Defense Against Harassment Charges

What is Harassment?

defense for harassment chargesCriminal harassment is defined as a pattern of harassing actions against a specific individual. A single act of harassment does not necessarily constitute criminal harassment. However, depending on the severity and the situation, a single act of harassment could potentially lead to charges of criminal harassment.

False harassment charges occur all too often. A false charge can cause serious damage to your reputation and career. An experienced lawyer can help you defend yourself against false allegations. Here are some things to know about building a strong defense against false harassment charges.

What to Do When You Are Falsely Accused of Harassment

There is a difference between harassing someone online and making a complaint against them. A false accusation of harassment could lead to serious consequences. There are many ways to defend yourself against a false allegation of harassment:

Understand the Penalties

Don’t assume that just because an accusation is false, others won’t believe it. Take the accused’s claim seriously. North Carolina recognizes both misdemeanor and felony harassment.

Stay Away from the Accuser

Do not confront the accuser. A confrontation will lead to an escalation of the situation. Avoid any contact with the accuser unless there is a legal requirement. Witnesses should always be present during conversations with accusers.

Write Down a Detailed Account of Events and Witnesses

When building a strong defense, gathering evidence that discredits the accuser’s case is key. A written timeline of events detailing exactly what took place, who did what, where things occurred and when can help strengthen your defense. Character witnesses may also be helpful in defending against a false harassment charge.

Witnesses are people who saw what happened. They could be friends, family members, coworkers, or others. A good alibi and witness account will help you clear yourself of any wrongdoing.

Contact an Attorney

An attorney can help you build a strong case against your accuser. A good attorney should be able to help you navigate through any type of harassment claim. An attorney can provide advice about how to deal with the accusations and what steps to take to prevent further problems.

Having an experienced attorney can help you feel less stressed and anxious about the future. An attorney will help you understand the law and how it applies to you. A good lawyer will keep you informed about the progress of your case.

Defending Against Harassment Charges

There are many different ways to harass someone, including cyberbullying, stalking, or even just making annoying phone calls. People who commit these crimes often receive stiff penalties, including fines and jail time. A person who is harassing another person could face charges of disorderly conduct, harassment, stalking, invasion of privacy, or assault.

If you are accused of harassing someone or committing some other crime, then you can be charged with harassment or another offense. This means that if you have been arrested, you may face charges such as assault, battery, domestic violence, stalking, or even murder.

It is very important to hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending against these types of cases.

Some possible defenses for harassment charges include :

● The defendant was acting under the influence of extreme emotional distress.
● The defendant had reasonable cause to believe that his actions were necessary to protect himself or another person.
● The defendant acted in self-defense.

Your criminal defense attorney will work hard to defend you against all types of charges. If you have been accused of harassment, then you need to act fast to get the best possible outcome. Your lawyer will ask questions about the incident and interview witnesses on your behalf.

The lawyer will try to find out why the victim filed the complaint. He or she will look at the facts surrounding the event and determine whether the facts support the allegations made by the victim. Depending on the outcome of this assessment, your lawyer will make recommendations on how to proceed.

Contact a Harassment Defense Attorney in North Carolina

If you have been falsely charged with harassment, contact an attorney immediately. You need an aggressive defense strategy. The sooner you get started, the better chance you have at winning your case. A skilled attorney will help you navigate through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. Be sure to hire a lawyer who specializes in defending harassment cases. If you or a loved one have been charged with harassment, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

Do I Have To Consent to a Field Sobriety Test In North Carolina?

dwi cases in north carolina

Being asked to consent to a field sobriety test in North Carolina can be very stressful. You may not know what to do or what your rights are. Field sobriety tests are often conducted at traffic stops, where police officers suspect drivers of being intoxicated. These tests include things such as walking heel to toe, counting backward from 100 by 7s, reciting the alphabet, and answering questions correctly. The officer administering the test has discretion over whether or not he or she wants to administer these tests. If you refuse to take one of these field sobriety tests, it can be used against you in court.

If you are traveling in North Carolina  and have been pulled over by a police officer or highway patrol, you may be suspected of DWI- Driving While Intoxicated. If you are being asked to take a field sobriety test in North Carolina, here are some things to know about field sobriety tests and your rights in North Carolina.

