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Charlotte NC Criminal Defense Law Blog

Are North Carolina citizens at risk when taping a police encounter?

Its seems that, almost on a daily basis, cellphone recordings of questionable police encounters are being broadcast far and wide on television and the Internet. One recent and particularly jarring example of such an encounter involved cellphone footage of a police officer shooting and killing an unarmed man as he attempted to flee on foot after a traffic stop.

In this case, video footage of the incident tends to show that the officer used excessive and unnecessary force. The police officer was subsequently arrested and charged with the murder of the 50-year-old man.

North Carolina citizens are leglaly entitled to record any encounter as long as it does not interefere with the law enforcement process.  They may also do it secretly as no permission is needed.  

It should also be noted that under NC law, one party may record a conversation that they are party to, without the knowledge or consent of any other party or parties to the conversation.  This is distinguishable from other states which require all participants to consent to the recording.  

DWI on a horse? Segway? Bicycle? Skateboard?

A Kentucky man - barechested, of course - was arrested for DWI on a horse.  He goes by the alias "Mike Bicycle" and was alleged to have said "I didn't do shit, I was just riding my horse".  Booking photos show a well tattooed but otherwise flaccid torso.  

Life sentence for burglary conviction upheld in North Carolina

Theft crime accusations are serious. Even if you were recently charged with a crime -- and think that the sentence will be rather light --, the advice remains the same: Contact an attorney as soon as you are charged, or if you have reason to believe you will be charged. 

A recent case in North Carolina really highlights just why theft and property cases needed to be treated with the utmost care. In this case, a 17-year-old was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of second-degree burglary. At the time that he is eligible for release, he will be 59 years old and will have spent the majority of his life locked up behind bars. 

Weapons, including firearms, found at Charlotte Douglas Airport

A recent Charlotte Observer article was published about the prevalence of weapons, particualrly  firearms, being found in carry on luggage at Charlotte Douglas Airport.  This is actually quite common where an otherwise law abiding citzen forgets that their weapon or firearm is in their luggage, perhaps because they did not clean out their bags after coming back from hunting or the gun range.  This offense has criminal and civil implications.  The hapless traveler can be charged with the crimes of Carrying a Concealed Weapon (Gun) or Possession of Firearm on City Property or both.  That can result in a criminal record and the likley revocation of a CCW permit.  In certain circumstances, it can result in felony prosecution, jail and/or probation.  On the civil side, it may also cause fines to be levied by the TSA, getting placed on the no-fly list or a ban from a certain airline or airport.  

Defending against charges and allegations of domestic violence

Domestic violence is a serious issue and all allegations of domestic violence should be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. Law enforcement officials in North Carolina are often swift to take action when responding to calls involving possible acts of domestic violence and those accused of committing acts of intimidation or violence may face criminal charges. Additionally, even in cases where no criminal charges are filed, state law allows individuals who claim to have suffered acts of domestic violence to file for a civil protective order or a 50-B.

Criminal charges of domestic violence may result from numerous interactions, misunderstandings and altercations between family members, spouses, roommates, parents and significant others. Even in cases where there is a lack of physical or other evidence, criminal charges and/or a protective order may still be filed. North Carolina residents who have been arrested and face criminal charges of domestic violence and/or who learn they are the subject of a 50-B, would be wise to take such matters seriously.

For commercial drivers, strict DUI laws

If you are a commercial driver in North Carolina, your commercial driver's license (CDL) is your livelihood. Any serious traffic violation, including a DWI, can put your license and your job in jeopardy. To protect yourself while driving in or through North Carolina, it is important to understand the laws you are required to adhere to.

First, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) creates the regulations for commercial drivers, and North Carolina has adopted them as well. With regard to driving while intoxicated, commercial drivers are held to a much higher standard than the average motorist. Whereas noncommercial drivers have a blood-alcohol content limit of 0.08 percent, the limit for commercial drivers is 0.04.

North Carolina and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) charges

Criminal charges related to driving under the influence most often relate to individuals who are believed to be under the influence of alcohol. However, DUI charges may also result in cases where a driver is believed to be under the influence of drugs. In North Carolina, a driver who is found to be under the influence of a Schedule 1 controlled substance or "other impairing substances," will face criminal charges related to driving under the influence of drugs or DUID.

Much like North Carolina's DWI/DUI laws for alcohol, the state's DUID laws are among some of the harshest in the country. When it comes to DUID cases, North Carolina's per se statute prohibits drivers from having a "drug or metabolite in one's body/body fluids while operating a motor vehicle."

Bill would keep older teens in juvenile court system

In North Carolina, certain juveniles can be charged as adults for misdemeanor offenses. This can lead to much harsher consequences and be detrimental to the rest of an individual's life. 

Current law allows 16 and 17-year-old individuals to be charged as an adult, even for minor offenses such as stealing a bag of chips from a convenience store. All juveniles age 16 and 17 are charged as adults, even for misdemeanors. If a teenager is charged as an adult and convicted, he or she could end up serving time in prison. This would dramatically change this person's future, making getting into college, the military or finding employment very challenging. 

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