You are stopped by an officer at a DWI checkpoint or after a minor traffic offense. The officer asked you if you have been drinking, where you are coming from, where you are going. While the DWI officer may have some interest in your activities, an additional purpose in asking these questions is to determine if your speech is slurred.
You know that expression "adding insult to injury"?
Here's a case where it could apply big time.
Theft crimes in North Carolina encompass many distinct possibilities, ranging widely from various acts of employee theft and mainstream white-collar fraud accusations to unlawful concealment of merchandise, shoplifting and larceny.
Indeed, there is a veritable cornucopia of riches -- a treasure trove, if you will -- available in a state prosecutor's statutory and common-law playbook that allow for the criminal investigation and charging of a North Carolina resident with some type of theft-related crime.
Most North Carolina residents can likely think back to a time when they made a poor decision or did something that they later regretted. Making mistakes is part of being human and it's from these mistakes that we grow and learn to make different and better choices. In cases where a mistake or unfortunate circumstance results in criminal charges and a criminal conviction, the resulting punishments can be particularly harsh.
We've previously discussed the many penalties associated with criminal drug and drunk driving convictions including time behind bars, fines and probation. However, many people fail to understand the significant and long-term consequences that can result from these types of misdemeanor and felony convictions. For example, a criminal conviction can make it extremely difficult to get a job.
Readers may be aware of the serious penalties tied to some criminal convictions. For example, those found guilty of a violent crime in the state of North Carolina, could, among other things, face time behind bars. In addition, some must also provide DNA samples to authorities for entrance into a database maintained by the state.
Those who currently face this consequence include people who have been convicted of among other things, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder. Currently, approximately 10,000 DNA samples are taken annually.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.