Roberts Law Group, PLLC
North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

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North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

LAPD's downsizing raises bigger question: Is defunding police the right move?

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The tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers spurred a nationwide reckoning. Police violence - and the systemic racial injustice that plagues so many police forces - spurred protests, ballot measures and legislative action. Floyd's death also fomented calls to defund the police, first in Minneapolis, then across the country.

After Oregon trailblazes the path to decriminalizing drugs, will others follow suit?

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November's election brought sweeping changes throughout much of the country. Voters approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana in four states. Medical marijuana was approved in two others. And Oregon became the first state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of "hard" drugs. The ballot measure passed by a wide margin - 58.5 percent.

Why are murder rates spiking in North Carolina?

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It's been a tough year all around, what with the pandemic, contentious election, racial injustices, riots. As if it couldn't get any worse, violent crime is on the rise. Homicides have risen by an average of 24 percent nationwide.

North Carolina is also seeing a sharp spike in homicides. The Queen City alone is on pace for the highest annual homicide count in recent history. Already, the count has nearly doubled the total number of homicides in 2019. Asheville and Greenville have likewise already surpassed last year's totals.

Do Trump's tax-avoiding tactics cross the line?

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Aggressive tax strategies, questionable deductions and mountains of debt: These are just a few of the revelations that came to light in a recent New York Times exposé of Trump's tax records. The Times obtained two decades of tax returns from a protected source. Trump has long put off releasing the records, claiming they're wrapped up in an IRS audit. (The audit, while still ongoing, doesn't prevent him from releasing the returns.)

Wishing the president harm on social media: a federal felony?

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It's an unusual time in history. Not only are we in the midst of one of the most divisive presidential elections in recent times; we're also in the middle of a pandemic, the likes of which the world hasn't seen in over a century. History took an ironic - and perhaps, some would say, karmic - twist when President Trump announced that he and the First Lady tested positive for COVID on October 1st.

Trump has long downplayed the severity of the virus and flouted public health guidelines. He and his family refused to wear masks during the presidential debate on September 29th. During the debate, he mocked Biden for wearing "the biggest mask I've ever seen." Trump tested positive for the virus just a few days later.

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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