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Winston-Salem NC Criminal Defense Law Blog

Team of deputies suspended after no field sobriety test given

When North Carolina law enforcement officers make a drunk driving arrest, there is certain protocol that must be followed. If there is a break in the protocol or process, officers may not be able press charges against the alleged drunk driver. Even if prosecutors and law enforcement decide to move forward with a case and press charges, mistakes during the arrest phase can create challenges in securing a conviction against the driver.

In a disturbing recent incident, there were no drunk driving charges filed against an off-duty police captain in another state, just a few moving violations. The police captain was involved in an accident several weeks ago. Witnesses claim that the captain was drinking and driving. The accident occurred in the captain's jurisdiction; since it involved a city officer the local sheriff's office was asked to help with the crash.

Program looks to alleviate challenges for North Carolina teens

Kids will be kids. Teenagers get in trouble all the time, but the important part to focus on is how to correct the behavior and make sure that bad decisions of youth do not impair future opportunities. Even minor misdemeanor charges, like shoplifting, can lead to a criminal record for juveniles.

There is a new program in Durham County, North Carolina, that is designed to prevent this sort of negative future impact for teenagers. The title of the program is the Misdemeanor Diversion Program and it had its first day in court recently.

North Carolina father charged after trying to defend son

Parents in Forsyth County will often do just about anything to protect their children. But one North Carolina father now faces misdemeanor charges for trying to protect his son.

According to the father from Harnett County, his middle-school son was being harassed non-stop on his bus ride home from school. The boy's father said that the other kids punched his son and kicked him, so much so that his face was swollen. In one incident, the boy apparently had hand sanitizer rubbed into his eyes by the other students on the bus. The father complained to school officials about the harassment but said that administrators did not put an end to the bullying.

Traffic stop leads to arrest of two Winston-Salem residents

Most drivers have been pulled over by a police officer for a minor traffic infraction at some point in their lives. These certainly are not fun stops, but they are usually pretty painless, resulting in a warning or a traffic ticket to be paid at a later date.

That was not the case for some North Carolina residents who were recently pulled over in Gaston County. The stop occurred on Interstate 85 around 9 a.m. County police officers say that they stopped the car for a traffic offense but did not specify what type of offense. A police search dog alerted the officers to the possibility of narcotics in the area and a search of the car followed. According to Gaston County police, they discovered over three pounds of methamphetamine hidden in compartment in the car.

North Carolina conducts St. Patrick's Day DWI checkpoint

In addition to all things green, St. Patrick's Day celebrations often have a reputation for heavy alcohol consumption. Because of this reputation, law enforcement agencies may be on high alert around this holiday and on the lookout for alcohol-related offenses. This year, North Carolina was no exception, with its anti-drunk driving campaign, which started on the morning of March 15 and ran through the end of the day on March 17.

As a precursor to the campaign, officers established a DWI checkpoint on Friday night of the holiday weekend and ended up with 55 criminal charges, including numerous DWIs. According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, 11 people received a DWI charge. Two additional DWI charges were for drivers under the age of 21.

Alleged larceny leads to police chase

It is usually not a good idea to run from the police or law enforcement officials. But two men in North Carolina apparently tried when they allegedly dodged police and instigated a high speed chase on U.S. 321 South.

According to law enforcement, a Gastonia man led the early-morning chase that topped out at 100 mph. Arrest reports detail the incidents that preceded the chase. The two men, now suspects, were hanging out with a 29-year-old woman who described herself as an acquaintance. The woman claims that she discovered $400 of her money missing but the men left her house when she confronted them. After the men left, the woman placed a phone call to police.

Charlotte students charged and citations issued at party

It may have started just like any other Saturday night. But as of this week, many University of North Carolina Charlotte students now face criminal charges. These alcohol-related criminal charges have the potential to greatly impact their future.

During the recent weekend night in question, campus police received notification from the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) and local law enforcement informing them of an on-campus traffic stop by the local DUI task force. According to a University spokesperson, police officers followed up on the tip and visited a party off-campus at a fraternity house. The house at issue is located on E. Mallard Creek Church Road. At this party, officers allegedly discovered underage drinking and other alcohol-related issues.

North Carolina court makes important ruling on traffic stops

The North Carolina Court of Appeals made a substantial ruling last month that may have major implications throughout the state and for drivers across North Carolina. With the ruling, state police officers can now pull over any driver, even when the driver has not committed a traffic violation or done anything wrong otherwise.

The Court based its decision on an exception to the Fourth Amendment known as community caretaking. This exception was used in a drunk driving conviction against a North Carolina woman. The driver was travelling on Highway 280 in 2010. She was driving the speed limit and doing nothing against the law when a local deputy pulled behind her. At that point, a dog ran into the path of her car and she struck the animal. The deputy claims that he wanted to make sure the driver was okay after the impact and turned on his lights for her to pull over. During the stop, the deputy noticed a smell of alcohol. He administered field sobriety tests and a blood test and the driver was arrested for drunk driving when she failed the tests.

North Carolina chief of police targets gun laws

The police chief in Wilmington, North Carolina is focused on the state's gun laws. The chief spoke to both state and local lawmakers recently. His presentation included recommendations to tackle the problem of gangs and gun violence in North Carolina.

The chief pointed to the recent increase in gun violence over the past summer and noted that the issue was not just a local one, but also a state one. He hopes that new legislation will allow law enforcement to remove violent offenders from the streets where he believes they are a threat to public safety.

Teens charged in connection with alleged firearm larceny

The criminal process is very systematic. In other words, the process can be relatively the same regardless of the type of crime. To start, law enforcement officials make an arrest. Accompanying the arrest is the arrest report, which details the alleged criminal activity, among other things. Prosecutors then use this report to decide whether or not to press criminal charges.

Criminal charges can be especially scary for younger adults. A conviction on the charges means a criminal record is created. The challenges of a criminal record can be difficult to overcome for young adults who are trying to get into school or start a career. Two young North Carolina men have this to consider after a recent arrest.

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