Skip to main content
Richard Andrew McCoppin

Richard McCoppin’s Answers

8 total

  • I got possession of marijuana and I'm 17 and it's my first offense will this effect me I wanna go to school and get a career.

    Richard’s Answer

    You have three options. Plead not guilty and proceed to trial, plead guilty, or participate in the 9096 first offender diversion program for marijuana. The 9096 program requires you to attend 15 hours of "say no to drugs" type classes, not be convicted of any criminal charge during the 12 month long program, and pay the court $430. If you successfully complete the program, the court will dismiss your charges. Then, these dismissed charges can be expunged or erased from your record. However, you can only have one set of dismissed cases erased so you may want to save your one-time expungement for a more serious case. An experienced criminal attorney can give you more information. Remember, if the state can't prove it's case, you may want to plead not guilty and go to trail.

    See question 
  • I got possession of marijuana and I'm 17 will it be on my record? And also what will I get in big trouble?

    Richard’s Answer

    You have three options. Plead not guilty and proceed to trial, plead guilty, or participate in the 9096 first offender diversion program for marijuana. The 9096 program requires you to attend 15 hours of "say no to drugs" type classes, not be convicted of any criminal charge during the 12 month long program, and pay the court $430. If you successfully complete the program, the court will dismiss your charges. Then, these dismissed charges can be expunged or erased from your record. However, you can only have one set of dismissed cases erased so you may want to save your one-time expungement for a more serious case. An experienced criminal attorney can give you more information. Remember, if the state can prove it's case, you may want to plead not guilty and go to trail.

    See question 
  • I am charged with obtaining of property by false pretense, the only thing I did was I went to ER, am insured and is paid off

    Richard’s Answer

    The hospital and prosecutor believe you used a false name to keep the hospital from billing you or your insurance company. As with any criminal case, you can plead not guilty and proceed to trial, work out a plea bargain with the state, or plead guilty. If you have gained U.S. citizenship, a felony conviction for false pretense might not affect you right to stay in the U.S. However, if your are not a U.S. citizen even a misdemeanor conviction could lead to canceling your green card and deportation. You need to consult both an immigration attorney and criminal defense attorney to determine all the possible consequences of this case. If the state won't work out an acceptable deal, then go to trial.

    See question 
  • Shop lifting a item valued at $138 from Belk.

    Richard’s Answer

    You are only allowed to complete the North Carolina first offender program once. Even though your first shoplifting charge was erased from your public record, the first offender program keeps its own records to stop people from using the program more than once. If your first shoplifting case was in another state, then North Carolina will have no record of it and you may complete our first offender program.
    Sometimes a skilled attorney can negotiate an unofficial diversion agreement with the prosecutor to get your case dismissed because a conviction may cause you to lose your financial aid.
    Lastly, plead not guilty. Many shoplifting cases get dismissed because the store employee who observed your theft never comes to court to testify against you.

    See question 
  • What are the qualifications needed to receive the aid of a public defender? (Wake County, NC)

    Richard’s Answer

    At your first court appearance, the judge will remind you that you have the right to be represented by an attorney. Then, the judge will ask you if you want to represent yourself, hire an attorney, or ask for court appointed counsel. If you are concerned you don't have enough money to hire an attorney, you should ask for a court appointed attorney. You may always replace your court appointed attorney with a hired attorney at any time. The judge will ask you to fill out an affidavit to determine if you can afford an attorney. Only people without the income or wealth to hire an attorney are entitled to a court appointed attorney. If you are eventually found guilty, the court will order you to repay the state for the cost of your attorney.

    See question 
  • Consulting the department store to drop charges

    Richard’s Answer

    Very unlikely. If you were arrested, the judge who set your release conditions probably ordered you to stay away from the store. Returning to the store may violate your release conditions and lead to your arrest for trespassing.
    You have three options when facing a shoplifting charge.
    FIRST, you may plead not guilty and proceed to trial. For the state to convict you, the store employee who observed your theft must come to court and testify in person. Often, the store employee will never come to court, the state will not be able to proceed to trial and the case will be dismissed. If the store employee comes to court, consider options two and three below.
    SECOND, you may plead guilty and pay a fine. A good attorney should be able to negotiate a plea bargain for a suspended jail sentence and unsupervised probation. However, pleading guilty means you have a permanent conviction on your record.
    THIRD, for a first offense, you may participate in a diversion program called First Offenders. You must sign a confession of guilt, pay $430 to the court and complete 75 hours of community service within 6 months. If successful, the case will be dismissed and can be erased from you record completely. You need to hire an attorney to assist you.

    See question 
  • Criminal background check; what do I look for?

    Richard’s Answer

    Some criminal background checks compare names and birthrates. Some do not. If the person you are checking has a relatively common name, the convictions you found may be for someone else.

    References from previous landlords may be the best measure of the character of your possible tenant. Convictions for charges of crimes involving theft, dishonesty or violence should be your biggest concern. Whichever tenant you chose, be sure to use a written lease agreement. You may be able to get a copy of the NC Board of Realtors form lease contract from a realtor.

    See question 
  • How do i prove harassment?

    Richard’s Answer

    The officer who took the Marijuana complaint will disclose the name of the informant to the local District Attorney's office. Please contact a local attorney who can ask an assistant district attorney ("ADA") to determine if the informant was your ex. The ADA should be willing to confirm that the informant was or was not your ex. If they are the same person, the assistant district attorney may be willing to release that report to you to provide you with a basis for filing a lawsuit.

    Depending upon your situation, you may be able to get a magistrate judge to issue a warrant for stalking or communicating threats against your ex. A 50B domestic violence restraining order may also be an option if you have received any threats of violence. If by ex you mean ex-husband, then your family court may be an option if your divorce is still pending or if you share minor children. Good Luck!

    See question