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Winston-Salem Criminal Defense Law Blog

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Being accused of a crime, no matter the severity, can severely impact the life of a defendant. Individuals charged with a crime in North Carolina should understand the potential penalties they might face if they are convicted.

Crimes are divided into two general categories, felonies and misdemeanors. A felony is considered the more serious of the two. While misdemeanors are considered lesser crimes, those arrested for such an offense should not take the situation lightly. Although the possible penalties are generally less serious, a jail sentence is still a possibility in many cases. Misdemeanors are classified into three different categories: gross, ordinary and petty.

Understanding driver's rights in a DUI defense

When a driver in North Carolina is pulled over, it is important they understand their rights. In some cases, officers will ask the driver various questions and even ask them to submit to some tests. Our office understands that some drivers do not understand their rights when it comes to traffic stops, especially if they are suspected of drunk driving. Facing a DUI also means enduring possible harsh fines and penalties. Being able to avoid these consequences means understanding driver rights and defense options.

Whether a driver is underage or over the age of 21, being accused of a DUI or a DWI could impact a driver greatly. Even if the suspect's driving record is clean, being charged with a drunk driving offense could mean having their driving privileges suspended or revoked. Even if a driver seeks to fight the drunk driving charge, depending on the situation, their driving privileges could still be affected. This could greatly impact them personally and professionally because driving their own vehicle might be their only means to get to work or any other destination.

What is a DUI checkpoint and is it legal in North Carolina?

Assume that you have been arrested on the charge of driving under the influence, or DUI, and are confused about your rights. The lawyers at Wood and Rabil, LLP, want to help minimize the potential consequences of a DUI conviction. Some DUI arrests happen at what are called DUI checkpoints. These checkpoints are set up in order to catch drivers who are legally too intoxicated to drive. DUI checkpoints are controversial, but are considered to be a legal application of the law in most states, including North Carolina.

A DUI checkpoint consists of a roadblock set up on the interstate during peak times of possible alcohol consumption. Police officers then stop drivers at random in order to check for alcohol consumption that exceeds the legal limit. If you are found to be driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or above, you will most likely be charged with DUI. The checkpoints do not require the officer to have reasonable suspicion of intoxication before he or she pulls a vehicle over.

North Carolina man arrested for $300 in stolen bowties

With so many worldly goods available for our consumption- it's only natural to want these luxuries. However, most of these possessions require an exchange, usually money. It is against the law to simply take things without any compensation. A North Carolina man with a prior record was arrested for shoplifting $300 worth of bowties from a Rockingham department store.

The man reportedly swiped the bowties from a department store at 1305 E. Broad Avenue earlier this week. The police also alleged that the accused stole $39.90 worth of candy bars from a local convenience store. The suspect has 8 prior convictions related to shoplifting and larceny in Richmond County. He now faces two counts of misdemeanor larceny.

North Carolina pizzeria owner arrested on drug charges

The right to defend against criminal charges is important to any accused party. A pizzeria owner in a neighboring North Carolina community less two hours east of Winston-Salem was recently arrested on drug charges. The man is accused of using the pizza restaurant to sell and store drugs. An arrest warrant alleged that the man had more than 200 Oxycodone pills and a couple of ounces of marijuana. The 35-year-old man has been charged with possession of marijuana, opiates and LSD, as well as a weapons' charge.

Marijuana charges can have a significant impact on the course of the accused party's life. Drug charges can lead to serious penalties, such as a possible loss of freedom, and a criminal record that can have a lasting effect on future of an individual accused and convicted of drug charges. The impact of drug possession, and other drug charges, can be devastating for an accused party. There is much as risk when drug charges are at issue.

North Carolina classification of misdemeanors

There are various classifications to North Carolina crimes and criminal charges. On the scale of seriousness, misdemeanors fall right in the middle, above infractions and below felonies. It is important to understand the classification because this has a major impact on both the criminal procedure, as well as the potential punishments.

The North Carolina General Assembly describes the law that applies to the classification of various crimes. Section 15A-1340.23 of the North Carolina Statutes lists each class of offense, along with the punishment limits.

Review of North Carolina's texting-while-driving ban

When an officer believes that a driver has violated a law, they will pull them over. Whether it is a standard traffic stop or following an accident, the driver could face serious consequences for their suspected crime.

Five years ago, North Carolina implemented into law a texting-while-driving ban. More specifically, the law prohibits drivers from reading text messages or sending messages while the car is in motion. For drivers under the age of 18, the law is even stricter and prevents all cell phone use while the vehicle is moving, with a few limited exceptions. Minors are also prevented from accessing any type of digital media while driving including digital cameras, email and the Internet. The state also bans bus drivers from using cell phones in any way while driving.

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.

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Winston-Salem, NC 27104
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