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What Are The Defense Strategies Used In Sex Crime Cases?

Sex offenses vary greatly. Defending allegations of possession of child pornography is much different from defending against allegations of inappropriately touching a child. I tailor the defense to the situation. Sometimes, I use forensic experts in computer science, mental health, and social work to review the allegations and evidence. Other times, the defense centers on…

What Are The Common Drug Offenses In North Carolina?

I live in a college community, so I see a lot of lower level drug offenses, like marijuana possession. Many students and other people are charged with simple possession offenses, where the person is accused of possession a quantity of drugs most likely for personal use. While that is a common offense, I represent a…

How Is A Sex Crime Determined To Be A Misdemeanor Or A Felony

Sexual battery is the only misdemeanor sex crime in North Carolina. That does not mean a person accused ofa felony sexual offense will not be convicted of another misdemeanor. All other sexual assaults, or sexualcrimes, are felony offenses and carry very severe penalties. Those penalties include the risk of a prisonsentence and registration as a…

Immigration-Criminal Convictions

Several years ago, Atul Gawande published a book called The Checklist Manifesto. Gawande is a surgeon, public health researcher, and prolific writer. The premise of his book is routines and habits help prevent errors, and checklists encourage compliance with routines and habits. Without written reminders, doctors overlook important steps, just like anyone else. I am…

Inadmissibility Or Ineligibility For Admission to The US

Occasionally, I run into a classmate who surprises me. Some people live up to our expectations, especially the extremely talented or extremely troubled. Others surprise us. A couple years back I reunited with an old friend. Growing up, he was quiet, shy and unlikely to stray far from Eastern North Carolina. I was not surprised…

Use of Deadly Force

Several years ago, I was driving my son home from a basketball practice. We pulled off an exit ramp and passed a couple women attempting to change a tire. Something struck me, and I pulled over to help. My preteen son’s response: “what are you doing? don’t you know how it ends?” Now, I’m no…

Sometimes being kind beats being right

A mentor of sorts told me the story of his relationship with his brother. They were close in age and fierce rivals while growing up. They competed at everything. They were not violent, but argued every point. Neither gave ground to the other in making their cases. It continued throughout their childhoods until my mentor…

Maybe it just makes the story better

Richard Riggsbee was a lawyer in Durham, and a character. For many years, he practiced with Bill Cotter, who is still a character. Bill is from Boston, a Vietnam Veteran, and a graduate of Duke Law School. Richard was from Hillsborough, a graduate of Hillsborough High School, and a former assistant clerk of court. In…

Can I keep the Booker Prize?

My friend Steve Freedman is a wonderful lawyer. For more than forty years, he worked as a public defender. Steve retired recently from working as an assistant capital defender in North Carolina. As a young lawyer, Steve was assigned a felony marijuana case. His client was a well-dressed, nice looking young man. Like most people,…

Will we learn everything from the Tweet?

About twenty years ago, a local Sheriff’s department intercepted a large load of marijuana. Originally, the Sheriff’s deputies got great publicity for their good work: photos before bales of marijuana and reports of the street value redirected. Eventually, everyone wondered what would happen to the marijuana. Well, about 4000 pounds went missing from an Army…

Suggested amendments to Principle 1

Several years ago, a famous, extraordinarily successful trial lawyer sent me a book called How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Over the years, I taught trial advocacy at courses the lawyer organized. He drew the students; ordinary lawyers like me helped teach them. In his letter accompanying the book, the lawyer’s…

How Is A Sex Crime Defined In North Carolina?

There are different types of sex crimes. The lowest level is called Sexual Battery, which is a misdemeanor. Sexual battery is unwanted sexual conduct. It does not have to include genital penetration. In fact, sexual battery arises most often when someone touches another person in a way that does not constitute a sexual offense, like…

Maybe something remarkable will happen

In July, I wrote about the Tour de France. More accurately, I lamented the Tour’s postponement from the traditional schedule. The twenty-one stages of the Tour have run primarily in July since 1903 with the exception of several years over two world wars. I’ve watched most stages over the last two decades. The pandemic put…

Three Steps to Speaking Out

Years ago, I worked for a lawyer who had a tremendous influence over my career. He was kind, affable, and gregarious. These qualities were foundations of his personality. My boss was also smart, tenacious, and savvy, although these qualities were buried deep within a pleasant veneer that may have come off as weakness to some…

Sitting out the action

As a criminal defense lawyer, I spend a lot of time with prosecutors. Without a doubt, they see the world differently than I do. They say “guilty,” I say “not guilty.” They focus on the illegality, selfishness, and, sometimes, brutality of a person’s conduct while I highlight the potential for redemption. We are just wired…

Should we try it under the trees?

We just passed the 95th anniversary of one of the most famous trials in history. In March 1925, the Tennessee state legislature passed the Butler Act prohibiting teaching evolution in Tennessee schools. A science teacher named John Scopes challenged the law and was charged with violating the Act. The trial, known as the Scopes Monkey…

How did we make it through July?

Twenty years ago, I practiced law with a wonderful lawyer named Kirk Osborn. Kirk was athletic, handsome, and charismatic. He exuded confidence and kindness. I envied the way people were instantly drawn to him, especially strangers. We tried a number of complex, contentious, and emotionally grueling cases together. No doubt, I am a better lawyer…

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Call, text, or email criminal defense attorney Amos Tyndall.

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