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Charlotte Criminal Defense Law Blog

DWI charges decline over holiday period

Between Dec. 14 and Jan. 2, there were 2,029 people charged with drunk driving North Carolina during the Booze It or Lose It campaign, more than 400 fewer than in the previous year's event. Authorities believe that there were a variety of reasons for the drop of nearly 20 percent. They said that ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft reduced the number of drunk drivers.

However, the latest decline is part of a trend that has seen fewer people taken into custody for DI over the past several years. Therefore, some say that it is part of an overall culture change. Authorities also alluded to a possible link between the number of checkpoints in a given area and the number of impaired drivers seen in a given area. In Wake County, 163 people were charged with drunk driving.

Brothers arrested for international fraud scheme at NC store

Law enforcement authorities in Wilmington reportedly arrested two men on Dec. 18 at a Belk department store. The men, who are brothers, are accused of running an international ring that was focused on defrauding Belk stores.

According to the police, the men were stopped by a loss prevention officer who recognized them from a flyer that had been circulated internally among the stores. When the police investigated the men, they searched their rental car and found 102 Belk gift cards for $300 apiece, 94 credit cards, a card scanner and many items from Belk.

How to defend against DUI charges

People who have been arrested for DUI and drug possession in North Carolina might be interested in the arrest of a popular hip hop artist in Georgia. On Dec. 10, Tyrone Griffin, Jr., was indicted by a grand jury on three counts of drug possession. Griffin, known professionally as Ty Dolla Sign, was charged with one count of cocaine possession, one felony count of THC possession and a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. Griffin could serve up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Griffin had been taken into custody in Atlanta along with six associates on Sept. 5 after police stopped and searched his van, reportedly finding drugs. The incident was captured on video, and several officers and drug dogs were present at the scene. Griffin was released from jail on $6,000 bond for the drug possession charges.

What are the elements of conspiracy in North Carolina?

Perhaps you have heard of the term, "partners in crime." This is one way to describe conspiracy. Simply partnering with someone to commit a crime may be a criminal offense in North Carolina.

Here are the three elements the prosecution would have to prove to the judge or jury to convict you.

North Carolina man charged with meth production

Authorities have arrested a 57-year-old man for using his Bladen County home to manufacture methamphetamine. Media reports suggest that the White Lake Police Department began their investigation into the man's activities after receiving tips from members of the public. WLPD officers were joined by deputies from the Bladen County Sheriff's Office when the man's Highway 41 residence was visited and searched on Nov. 29.

Initial reports do not reveal what type of evidence the drug investigation unearthed, but it was apparently enough to convince a judge to issue a search warrant. During the house search, police and deputies claim to have discovered several items and substances used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. The BCSO then called experts from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to secure the premises and remove any hazardous materials.

North Carolina man charged with felony eluding after pursuit

A 29-year-old North Carolina man was charged with a felony and had his 2000 Chevrolet Camaro impounded after allegedly attempting to flee from police during the early morning hours of Nov. 18. The Chapel Hill resident, who was reportedly involved in a street race when police attempted to pull him over, is said to have reached speeds of up to 157 mph during a pursuit that stretched across two counties. Media reports indicate that he was released from the Wayne County Detention Center after posting a $3,000 bond.

The pursuit began when officers from the Goldsboro Police Department attempted to pull over two cars that appeared to be racing one another on the westbound lanes of U.S. Route 70 near North Spence Avenue. A GPD report reveals that several motorists had called at about 12:30 a.m. to report a group of cars being driven erratically and at extremely high speeds. Police say that the pursuit began when a black Chevrolet Camaro ignored signals to pull over and left the scene.

Man facing drug charges after police pursuit

A 21-year-old North Carolina man is facing a raft of charges including seven counts of drug trafficking after allegedly attempting to flee from police on the afternoon of Oct. 26. The Raleigh resident is being held without bond at the Wake County Detention Center. His bond was originally set at $1.02 million, but a judge ordered him remanded after learning that he had violated the conditions of his parole.

According to a police report, the pursuit began when a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper attempted to pull over a Cadillac sedan for erratic driving on the westbound lanes of Interstate 40. Instead of pulling over, the Cadillac is said to have continued onto Interstate 440 at a high rate of speed. The trooper called off the pursuit in the vicinity of New Bern Avenue because of heavy traffic in the area.

NTSB calls for standardized roadside drug tests

A growing opioid crisis and marijuana decriminalization has led to a surge in drivers impaired by drugs in North Carolina and around the country, and the National Transportation Safety Board says that regulators should respond to the problem by providing more assistance to states and drafting standards for roadside drug testing devices. The NTSB asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to take these steps in an Oct. 16 statement that was prompted by the investigation into an accident in Texas involving a drug-impaired driver that claimed 13 lives in 2017.

According to NTSB data, the number of drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents who subsequently tested positive for drugs rose from 30 percent in 2006 to 46 percent in 2015. NHTSA figures reveal that random roadside testing reveals evidence of drug use about 22 percent of the time. However, there is currently no standardized test that police officers can use to determine drug impairment.

Ways a DUI conviction can impact employment

Impaired driving comes with severe consequences in North Carolina. Even a Level V offense can result in up to 60 days in jail and a $200 fine. 

However, depending on how extreme the offense was, a DUI conviction can lead to many more far-reaching punishments that follow you throughout your life. You need to fight charges to keep a conviction off your record, or you could have a hard time in the future holding down a job. 

Defenses to drug charges

Defendants who are facing drug possession charges could receive harsh penalties in North Carolina, including confinement in the state penitentiary and fines. Many people who are facing their first charge will end up pleading guilty and being placed on probation. If there are major problems with the state's case, it may possible to get it dismissed.

If law enforcement conducted an unlawful search, all seized evidence from the search may be suppressed. Police must obtain a warrant or consent if there is no emergency to justify a search of a home. Suppression of unlawfully seized evidence could result in a dismissal of drug charges if there is no other sevidence to support them.

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Steven T. Meier, PLLC
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Charlotte, NC 28203

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