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Dysart Willis

Raleigh Criminal Law Blog

Former USA Gymnastics doctor faces more child sex allegations

Raleigh's NBC station affiliate reports that a former Olympic gold medalist has said she was sexually abused for years by the former USA Gymnastics team doctor. McKayla Maroney alleges that Dr. Larry Nassar began molesting her when she was 13 years old.

Nassar is facing a wide variety of criminal charges, including receiving and possessing child pornography and destroying and concealing evidence. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to three child porn charges and is awaiting a November sentencing. His plea agreement in that case included a promise from federal prosecutors to not pursue allegations involving international and interstate travels in which sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children might have occurred.

Binge drinking can lead college kids down the road to DWI

As a parent, you probably do not indulge in binge drinking, but your college-age child might have taken it up, even while he was still in high school.

With so many colleges located in and around Raleigh, you can be sure some of the students who have charges of driving while impaired are binge drinkers.

Sexting: more than a scandalous headline

Former congressman Anthony Weiner was recently sentenced to 21 months in prison for illicit contact with a minor. Weiner, 53, has repeatedly been caught up in sexting scandals; the latest involved sexting with a 15-year-old North Carolina high school student.

While it is clear to many observers that Weiner's behavior was inappropriate, matters can become much murkier when exchanges of sexually explicit text messages involve two teens. What many parents and teenagers don't understand is that sometimes North Carolina teenagers who have been sexting can face child pornography charges.

Traffic stop section in driving handbook to increase safety

In the case of a traffic stop where you face a traffic violation, it is important to understand your rights. Especially if you suspect a law enforcement officer did not follow the proper protocol, it is imperative you understand the law, because it may be possible to receive a dismissal on the case.

It is also important to know your rights and the proper way to handle a stop in general so you remain safe. The new traffic stop section in the North Carolina driving handbook will hopefully assist with this process.

Raleigh coach faces felony sex crime charges

A Raleigh basketball coach is facing some of the most serious criminal charges possible. The 42-year-old Wake Forest resident is facing multiple sex crimes charges, a North Carolina TV station has reported.

He has been charged with two felony counts of second-degree forcible sex. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery, the station reported.

North Carolina drug bust includes swim, shark and drone

Raleigh residents who make the two-hour drive to Surf City know that the small North Carolina town is known for its ocean beach, waves and moderate climate. It is now also known as the place where a 20-year-old man recently evaded arrest by running from police, diving into the ocean and swimming away.

Even the most refreshing dips in the water must eventually come to an end, however, and the man was arrested on his return to shore. He is now facing drug charges as well as charges of resisting arrest and obstructing an officer.

Thinking about pleading the fifth? Here is what you should know

When you are facing criminal charges in North Carolina, you need to remember to be careful about what you say, who you say it to and what you do. You may feel tempted to explain your side of things to your friends, relatives and even cellmates. But your words and actions can help to strengthen the prosecution’s case.

One way you can avoid saying and doing something in your trial that may come back to hurt your case is to plead the fifth. 

North Carolina teacher charged with child sex crimes

As our Raleigh readers know, there are few charges that can filed against you in North Carolina more serious than the ones a 29-year-old Charlotte teacher is facing. The elementary school teacher was arrested a couple of weeks ago on child sex charges, released on bond and then arrested again within the past few days on added charges of indecent liberties with a child and indecent liberties with a student.

The teacher now faces 26 charges involving alleged child sex violations. According to law enforcement officials, the incidents took place at overnight student camps he held in his home.

Should you have counsel if charged with a sex crime

What do you think of when you consider the term "sex crime?" Is it a serial rapist or creepy addict that is depicted on crime drama shows such as "Law & Order: SVU" or is it a hardened criminal who is featured on news magazine stories such as "Nightline" or "60 Minutes?" Chances are that you think of those people as monsters or those who are mentally unstable and unworthy of being among us in regular society.

While these people are commonly charged and convicted of sex crimes, there are countless people who are charged with these crimes and do not fit this profile. In fact, they could be accused of a crime because of inaccurate information or because of poor decision-making. Regardless, they were completely unaware that their futures could be altered forever because of a simple mistake. 

Think you cannot get busted for a DWI after one drink?

Many of age North Carolina college students like to hang out and party with their friends. They may even decide to sip on beer, a glass of wine or some other type of alcoholic beverage. There is nothing wrong with those actions as long as anyone who has been drinking does not drive. You may think you are safe because you only drank one beverage, but it is still possible for you to get a DWI charge.

If an officer pulls you over, stay calm and rational about what you say and do. You can refuse field sobriety tests, just keep in mind that you may be detained and have additional charges brought against you, such as disorderly conduct. Refusing to take field sobriety tests does not mean you are guilty; many sober people fail them even though they are not legally intoxicated. Tests are not always administered properly, and there are other factors that can cause you to fail them. It is hard to challenge the results of these tests in court. However, if you are ordered to provide a blood or urine sample, you may want to comply. Law enforcement can always get a warrant for you to submit to chemical testing, which may be more beneficial to your situation.