Roberts Law Group, PLLC
North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

On March 13, the North Carolina Supreme Court announced that courts throughout the state would close for at least 30 days, in an effort to protect public safety amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Roberts Law Group will remain open during this time. We are available to meet with new and existing clients in-person or on the phone. Please call our law office to schedule a time to meet.

We FIGHT for the Best Results
We FIGHT for the Best Results

North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

What hopes do Democrats have for blocking another Trump nominee on the Supreme Court?

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It's been an explosive election year, with an impeachment, pandemic, economic freefall, George Floyd, riots and wildfires. The recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg added more fuel to the unfolding political firestorm. Less than two months before the election, one question looms large: Will Republicans succeed in filling her seat with another conservative justice?

Federal government starts cracking down on PPP fraud

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The coronavirus pandemic has hit small businesses hard, and many are desperate for funds to keep their doors open. An alphabet soup of financial aid - PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loans) and MSLP (Main Street Lending Program), to name a few - is available through the federal government. During its four-month run, PPP alone received more than five million applications and disbursed more than $500 billion.

With such vast sums of potentially forgivable loans available on such a large scale - and during times of crisis when it might seem like the government is looking the other way - fraud was bound to occur. Now, some of those cases are coming to light. And the charges are nothing to bat an eye at. They range from bank and wire fraud to identity theft, conspiracy and tax evasion.

Jacob Blake shooting: How much do the facts matter?

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By now, it's become all too familiar: The disturbing footage of a Black man being brutalized by a white police officer. The public outcry. The rush to judgment. The twists and turns, the newly discovered facts, the endless slogging of accusations that cast doubt on whether we can ever know what really happened.

The riots, the looting, the escalating violence. The promises of change, of reform, of justice.

And then, it happens all over again.

How Black attorneys in North Carolina have overcome hurdles throughout history

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Black attorneys have made enormous contributions to the legal profession in North Carolina. Their stories involve overcoming countless challenges in the pursuit of justice. From a pioneering group of 14 in 1890 to more than a thousand strong today, Black attorneys are part of the backbone of our justice system.

The fight for equal opportunities in the legal profession didn't come easy. It took many decades - and many courageous leaders - to pave the way. Here's a look at just a few of the hurdles they had to overcome from the post-Civil War era to the Civil Rights time period and beyond.

What will appointment of new federal judge mean for criminal caseload?

The Eastern District of North Carolina finally has a new federal judge on the bench after a record-breaking 14-year vacancy. Richard E. Myers II, a former law professor at UNC, was confirmed in December. Born in Jamaica, he grew up in Wilmington, where he served as a journalist for StarNews before attending law school at UNC Chapel Hill. His credentials including service as both a criminal defense attorney and federal prosecutor.

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George Floyd: Unpacking the criminal charges against the former police officers

Last week, George Floyd joined dozens of others on the grim roll call of black men needlessly killed by white police officers. Pinned to the ground on his belly for nearly nine minutes, Floyd (who, incidentally, was born in North Carolina) begged for his life. He cried, "I can't breathe," at least sixteen times in five minutes before becoming unresponsive. Bystanders pleaded with police to get off him, to check his pulse, to stop killing him.

As captured in the horrifying cellphone video that quickly went viral, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee pinned to Floyd's neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds - including nearly three minutes after Floyd stopped moving. Floyd's death sparked global protests and civil unrest.

Charlotte man charged with sex trafficking of a minor and child pornography

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has arrested and charged a 43-year-old man with sex trafficking of a minor and child pornography. A grand jury sitting in federal court unsealed the indictment.

The indictment alleges that Bryan Lee Ragon was involved in the production of visual materials depicting the minor "engaging in sexually explicit conduct." Mr. Ragon allegedly transported the minor across state lines - the Western District of North Carolina, Wisconsin, and elsewhere - to engage in illegal sexual activity sometime in December 2015. Mr. Ragon is also accused of allegedly receiving pornographic material involving children.

Charlotte limo driver charged for alleged rape and assault of passenger

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CHARLOTTE N.C. - Officers of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department have arrested a limo driver for allegedly raping and strangling a female passenger.

CMPD said that 37-year-old limo driver, Albeno Maywal, allegedly picked up a 45-year-old woman along North Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte on December 23, 2019. According to police, Maywal then allegedly raped and assaulted the woman inside the limo. The warrant stated that the alleged assault involved strangulation. The woman also allegedly suffered serious burns to her lower extremities from a propane-fueled device, a report said. Police were informed four days after the alleged incident took place.

Northern Guilford Middle School teacher charged for the alleged rape of a student under 15

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GREENSBORO N.C. - A former teacher at Northern Guilford Middle School was arrested by police for allegedly committing statutory rape against a 15-year-old student while she was a teacher at the school.

Deputies of the Guilford County Sherrif's office arrested 41-year-old Carly Smith after investigating the allegations. According to reports, Ms. Smith allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with the student for six months since December 2018.

Trial By Zoom: What Are The Implications For Criminal Cases?

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As it becomes more apparent that the coronavirus is here to stay - at least for the foreseeable future - the pandemic raises questions about court proceedings and jury trials. Will defendants awaiting trial remain stuck in limbo? What about those in prison, unable to make bail? How do they enforce their right to a speedy trial at a time when courts around the country are shut down? Some courts have experimented with court proceedings via Zoom, the popular videoconferencing software.

Texas recently began its first Zoom jury trial, although the case was a civil, not criminal, and the verdict won't be binding. A Florida court considered a child abduction case under the Hague Convention via videoconferencing - a more common format in the international context. With criminal proceedings, however, it's not so straightforward.

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