Roberts Law Group PLLC

North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

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North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

Obama commutes prison sentence for Chelsea Manning

President Obama succeeded in pardoning a final 330 individuals just before finishing up his final term as President of the United States. Those he pardoned were mostly nonviolent drug offenders, which brought his total amount of clemencies to 1,715. This broke records for presidential pardons granted.

During his tenure as POTUS, President Obama commuted the sentences of more prisoners than the last dozen presidents put together. Of that total, 568 were serving life sentences.

Common elements in a DWI defense

At Roberts Law Group in Raleigh, North Carolina, we regularly defend individuals in DWI cases. These cases often have a different story surrounding them, but some themes we continue to see again and again. Since we have seen these situations numerous times before, over time, we have developed a legal arsenal of defense techniques that can be used on behalf of our clients who these situations apply to.

Let's take a look at some of the most common elements we see in North Carolina DWI cases:

Prison population drops as crime rates continue to decline

North Carolina residents will be happy to hear that the number of U.S. residents being held in prison continues to decline. Nationwide statistics point to a prison population that is just under 2.2 million people -- who are currently being held in federal, state and local prisons -- as of year-end 2015. This figure represents a drop of 51,000 inmates compared to year-end 2014, which is the biggest inmate population decline since 2009.

As for the federal prison system specifically, inmate populations lowered by a full 7 percent. Meanwhile, prison statistics for states across the nation averaged a 2 percent decline. Only 29 states saw a decline in inmates in their prison systems, but according to the report, many states are making great strides toward reforming how they deal with people who have been convicted of crimes -- with North Carolina being seen as one of the leaders of the pack in this regard.

Marijuana crimes defense in North Carolina

Marijuana is still illegal in the state of North Carolina. Even though the drug has been legalized for recreational use in many states throughout America, and also legalized for medical use in a lot more states, North Carolina remains the same in its opinion of the drug. Those caught in possession of marijuana could therefore face very serious drug offense charges.

Unfortunately for North Carolina medical patients who can benefit from the medical use of marijuana, these patients are not permitted to possess even medically prescribed marijuana inside state lines. Nevertheless, some patients choose to self medicate and use marijuana anyway because it is the only way they can receive relief from painful disease symptoms. When these individuals are caught by police and arrested for marijuana crimes, it is particularly tragic.

What is a racketeering or RICO crime?

Whenever you hear about a racketeering or RICO-related allegation it refers to allegations related to organized criminal activity. Organized crime rings run what are informally referred to as "rackets" because they engage in "racketeering." Racketeering is what happens when someone is running an illegal business. RICO and racketeering laws also cover the illegal use of legitimate organizations to carry out criminal acts -- like embezzling funds, laundering money and other white collar crimes.

The federal government created racketeering and RICO laws because it was finding it very difficult to prosecute and convict people at the head of rackets and organized crime rings. It was relatively straightforward to charge and convict the lower-level individuals who committed crimes like drug dealing, prostitution, weapons trafficking or counterfeiting, but often illegal businesses organized to make money of these activities were headed by individuals who kept their hands "clean." By enacting racketeering and RICO laws, the federal government acquired the ability to prosecute the leaders of criminal organizations.

Married couple arrested on drug crimes charges

A married couple from Onslow County, North Carolina, were recently arrested by authorities in Virginia. The couple -- a 27-year-old man and 24-year old woman -- were arrested on multiple drug-related charges relating to heroin and methamphetamine trafficking.

According to the Onslow County Sheriff's Office, the investigation into the couple began last April after they were suspected of trafficking and selling meth and heroin. After warrants were issued for their arrest, the couple allegedly escaped North Carolina last September. Narcotics detectives and the Twin County Drug Task Force eventually arrested them last Friday in Cana, Virginia.

Repeat drunk driving suspect gets 10 years after 16th conviction

The more driving while intoxicated convictions a North Carolina resident has on his or her record, the more severe the criminal consequences will be for each additional offense. One man from Gaston County, North Carolina, has found that out the hard way. His first DWI happened in the early 1980s, and his 16th conviction happened last May.

Even though the man has not had a drivers' license in over 20 years, he has continued to drive, and according to the North Carolina court system, he has also been driving drunk. However, last May the man was caught in a car accident with a minivan. The collision caused the minivan to strike another vehicle and it caused the convicted man's vehicle to go directly into a ditch.

North Carolina TSA agent accused trafficking

Eight individuals have been arrested and accused of participating in a drug trafficking ring in the Charlotte and Greensboro areas. Among the individuals arrested was a Transportation Security Administration employee. The suspects were charged by the Department of Justice on Nov. 9 and all of them will face drug conspiracy charges.

According to the Department of Justice, the TSA officer, who is employed at the Charlotte Douglas Airport, was the ringleader of the drug trafficking network. They say that he used his position as a TSA officer to help distribute drugs through airports. According to an affidavit, the man was able to use his status as a TSA officer to travel with drugs unsuspected.

Attorney Miranda Mills Appointed by North Carolina Governor to the Council for Women

"We need leaders such as you in public service to help

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 promote our vision and realization of a better North Carolina."

- Office of the North Carolina Governor

On Nov. 18, 2016, attorney Miranda Mills received a letter from Gov. Pat McCrory confirming her appointment to fill a vacant seat on the North Carolina Council for Women. Ms. Mills, a partner at Roberts Law Group based in Charlotte, will serve her term effective immediately through June 2018.

What is the effect of a successful expungement?

Expungement is a legal process by which the record of criminal conviction or arrest is erased or sealed from view. Whether or not a particular ex-offender is able to get his or her records expunged will depend on the circumstances of the alleged charges and/or convictions how long ago they occurred. This article will take a look at the exact effect that is achievable when an expungement is successful.

Technically speaking, the end result of expungement is to free someone up to apply for jobs without fear of the employer discovering a criminal past that could ruin the individual's chances for hire. Expungement results in one's criminal background being "sealed" from view and practically (though not completely) erased. This can significantly boost the individual's chances of getting jobs, getting school scholarships, getting admitted to a university, and getting approved for an apartment. When the criminal background court is pulled, nothing noteworthy will be revealed.

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