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Dysart Willis

Raleigh Criminal Law Blog

North Carolina towns want to push defendants to federal courts

It is just an hour's drive northwest of Raleigh to get to Alamance County. The city council in the county seat of Graham recently became the first in the area to allocate money for a new prosecutor to be devoted to drug crimes as well as firearms violations and prosecution of violent crimes, a news report states.

What makes this new prosecutor position so interesting is that this person will be tasked with prosecuting people under federal laws so that after conviction, they will be housed outside of North Carolina's crowded prison system. Of course, those prosecuted would also be punished under federal sentencing guidelines, often tougher than state guidelines.

Understand the levels of sentencing for DWI in North Carolina

If you face DWI charges in North Carolina, it may be helpful to know what may happen. In the State of North Carolina, there are several different levels that the courts consider to determine an individual’s penalty when found guilty. Understand what you could be facing by reviewing the different levels of sentencing in a DWI case.

Each level is determined by looking at a number of factors, including details of the DWI incident, your driving record and history, any prescription medications you take, and your BAC. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety provides a detailed description of the sentencing for each violation level. These details fit into one of two categories: aggravating and mitigating factors. Aggravating factors are aspects that prove fault, and the prosecution generally presents them. On the other hand, mitigating factors are presented by the defense and show reasons the court should be lenient. The weight of each type of factor heavily influences the level chosen for sentencing.

Sex crime charges dropped against North Carolina football player

For many people who read news articles about criminal accusations, the assumption they make is that the person accused is guilty. While stories about arrests often result in attention-grabbing headlines, articles about charges being dropped, dismissed or reduced are often ignored by news media or given relatively scant attention.

Sometimes media pays attention when charges are dropped against someone famous, however. That appears to be the case in the recent dismissal of sex crime charges against a North Carolina football player.

New Jersey fugitive cop arrested in Raleigh by federal agent

If you left Raleigh right now and drove northeast for about eight and a half hours, you would come to Asbury Park in New Jersey. The seaside town is famous for its beach, boardwalk and Bruce Springsteen connection. In recent days, it has also become known for the former police officer who fled an organized crime trial.

The ex-cop was arrested by federal law enforcement a few days ago in Raleigh. The extradition process was reported to be underway to return him to New Jersey and possible federal charges.

Feds arrest two dozen in North Carolina drug raids

If you drive a little more than two hours northwest of Raleigh and about 50 years back in time, you will come to Mount Airy. As many know, the North Carolina town was Andy Griffith's boyhood home and the inspiration for Mayberry.

The Mount Airy area was also home to recent arrests by federal law enforcement agencies and police forces from Virginia and North Carolina. More than 20 suspects were taken into custody on drug-trafficking charges, the Mount Airy News reported.

Should you refuse a breathalyzer test?

Most people who are stopped by the police for a traffic violation are not always sure what to do. It is very stressful, and many people act without thinking. If you have been drinking, you may be even more willing to act out and refuse a breathalyzer or another test to determine whether you are driving under the influence. What should you do if the police pull you over? 

The first thing you should know is that North Carolina has an implied consent law. According to the statute, “any person who drives a vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area thereby gives consent to a chemical analysis if charged with an implied consent offense.” Refusing to take this test is an automatic one-year license suspension if it is your first offense. 

North Carolina sex offender law struck down

An important part of modern American life is online, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided. It is so important that the justices have unanimously ruled that a North Carolina law banning sex offenders from social media is unconstitutional.

The court says so media is today an integral part of our lives that it violates First Amendment rights to ban people from it without criminal cause. The North Carolina law effectively barred "access to what for many are the principal sources for knowing current events, checking ads for employment, speaking and listening in the modern public square, and otherwise exploring the vast realms of human thought and knowledge," Justice Kennedy wrote in the decision.

Congress pondering revenge porn law

Regular readers of our Raleigh criminal law blog might well remember a post we wrote in late April about a North Carolina man facing a sex crime charge. The 39-year-old Marine is accused of posting on Facebook "revenge porn" involving a civilian woman. He was arrested by Jacksonville police.

A bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would make revenge porn a crime under the military code. The measure has already been approved by the House of Representatives.

Drunk driving arrests and much more at checkpoint near Raleigh

Just a few miles southeast of Raleigh, law enforcement officials said they recently arrested or charged nearly 100 people who had been stopped at a DWI checkpoint on Highway 70.

Seven people were arrested for drunk driving by police officers at the checkpoint, while others face drug possession charges, weapons violations and other charges, according to report by Raleigh's channel 11 news.

North Carolina teacher avoids prison on student sex charges

A sleepy North Carolina town southwest of Raleigh awoke with a start last fall. A Cherryville High School English teacher was accused of having sex with a student.

The 41-year-old teacher was charged with felony sexual activity with a student. According to recent news reports, she and her criminal defense attorney have reached an agreement with prosecutors that enables her to avoid any time in jail on the charge.