Archive for October 2011

Common Law vs. Statutory Law

When people think of laws today, they think of laws passed by a legislature – in the federal example, Congress, or in North Carolina, the General Assembly – and signed into law by the chief executive (the president or the governor). These are only one kind of law: statutory law. There is another kind of…

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Better Call Saul!

Best show currently on television is Breaking Bad. The show follows Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who starts cooking meth so that he can raise enough money to pay for his cancer treatment and leave enough money behind for his family. He partners with Jessie Pinkman, a former student. When an associate gets…

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Changes to the North Carolina Sentencing Chart

A new sentencing chart will take effect in North Carolina as of December 1, 2011. For nearly 15 years, the chart remained essentially the same. In 2009, however, the chart was revised. Now the chart is undergoing a new revision. (The new chart will likely be available at www.nccourts.org/Courts/CRS/Councils/spac/Punishment.asp once it’s created.) The revision in…

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Mandatory Drug Diversion – N.C.G.S 90-96 Improved

North Carolina’s Drug Diversion program got a important overhaul with the change of just one word – “may” – into “shall”. Under the prior law valid until November 30, 2011, a judge could, but was not required to, enroll an individual into a drug diversion program if the person had not previously been convicted of…

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Probation Violations and Changes to North Carolina’s Probation Laws

There are two types of probation – supervised or unsupervised – and within supervised probation, there are additional requirements that may be imposed, including intensive probation, drug conditions, “school conditions”, and so forth. This guide on Probation Violations from the UNC School of Government explains the basics of probation violations. If a person violates probation,…

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Resolving your Cases Early (in the Day)

Decision fatigue is a problem all of us have. Making decisions – particularly complex decisions that require reflection, consideration, and nuanced thinking – is taxing on the brain. Consequently, the more one is tired, the more likely one is to make snap decisions. That’s not surprising. Nor should it be surprising that decision fatigue can…

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Speeding up DWIs in Wake County District Court

Recenty I heard a discussion while in a courtroom about how the state of North Carolina might develop a more efficient way of handling the thousands of DWI or Driving While Impaired cases that pass through Wake County’s courthouse each year. The problem is two-fold. First, DWIs have overwhelmed the District Courts to the extent…

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