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What is the North Carolina SBI, and what does it do?

A recent news story prominently featuring the North Carolina SBI might logically usher forth this question for many of our readers in Mecklenburg County and elsewhere across the state: What is it?

From the tone and details that emanate from the above media piece, which clearly links the SBI with drugs and criminal investigation, it is clear that the organization has clout and reach across North Carolina.

The acronym SBI stands for State Bureau of Investigation, with the SBI being a quite singular and special office within the confines of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS).

One logical way to think about the SBI is as a state approximation of the FBI. Indeed, the reach of the organization and type of crimes that it investigates makes that a reasonable way to perceive and understand it at the state level.

Indeed, scrutiny of a website page of the NCDPS discussing the criminal law reach of the SBI quickly reveals that the bureau operates in much the same manner as the FBI, having broad powers in investigations ranging from drug matters, arson and election law malfeasance to child sexual abuse, financial crimes and Medicaid fraud.

The aforementioned drug-related story indicates that the SBI is now taking a robust approach involving drug trafficking. A drug task force was recently established in Eastern North Carolina, with one SBI principal stating that, "as we move forward, we're going to expand these task forces throughout the state."

That of course means further scrutiny of persons suspected of drug-related criminal activity, in tandem with ratcheted-up investigatory efforts.

Any person being investigated for an alleged drug offense in North Carolina has the right and attendant need to timely secure the services of a proven criminal defense attorney.

Groups like the SBI and other state investigatory and enforcement agencies have plenary powers when they target an individual. An experienced attorney providing tailored and aggressive advocacy on behalf of a criminal suspect can help equal the playing field and ensure both fundamental fairness and the full protection of an individual's constitutional rights in a given case.

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