Tag Archives: north carolina 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.

What Is the Crime of Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment refers to any unwelcome communication or contact that creates a hostile or offensive work environment. This can be verbal or physical, such as unwanted touching or sexual comments.

Sexual harassment can interfere with someone’s ability to perform their job or create an intimidating or offensive work environment.

When harassment escalates beyond  a breach of civil or workplace acceptable behavior, then perpetrators may move into criminal behavior and arrestable charges. The crime of harassment is a serious offense that can have profound consequences. Criminal harassment is defined as a pattern of harassing actions against a specific individual. In this article, we’ll discuss sexual harassment  in the context of a criminal offense.

Crimes Associated With Sexual Harassment

sexual harassment at workplace

There are a number of crimes associated with sexual harassment in North Carolina. In our state there isn’t a specific crime called sexual harassment. Rather, behaviors and actions that are harassing with a sexual overtone can qualify as other types of offenses that are a crime. These include:

Statutory rape
Forcible rape
Forcible sexual offense
● Sexual activity with a parent
● Sexual activity with a student
Sexual battery
Domestic violence


Types of Sexual Harassment

The definition of sexual harassment, as seen earlier, is in the context of inappropriate workplace behavior. If you engage in workplace misbehavior, this is not a crime but rather a reason for workplace discipline and perhaps discharge from the job. Workplace harassers will often have to resign to avoid being fired. For example, House Representative Scotty Campbell of Tennessee recently resigned when his workplace sexual harassment was revealed.   Examples of workplace sexual harassment are:

Quid Pro Quo

The most common type of sexual harassment in the workplace is quid pro quo. It occurs when a person in a position of power, such as a supervisor or manager, requests or demands sexual favors from an employee in exchange for some benefit. This can range from offering promotions, raises, or special privileges to punishments, such as withholding job security, if those favors are not granted.

Hostile Working Environment

Another form of workplace sexual harassment is creating a hostile working environment through unwelcome sexual conduct such as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, comments of a sexual nature, physical contact of a sexual nature, and other forms of sexual contact.

These actions of an individual make the workplace  intimidating, hostile, or offensive for one or more workers by their sexual comments and actions.  Creating a hostile workplace environment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and employers are obligated to take steps to prevent it from occurring in the workplace. Employers must have policies in place that prohibit such behavior and provide training to employees so they understand what constitutes inappropriate conduct. An employee found to be guilty of sexual harassment will likely be fired and could be sued civilly by the victim or victims.

Harassment Can Escalate to Criminal Behavior

But harassment can take many forms, including sexual, and occur outside a workplace. For example, a person can be harassed by racist slurs, homophobic comments,  misogynist remarks, and inappropriate comments about a disability. Sexual harassing comments may be ones that discuss things of a sexual nature the speaker would want to do to the victim or comments about body parts like breasts and genitalia.  Further touching a person such as rubbing their back or thigh while indicating attraction when it is not welcomed, wanted, or invited is harassment. Imagine a woman riding a bus daily, and some rider creep starting commenting on her breasts

For example Sexual Battery is a crime defined as “the crime of sexual battery may occur if an individual, for sexual pleasure, gratification, or abuse, engages in sexual contact with another individual.” For sexual battery to be a crime, the sexual contact must have been by force or against the will of the other person, or if the person isn’t able to reject the sexual advances because he/she is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

Being accused of the crime of harassment, sexual battery,  forcible sexual offense, or rape  is a serious accusation. If accused or charged with a crime of this magnitude, you are likely afraid about what will happen to you if convicted.

Criminal Penalties in North Carolina

Criminal harassment convictions in North Carolina are often the most serious type of misdemeanor in the state called a Class A1 misdemeanor.  However, some convictions can be felony convictions.

For example, stalking is a crime in North Carolina and can definitely be harassing behavior. A defendant with prior stalking convictions is guilty of a Class F felony. Stalking also often falls within the domain of domestic violence, another criminal offense. If convicted of a felony offense, the penalty could be up to 12 years in prison and/or fines.

If convicted you have a criminal record which will likely affect your ability to get or keep a job, obtain a loan, be approved for an apartment, and other such effects. You will likely experience difficulties in your personal  with relationships and your mental health.  Further a conviction can be strong evidence if you are sued civilly for your actions and if found culpable then hefty compensatory damages as well as punitive damages may be awarded which is intended to civilly punish the offender and deter future bad behavior.

Seek Help If Criminally Charged

If you have been accused of any type of criminal harassment or related crimes, it is important to seek legal help from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Dewey Brinkley is a renowned Raleigh criminal defense lawyer who understands how charges like these can be terrifying and a conviction can be negatively life changing. He understands your rights under the law and will work to defend you rigorously against such accusations. Following his stint as a Wake County Assistant District Attorney and establishing his law office in 2005, he has focused on handling serious feloniesDWIdrug crimessex offenses and misdemeanors.

Clearly having an experienced criminal defense lawyer is key to beating allegations of criminal behavior.

Contact a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been unjustly accused of criminal harassment or other sexual offenses, it is essential to seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer immediately. As an experienced trial attorney and skilled litigator, Attorney Brinkley can navigate the North Carolina criminal justice system, build a strong defense strategy, and work to help you avoid conviction. Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form for assistance.

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