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Concord Legal Blog

What are the penalties for misdemeanor driving while impaired?

When it comes to misdemeanor driving while impaired in North Carolina, there are five levels a person could be charged with, with level five having the least serious penalties and level one having the most significant penalties. It is a good idea, however, to understand the penalties that follow all these levels, so that an informed defense can be made if you are charged with misdemeanor drunk driving.

If a person is convicted of level five misdemeanor driving while impaired, he or she could face a $200 fine and one to 60 days in jail. However, the court can suspend this sentence if the person spends a day in jail, does not drive for 30 days or completes 24 hours worth of community service.

Revoking driver's licenses does not always prevent car accidents

There are a number of reasons why a person in North Carolina may be penalized with a suspension or revocation of their driver's license. One is if the person is convicted of drunk driving. Another includes certain moving violations, including driving well above the posted speed limit or driving recklessly. Finally, a person could be penalized with a suspension or revocation of their driver's license if they do not pay a court fine or do not attend a court hearing when they are supposed to.

However, these penalties do not always stop people from driving, which can lead to car accidents. North Carolina court records show that 131,000 individuals last yearwere caught operating a motor vehicle even though their driver's license had been revoked. In fact, approximately 30,000 of those individuals were caught operating a motor vehicle two or more times despite having their driver's license revoked.

When does a false arrest violate the Constitution?

Police misconduct is a divisive issue in Concord these days, especially given the high-profile nature of certain instances across the nation over the past couple years, in which some claim police used too much force when performing their jobs. What is important to keep in mind, however, is that police are limited in what they can do, per the United States Constitution.

That being said, police are provided a certain amount of immunity. A police officer will be granted immunity if he or she properly executes his or her job duties and does not engage in any actions that are both unreasonable and willful. This means that it is not always possible for a person to pursue a lawsuit against a police officer.

What are my rights when I am pulled over by police?

Sitting on the side of the road with a police officer's car lights flashing behind you is a stressful, even sometimes scary, situation. Recent cases of arrest-related violence have made national headlines and sparked a discussion on individual rights when interacting with police. How does the law protect citizens from overzealous officers?

Most people don't know what to do when they are pulled over. "Traffic stop etiquette" in citizen interaction with police officers isn't even part of the many topics discussed in driver's training courses. North Carolina House Bill 21 could soon change that, but in the meantime, both police officers and legal experts have chimed in on the topic.

How serious of a charge is selling cocaine in North Carolina?

There are a range of charges that could come out of a police investigation of alleged cocaine crimes here in North Carolina. Sometimes, such investigations result in an individual being charged with selling cocaine.

Facing such charges can leave a person frightened and incredibly worried about their future. In such a situation, having the right information and guidance can be critical. A person’s future can be greatly impacted by the decisions they make when they are in these sorts of situations. Skilled North Carolina drug crime defense attorneys understand the complexities and high-stakes nature of cases involving cocaine sale charges. They can provide individuals facing such charges in the state with advice and support and fight to shield them from life-altering punishments.

Marijuana use contributes more to accidents, study says

As the recreational use of marijuana is decriminalized, legislators must deal with the looming danger of road safety. This fear is supported by a recent study regarding fatal car accidents and how often drivers tested positive for marijuana. According to the Columbia University Center for Epidemiology and Prevention, one in nine drivers killed in a car accident had marijuana in their systems at the time of the crash. This led researchers to suggest that drug use could have played a part in the accident.

Researchers reviewed data from toxicology reports from a number of states that require such testing in the midst of a fatal crash, including California, Hawaii, West Virginia, and Illinois. Through more than 23,000 reports, drugged driving was a contributing factor in an increasing number of accidents between 1999 and 2010. In 1999, marijuana use was the main factor in four percent of fatal accidents. By 2010, it had tripled to 12 percent of fatal crashes. 

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