How Field Sobriety Tests Work in the State of North Carolina

The field sobriety tests in North Carolina are used to determine whether someone has been drinking alcohol. They are administered by police officers during traffic stops and other situations where there is suspicion about driving under the influence.

In North Carolina, standard field sobriety tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test. These tests help police officers identify signs of intoxication such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, unsteadiness while walking, swaying or staggering, and inability to follow instructions.

North Carolina’s Implied Consent Law

The law says that anyone operating a motor vehicle in NC must submit to a chemical analysis if they are arrested for driving while impaired (DWI), according to NCGS §20-4(1). However, there are exceptions to the mandatory testing requirement:

● If the person is unconscious, incapacitated, dead, or otherwise incapable of consenting to a chemical test

● If the officer did not observe signs of impairment

● If you have not yet been arrested

When the Implied Consent Law is in Effect

The implied consent law is now in effect in North Carolina. This means that drivers are legally obligated to submit to a chemical sobriety test after being arrested for driving while impaired. A driver cannot refuse to submit to a test.

The state does allow officers to administer field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests prior to an arrest. However, drivers can decline to take these tests. This does not mean that the officer won’t arrest you for DWI.

Penalties for Refusing a Sobriety Test

If you refuse to take a sobriety test, it could mean losing your driving privileges. This is because if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, officers can obtain a warrant and draw a blood sample from you. In North Carolina, if you refuse to take a blood test, you lose your license for at least 30 days. The state’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to chemical tests upon request from police.

Never Waive your Rights

The law requires police officers to inform motorists of their legal rights upon being stopped for traffic violations. This includes informing drivers that they have the right to refuse certain tests and that refusing such tests could result in revocation of their driver’s licenses.
You should never waive your rights when asked to do so by a police officer. It is important to know what your rights are before speaking with the officer. You have the right to remain silent. Do not answer questions without first consulting an attorney.

Defending a DWI refusal in North Carolina

If you are convicted of a DWI, you could face both civil and criminal consequences. In addition to losing your driver’s license, you could receive fines, jail time, or probation.
If you refuse the test, you may still have grounds to challenge the validity of the arrest. Your attorney can help you prepare for an administrative hearing, where you can argue that the police did not have adequate evidence to stop you. At the hearing, your attorney can present evidence that proves that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop.

Consult a DWI Attorney in North Carolina

If you have a good DWI attorney like Dewey Brinkley, your attorney can defend against the charges and help you avoid a conviction. An experienced DWI lawyer should work hard to prove that the officer did not have enough evidence to stop you or challenge the prosecutor’s evidence presented against you.

If you have been arrested for a DWI and decided not to consent  to a field sobriety test in North Carolina, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or  use the online form. As a Raleigh based North Carolina DWI defense attorney, Mr. Brinkley works zealously to defend the rights of those accused of criminal acts.  It’s important to have the best legal representation possible when facing possible DWI charges.

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.

Defense for Domestic Violence Charges in North Carolina

If you face domestic violence charges, it is imperative that you build a strong defense. A conviction can come with serious consequences, including difficulty passing background checks for future employment. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney in North Carolina, like Dewey P. Brinkley, can help you develop that defense.

Recent Changes in Domestic Violence Protections for Same-Sex Relationships

domestic violence defense North Carolina was the last state in the United States to deny some domestic violence protections, such as protective orders, to same-sex couples. In March 2022, the ACLU of North Carolina reported that the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals’ decision that same-sex couples cannot be excluded from domestic violence protections.

Going forward, victims of domestic violence will be able to request a protective order and receive it, no matter the gender of their partner.

Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges in North Carolina

If faced with a domestic violence charge, your defense will depend on what happened and what evidence the state has against you. Some common defenses against domestic violence charges in North Carolina include:

I Didn’t Do It

One common defense that you might use is to show that you didn’t do it. This means that your defense team will claim that either the event didn’t happen at all or that it was someone else that hurt your partner. This will works if there is no evidence that shows that you committed domestic violence or if the evidence is weak.

It Was an Accident

Sometimes family members suffer injuries because of an accident. For example, you may have knocked your partner down when trying to pull them back from an intersection so that they weren’t hit by a car and your actions were misunderstood by your partner or witnesses.  Sometimes you didn’t mean to hurt your partner and it was simply an accident.

