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Winston-Salem Criminal Defense Law Blog

Push for new ignition interlock law in North Carolina

North Carolina is no a stranger to the use of ignition interlocks. The state currently requires three categories of drivers to have the systems installed in their cars. The categories include drivers who refuse to take a Breathalyzer test, drivers who have three or more DWI convictions in the past seven years -- and finally, drivers with a blood alcohol content over .15 or more.

But there are some North Carolina residents who do not think this is enough. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is heading the effort to require every person convicted of drunk driving to install the ignition interlock. According to one MADD NC executive, even first time DWI offenders are just as dangerous as the categories of offenders currently covered under the state's interlock law.

City focuses on theft as shoplifting increases this summer

In order to target specific crimes or specific problems in the community, law enforcement agencies often organize initiatives to focus their efforts. A city in North Carolina has launched one of these initiatives to battle a recent increase in shoplifting cases.

The High Point Police Department is behind the "Larceny Theft Initiative," which will work with surrounding businesses to deter shoplifting. The rise in larceny may be related to the season, crime rates generally increase during the summer months. Shoplifters are fairly successful too. According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, a person is caught stealing only one out of 48 times an attempt is made.

Illegal fireworks constitute misdemeanor in North Carolina

North Carolina residents are probably aware that the state has very strict fireworks laws. But that does not stop many residents from sneaking them across the border from South Carolina ever year in order to celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang. Fireworks stores across state lines see big business from out-of-state residents who admit that they intend to bring the wares back into North Carolina.

Shooting off illegal fireworks within the state constitutes a misdemeanor. But lighting a firework is not the only crime. As soon as the illegal fireworks cross the border into North Carolina, police can press criminal charges.

Deferred judgment option for North Carolina defendants

Not all criminal charges are the same. Even within the same type of crime, the situations and circumstances leading up to an arrest and criminal charge are different for each case. This is important to consider when preparing a strong defense against the charges. A good defense will focus on the particular facts of each case and also utilize the various opportunities available to defendants and hopefully avoid the establishment of a criminal record.

One of these possible opportunities or outcomes is deferred-prosecution. The grandson of a U.S. Representative from North Carolina, Virginia Foxx, was recently entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement following an arrest on drug charges.

North Carolina city to increase traffic violations

Everyone can agree that texting and driving is unsafe. Texting and cell phone use while driving a car is the epitome of distracted driving and can quickly cause an accident. Law enforcement patrols the streets to look for signs of distracted driving or other negligent behavior. There is a good reason for their concern. Since last year, distracted driving has been an issue in 71 accidents in Cary, North Carolina, where the campaign took place.

In addition to cell phone use, speeding, ignoring traffic laws and drunk driving are other forms of negligent driving. Police officers in Cary recently participated in a campaign that focused on the dangers of texting and driving, but the officers ticketed a number of drivers for various traffic violations.

Golf cart driver accused of drunk driving

Many North Carolina residents spent the past weekend watching the U.S. Open on television, cheering on their favorites golfers. Some lucky people maybe even watched it live at Pinehurst in North Carolina. The major events usually draw large crowds of spectators, as well as reporters. Reporters are there to give a live account of the tournament and the players. But one reporter and his golf cart driver caught the attention of the media for another reason.

During Saturday's play, the person driving the golf cart for an NBC reporter allegedly ran over a police officer's foot. According to another reporter who witnessed the scene, the driver of the cart was leaving the tee area when he apparently hurt the officer's foot. What proceeded was likely a sight to behold.

North Carolina recruit facing larceny charges

For many North Carolina students starting college is an exciting new adventure. Students enroll at the college of their choice in order to meet friends and involve themselves in school and social activities, all while they study and pursue a career. Some of these individuals are lucky to be the recipients of college scholarships for academic, musical or athletic endeavors.

But although these students may be on the brink of a long and successful career, it is important to remember that they are quite young when they begin college and still prone to making mistakes. Certain mistakes at this juncture in their lives can have enormous implications of their future success.

Forsyth County raid leads to drug charges

A major drug raid in Forsyth County, North Carolina, went down recently. The local sheriff's office acted on a number of search warrants at an apartment building in Rural Hall. The raid was the result of a three-month investigation.

The undercover investigation apparently led deputies to the apartment complex where they arrested three men all living there. They apparently found Cocaine, Hydrocodone pills and a large amount of cash.

North Carolina preps for holiday with alcohol checkpoints

Summer is officially upon North Carolina residents. Schools are letting out. Barbecues are in full swing. Memorial Day Weekend is often seen as the official kick off to summer. As North Carolinians celebrate the holiday weekends, police officers have to take a different approach.

Law enforcement agencies have plans to set up a number of DWI checkpoints throughout the state. The hope is that the checkpoints will keep people from boating and driving while intoxicated. For four years now state agencies have collaborated with their campaign against drunk driving and drunk boating.

North Carolina's points system impact insurance premiums

No one likes to get a speeding ticket, or even to get pulled over for that matter. And those are just the initial headaches. North Carolina uses a system of points to deal with driving records. There are two types of points: license and accident-related. And these points can hugely impact a driver's insurance rates.

License points are attached to a driving record by the state's Division of Motor Vehicles. They are assessed against a driver for driving-related violations. As the severity level of the offense rises, so does the value of the points attached. Drivers may have to enroll in a driver improvement clinic if they reach seven points on their license. After 12 points, the state may call for a license revocation.

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