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Bolivia Criminal Defense Blog

You may be surprised at what can get you charged with DWI/DUI

Many people think that impaired driving laws apply only when someone is driving a car, truck or commercial vehicle on a public road while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In fact, state DWI/DUI laws can be much broader than that. North Carolina's laws are no exception.

For example, North Carolina courts have determined that "driving" a vehicle can be interpreted as having physical control of it as long as the engine is running. "Physical control" doesn't have to involve having your hands on the wheel.

Dealing with a child who is shoplifting

As summer approaches, many parents are looking for things to keep their kids occupied and out of trouble. One issue that even parents of kids who are relatively problem-free find themselves dealing with is stealing.

When young children take things from stores, they often don't understand that it's wrong. They see something they like -- such as a candy bar or toy -- and grab it. Parents need to begin teaching kids from a young age not to take things that don't belong to them or leave a store with something that hasn't been paid for.

North Carolina could be getting rougher on drug defendants

There's no question about it: The opioid crisis has touched every corner of the country, and North Carolina is no exception.

But, does it really make sense to punish addicts as harshly as possible? Wouldn't it make more sense to treat the addiction -- which many scientists and medical professionals consider a disease -- and the addict with compassion?

Begin your DUI defense quickly.

We recently discussed the issue of passengers in vehicles having open containers and how the driver is the one who might face legal issues if this occurs. The issue here is that there is a chance that a driver who is in a vehicle with alcohol might be tempted to take a sip. We know that there are people who can avoid doing this, but others might succumb to that temptation.

If you are stopped by a police officer and have open containers or give them reason to think you've been drinking, you might be in for a big shock. You could be arrested and charged with drunk driving. This is a very serious matter that must be treated accordingly.

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.

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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