Tag Archives: criminal defense attorney in raleigh

Was I Resisting Arrest?

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

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

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

North Carolina Law

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

Was I Resisting Arrest?“If any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

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

How You “Resist Arrest”

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

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

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

Defending Yourself Against Resisting Arrest

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

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

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

State v. Humphreys

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

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

Contact Raleigh’s Criminal Defense Attorney For Resisting Arrest

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC. Before working as a defense attorney, he was a Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He understands the criminal justice system and can handle resisting arrest as well as other criminal charges.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

Assault With A Deadly Weapon Penalties in the North Carolina Courts

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

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

The Charge

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

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

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

A “serious injury” is one that:

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

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

What Is A “Deadly Weapon?”

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

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

Sentencing And Penalties

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

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

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley In Raleigh

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

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

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

North Carolina’s “Second Chance Act”

An old charge for disorderly conduct or other minor offense that’s dismissed can keep you from getting a job, into college, or the military. Even though it was dismissed, it keeps showing up in background checks for years. You explain it, but not everyone believes you.

It’s estimated that one in four residents of North Carolina has past criminal records that have long-term consequences. This includes arrests that ended in the dismissal of charges, “not guilty” verdicts, or was for nonviolent misdemeanor convictions. Even if dismissed, they show up in background checks for things like military enlistment, college educations, and employment. In many cases, having a “record” can prevent a person from pursuing a range of opportunities.

We’ve mentioned the topic of expungement in our blog last August. In fact, under some circumstances, it’s already available Since then, North Carolina has passed a new law that expands expungement in the state. The new law makes it easier to expunge if you have one of these low-level charges and other entries that give you a lasting criminal record.

Second Chance Act, SB 562

Passed unanimously by the NC General Assembly in June of 2020 and signed into law by Governor Ray Cooper, the Second Chance Act became effective on December 1, 2020. It’s also been nicknamed the “clean slate” bill.

 North Carolina’s New "Second Chance Act" For Drug OffensesAnyone wishing to request an expungement must do so by filing a petition since it is not automatic. The new law allows for the expunction (also called “expungement”) for:

  • Some juvenile convictions, misdemeanors, or a Class H or I felony
  • Nonviolent misdemeanor and felony convictions
  • Acquittals and dismissed charges

You can be granted an expungement if:

  • You haven’t been convicted of any misdemeanors or felonies during the required five- to ten-year period
  • You have shown good moral character
  • You’ve not been granted a previous expunction for a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony
  • You have no:
    • Outstanding warrants
    • Obligations
    • Restitutions
    • Pending criminal cases

Exceptions

However, there are some exceptions under the Second Chance act, including:

  • Class A1 misdemeanors
  • Felonies that are Class A through G
  • Any offenses that include sexual assault
  • Any offenses that require sex offender registration
  • Specific sex-related and stalking offenses
  • Felony possession with intent to sell or deliver:
    • Heroin
    • Cocaine
    • Methamphetamines
  • Any offense that involves driving while impaired

Convictions such as these are not eligible for expunction.

In the future, new dismissed charges and acquittals will be automatically expunged from records as a matter of course, except for motor vehicle violations. This provision becomes effective on December 1, 2021.

For North Carolina Drug Offenses

Those with non-violent drug trafficking charges are also eligible to petition the court for dismissal of their previous record. This includes all lower-level criminal convictions, dismissed charges, and verdicts of “not guilty.”

But in North Carolina, drug trafficking comes with mandatory prison sentences, and a conviction makes it difficult to get out.

An additional new law, called the “First Step Act” allows a judge to deviate from standard long prison sentences and high fines if:

  • The individual has avoided any violent activity
  • Admits to having a drug problem
  • Is not a repeat offender

The idea is to help those with addiction seek out treatment, rather than languish in prison with long sentences. The judge will have to see certain findings and has the discretion to give a shorter sentence if these conditions are met.

Additionally, those convicted of drug trafficking prior to December 1, 2020, can request for a judge to retroactively ease their punishment.

How To Get A Second Chance

Because these expungements are not yet automatic, you’ll have to file the petition yourself with the help of a criminal defense attorney. The petition requests that the judge grant your expunction, and your record will be erased for that charge or incident.

While you can file the petition on your own, it’s best to discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney who will review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

Note that while expunged criminal records aren’t available to the public, expunctions can still be accessed by law enforcement and courts if there is a new offense or conviction.

Take Advantage Of The Second Chance Act

Old charges don’t disappear from our record, nor do dismissals and acquittals. You have to take action to make it happen. Let Dewey P. Brinkley help you get your Second Chance so you can move on from past Noth Carolina drug offenses.

Dewey P. Brinkley has defended thousands of clients against various criminal charges and helped many with the expunction of a long-ago minor criminal record.  Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation. You can also email us at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.

 

What Are The Different Types Of Defense Lawyers In Raleigh?

When you are in need of legal defense, it’s important to choose the right lawyer for your needs. It’s not enough to hire a relative or ask around until you find someone. When you’re a defendant, a lawyer with hands-on, specific experience is key to the best outcome.

