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Bolivia Criminal Defense Blog

Open alcohol containers are forbidden in all vehicles

When you are out partying with friends, you might have one who is riding in your vehicle who wants to bring their alcoholic beverage with them when you leave the venue. This isn't ever a good idea because of open container laws. Nobody in a vehicle can have an open container in North Carolina. It doesn't matter if the person is the driver or passenger.

Another point to know about North Carolina law is that open container laws also apply to parked vehicles. This shocks many people because a parked vehicle isn't in motion so they assume that they can drink in a car to get out of the elements.

Your defense strategy must be customized to the case at hand

Your criminal defense strategy can make or break your case. You need to think carefully about how different options might be perceived. There are many questions that you need to consider when you are doing this. One of these is how your strategy might be interpreted by the jury if you plan on taking your case to a jury trial. You might have to adjust the defense you present so that it will be well-received by the jury.

Another element to consider is whether you can poke holes in the prosecutor's claims. This is often a primary consideration because the burden to prove that you committed a crime is on the prosecutor. If you can make the jurors doubt those allegations to the point where they have reasonable doubts, you have done what you need to do for your defense.

Traffic tickets might require a court appearance

When you get a traffic ticket, you have to decide how to handle it. Some people think that just paying them off is the right course of action, but this isn't always the case. You have to think carefully about how you are going to handle the case. For some tickets, you have to go to court. In other cases, you can waive your right to stand before the court and pay the stated fine.

If you choose to pay off the fine, remember that this is considered a conviction on your record. While it might not matter for many people, it does for those who need a clean driving record for work. In this case, you might be able to go before the court and fight the ticket.

Decide the goal of your defense early in the case

When you are facing criminal charges, you have to think about the entire situation before you make any decisions on what you are going to do. One thing that some people don't think about is how a conviction might affect them in the coming years. Some of these, such as felonies, can have an impact on your life until the day you pass away. We know that this is hard to accept, but you should look at things for how they are so that you can use this information as you make decisions about your case.

For some people, the goal of their defense isn't to be found not guilty. They admit that they did do the crime. Instead, they want to minimize the penalties they have to face for it. In these cases, it is easy to focus on the short term since this is what is going to impact them now.

Understand what happens during your arraignment hearing

During a criminal prosecution, defendants are given a chance to inform the court how they plead to the charge. This is usually "not guilty," but some people choose to plead guilty if they know that they committed the crime and don't see any reason to prolong the process. The defendant's plea is heard by the court in the arraignment.

A few things happen during the arraignment hearing for which you need be prepared ahead of time. The court is going to read the charges against you as official notification. It is important to listen carefully during this part of the hearing since the exact charges may play a role in how you decide to plead.

What can you do when your opioid addiction leads to drug charges?

However your addiction started, whether a prescription after surgery or recreational use at a party, you never planned to end up facing criminal charges. You know you need help but you aren’t sure where to start.

The good news is North Carolina is working hard to fight the opioid epidemic. Many people in the state recognize that the problem is a health problem, not a criminal problem, and they are looking for creative solutions to that problem. One of those solutions is first-time offender criminal diversion programs.

Ending a holiday party arrested for drunk driving stops the fun

Throughout this holiday season, adults must remember that they are free to make choices, but they aren't free to choose their consequences for those. One area that is very important to keep this in mind is when you head out to parties for Christmas and New Year's Day. If you plan to consume alcohol, take the time to find a reliable way home. Even though this might not be too fun, it can help to save you time in jail and criminal court costs, as well as other expenses.

We know that you might just want to go out with your friends and have a few drinks to celebrate the end of the year and the start of a new one. Just remember that nothing is going to ruin your fun more than seeing the flashing lights of a police vehicle in your rearview when you know you've had alcohol.

Bail overhaul might be coming to North Carolina

Defendants who are awaiting their trial will sometimes have to do so in jail. This is partially due to the bail system. Because of this system, these defendants are ordered to pay a certain amount of money to be released pending the outcome of the case.

In theory, this is done to ensure the person will show up to future court dates. In reality, it can prevent poor defendants from ever being released. This might soon be changing in North Carolina for some low-level felonies and misdemeanors. The North Carolina Courts Commission is looking into an overhaul of the bail system.

Can my DUI charges be dismissed?

Being pulled over and charged with a driving while intoxicated (DUI) offense is a serious, scary and life-altering event. DUI charges carry significant criminal and administrative penalties. You may face jail time, lose your driving privileges, be forced to pay costly fines and suffer damage to your personal and professional reputation and relationships.

If you are facing DUI charges, you may be confused and have a number of questions, including whether your charges could be reduced or dismissed. There are defense strategies an attorney can use to raise doubts about your arrest and challenge drunk driving charges. Depending on your situation, the charges against you could be reduced or dropped altogether.

Field sobriety tests might be disputed in a drunk driving case

One of the primary components of a drunk driving stop is the field sobriety test. The officer who conducts this test will either perform a standardized field sobriety test or a nonstandardized test. The difference between these two is that the standardized test has been accepted by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA).

There are specific components to the standardized field sobriety tests that are done to determine if a driver is under the influence of any drug or alcohol. These include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand. The officers who conduct these tests are specially trained to ensure that they are reading the results properly.

An Award-Winning LawyerFirm founder Dustin R.T. Sullivan has been recognized as one of the leading attorneys in North Carolina. His accolades include:

  • Super Lawyer2017 Rising Star in DWI Defense Super Lawyers of North Carolina
  • Superior DUI Attorney 20162016 Superior DUI Attorney ranking for fourth consecutive year by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense
  • Super Lawyer | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Selected In 20172016 Public Service Award for Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • 10 Best 2017 | Attorney | Client Satisfaction 2015 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award by the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
  • NAFLA2015 Top 10 Ranking by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys
    • Top Rated On AVVO
    • Review Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Avvo
    • Top Contributor Award 2014 | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Avvo
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Top Attorney
    • 2014 Top 100 Attorneys in North Carolina by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense
    • nafdd
  • StarNews Media | Finalist for Best Attorney2013 Finalist for Best Attorney in Cape Fear region by Wilmington Star News
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