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Charlotte Criminal Defense Law Blog

A county department head embezzles over $926,000

When a North Carolina county insurance company conducted an investigation into its Register of Deeds office, it discovered a bit of an irregularity. Over a period of four years, there was $2.3 million that wasn't accounted for. The office handles a large volume of legal document filings, many of which include fees often paid in cash. Authorities indicated the office lacked an established protocol or basic procedure for handling cash transactions. When other employees raised their concerns, the department head dismissed the issue.

In all, four county employees were charged. The department head's actions were deemed the most egregious due not only to the fact of the large sum of money misappropriated but also because of the duty of trust that was violated by the actions. The defendant reached a plea agreement with the prosecution. In addition to the restitution of the money, the judge ordered the woman to serve five to seven years in prison but allowed her to participate in the work release program. It allows a prisoner to leave prison during the day for employment obligations.

Video prompts North Carolina street racing charge

North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers took a 22-year-old man into custody on August 7 for taking part in a prearranged speed competition that allegedly took place in Wake County on July 15. Police are said to have been alerted to the man's alleged activities when an anonymous individual sent them a link to a video of a vehicle being driven at speeds of up to 198 miles per hour. The man is also facing speeding and reckless driving charges.

The video footage was posted to the popular social media platform Facebook. It shows a man behind the wheel of what appears to be a Dodge Challenger Hellcat. The Hellcat boasts a 707 horsepower engine and was designed by Dodge to deliver a blistering performance. The video clearly shows the driver of the vehicle as well as the speedometer.

3 traffic tickets that may inflate insurance rates

It might not seem like a big deal to speed through a red light or disregard the speed limit when you are trying to get to your destination. In addition to the risk of injuring other drivers, though, actions such as these often result in traffic tickets and legal trouble — and both of these have a direct impact on the rate you pay for your car insurance. Some tickets are particularly harmful to the rates you pay.

The following are three of the worst tickets you can possibly get. Any of these are sure to skyrocket your insurance premiums and land you in some legal hot water, too. The best defense against such a predicament is to drive safely and obey all traffic laws.  

An overview of reckless driving law

When a person operates a motor vehicle in a dangerous or careless way, he or she could be cited for reckless driving. This is true even if a driver's actions don't result in an accident or cause property damage. Examples of reckless driving in North Carolina and most other states include speeding, running a red light or not stopping for a school bus when it is stopped.

Reckless behaviors may also include trying to race another vehicle or trying to evade a police officer. There are a variety of penalties that may be imposed on a person who has been convicted of reckless driving. For example, it is possible to receive points on a license or have a license suspended after being convicted on this charge. It is also possible to pay a fine or spend time in jail after a conviction on a reckless driving charge.

The impact of criminal penalties on social equality

By changing drug possession laws in North Carolina and other states, researchers believe that racial and ethnic disparities could be closed in the judicial and health care system. This was the takeaway from research published in the American Journal of Public Health. After Proposition 47 passed in California, the gap between the number of white people taken into custody and black people taken into custody fell.

The legislation reclassified certain felony drug offenses as misdemeanors. To come to this conclusion, a team studied data from the California Department of Justice's Monthly Arrest and Citations Register over a five-year period. In that time period, one million people were taken into custody for drug offenses. After Proposition 47 passed, the difference in blacks and white who were taken into custody dropped from 81 to 44 per 100,000 people.

North Carolina authorities make record fentanyl seizure

Police in North Carolina have reported that 13 pounds of fentanyl worth about $2 million was discovered during the search of a Wilmington residence on July 11. New Hanover County Sheriff's Office detectives assigned to the Gang Task Force are said to have performed the search of the Kornegay Avenue home. Reports indicate that three individuals have been taken into custody in connection with the seized narcotics and face charges including drug possession and drug trafficking.

A senior NHCSO representative said that detectives became involved after receiving a number of tips about heroin allegedly being sold at the residence. During the ensuing investigation, undercover officers are said to have visited the home on several occasions to purchase illegal drugs. This is said to have provided them with the evidence needed to obtain a search warrant. According to reports, detectives also found unspecified quantities of heroin and marijuana during the search.

18 people taken into custody on drugs and weapons charges

An initiative called Take Back North Carolina has resulted in 18 people being taken into custody. The defendants are facing both state and federal charges.

A number of law enforcement agencies participated in the operation including the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Marshal Service. Other participants were the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and a number of local police and sheriff's departments including the Greenville Police Department, the Nash County Sheriff's Office, the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office and several others.

What to do if a federal agent contacts you

Most people understand the severity of criminal charges, especially on a federal level. Responding properly can prevent harming your case and reduce the extent of consequences, if not eliminate them.

However, what about when a federal agent simply contacts you? No charges exist against you, and maybe the case does not even concern you directly, so how does the way you interact with the agent affect the situation? The answer is that the impact of your response is great, so follow these tips to avoid trouble.

What happens if I refuse a breath test?

Drivers often worry about being pulled over by a police officer. This can be even more daunting for a person who was out having a few drinks.

Being pulled over by a police officer because he or she suspects you are driving while intoxicated (DWI) is scary for many people. Often, the police will request that a driver submit to a breath, sobriety, urine or blood test. While you are not legally required to take these tests, the truth is refusing can cause some serious problems.

The consequences of drunk driving in North Carolina

In North Carolina, there are five levels of misdemeanor DUI charges in addition to a felony DUI charge. A level one is the most serious misdemeanor while a level five is considered to be the least serious. If a person has three convictions within seven years, the next charge will be a felony, and it comes with a mandatory year in prison if convicted. In addition, an individual must complete a substance abuse program while in jail or on parole.

An offender may be charged with a level one DUI charge if they were transporting a child while impaired. In addition, drivers can face the most serious misdemeanor charge if they drive while impaired on a revoked license or cause an accident while doing so. The minimum sentence is 30 days in jail, and that sentence cannot be modified or suspended by a judge. The maximum punishment is two years in jail as well as a fine of up to $4,000.

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Steven T. Meier, PLLC
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Charlotte, NC 28203

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