The Matheson Law Office Explores the 'Moral Monday' Protests that Occurred During the Summer of 2013

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This article covers the 'Moral Monday' protests against Republican initiatives in the summer of 2013 that led to the arrest of more than 900 people. These protestors all want to see their day in court, however there have been mixed signals coming from the courthouse as some cases are being dismissed while others are being convicted.

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As a result of these protests there have been over nine hundred arrests by law enforcement officials for charges including trespassing and obstruction of justice.

Based on a recent WRAL news article published August 30, 2013, the past summer season saw in influx of protests at the State Capital house in in reaction to recent Legislation that was enacted. Known as 'Moral Monday,' these protests took place outside the North Carolina state Senate building, the Capitol, and several other locations throughout the state. These protests were focused on fighting Republican initiatives that were recently enacted after the Republican Party won the majority in the State Legislator and Governor's Mansion. These initiatives have affected women's rights, educator salaries, voting rights, and unemployment, to name a few. As a result of these protests there have been over nine hundred arrests by law enforcement officials for charges including trespassing and obstruction of justice. The District Attorney has offered a deal for all nine hundred civilians arrested in these protests, offering them twenty five hours of community service and court costs of $180. "Most of these defendants want to see their day in court and would be wise to hire a Wake County Criminal Attorney to represent them," Attorney Matheson Stated.

In the article published by WRAL News, it discusses the NAACP and its statements against taking the plea deal offered by the state District Attorney. "The real predicament in this situation has less to do with Republican initiatives or trespassing charges, but a persons constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom to peaceably assemble," Raleigh Criminal Attorney M. Moseley Matheson stated. "I believe the majority of Defendant's elected not to accept the plea deal so that they, and more importantly their cause, could be heard in the court of law as well as the court of public opinion." This begs the question as to whether or not law enforcement was truly justified in arresting citizens for exercising their constitutional rights? The defendants and their attorneys taking their cases to trial do not think so, as they are intending to have each of their individual cases heard and tried. Granted, not all of the protestors are refusing the plea deal offered to them, some have chosen to take the easy route and just get the charges dismissed. For those who have decided to take this to trial, the NAACP has made it known that they are standing behind them.

There has also been variation in the outcomes of the trials that are being heard by the judges, some are being convicted and others are being dismissed. "I fully support the participants of the 'Moral Monday' protests in their exercises of freedom of speech," says Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Attorney Moseley Matheson, "Certainly there are limits to the fundamental rights of freedom of speech, however, given the various outcomes of the trials so far it would seem that these limitations are not being evenly applied." As Attorney Matheson points out, the mixed signals coming from the court house are conflicting and make this legal process even more confusing than it already is. For this reason it is always recommended that those being charged with criminal charges seek out an attorney to represent them and assist them in getting the best outcome possible.

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