the relative unimportance of violation, or the unlikeliness of a conviction. In cases where the evidence is weak, the prosecutor may choose to dismiss the case to avoid a loss in court.

Your defense attorney can also request dismissal on your behalf, especially if they believe that the prosecution’s case is weak. A dismissal is not an admission of guilt, and the defendant is usually free from the charges.

Sometimes the charges are dismissed because a plea agreement has been reached between the prosecuting attorney’s office and the defendant (the accused). A plea agreement is generally a deal where the defendant agrees to plead guilty to lesser charges instead of the original charges in exchange for a reduced sentence. A good defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal, so the original charges are dropped and your penalties are less consequential.


An acquittal is another outcome if arrested that is a good outcome.  An acquittal is a finding by a judge or jury that a defendant is not guilty of the crime charged after a trial has been conducted. Note that an acquittal does necessarily not mean that the defendant is innocent in a criminal case. It is a legal outcome of a criminal trial where the defendant has been cleared of all accusations, charges, and any criminal responsibility.

It is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged crime. If the jury or judge finds that there is insufficient evidence to support the charges or that the evidence presented does not prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, an acquittal is issued.

Not Guilty

Not guilty in criminal law means that a defendant has been proven innocent of the charges filed against them. This is also a good outcome if arrested. Not guilty means that a defendant is not legally answerable for the charge filed against them. Like an acquittal, it is a verdict reached by a judge or jury after a trial where the prosecutor has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. A not-guilty verdict is final and cannot be appealed or challenged later.


The worst possible outcome if arrested is a conviction. Conviction is the decision made by a judge or jury declaring the accused guilty of a criminal offense. In this instance, the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the offense. It means that the judge or jury has found the evidence to be sufficient and convincing to deem the defendant guilty of the crime. The court will then sentence the convicted defendant to its punishment, which can be jail time, fines, or additional penalties. A conviction is the final judgment of the case but can be appealed.

Possible Penalties if Convicted

If found guilty of a crime, you may face a variety of penalties depending on the severity of the offense. If the crime is a misdemeanor, you may only have to pay fines or perform community service. However, if the crime is a felony, the penalties can be much more severe. For example, you may have to serve time in prison and/or pay large fines.

Also being convicted of a crime leaves you with a criminal record that could affect your future job prospects, housing opportunities, and relationships. It is important to remember that the consequences of a conviction can be long-lasting and may impact your life in many ways.

Contact a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being arrested can be a traumatic experience, and the potential penalties if convicted can leave you worried sick. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is in your best interest to contact a North Carolina criminal defense attorney, like Dewey P. Brinkley. Mr. Brinkley has extensive experience in criminal defense cases, and he can outline all of your legal options. If you are arrested, do not talk with the police until your attorney is with you.

An experienced criminal defense attorney is your best bet against a criminal conviction. Mr. Brinkley will work rigorously to get you the best possible outcome in your case. He will protect your rights.

Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307

What is Considered Stalking in Raleigh?

Stalking in Raleigh is a serious crime and can have serious legal consequences  It is important to understand what is considered stalking in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. In Raleigh, there are specific laws and penalties that apply to stalking, so it is important to be aware of these laws and their implications.

Stalking and cyberstalking are two serious problems in North Carolina, and to effectively prosecute and deter these crimes, North Carolina has undertaken more stringent policies to curtail harassment and harmful communications.

What is Stalking?

cyberstalking in north carolinaStalking is a pattern of behavior that is unwanted, and uninvited, and can cause fear and distress. Stalking can include physical activities, such as following someone, as well as virtual activities, such as using social media to spy on someone.

A stalker can be anyone who willfully engages in a pattern of conduct that threatens or places the other person in fear of death, bodily injury, sexual assault, confinement, or any other criminal offense. If the defendant is found guilty of stalking they can face serious consequences like jail time, fines, mandatory counseling, and restraining orders.

What is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is a criminal activity in North Carolina that involves using the internet and other electronic communication methods to harass, threaten or intimidate another person. It can include sending threatening emails, offensive messages via social media sites, or creating websites with false information about the victim.

In North Carolina, cyberstalking is considered a form of stalking, and perpetrators can face serious criminal penalties if convicted. The state also has laws prohibiting certain types of online harassment, including cyberbullying and revenge porn.

How to Obtain a Protective Order in Raleigh

In Raleigh, North Carolina, a person can obtain a protective order against another person if they feel threatened. This is done by filing a request for the order with the court. The defendant must be served with the protective order, and then a hearing will be held to determine if it will be granted.

If the defendant is found guilty of violating the protective order, they may face jail time, depending on whether it was a misdemeanor or felony charge. The protective order can also include other provisions such as restraining orders, child custody arrangements, and more. It is important to note that these orders are only valid for a certain amount of time and must be renewed after that period has expired.

Possible Defenses Against Stalking Charges in North Carolina

There are several possible defenses available to those accused of stalking. These include proving that the alleged victim was not actually being stalked, showing that any contact made was consensual, or demonstrating that the alleged stalker did not intend to cause fear or alarm. In addition, it may be possible to prove that the actions taken were part of an act of free speech protected by the First Amendment. Depending on the situation and evidence presented in court, other defenses may also be viable.

Reasons to Work with a Stalking Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of stalking or are being charged with stalking, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience in stalking defense. A qualified stalking defense attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that you get the best possible outcome in your case. They can explain the legal process to you and provide a strong defense against any charges related to harassment or domestic violence.

They will also help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair treatment throughout the legal process. The attorney can also help you if you have been accused of domestic violence or if a restraining order has been issued against you.

By working with a qualified criminal defense attorney, you can increase your chances of avoiding a conviction for stalking. It’s important to understand that the legal system takes stalking very seriously. A conviction can result in serious consequences, including fines, jail time, and other penalties.

Contact a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer

Stalking is a crime that can be charged as a felony in Raleigh. It can have serious legal consequences if you are found guilty of stalking, so it is important to understand the law and the penalties associated with it. If you have been accused of stalking, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that you get the best result possible in your case. Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

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.


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.


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:


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.