The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett
Phone: 704-899-5574

Mecklenburg County Criminal Defense Law Blog

DUI arrest costs school superintendent her job

The risks one poses (and assumes) when getting behind the wheel after having been drinking in Charlotte are well-documented. The fact that people still do it may speak to something more than just mere carelessness. Few (if any) people may actually want to harm themselves or others while driving drunk, the issues that defy the logic of the scenario may prompt them to drive anyway. What is unfortunate about such a situation is that their decision may end up causing them to face consequences that could potentially alter their lives. 

A DUI arrest can certainly do that, and in more ways than one may think. While the common penalties for driving under the influence may seem to be minor (at least for initial offenses), it often is the collateral consequences that most have the hardest time dealing with. A South Carolina woman is having to learn this lesson the hard following her DUI arrest. She was charged after being involved in an accident during the late night hours (in which fortunately no one was hurt). The next day, she was placed on administrative leave from her position as the superintendent of a local school district. She tendered her resignation later that evening. 

What should I know about drug treatment?

If you’re facing a drug charge in North Carolina, you may feel like you’ve lost control of your life. In many cases, people faced with drug offenses have a deeper issue with drug use and abuse, and these issues often need to be addressed on a professional basis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers the following information on how you can get help for your drug addiction.

Different types of treatments

Implied consent in North Carolina

One of the most stressful situations for drivers on the road is having the police pull you over. There are many reasons that a police officer may pull someone over, but suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most serious. Because of this, there are severe consequences for the actions. Many North Carolina residents report driving after drinking too much, which is why it is important to know about implied consent.

One of the first things an officer will do when you are pulled over due to suspicion of a DWI is ask you to take a breathalyzer test. If you refuse, you are going against North Carolina’s implied consent law. What is this?

When you are falsely accused of theft

People are falsely accused of many different offenses, from assault to traffic violations. However, some can be especially frustrating, such as false allegations of theft. There are many different reasons why someone may wrongly accuse another person of stealing from them. In some cases, the allegations may be an attempt to get even or bring the person down, while others may be the result of someone falsely believing that a particular individual stole from them (when it was actually someone else). In Charlotte, and across North Carolina, it is essential for those who have been wrongly accused of theft to immediately review relevant legal considerations and protect their rights.

False allegations of theft may arise after an employer (or former employer) accuses a worker of stealing property. Or, a homeowner may believe that their neighbor stole something from them when really it was another person altogether. Theft allegations may involve relatively small amounts of property or significant assets, but these charges can be incredibly stressful for someone who has been falsely accused either way.

Can field sobriety tests prove I am drunk?

If you or someone that you know has been arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense, field sobriety tests may have been used during the arrest process. It is important that defendants understand the purpose of these tests and just how accurate - or not - they really are.

Many people incorrectly assume that field sobriety tests are one way that an officer can tell if a person is intoxicated. As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, these roadside tests are in no way able to or even designed to do this. Instead, their purpose is to give just enough support to the theory that a person might be drunk so that a police officer may legally place the driver under arrest.

How can I prevent my child from underage drinking?

Receiving an underage drinking charge in North Carolina is a serious issue. Not only can such a charge result in legal trouble, it can also have a lasting impact on many facets of your child’s life. There are steps parents can take to prevent their kids from underage drinking in the first place, as explained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Set a good example

Search warrants: The need for probable cause

Perhaps you committed a minor traffic offense in North Carolina, and an officer pulled over your vehicle. The officer asks you whether you would consent to a search of your car as the officer believes he or she smells marijuana coming from your vehicle. If you refuse, the officer says that the court will implement a warrant to search, but if you consent, you worry you will face charges for possession of marijuana.

Many individuals have questions regarding searches and seizures. The most important aspect of a legal search involves the presence of probable cause. Should an officer believe that you have illegal marijuana in your vehicle due to the smell, this may constitute probably cause to retrieve a search warrant. However, if you believe you have only committed a minor traffic violation and probable cause is not present, you have the authority to refuse a search.

Helping your parent deal with drug charges

Often, when people think of drug charges that can create turmoil in a family, they may think of a parent who is struggling with a drug offense that their teen has been accused of. However, there may be times when an adult child finds themselves in a tough position after their parent has been accused of a drug crime. If you are facing this burden, it is crucial to do everything you can to provide your parent with the support that they need during such a difficult time.

For starters, your parent may benefit from emotional support that you can provide. It could also be helpful for you to go over laws that are related to their case and have a clear understanding of their situation, in order to help them understand their rights and some of the options they may have. You could even benefit from reaching out to a legal expert who has dealt with many of these types of cases.

Knowing when words become threats

Nearly everyone in Charlotte is susceptible to saying something they do not mean in the heat of the moment. This understanding is often expected, which is why many come to us here at The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett surprised when their words result in criminal charges. You might utter something while stressed or under some form of duress that is directed at another yet have absolutely no intention of him or her feeling threatened by it. Unfortunately, it is his or her feelings that are often judging when determining if your actions were indeed criminal. 

Section 14-277 of North Carolina's General Statutes shows that words and statements may indeed be unlawful under the following circumstances: 

  • When you threaten to physically injure another person or that person's spouse, child, dependent or sibling, or threaten to damage that person's property
  • That threat is communicated either orally, in writing or via some other means
  • The threat is done in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe it will be carried out
  • The intended target of the threat does actually fear that it will be carried out

Proving criminal intent

Most might assume that proving that a white collar crime was committed would be fairly straightforward; one need only identify scenarios were well-intentioned investors lost a good deal of money due to the promises of the schemer. Yet does the mere fact that you, as one who manages the investments of others in Charlotte, secured investments that ended up losing money mean that you are a criminal? Such is the question that many bring to us here at The Law Office of Kevin L Barnett. Like them, you may be pleased to learn that simply losing your clients' money does not qualify as white collar crime. 

The common assumption that many of those unfamiliar with investments have is that you simply working with securities and commodities guarantees that they will see a positive return on their investments. The truth is that there may be times when investment money is lost due to factors outside of your control. Law enforcement authorities understand this, which is why intent must be linked to any supposed fraud scheme in order for it to be valid. 

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The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett
130 North McDowell Street Suite C
Charlotte, NC 28204

Phone: 704-899-5574
Fax: 704-334-2095
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