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North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are the elements of taking indecent liberties with a child?

There are many offenses that are considered sex crimes. One of these offenses is taking indecent liberties with children. If you are charged with such an offense, it's important to begin putting your defense together. This and other similar crimes carry stiff penalties, but there are other issues that may arise. For example, you may find your reputation is damaged and your friends and family are not supporting you. The media may be involved and reporting what happens with your case. In some cases, you may feel as though you have been found guilty in the court of public opinion even though you are supposed to be presumed innocent until -- and only if -- you are found guilty by a court of law.

The elements of taking indecent liberties with a child are:

Teen had plans to join ISIS, rob Raleigh gun store and more

A two-month investigation by the York Police Department into a teenage boy was kept quiet by officials because of a public safety concern. According to the York police chief, once the teen was arrested, they did not believe there was "any other danger to the community."

The teen, whose family is from Syria, lived with his mother in York. Police reportedly received information that the teen had a handgun. An initial investigation located the teen on social media. The contacts on those websites and other places showed that the teen wanted to join the terrorist group ISIS. An ISIS flag was found in the teen's room, as well as other materials.

It's Time for Body Cameras on Police


The Onion, "America's Finest [Satirical] News Source," published a piece on April 9 - shortly after the Walter Scott shooting - detailing the pros and cons of body cameras for police. One of the cons: "Is still only going to be the irrefutable video evidence's word against the police officer's." Behind this tongue-in-cheek statement is a harsh truth: Were it not for the bystander who captured the shooting on video, what reason would there have been to doubt the police officer's story?

Drug Dog Better Be On Time: High Court Strengthens Fourth Amendment in Sniffing Case


Too bad, officer. If your drug dog isn't handy, you can't keep the driver waiting. According to Julian Hattem with the Hill, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that officers cannot keep someone waiting or detained - absent probable cause - after the officer has already dealt with the original issue, such as having issued a ticket for speeding.

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, "We hold that a police stop exceeding the time needed to handle the matter for which the stop was made violates the Constitution's shield against unreasonable seizures."

Statistics about federal drug trafficking

Federal drug trafficking charges can turn your world upside down. These cases often take months to build and involve multiple law enforcement agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration or even the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

According to the United States Sentencing Commission, there were 22,215 drug trafficking cases in 2013. Six drug types made up 97 percent of those cases. Those drug types were:

Panelist feel sex offender registry too harmful for minors

On Monday, April 6, the NYU Review of Law and Social Change hosted a panel to discuss the current sex offender registry and what people who are listed on it experience -- especially the stigma associated with it.

One of the panelists said that the category of sex offenders is expanding, but in troubling ways. He said, "From peeing in public to a serial pedophile, the sex offender label casts an enormous net that traps harmless people into the stereotype of child rapists." In addition, he said that the sensitive nature of sex offender registries as well as lack of interest in changing the requirements means that the laws governing inclusion on the list are seldom reformed.

'Booze It & Lose It' campaign results in fewer DWI arrests

There were more DWI checkpoints and patrol units on North Carolina highways than usual between March 13 and March 17. The state's "Booze It & Lose It" campaign targeted impaired drivers over the St. Patrick's Day holiday.

This year, law enforcement arrested 785 people for DWI, which is fewer than the over 800 people arrested last year. According to one sergeant in the state's highway patrol, "We were definitely out there. Maybe people are starting to get the idea to not do that."

Government employees arrested for various child porn, sex crimes

The Internet has certainly changed the world in which we live. Virtually anything can be found online and that includes millions of images of child pornography. What once used to be hidden away in homes is now found all over the Internet.

According to federal statistics, child exploitation and pornography cases have increased. Between 2007 and 2012, over 11,447 people have been charged with such sex crimes as the sexual exploitation of a minor. According to a review of public reports and records, in the past 10 years, at least 22 federal, state and local employees have been convicted of child sex crimes involving child pornography to violent acts against infants.

Arrested For Drug Abuse? Here's One Way to Avoid Conviction


Avoid Conviction with Conditional Discharge

If you've been arrested and charged with drug possession for the first time (and in rare cases sale or distribution), North Carolina law allows for "conditional discharge" in some cases.

In general, conditional discharge means that if you fulfill court-ordered substance abuse counseling and/or community service, you can avoid having a conviction entered on your record. In some cases, a good defense attorney can persuade a court to allow you to receive a conditional discharge, even if you have a prior drug conviction. See State v. Clark (January 20, 2015) (because defendant's prior drug conviction was more than 7 years prior, the court had the authority to conditionally discharge defendant's possession of cocaine charge).

This means no jail time. No criminal record. In other words, in those cases that allow for conditional discharge, your future will remain alive and well.

If you or a family member has been arrested on a drug charge, call defense attorney Patrick Roberts today at 866-630-2389. We will answer your questions about conditional discharge. You may also read below to learn more about who might benefit from this law and why.

Facing Criminal Charges? How a Bit of 'Preventive Law' Could Have Helped You


You've heard of preventive medicine. In general, preventive medicine is the idea that you can take steps to manage or even prevent injury and illness by proactively taking care of your health through diet, exercise, etc.

Have you heard of preventive law?

As a concept, preventive law has been around for a while, but it's not nearly as commonplace as preventive medicine. With preventive law, you try to find ways to stop potential legal problems from becoming worse. In the best of circumstances, preventive law might even stop a legal problem from happening in the first place.

Take criminal charges, as one example.

If only you had known about preventive law and taken advantage of it ahead of time. It's quite possible that (1) you already would have known who to call when you got in trouble and (2) you may have prevented the situation from getting worse than it already is.

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