Archive for June 2011

30 day tags and Reasonable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is the lowest burden of proof in our legal system. Reasonable suspicion is something more than a hunch or inchoate belief. However, it is not much more. Reasonable suspicion is the standard by which courts generally judge the legality of a traffic stop. In order to legally stop a car, a police officer…

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Miranda Warnings for Kids

The Right to Remain Silent… this is the first in a series of four advisory statements a police officer must read to you if you are in custody and if the police officer wishes to interrogate you. These are call Miranda Warnings. If police fail to read the Miranda Warnings before questioning an in-custody suspect,…

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Confrontation Clause Cases decided by the Supreme Court

The Confrontation Clause is one of the most important – but overlooked – parts of constitutional criminal law. While many legal analysts focus on the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unlawful searches and seizures, or the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination, the most recent, positive Supreme Court developments in criminal defense law have been in the…

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MSNBC article on recent law school graduates

I was recently interviewed for an MSNBC.com article on recent law grads. As I understand it, the article is about how law grads are coping with a very difficult employment situation. The common refrain among grads and lawyers is that there are simply too many lawyers. This, as I tried to explain, misses the point.…

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Driving While License Revoked – The Gift that keeps on Giving

Since resolving a Driving While License Revoked (DWLR) requires working within the confines of both the North Carolina Criminal Court System as well as the DMV, obtaining a favorable outcome makes a DWLR one of the most complicated traffic citations out there. Additionally, a DWLR is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, meaning it is the highest…

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Missed Court Dates – A “No Show” is a “No-No”

Not showing up to court on your assigned court date comes with multiple consequences that best should be avoided. First, a person will be “Called and Failed” (C&F) indicating you did not come to court and a “Failure to Appear” (FTA) will be entered into the court computer system by the clerk. Additionally, an FTA…

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Points Systems – Driver’s License Points vs. Insurance points

Under North Carolina law, there are two separate points systems dictating which charges carry what points, for both your license as well as your insurance. To make matters worse, the number of points assigned for violations are different for the driver’s license point system compared to the insurance point system. Therefore what might qualify as…

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Speeding in a School Zone about to become A LOT more expensive

Due to the passage of N.C.G.S. 20-141.1 the fine for School Zone speeding violations will go from $25 to $250 starting August 25, 2011. This will not apply retroactively; so only citations issued on or after August 25, 2011 will include the increase. This law was passed with the interest of children safety, which is…

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Is a PJC available for a DWI?

A PJC, a prayer for judgment continued, is a way that someone can resolve a traffic offense without incurring insurance points that can raise insurance rates. A PJC can be used for many different traffic offenses. However, a PJC cannot be used for DWI offenses. While PJC can be used for a “baby DWI” –…

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