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Attorney Carilyn Ibsen's Blog

about Criminal Defense in North Carolina and South Carolina


Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Necessity of an Expungement

Today's job market is tough. With record numbers of American unemployed, college graduates unable to find employment and many workers told "you are overqualified for the position", those who have criminal records are  even more challenged to find employment. I blogged previously on a Wall Street Journal Article that addressed the high number of people requesting their criminal records be expunged in an attempt to make them more competitive in the job market. An expungement is a process that erases your criminal past.

The Charlotte Observer ran an article today about the record number of people in North Carolina filing for expungements. North Carolina has very strict rules regarding expungements. However, the record of the case is not accessible once the process is complete. For a person applying for a job in today's job market, a clean criminal record is very important.


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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another Weekend in Charlotte, Another DWI Checkpoint

Another weekend in Charlotte brings another DWI checkpoint. Mecklenburg Police Department set up a DWI/DUI checkpoint near the Southpark area at Park Road & Archdale. The Charlotte Observer reported that 67 citations were issued and 16 people were arrested for DWI. The checkpoint ran from 11 pm to 3 am.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Cost of Drugs

Anyone who has faced addiction understands the control it takes over your life. Anyone who watched their friend or family member spiral out of control realizes they have little, if any, control over the addict. My perspective on addiction changed dramatically when I become involved in the drug and DWI courts as a prosecutor in California. The process was very collaborative and similar to how juvenile courts operate  in Mecklenburg County. The prosecutor, defense attorney, judge and the counseling staff would meet and discuss the participants on a weekly basis. It is very unusual for a prosecutor to have access to just about every detail of a defendant's life. I witnessed how drug or alcohol controlled the person's life. Simple things like getting to an appointment on time were challenging. For the majority of people, the program worked.

Mecklenburg County drug court is facing a budget cut. The program is on the chopping block. As of Friday, Mecklenburg County commissioners were trying to find a solution that would prevent this. Statistics show drug courts work.  For those who like numbers- the cost of drug court is less than incarceration and the recidivism rate for drug court graduates is substantially lower. This is not a program that we can afford to loose.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Probation Violation

A probation violation can be just as serious as a new criminal case. I have blogged before about the complexity of a probation violation. Today's Simple Justice blog addressed a well known case in Charlotte involving Tiffany Wright. Tiffany Wright was murdered.  No one has been charged with her murder. When a DNA test showed Mr. Mitchell was not the father of Ms. Wright's baby, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney did not proceed with a statutory rape case against Royce Mitchell. Case closed? Royce Mitchell is released? No.
Royce Mitchell was on supervised release for a federal drug case. Royce Mitchell was sent back to prison for 2 1/2 years on a supervised release violation. His appeal was recently denied. Like I said, a probation violation can be just as serious as a new criminal case.

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