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North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys
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North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

Does the 'affluenza' defense really work?

Many North Carolina residents may have heard the story of the Texas teenager who was involved in a serious drunk driving accident that resulted in the death of four people in 2013. The teenager caused the accident and deaths because he was intoxicated, and normally that would result in a long jail sentence.

In this case, however, it didn't -- and it was all because of his defense attorney's use of what the has been dubbed the "affluenza" defense. The defense attorney claimed, essentially, that the young man had been so spoiled by his parents financially that he couldn't appreciate the consequences of his choice to drive drunk.

The School Shootings Club for Survivors

A Google search on "arming teachers" pulls up these headlines:

  • Arming Teachers Is a Terrible Idea, President Trump
  • These schools say arming teachers 'can be done right'
  • Schools don't need an armed 'lady teacher,' Alabama lawmaker says

And further down the page:

Some may criticize Emma Gonzalez for using the word "stupid" in an interview, but what people on both sides of the gun debate can't take away from her is Emma's direct experience on the subject. Most people, whether you're the staunchest gun rights advocate or a "bleeding heart liberal" who wants to take everyone's guns away, simply don't have her unique perspective.

3 important components of a drunk driving arrest

Whenever a drunk driving arrest occurs, a North Carolina resident can expect that the three following components also occurred. The first relates to the reason why you were pulled over and the second two relate to the reasons why you were ultimately arrested. Did all three of these DUI components happen in your case:

A valid reason to pull you over: Police need a viable reason to pull a driver over. That could be any number of reasons. Maybe the driver was speeding, didn't have his or her headlights on, drove through a red light or was driving in an erratic fashion. Whatever the reason why, it needs to be a valid reason to actually pull you from the road. In fact, police are not usually permitted to pull you over unless they have a good reason for doing so.

What are the contrasts between state and federal prison?

Individuals accused of federal crimes often want to know the differences between state and federal prison. These individuals might have friends who have been to state prison and so they've heard stories about what it's like, but they might not have heard any stories about the federal prison system. Let's take a look at several of the most important differences between these two systems of incarceration.

Federal prisons are used to house individuals convicted of breaking federal law. The federal prison system has existed since 1930 when President Hoover established it. Federal prisons have three different classifications: low security, medium security and high security. Most of the individuals housed in federal facilities have broken drug laws or have committed some kind of political crime. Also, individuals convicted of bank robbery and various white collar crimes may also find themselves in federal prison.

Lawmakers propose ban on semiautomatic assault weapons

Two Democratic representatives introduced a bill that would ban assault weapons last Monday. The bill was introduced in response to the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting incident in Parkland, Florida, which resulted in 17 deaths at an area high school. The tragedy, the attacker fatally shot the victims with an AR-15 assault rifle. This rifle – among many other firearms classified as assault weapons – would be illegal under the proposed legislation.

Gun control supporters commonly classify the AR-15 to be an assault weapon. However, gun ownership supporters disagree, saying that the AR-15 isn't fully automatic.

Can you get a hangover DWI?

You go out drinking with some friends from college. It's been 10 years since you went to school together, and the reunion is great. You stay up until two in the morning, even though you have work the next day, enjoying the time with your friends.

The next morning, you feel a bit hungover when you wake up, but not as bad as you thought you'd feel. You grab a cup of coffee and start driving into work.

The Second Amendment in a time of mass shootings

The real question, now as then, is how to keep citizens safe while honoring the spirit and intent of the Constitution's Second Amendment.

Figuring out the Second Amendment's scope is no easy task.

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What’s the best drunk driving defense?

There is no easy answer to the question of what drunk driving defense is best. In fact, every drunk driving defense strategy needs to be custom-tailored to the individual facts of each particular case.

That said, there are several defenses that DUI defense attorneys tend to employ again and again. These defenses might not fit your particular case. However, if they do apply to your situation, you might be able to employ them with a favorable result in court.

Is my crime a state or federal crime?

State and federal laws render numerous types of drugs illegal. However, the legality of the same substances may be different from state to state and under federal law. As such, for the purpose of your criminal defense, it's important to know if you've been charged with a state or federal crime.

For instance, although many states have legalized marijuana, under federal and North Carolina laws, marijuana is still illegal. But what exactly dictates whether a crime will be considered a state or federal crime? This has a lot to do with what the defendant was doing, and where the defendant was located, when the alleged crime was being committed. For example, if the defendant was crossing state lines at the time he or she committed the alleged action, then it could fall under federal jurisdiction.

For those without it, money trumps the Constitution

"What [cash bail] does is create a system where often the people with the least ability to pay, charged with the most minor offenses, are stuck in jail."

- Serena Sebring with Southerners on New Ground (SONG)

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The writer talks about the nearly empty Durham County courtroom - not unusual for first appearances, where defendants hear from the judge about the charges against them - but just because the courtroom isn't packed doesn't mean there's no drama.

There's plenty of drama for the people being charged.

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