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North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

Ex-Panther Rae Carruth released after 18 years in prison for conspiring to murder pregnant girlfriend

The former wide receiver's brief NFL career has long been overshadowed by the dark chapter that unfolded in Charlotte in November 1999. Rae Carruth's girlfriend, Cherica Adams (who, by his account, had only been a booty call) was 30 weeks pregnant with his baby. Carruth had asked her to get an abortion. She refused.

That night, he took Cherica out to a movie. On the way home, having driven separately, Carruth asked Cherica to follow him. He pulled off to the side of the road, she behind him, as another vehicle drove up and shot five times into her car. Four of the bullets hit her.

2 ways to defend against drug possession charges

Even if police accuse you of possessing only a small amount of drugs, the allegations are serious, and you could face significant punishments if the allegations result in a conviction. For this reason, North Carolina residents will want to do everything they can to defend against a drug possession charge if they can establish a viable defense strategy.

Here are two ways that defendants might choose to answer a charge of drug possession during their criminal court proceedings:

"Making a Murderer Part 2" highlights hurdles in the postconviction process

A few years ago, "Making a Murderer" took Netflix by storm, probing the depths of reasonable doubt and shedding light on the limits of the criminal justice system.

The 10-episode documentary follows Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who spent nearly two decades in prison for a wrongful conviction of rape and attempted murder.

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In a story filled with twists and turns - and in perfect true-crime fashion - Avery got exonerated and released, only to be charged in a new murder case. The victim, Autotrader photographer Teresa Halbach, disappeared under mysterious circumstances after taking pictures of a van at Avery's salvage yard. Her burnt remains were eventually found on Avery's property. Avery's teenaged nephew, Brendan Dassey, confessed to helping his uncle murder her.

How often should police calibrate their Breathalyzer devices?

A Breathalyzer device does not always render an accurate test result. In fact, the result will be particularly inaccurate if police fail to calibrate the Breathalyzer properly. For this reason, test results rendered by an inappropriately calibrated breath test devices are sometimes thrown out and cannot be used as evidence against a drunk driver during his or her criminal proceedings.

North Carolina DWI defense lawyers who understand the calibration standards that apply to Breathalyzers can use this knowledge to assist their clients and -- in some cases -- they can seek to have breath test results invalidated during trial proceedings. Here are the most basic calibration standards defendants should understand:

  • Police must maintain a list of acceptable breath test devices, and the Breathalyzer device used to test the defendant must appear on this list.
  • Police must adhere to a regular testing and maintenance program that applies to the breath device used to test the defendant.
  • The police officer who administered the breath test must have been appropriately certified to use the particular device that measured the defendant.
  • The police officer who administered the test must have administered it in a way that followed his or specific training received.
  • The officer who administered the breath test needs to make sure that the defendant did not burp or regurgitate during testing -- and did not smoke, vomit or eat -- for a specific amount of time before testing.
  • The breath test needs to take at least two readings that were within .02 percent of each other.

5 situations when a crime could be tried in federal court

When a North Carolina resident is arrested for a crime, the matter could be tried in federal or state court depending on the circumstances surrounding the allegations. Although most criminal matters will be tried in state court, some will be subject to federal jurisdiction.

Here are five situations in which that could be the case:

Love & Hip Hop star Tommie Lee learns (the hard way) why you shouldn't violate a no-contact order

Tommie Lee is no stranger to police. The 34-year-old mother of two and volatile star of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta has been arrested more than 30 times over the years. She's faced charges ranging from theft and disorderly conduct to forgery, battery and hijacking (of a bus, apparently). One of her daughters was even born in jail.

But now, the star has set a new record for herself: getting arrested not once, but twice within 24 hours.

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Avoid getting arrested for drunk driving charge with these tips

If you've been arrested and accused of drunk driving, you're at risk of having it happen again. The fact is, the way society has organized our cities and towns around driving -- and the fact that virtually everyone enjoys drinking alcoholic beverages -- sets up a scenario in which drunk driving is extremely common, regardless of whether the drivers get arrested or accused of the offense.

In order to reduce your chances of a drunk driving arrest in the future, here are some important things to remember:

Kanye requests pardon for Chicago gangster in 10-minute White House rant

Kanye West is on a roll. After an off-air rant in support of President Trump at his SNL appearance earlier this month, he went on to meet with the president himself at the White House last week. Instead of a dialogue, however, Trump found himself upstaged when Kanye launched into an impassioned 10-minute monologue.

In what has become something of a signature for the singer/songwriter/rapper/producer/soliloquist, Kanye's rant covered topics ranging from prison reforms, jobs and mental health to neuropsychology, the Unabomber and alternate universes.

Do you need an appellate attorney for your criminal trial?

Imagine you lost your drug crimes trial and now you're awaiting sentencing. That's bad enough, but to make matters worse, you're innocent. You know that you didn't do the crime they've convicted you of, and you know that your criminal proceedings were completely unfair. What are your options?

You may want to look into the possibility of filing an appeal. For this, you'll need an appellate attorney. Your current defense attorney might already have the requisite skills required to pursue an appeal in your case, or you might need to call in an attorney with more experience. In many cases, your current defense attorney will work in conjunction an appellate attorney to seek the best possible result in your appeal.

Schedule I Drugs: What drugs have the severest punishments?

The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) has established five primary classifications of drugs from Schedule I to Schedule V. Since the federal government considers the drugs in Schedule I to be the most dangerous class of drugs, these substances come with the severest punishments.

Everyone should familiarize him or herself with the various drug classifications to ensure that he or she stays away from these substances. However, there are so many drugs in the category of Schedule I -- most of which are listed by their complicated chemical names -- that it's easy to get confused. In order to keep this list as simple as possible by focusing on the most commonly found Schedule I drugs, here are the most popular drugs categorized as Schedule I under the federal system:

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