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North Carolina Criminal Defense Law Blog

Woman accused of drunk driving after crash

Police arrested and accused a 33-year-old woman of drunk driving after she was involved in a multi-vehicle car crash last week. According to authorities, she struck two cars, fled the accident scene in her vehicle and continued driving home.

Later, police caught up to the woman at her apartment complex and arrested her. Police further allege that when they tested the woman's blood alcohol content (BAC), she tested to have almost triple the legal limit in her system. They say she had a .23 percent BAC, red, glassy eyes and a strong smell of alcohol on her breath.

The Al Franken/Roy Moore Weirdness

We don't know how things are done in Minnesota or Alabama, but in North Carolina, these allegations don't get you a pat on the back or a promotion.

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The troubled Al Franken of Minnesota, whose star originally rose as a writer and comedian on Saturday Night Live in the 70s and 80s, has announced the end of his political career in the Senate.

But before announcing the end, Franken tested the waters of public opinion, as you can see in the Facebook screenshot below. Franken writes about "a lot of reflecting" and being "glad" to keep on keeping on as a federal lawmaker fixing student debt, prescription drug prices, the opioid crisis, and so on.

Then he evidently waited to see how folks would respond.

Police accuse 3 people after finding 600 baggies of heroin

The Nash County Sheriff's office arrested and accused three people of possessing hundreds of baggies of heroin that they were allegedly in the process of selling and distributing. According to the Sheriff's office, the men were arrested after a two-month investigation of suspected heroin trading activity at a home in Rocky Mount.

A search warrant was executed by the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force on a recent Tuesday. As police approached the home, a 29-year-old male was meeting with the 31-year-old male resident of the home in the driveway. The 31-year-old tried to escape officers by running away on foot, but police later apprehended him without incident.

Why is fentanyl dangerous?

The problem of opioid and heroin addiction is getting worse every day in North Carolina. Also, as many readers of this blog are already aware, fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid that's taking the black market by storm. Numerous people have died from overdosing on fentanyl, heroin and other opioids in North Carolina -- and the situation doesn't seem to be getting any better.

For those who are suffering from opioid addictions -- and for their family members -- it's important to keep in mind the fact that addiction isn't a choice. Nobody wants to be addicted to these substances, and nobody wants to hurt themselves or their friends because of their addictions. However, once the need for the drug sets in, free will isn't a factor anymore. People who are addicted usually need help from professionals if they want to get better.

Hollywood actor arrested after crashing Porsche

A Porsche belonging to Hollywood actor Christopher McDonald veered off the road in Lake Arrowhead Village late last month. The vehicle crashed into a gas valve, causing a natural gas leak in the area. The leak continued for an hour before it could be repaired. In the interim, community members said that they were suffering from headaches caused by the gas.

Fortunately, no explosions happened because -- according to a gas company representative -- the gas was being released into open air. Nevertheless, authorities evacuated the area just to be safe.

2 men accused of possessing 85 pounds of marijuana

The Wake County Sheriff's Office arrested two men on a recent Thursday afternoon, alleging that they were in possession of 85 pounds of marijuana. The men, aged 24 and 21, were taken into custody at 3:20 p.m., in a neighborhood close to Interstate 40 and Lake Wheeler Road at the southern end of Raleigh.

Due to the large quantity of pot, deputies charged the men with marijuana tracking. The minimum amount of marijuana required to trigger a trafficking charge is 10 pounds, and these men allegedly possessed eight times this amount. As such, the men were charged with the second-highest level of marijuana trafficking offenses involving possession of 50 to 200 pounds. This is a serious offense that could send these young men to prison for many years if they are convicted.

3 questions about intoxicated boating

A lot of boating enthusiasts do not realize that a North Carolina police officer can arrest them for intoxicated boating, or boating under the influence (BUI), just like an officer can arrest them for intoxicated driving. In fact, the charges and potential penalties are essentially the same for intoxicated boating as they are for drunk driving.

In order to learn more about this common, yet often underappreciated, criminal offense. Let's take a look at a few frequently asked questions about drunk boating.

When do criminal cases get tried in federal court?

The vast majority of criminal trials are handled in the state and county court systems. However, in some circumstances, the federal court system will have jurisdiction and authority to decide the matter. Let's take a look at the five most common types of cases decided by federal courts:

  • When the case involves only federal law: If a lawsuit involves federal securities laws, constitutional laws, certain military laws, federal crimes, intellectual property rights and other laws made by the U.S. Congress, the cases can be tried in federal court.
  • When the case relates to diversity: Diversity may refer to a case from two different states. When the dispute is valued at over $75,000, and if the two parties are from two different states, it might need to be handled in federal court. Also, land grant disputes from different states, and disagreements between states will be handled by the federal courts. In state-against-state disputes, they often get tried in the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Treaties and diplomacy: When a case involves a U.S. ambassador, a treaty or the standing of the United States in relation to another country, the matter will be tried in federal court.
  • Federal government cases: If you want to sue an agency of the federal government, the case will be handled in federal court.
  • Admiral law: These cases involve the navigable waters around the U.S. as well as some navigable bodies of water in the country.. These cases will often be handled in federal court.
  • Cross-border issues: When crimes involve the U.S. postal system, state-to-state transportation or when they happen on federal property, they will generally be tried in federal court.

Were you accused of a federal crime? If you're facing criminal charges in federal court, you will be entitled to a defense and representation by a qualified attorney.

The Impeachment of President Trump

"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, 1950

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It takes quite a lot to impeach an American president.

Richard Nixon came perilously close to being impeached and removed from office when the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 got fed up with his Watergate antics, but he resigned before that happened (making him the only president in American history to resign). Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about his sexual antics with a White House intern, but was ultimately acquitted.

No president in U.S. history has been impeached, convicted, and removed from office (though political adversaries routinely call for it). Some calls have more foundation than others do.

In Donald Trump's case, some people believe the question isn't whether impeachment will happen - but when.

DUI defense: What's auto brewery syndrome?

Police officers, prosecutors, judges and criminal defense attorneys have seen or used a lot of unique cases and a lot of unique defense strategies in their careers. In fact, the job of a criminal defense lawyer is to creatively analyze every case that he or she represents to determine all legal strategies that could be available to his or her client.

That said, one unique DWI defense strategy -- which would only apply to rare situations -- is a particularly strange one indeed. This strategy has worked in select instances around the nation. It relates to "Auto-Brewery Syndrome," an unusual medical condition that causes the human body to automatically convert normal food into alcohol. Ultimately, the condition causes the sufferers to become drunk as the converted alcohol enters their bloodstreams.

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