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Winston-Salem Criminal Defense Law Blog

I was charged with a crime, what are my rights?

Being charged with a crime can be one of the most stressful events that you can go through and knowing your rights can make all the difference. Regardless of whether you are being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, your legal rights are the same.

Arguably, one of the most important and well-known rights is the right to remain silent. Those individuals who have been charged with a crime do not have to answer any questions posed to them about the case or charges. If, however, one decides to waive that right, anything that one says will be on the record and can and most probably will be used against him or her.

What are the penalties for shoplifting in North Carolina?

Generally, under current North Carolina law, shoplifting occurs when a person willfully hides goods available for purchase and intended to be sold in a store. The act of concealing or hiding merchandise constitutes the act of not purchasing those items. This is known as willful concealment of goods and is considered shoplifting. Additionally, tampering with antishoplifting devices and altering the price of an item is also falls under the current North Carolina concealment of merchandise statute.

If a shop owner, a peace officer or a loss prevention employee of the shop has a reasonable suspicion that one is concealing merchandise, they may detain an individual. If a minor is involved in the act of shoplifting and is detained, attempts must be made to contact the parent or guardian of the minor. If the shop owner chooses to bring criminal charges, an individual alleged to having shoplifted potentially faces a Class 3 misdemeanor charge.

Will a North Carolina criminal charges affect immigration status?

Having a criminal record can have detrimental effects on an immigrant's application of being granted permanent residency or citizenship. The existence of a criminal record may not necessarily derail an immigrant's petition for permanent residency or for citizenship but that determination depends entirely on the nature of the criminal charge, criminal record and whether the person was convicted or not.

In North Carolina under the Advising defendant of consequences of guilty plea statute 15A-1022, a superior court judge cannot accept a plea of guilt from a person charged with a crime unless certain conditions have been met. The judge must speak to the person facing a criminal charge and inform them that they have the right to remain silent.

Are you or a loved one facing an underage DWI charge?

Many North Carolina like to have a good time every now and then, and that can include drinking alcohol. But drinking and driving is illegal in all U.S. states, and if pulled over by law enforcement for driving while under the influence can carry serious penalties. Still, a onetime mistake brought on by being arrested while under the influence should not mean a lifetime of misery. We all deserve a second chance especially if one is a minor or underage.

If your loved one who is underage is charged with driving under the influence, you need a legal team that has the skill and experience to protect and fight for their rights. This becomes especially important when you realize that the potential penalties that are meted out by the justice system can be exceedingly punitive when prosecuting underage driving while intoxicated versus a regular DWI charge. For example, an underage DWI is very likely to be prohibited from gaining limited driving privileges like any normal teenager until after they have reached 18 years of age.

What is considered drug paraphernalia in North Carolina?

According to North Carolina state law, the term drug paraphernalia can be ascribed to any tools and equipment that can be fabricated with the intention of being used to infringe the Federal Controlled Substances Act. This can include but is not limited to any sets that are used for the purpose of planting, growing, or harvesting any species of plant which is classified as a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived.

Drug paraphernalia can also refer to materials and products that can be used to process, test or analyze controlled substances such as test and analysis equipment that can identify or analyze the strength or purity of any controlled substances.

What are my options after I get a traffic ticket?

Often times, when a diver is pulled over, they are concerned about whether they will be cited. When someone is issued a traffic ticket, they have one of two choices. If there is a fine owed they can pay the fine and that will usually take care of the issue. However, if they opt to, they may go to court to contest the ticket or to plead guilty to the charges. If you are able to handle a ticket by paying the associated fees and fines, then that particular offense is normatively referred to as a waivable offense. Opting to pay the associated fees and fines instead of going to court is commonly referred to as waiving the offense.

There are four options to choose from when electing to waive an offense. The associated fine and court fees can be paid online using a credit card. They can also be paid in person using either cash or a certified or cashier's check at the county clerk office where the citation was issued or county magistrate's office. Additionally the payment can be sent via mail to the county clerk office.

What is a public intoxication charge in North Carolina?

Everyone knows, or should know, that driving drunk in North Carolina can lead to a DUI charge. But there are circumstances in which residents could also face charges if they are intoxicated but are not driving. . Some charge of these charges relate to public intoxication.

While North Carolina law doesn't allow for prosecution against people for merely being intoxicated in public, it does provide charges specifically for people who are intoxicated and acting in a disruptive manner in public. According to the statute, disruptive behaviors include blocking or interfering with traffic, blocking or interfering with the access and passage across a sidewalk, and grabbing, shoving, pushing, fighting, cursing, shouting, insulting and begging for money or property.

Understanding the penalties of underage drinking and driving

While some minors in North Carolina are aware of the consequences that exist when an individual breaks the law, they many not fully understand the details of the laws, potential penalties and how a conviction, even as a minor, could impact their life. Therefore, when a minor is accused of underage drinking, they should not only be aware of the laws against it but the penalties they could face if they are charged with underage DWI.

According to North Carolina state laws, the state has a zero tolerance law. This means that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drive after consuming alcohol. If a driver is suspected of underage drinking, which occurs when they have a blood alcohol reading above 0.00, they could face serious consequences.

We provide DUI defense for North Carolina drivers

When drivers in North Carolina are pulled over or arrested for suspected drunk driving, they should seek to initiate a defense that will not only protect their reputation, but also reduce the impact the allegations could have on their driving abilities and even their freedom. Our law firm understands how important driving a vehicle is and how losing this privilege could greatly impact an individual's life. Furthermore, we understand the other consequences of a DUI could be very harsh and could be scary to confront.

Drivers who are accused of drunk driving should know their legal rights. Our attorneys can help inform them of those rights. We can also discuss how a slight error in making a stop, conducting a field sobriety tests or administering a blood alcohol test could help a driver get the charges against them reduced or dismissed.

Changes to the analysis of Winston-Salem drunk driving tests

When drivers in North Carolina are accused of DUI, they are often concerned with their defense options. A suspected drunk driver could lose driving privileges and face serious consequences if they are convicted, so it is important that they understand their legal defense options to reduce or eliminate their DUI charge. In addition, being aware of the evidence used against them could help them discredit the evidence, resulting in reduced or even dismissed charges.

According to a recent report, the City of Winston-Salem is one step closer to having the city's DWI and drug evidence tested by a private firm. This change was the result of a backlog at the State Crime Lab, with roughly 120 employees handling all the evidence in the state.

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Wood & Rabil, LLP
3600 County Club Road
Suite 100
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Phone: 336-722-5700
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