My Partner Lied

Another defense against domestic violence is claiming that your partner lied about the accusation or about key aspects of the case. If this is the case, any lie could cast doubt on the charges of domestic violence case and lead to your exoneration.

Self-Defense

If you acted violently in self-defense, you could claim self-defense. If your partner started physically fighting with you or threatening you with a weapon, you could let the judge and jury know about the physical altercation in the right context. Since you didn’t start the fight but rather defended and protected yourself, this shouldn’t count as domestic violence.

There’s No Proof

Without a confession, you are innocent until found guilty. The state needs proof that domestic violence occurs. In some cases, your criminal defense attorney can advocate for the case to be dismissed on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

Police Errors

Sometimes you can build a defense and have the charges potentially dismissed if there were police errors in the investigation. For instance, if you confessed under coercion or if the investigation did not go in accordance with local laws, this could potentially be used to avoid a conviction. Remember do not talk with the police without an attorney present. Always ask for an attorney and do not be intimidated by police into not getting an attorney. This is your right and is the smart thing to do.

The State, Not the Victim, Proceeds With Domestic Violence Charges

It is important to remember that the State of North Carolina proceeds with domestic violence charges. Even if your partner agrees to drop the case, it isn’t within their rights to have the state stop the criminal trial. For this reason, no matter what really happened, it is important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Your criminal defense attorney can give you advice on your next steps. You should never try to pressure your partner to drop the charges, especially since it isn’t their decision. Your lawyer will let you know if and how to communicate with your partner and how to protect yourself throughout the case.

Consult Criminal Defense Attorney in North Carolina

To defend yourself against domestic violence charges, you need a good defense. If you or a loved one have been charged with domestic violence, 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 consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley has experience fighting domestic violence charges and can help you build a strong defense based on your specific situation.

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.

Are DWI Records Public in North Carolina?

If you’ve ever been arrested for anything, it’s very possible that anyone can find it with some online or offline searching. This includes being arrested for a Driving While Impaired(DWI). Therefore DWI records are public in North Carolina.

In  general, criminal records are considered public information throughout the United States. For example in Florida,  every arrest, including court dates, is a public record and easily accessible. Criminal records are available through courthouses as well as “people finder” websites. Using these third-party websites is frequently easier because the information is not limited to availability by locale. Employers may do a search on you if you are applying for a job.

The information from third-party websites can serve as a starting point for anyone looking for a specific record or several records on an individual. However online search sites are not government-sponsored. Availability may vary by the provider and some of the information may not be entirely correct.

Freedom Of Information

Are DUI Records Public in North Carolina?No matter what you’ve been arrested for, including DWI, anyone can learn about your arrest through a public record search unless it’s been expuncted from your record, meaning removed, also called “expunged” in some states.

North Carolina’s Freedom of Information Law allows the public to inspect and examine government-created records. State public criminal records are available in several databases in North Carolina. They are maintained by the courts and law enforcement agencies. These records are also accessible online and allow citizens to request copies for reasonable fees.

North Carolina’s court system also maintains a complete database of charges (arrests) and convictions made in conjunction with law enforcement agencies throughout the state. You can obtain certified copies by mail or in person, or by visiting a local police station.

Wake County utilizes the North Carolina Public Records Law, found at N.C.G.S. Chapter 132, further explains public records. North Carolina requires that public records are to be made available to the public for a nominal cost or for free, as well as via Internet accessibility. Online access to these public records makes things easier for the public and saves Wake County time, money, and resources.

Effects of DWI Arrest

If you’ve been arrested, you will be required to disclose it when asked on employment applications, as well as applications for credit, college, and housing. The exception is if the arrest was expuncted from your record. In the case of DWI, expunction is only possible if the case was dismissed.  Please note, North Carolina does not allow for expunction of DWI convictions.  Be forewarned that if you don’t tell the truth on your application, a background check will certainly reveal the truth for you.

Another direct impact of a DWI arrest is the marked increase in your insurance rates. As a newly branded “high-risk driver,” your rates will increase almost instantly after your arrest. Many companies will refuse to insure drivers who have been arrested for DWI and drop you entirely. However, there are companies that will insure someone who has been arrested, albeit expensively.

