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Concord Legal Blog

Defining and recognizing excessive force and police brutality

Police officers have the duty and requirement to be fair and treat everyone equally. Sadly, not everyone employed in law enforcement in North Carolina adheres to these duties, and mistreatment and violation of personal rights occurs more often than you may think. Victims of various types of police brutality and excessive force have the right to speak up and seek appropriate compensation.

The failure of the police to recognize your personal rights is not acceptable, no matter what type of criminal investigation is pending or legal situation in which you find yourself. You have the right to a presumption of innocence, to protect yourself from unfair treatment and to build a strong defense strategy.

North Carolina takes a strict stance when it comes to cocaine

People in North Carolina might associate cocaine use with wealthy people in the 1980s, and some movies and television shows have glamorized the use of the drug. However, the fact is that North Carolina has stringent laws against the possession, manufacturing and selling of cocaine in the state.

If a person in North Carolina possesses even a little bit of cocaine, this is still a Class I felony crime. This means that if convicted, a person could face a jail term of up to 12 months. This term could be extended, depending on the amount of cocaine the accused possessed. Moreover, when it comes to the possession of cocaine, there is no alternative drug treatment program in North Carolina like there are in some other states.

North Carolina resident killed in accident on U.S. 21

It doesn't always matter if you follow the rules of the road, drive defensively and always wear your seat belt. Car accidents can happen to anyone in North Carolina. After all, it is impossible to predict the actions of every other driver on the road, and should a driver fail to fulfill their duty of care while behind the wheel, it could lead to injuries or even deaths.

A North Carolina motorist was injured and a passenger in his vehicle was killed in an accident in South Carolina. The North Carolina motorist, age 84, was driving north on U.S. 21 when a collision occurred between his vehicle and a truck that was attempting to execute a turn.

What is North Carolina's 'implied consent' law?

It's a sight and sound no motorist in North Carolina wants to experience -- the flashing red and blue lights in their rear-view mirror and the blare of police sirens in their ear. An officer who pulls a motorist over on suspicion of drunk driving may ask the motorist to perform a breath test. This can be a difficult situation. A person may want to refuse to submit to such a test; for example, if they are certain they are not drunk or if they don't want to make a bad situation worse. However, there are legal consequences for refusing to submit to a breath test.

This is because North Carolina has what is called an "implied consent" law. Basically, what this means is that in exchange for the privilege of being able to drive, motorists automatically agree to submit to a breath test when asked by police if the police have reasonable grounds to believe that the motorist was driving under the influence.

Teens on their way to beach week face drug charges after search

Graduating high school is a big accomplishment, and many teenage graduates plan elaborate celebrations for this major life milestone. However, three teenagers are facing drug charges in North Carolina after heading to beach week, following their graduation from high school. All three are 18-years-old.

The incident began when their car was pulled over by police on NC 87. The traffic stop was reportedly instigated after police say the teens' vehicle was going 76 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. After pulling the vehicle over, police claimed they detected the smell of marijuana and commenced a search of the vehicle.

Drug dealers in North Carolina are being charged with murder

Residents in North Carolina may have heard that according to some our nation is under the grip of an opioid epidemic. In 2016, North Carolina saw just under 480 deaths involving fentanyl -- approximately two times as many in 2015. And, after three people in North Carolina passed away due to an opioid overdose, including a 16-year-old girl, state prosecutors have decided to prosecute the reported drug dealers with second-degree murder, rather than the usual drug charges.

In a one situation, a 40-year-old man is facing second-degree murder charges after a woman died of an overdose. In the instance involving the aforementioned death of the sixteen-year-old girl, she and a 23-year-old man died from an apparent drug overdose. Reportedly the cocaine they ingested contained fentanyl, a painkiller 50 times stronger than heroin. The woman who reportedly provided them with the drugs is also being charged with murder.

Reasonable suspicion and your DWI traffic stop

When your future and your freedom are on the line after a drunk driving arrest, you would be wise to act quickly to protect your interests and find out how you can confront any criminal charges against you. Defending yourself can begin with understanding the initial traffic stop in order to determine if there was any violation of your rights.

In order for a police officer to pull over a North Carolina driver for suspected drunk driving or illegal activity, there must be reasonable suspicion to do so. If there is evidence that the police officer had no good reason to initiate the traffic stop in the first place, you could challenge the entire case against you.

What happens if I'm caught with drugs at a festival?

Summertime provides the perfect weather for a weekend road trip to an outdoor concert. Some of the biggest artists in the world perform for thousands of people and having the chance to attend offers festival-goers a sense of freedom and community unmatched by other events. While these festivals can provide lifelong memories, no one wants it to provide a criminal conviction that carries lifelong consequences.

Researchers admit that putting an exact number on how many people use alcohol or drugs at festivals is unclear, but a study published in Billboard looked at how many people mentioned alcohol or drugs in social media posts at certain festivals.

North Carolina police on the lookout for drunk drivers, boaters

Memorial Day is behind us and the Fourth of July looms, meaning that there may be an uptick in the number of people North Carolina police accuse of drunk driving. After all, summer is a festive season, with many get-togethers and special events going on at the beach or on the water where alcohol is served. While most people in North Carolina handle their liquor responsibly, it is still important to note that police in the state will be cracking down on those they believe are drunk driving or drunk boating.

The police campaign is known as "On the Road, On the Water, Don't Drink and Drive." Reportedly, North Carolina has already seen two deaths due to drunk boating. In the summer of 2016 there were 54 deadly car accidents and 844 car accidents that caused injuries reportedly due to drunk driving.

Don't hesitate to seek help when facing drunk driving charges

Summer is here and with it come all the fun of the season. People in Concord are ready to have a backyard barbecue, go to a ballgame, hit the beach or pool or even attend a wedding or family reunion. Oftentimes, these celebrations and alcohol go hand-in-hand, and most people are responsible when it comes to drinking. However, even if you have merely consumed one drink, and are pulled over by an officer on the way home, it is possible that you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test or you could even be accused of drunk driving.

In North Carolina, there are six levels of sentencing when it comes to a DWI conviction. For example, a DWI conviction at aggravated level one means the person would serve at least 12 months and as much as three years in prison, and could be fined as much as $10,000. In comparison, a DWI conviction at level five means the person would serve at least 24 hours of community service or alternatively as many as 60 days in prison, in addition to a $200 fine.

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