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Asheville Criminal Law Blog

DWI laws in North Carolina carry significant penalties

This blog recently discussed the importance of knowing how to challenge certain tests related to drunk driving charges. It is also important for individuals accused of DWI in North Carolina to understand what that charge means and know how to protect themselves.

North Carolina boasts strict driving while intoxicated laws. Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of 0.08 or above can prove one has violated the state's DWI laws without any further evidence of intoxication needed. In addition, authorities may also have the accused individual perform field sobriety tests. If a motorist fails the field sobriety tests, they may be charged with DWI.

Challenging breath and field sobriety tests when accused of DWI

It is important to know that although they are used to charge accused individuals with driving while impaired, field sobriety tests and other tests can be challenged. For instance, it may be possible to challenge that the field sobriety test was not properly administered or that the police officer administering it was not properly qualified to administer it. This is also true of a breath test.

Law enforcement officers are required to follow certain procedures to pull an accused individual over for a traffic stop or administer a breath or field sobriety test. There are also certain legal standards they must meet. In addition to breath tests, field sobriety tests including the one-legged stand test; the walk-and-turn test; and the "horizontal gaze" test, among others, may be used to determine impairment and if the accused individual will face drunk driving charges.

Study-enhancing drugs carry repercussions long past exam week

Many high school and college students in North Carolina are currently experiencing one of the most challenging parts of the fall semester: midterms. Exams, group projects, papers and other important assignments pile up at this point in the semester and many students feel the need to turn to additional resources to manage this demanding workload.

For most students, this means joining a study group, finding a tutor or seeking out the instructor for help and further clarification. These are all productive ways to handle academic stress, but unfortunately not all students stop here when seeking assistance during a stressful period in the semester.

A closer look at the white-collar crime of embezzlement

Embezzlement is a significant criminal charge that must be taken seriously by accused individuals in North Carolina. An embezzlement accusation is an allegation that the accused individual has committed a theft of assets they were in a position of trust over.

Embezzlement charges can commonly be brought in employment and corporate settings. Embezzlement can occur in circumstances where employees are given lawful possession of property that they are accused of misappropriating. Embezzlement accusations oftentimes occur in circumstances when an individual is given access to another party's property or money to manage or monitor it for the best interest of the owner and then misappropriates the assets for their own personal gain or use while covertly concealing their activities. Embezzlement can occur when a large amount of money is taken all at once or smaller amounts may be misappropriated over long periods of time.

Drug offenses can include distribution or trafficking

This blog recently discussed an arrest for drug charges. All drug offenses in North Carolina, including drug possession charges, are serious criminal charges. However, drug trafficking and drug distribution charges can be especially serious for accused individuals. Because drug charges can carry the potential for harsh penalties, it is important for accused individuals to be familiar with what they should do if they are facing drug charges.

Drug charges can end in potentially stiff sentences for accused individuals, such as three to five years in prison. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with criminal defense strategies to counter the charges one faces. Punishments for drug trafficking and drug distribution charges can vary based on factors such as the type and amount of drugs allegedly trafficked; the geographic area where they are allegedly distributed; and whether or not children were targeted in the alleged crime.

North Carolina sheriff candidate and son arrested on drug charges

Drug charges should never be taken lightly, as they carry potentially stiff penalties and consequences. A candidate for sheriff in a nearby North Carolina community, and his son, were recently arrested for drug offenses. According to authorities, they conducted a month-long investigation into the pair before arresting them. Both men, the 63-year-old candidate for sheriff and his 30-year-old son, were the focus of the investigation.

Authorities reported that undercover agents purchased marijuana from the pair. A search warrant was executed on a home where police allegedly found numerous items including several bags and containers of marijuana that were packaged individually; digital scales; packaging materials; ledgers; drug paraphernalia; money and a weapon. Both men were taken to jail following their arrests.

A closer look at financial white collar crimes

There are several different types of crimes that fall under the broader category of white collar crimes. One category of white collar crimes includes financial crimes. Being charged with a financially-motivated crime in North Carolina can have a long-lasting impact on the accused individual's life for years to come, which is why they should be familiar with criminal defense options available to help them.

Different types of crimes fall under the category white collar crimes, but two include embezzlement and fraud crimes. Embezzlement crimes include the theft of assets or property by someone who is rightfully in possession of the assets or property but misappropriates them. Examples can include financial advisors or employees with access to the assets or property. The accused individual must have the necessary criminal intent and there must be a fiduciary relationship between the parties. Fraud crimes involve the use of dishonesty or misrepresentation to take money or property from another person. Similar to embezzlement, the accused individual must also have criminal intent.

Criminal defense strategies to protect accused individuals

A criminal defense strategy is important when an accused individual in North Carolina is facing criminal charges. Each criminal defense strategy is unique to the circumstances, the accused individual's situation and to the charges the accused individual is facing.

The prosecution is required to prove the accused individual guilty of the charges they are facing beyond a reasonable doubt. Each accused individual is considered innocent until they are proven guilty. There are a variety of criminal defense strategies that can help accused individuals potentially mitigate the charges or penalties they are facing or may result in the charges being eliminated altogether. Each criminal defense strategy is unique to the situation.

Will a DUI affect my child’s future?

If your child is facing a charge or conviction for driving under the influence, it can be difficult to deal with. You likely have many questions, such as “how will this influence future jobs?” or “what will this do to school scholarships?”

DUIs are one of the most common types of traffic arrests, as over 10 million individuals report driving while intoxicated. While it is common, most states take driving under the influence very seriously.

Mounting a defense to a DWI charge

Drunk driving charges in North Carolina can result in both criminal penalties and administrative consequences, which means accused individuals may face jail time and the potential loss of their driver's license in addition to other possible penalties and consequences. Accused individuals can also be left with a criminal record, which is why it is important for them to know their options when mounting a defense to drunk driving charges.

Possible defense options include both affirmative defenses and other defense strategies that examine whether or not police followed all the procedures required to protect the accused individual's rights. Affirmative defenses to a DWI charge include necessity, duress, mistake of fact, involuntary intoxication and entrapment. These defenses commonly refer to a specific set of circumstances, so it is important for the accused individual to be familiar with what they are.

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