Employment

Depending on the type of job you have, it is possible you could be terminated after an arrest for DWI. This is particularly true if driving is a vital part of your job. Bus drivers, truck drivers, delivery drivers, taxi drivers, and other driving-centric jobs may, at the least, suspend you after a DWI arrest.

If you are terminated and need to seek new employment, it is possible to find additional employment. However, you will be ineligible for several different types of jobs, including:

• Jobs in which you’re required to drive
• Military enlistment and other government jobs
• Jobs that require the handling of very confidential information
• Jobs that require working with children, such as daycare and teaching

During an interview, it’s best to wait until asked about any arrests or convictions, but of course, don’t lie. Give a brief description of the circumstances that led to the DWI, what you’ve done since then to correct things, including rehab, and what you learned.
Your DWI defense attorney can advise you on your case and how to proceed with the employment.

Fight The DWI

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who works to defend DWI cases. He 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 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation. You can also email him at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.

Can I Be Arrested for Marijuana Possession in North Carolina?

Marijuana remains classified as an illegal drug on a federal level. However, many states have taken steps to legalize or decriminalize marijuana possession. In North Carolina, marijuana possession remains illegal. If you are caught with marijuana, here are some things that you should know.

North Carolina Laws for Marijuana Possession

Marijuana is considered a Schedule VI substance, which is the lowest of severity for controlled substances in the state. Often, marijuana possession has lighter sentences than more addictive or abused drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin. Despite this, there are still significant penalties for marijuana possession that should not be taken lightly.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession Vary

The penalties that you could expect to pay for marijuana possession charges in North Carolina depend on the amount found and whether the marijuana was for personal use or with the intent to distribute.

Can I be Arrested for Marijuana Possession in North Carolina?

Misdemeanor Charges

Most personal use marijuana possession charges are misdemeanors. If you’re caught with half an ounce or less, you can expect to pay a $200 fine. For half an ounce to 1.5 ounces, there is a $1,000 fine and up to 45 days of jail time. If you have more than 1.5 ounces, it is considered a felony with up to 8 months of jail time.

Felony Charges

Felony marijuana possession charges with the intent to distribute carry mandatory minimum jail sentences. This means that if convicted, there is a minimum amount of time that you will spend in jail. For this reason, it is important to consult with a drug crimes attorney in North Carolina to build a strong defense.

Some mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession in North Carolina:

● Between 10 pounds and 50 pounds has a 25-month minimum sentence and a $5,000 fine
● Between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds has a 35-month minimum sentence and a $25,000 fine
● Between 2,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds has a 70-month minimum sentence and a $50,000 fine
● More than 10,000 pounds has a 175-month minimum sentence and a $200,000 fine

Other Charges

There are other marijuana possession-related charges that carry hefty fines and jail time in North Carolina. These include:

● Sale or delivery of marijuana
● Sale of marijuana to a minor or a pregnant woman
● Sale of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a child care facility or public park
● Cultivation marijuana plants
● Possession of hash, concentrates, or paraphernalia

The Importance of Intent

Having a large amount of marijuana in your possession does not necessarily mean that you were planning on selling it. A charge for the intent to sell marijuana should include law enforcement officially finding other materials required to distribute marijuana such as plastic bags and scales. If a larger volume of marijuana was found without these other items, your drug crimes attorney could build a case that you did not have the intent to sell or deliver the drug and should have a lesser charge.

Prior Convictions

An important consideration when assessing the penalties for marijuana possession in North Carolina is whether you have a history of prior convictions. If this is your first offense, it will be easier to try to demand leniency than if you have a criminal record. No matter what your background is, you can discuss the impact of those convictions on your current case with a lawyer to determine how to best build a strong case.

Probation vs. Jail Time

The ultimate goal of having an experienced attorney by your side during sentencing is to get leniency. Ideally, you wouldn’t be convicted. However, if you are convicted, your lawyer will argue for probation instead of jail time in a state facility. This might make it possible to continue working and caring for your family even in spite of the conviction. For many people, spending months or years away from family is the worst part. This could potentially help to eliminate that concern.

Consult a Drug Crimes Attorney in North Carolina

All criminal offenses should be taken seriously. The sooner that you involve an experienced attorney in your case, the more options that you might have available to you legally. If you or a loved one have been charged with marijuana possession, 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 wrongful 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.