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Charlotte Criminal Defense Law Blog

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.

Attitudes toward marijuana changing in North Carolina

A bill in North Carolina may have an impact on those who have been charged with marijuana in the past. It could also make it harder for people to be charged with that crime in the future. According to a 2017 poll from Elon University, 80 percent of respondents would be in favor of medical marijuana. Furthermore, 45 percent would vote to make it legal for recreational use.

If the bill passes in its current form, an individual would face a misdemeanor charge for being found with 4 or more ounces of the substance. A felony charge would be handed down to someone found with 16 or more ounces of marijuana. Currently, state law says that anyone in possession of more than 1.5 ounces has committed a felony.

What is a RICO violation?

RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act that Congress passed in 1970 to attempt to curtail Mafia organized crime. This statute, however, is also used to prosecute people who the government believes are doing one or more of the following:

  • Laundering money
  • Counterfeiting money or goods
  • Embezzling funds
  • Engaging in mail fraud
  • Making bribes
  • Engaging in racketeering

Are you facing an investigation for possible embezzlement?

Perhaps you have only been working at your company for a short period of time. Perhaps that is why you are among the three or four people in the accounting department who are under suspicion of embezzlement.

However, most white-collar crimes of this sort start with people with financial acumen. No matter how long you have been with the company, as a senior financial analyst, you fit the profile.

Understanding mandatory minimum sentencing

When people face criminal charges, it is always a serious matter. Though it is important for them to face consequences when they commit crimes, there is talk about making sure the sentencing fits the crime.

If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, mandatory minimum sentencing may determine your penalty. When encountering such charges, there are a few important things to understand.

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Steven T. Meier, PLLC
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Charlotte, NC 28203

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