Even with a referral, it is important to not only find someone who can defend you in a legal action, but also the right one for your type of case. Here, we’ll discuss four different types of defense attorneys you may need, depending on your situation.

Civil Litigation Defense Lawyers

What Are The Different Types Of Defense Lawyers In Raleigh?Also called trial lawyers, these attorneys defend people and companies who have been sued. In some cases, there is money involved. Lawyers who deal with civil litigation cover many fields of civil law, including:

  • Personal injury cases such as car accidents
  • Mass torts and class action lawsuits
  • Commercial law
  • Business disputes, such as breach of contract
  • Trust & estate litigation such as contested wills

Representing defendants, civil litigation defense lawyers may also have a specific type of law that they practice, such as estate litigation or insurance defense.

Family Law

While most people think that a family law lawyer means a “divorce lawyer,” that’s only part of what they do. In addition to divorces, a family law attorney can help with:

  • Agreements, including:
    • Prenuptial
    • Postnuptial
    • Cohabitation
  • Annulments, a nullification of legal marriage as an alternative to divorce
  • Adoptions
  • Child custody and visitation rights
  • Wills and trusts

Many people find themselves in need of defense after being surprised by a divorce or unfairly accused of wrongdoing by the other party interested in gaining an advantage. Divorce cases can become very heated and contentious, with one or both parties offering allegations that have to be proven or disproven. Some family law lawyers may represent both plaintiffs and defendants, others may work only with one or the other. It’s important to make sure that if you need a lawyer for divorce defense that he or she has this type of experience.

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Anyone accused of a crime—from a small misdemeanor to a serious felony—is entitled to have and hire legal defense. An attorney who defends those accused of this activity understands how the criminal justice system works and has the considerable experience that offers the best chance of a positive outcome.

What’s also important is to find someone who works in the local criminal courts as well. Individual courts and judges have their own way of doing things. A criminal defense lawyer with local-court experience knows how each court and the various judges handle their proceedings. This can go a long way in creating a strong, effective defense for your case, and increase your chances of winning.

A criminal defense attorney can help with:

  • Traffic Tickets
  • Misdemeanor offenses, such as disorderly conduct and simple affray
  • Suspended driver’s license
  • Expunction, aka expungements
  • Juvenile crimes
  • DWI
  • Assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Violent felonies, such as armed robbery and burglary
  • Drug Crimes
  • Sex crimes
  • Financial crimes, such as embezzlement

While many criminal defense lawyers handle multiple types of cases, some also handle one specific type of case, such as DWI.

Criminal Defense Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley In Raleigh

If you’ve been accused of a crime or arrested for one, it’s important to find a strong defense attorney quickly to begin building an effective defense. Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC who understands the criminal justice system, and how to defend you against many types of criminal charges.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com

Charged With Resisting Arrest During Protests In Raleigh?

Free speech is still an American right. Expressions of free speech are protected by the First Amendment, and gatherings of these types have increased in numbers since the death of George Floyd in May. While many demonstrators were peacefully protesting, others were not, leading to violence and destruction in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Charlotte, and other cities around the Tar Heel State.

Police nationwide have arrested both peaceful protesters right alongside looters and violent mobs to prevent more vandalism and harm to residents. What do you do if you were in one of these protests and found yourself arrested?

The Right To Protest

Help When Charged With Resisting Arrest During Protests In RaleighProtesting comes under the First Amendment and “free speech.” This means that you have the right to express an opinion in public, anytime, anywhere, with some limitations. (Not all speech is “protected” by the First Amendment, such as inciting riots or “fighting words.”) Protests and demonstrations on private property, such as a place of business or employment, are not as protected.

However, protests that evolve into more than civil disobedience and involve illegal activity such as rioting, burning, looting, and other conduct that can cause injury or property damage can lead to arrest and other police intervention.

Large-scale demonstrations generally require permits to accommodate the additional police presence for the protection of attendees.

Resisting Arrest

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

“If any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

In addition to resisting arrest when you’re told, it also means interfering with any police officer who is doing his or her job. This includes the act of interfering when an officer is arresting someone else. Additional causes include using abusive language towards law enforcement, giving false information such as name and address, refusing to accept a citation, and preventing an officer from doing his or her job, such as interfering with another arrest.

Not complying with a police request can also be considered “resisting arrest,” based on the officer’s judgment. Therefore, it’s important at such a public event to allow the police to do their job, and comply with their requests.

If you’re charged with a different offense, such as disorderly conduct, actively resisting arrest can bring a second charge, even if the first one for disorderly conduct is eventually dropped. If you’re innocent of the original charge, resisting arrest is a separate charge for which you will be tried.

Should you be part of an arrest during a protest that turns dangerous or violent, you have the right to the criminal defense attorney of your choice. A defense attorney can help you through the court process and work to have the charges reduced or even dropped.

Need Help With Resisting Arrest Charges? Contact Raleigh’s Criminal Defense Attorney

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 has experience with resisting arrest as both misdemeanor and felony charges.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.