Archive for February 2013

What is a hung jury?

“Hung jury” is a slang term for a jury that is hopelessly deadlocked. Usually the judge will inquire of the jurors, through the foreperson, whether the jury is in fact deadlocked, or whether the jury would benefit from additional time deliberating on the case. While not all states require a unanimous – all jurors –…

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Blood Simple: DWI and Marijuana Metabolites

In Arizona, it is a DUI for someone to drive on the road in a vehicle while there is any drug or metabolite of a drug listed in ARS 13-3401. The law is absurd. It makes it a criminal act to drive on the roads of Arizona with the metabolites of, say, marijuana in one’s…

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Are you required to perform Field Sobriety Tests?

Many DWIs are won or lost long before they reach a Raleigh DWI lawyer. That’s because, too often, drivers feel as though they have no option but to answer questions, provide a breath sample on a portable breath test (PBT), or perform various silly tests such as walking a line, standing on one leg, and…

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Is there anyone not charged with murder?

In a bizarre twist, it turns out that South African paralympic runner Oscar Pistorius’s brother has now been charged with culpable homicide. Since Pistorius was charged in the death of his girlfriend, we’ve learned that the lead investigator Hilton Botha has been charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, and now his brother has been…

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NC Department of Revenue cracks down on Tax Cheats

If you’ve been accused of tax evasion, tax fraud, or failure to pay taxes, you can be punished at both the state and federal levels. In any case, it is imperative that you contact a Raleigh tax layer or tax fraud lawyer as quickly as possible about how to defend yourself against both the criminal…

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Setting Expectations: The Raleigh DWI Lawyer’s Dilemma

Private lawyers have a particular dilemma which, while not unique to criminal defense law, is certainly a problematic feature of it. An ethical lawyer may never promise a particular outcome at the outset or during representation. Rule 7.1 of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct says that “A lawyer shall not make a false…

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Legal Doctrine and Legal Realties – The Daily Life of Criminal Law

Most people are woefully ill-informed about the way that criminal law is actually practiced. That includes law professors, including most of the ones who actually teach criminal law. I recall taking a Criminal Procedure class – “Bail to Jail” – when I was a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. UNC is…

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Christopher Dorner and the Corrupt LAPD

Whatever Christopher Dorner is – a killer, a lunatic, a man with a deep, abiding grudge – the LAPD is no agency of angels. It’s a police department steeped in violence, corruption, and abusive policing. Consider that since 2000, the federal government, through an agreement with the city, has provided federal oversight of LAPD policing…

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The Logic of the Innocent Client

Everyone deserves a vigorous defense. In many cases, a person has committed some kind of crime, has been arrested, and has, usually, made admissions or confessions. In such cases, the criminal lawyer’s job is to limit the damage, assess the evidence, and, along with the client, build a defense. Sometimes limiting the damage means making…

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Can I find accurate information on the Internet about DWIs?

I was on Facebook the other day and a friend posted this photo that made me laugh: “Quotes found on the internet are not always accurate – Abraham Lincoln.” It also brought to mind a common problem I face when I’m first consulting with someone who has recently been charged with a DWI. Since there…

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