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Charlotte NC Criminal Defense Law Blog

A clarion call for criminal law reform: momentum is clear

Placing too much emphasis on a prison-before-all-other-alternatives sentencing philosophy adversely affects "smart policing tactics," states a letter recently penned by a national group of law enforcers.

It is seemingly hard to find many Americans these days who disagree with that notion. Indeed, and as evidenced by a spate of reports and news stories over the past year-plus, there is growing -- and broadly bipartisan -- agreement in North Carolina and virtually everywhere else across the United States that material reforms are an urgent imperative.

U.S. Supreme Court divided on DWI/DUI: murkiness merits an attorney

What can a police officer in North Carolina or elsewhere across the country do -- that is, dictate to a motorist -- in a stop focusing on alleged drinking-while-driving behavior?

In sharper terms, where is the legal line drawn on testing that can be ordered absent a warrant that authorizes an intrusive encounter with a detained driver?

Driver's license suspended? Take it seriously

Driving while you know that your license is suspended is a risk you do not want to take. It starts out as a ride to the grocery store without your license. You eventually start driving cautiously without it, and eventually, you completely forget that you have this problem that you need to take care of. Just like most extremely bad situations, everything is fine until it isn't.

One day, completely oblivious to your suspended license despite your promises to yourself, you roll through a stop sign. All of a sudden you hear sirens in your back window. You feel flush, because you know that everything has just caught up to you. What's worse, this situation could have been avoided.

Supreme Court friction, a justice's visceral reaction to a ruling

A United States Supreme Court judge issued some stern words last week in a case she was on the losing end of, with her comments in a 5-3 decision being termed a "fiery dissent" by a CNN article discussing the case.

The case outcome was flatly wrong, charged Justice Sonia Sotomayor, with the precedent it sets enabling police officers an enhanced capability to "corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives."

When it comes to acronyms, FACE certainly merits public's attention

Some North Carolinians and other Americans across the country might have last focused upon Al Franken when he was a droll and sarcastic principal of Saturday Night Live decades ago.

If, back then, the comedian would have voiced a concern regarding "the risk of innocent Americans being inadvertently swept up in criminal investigations," many people might have waited a few seconds for a punch line.

Here's one North Carolina cop not impressed by the War on Drugs

In previous years, and certainly during the Nixon and Reagan presidential administrations, the imploring nature and tone of one North Carolina police official's utterances on outcomes in some drug cases would likely have been seen as aberrational and soft on crime.

Now, instead of being termed as an iconoclastic -- and largely unwelcome -- voice from the wilderness, the strong views being offered up by the police chief from the city of Nashville are being heralded by many and progressively regarded as preferred strategies for combating drug addiction that focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment.

A human face of federal reform in select drug crimes cases

A professional football player says that he recently had the chance to personally convey to President Obama "a couple points my momma wanted me to say to him." What he imparted spotlights criminal law reform in an instructive manner, and we pass along the details of his story -- centrally, his mother's -- for the consideration of our readers in North Carolina and elsewhere.

Many millions of Americans have strong reason to know something -- and sometimes a great deal -- about the draconian effects of criminal sentencing outcomes in many drug cases. Some persons might simply be interested in criminal justice, while others -- and this is hardly a great reach, given the sheer number of individuals languishing in state and federal prisons -- might have family members currently incarcerated behind bars or be locked up themselves.

DWI/DUI case spotlights smartphone drunk driving app

Let's take a recently developed online drunk driving application for a brief figurative spin around the block.

At initial glance, a number of people will undoubtedly find the tool to be appropriately named. It is called the "Oh Crap! App," which certainly conjures up immediately the sentiment that many motorists who have had a drink or two have when suddenly noting flashing blue lights coming from a vehicle behind them.

Meet the Office Mascots

  • Sir Winston Churchill Connelly is a red Labradoodle bred from a mahogany miniature French Poodle and a red English Lab. He is doted upon by staff and clients alike, stealing their hearts with his sweet disposition. More Photos

  • Dustye is a gaited (also known as racking) Registered Tennessee Walking Horse. He is a sweet tempered, playful, noble buckskin who loves to give rides to kids. More Photos