Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Understanding Criminal Law in North Carolina

No one wants to be the victim of a crime. No one wants to be accused of committing one, either.
It is for this reason that you must stand up for yourself if you find yourself accused of a crime. The trial process will not only be long and hard, but people’s opinion of you will also change as it goes on. Due to the complexities of criminal law and court proceedings, it pays to know about the process of criminal law in your area.
In North Carolina, there are more than 400 laws that criminalize specific actions. These cases are usually handled in District and Superior Courts. Felonies, or crimes that can be penalized by a jail sentence of one year or more, are usually heard in Superior Courts, while misdemeanor offenses are usually heard in District Courts.

As a person incriminated by law, you will have rights of your own. The police must have a clear and valid reason for arresting you before you allow them to take you away. You must also have a proper understanding of your Miranda rights. It is also possible to pay bail as long as you aren’t charged with murder. Whatever accusation you are facing, it is wise to consult with your lawyer carefully before making your next move. Representation by qualified legal counsel can make your journey through the criminal justice system less hazardous. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How is Excessive Force in a DWI Arrest Determined?

When police officers apprehend a person over suspicions of DWI, the law requires them to follow certain procedures. It is because of these procedures that many arrests proceed without trouble. Unfortunately, there can be times when police officers use too much force on an individual they’re arresting.

The majority of North Carolina law officers perform their job and serve the community well. However, when officers exceed their authority and injure the people they are required to protect, it might constitute a civil rights violation and the injured parties can claim compensation.

How does one determine if an officer is behaving reasonably or is already using excessive force? Different factors that must be assessed include the suspect’s behavior (is he being uncooperative and posing a threat to officers?), the extent of the injuries sustained by the suspect, and the actions permitted an officer in the jurisdiction he serves. Evidence from witnesses and video footage also come to play.

The manner in which a police officer behaves during a DWI arrest can play a huge role in how you defend yourself against the charge. Every facet of police conduct—from what they do or say to how they gather evidence during your arrest—needs to be examined.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Dealing with DWI Arrest with Raleigh Lawyer's Help

Being arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) is a serious matter in North Carolina, even for first-time offenders. The person arrested will automatically have his or her license revoked for a period of 30 days. If convicted of DWI, the person can face jail time, and a minimum of a one year suspension of their driver’s license.

In North Carolina, a person who is pulled over by an officer has the right to refuse to take the breathalyzer test. In some cases, however, a person pulled over on suspicion of DWI and who refuses to take the test may face a license suspension of up to a year. In addition, the person suspected of DWI may even be asked to take further tests like a blood chemical analysis, which may put him in even hotter water if he has other substances in his system.

If a person submits to a breathalyzer test and it registers a figure higher than the blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent, he will have his license revoked for at least 30 days. However, he can get limited driving privileges with the help of a Raleigh attorney. With limited driving privileges, he can still report for work or pick up loved ones as needed and get his or her license reinstated after 30 days.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Understanding Contributory Negligence in Raleigh

The roundabout at the North Carolina University Bell Tower in Raleigh is known state-wide as the common site of vehicular accidents. The area has since been improved, but accidents can still occur. If a person met an auto accident due to another driver's unfamiliarity with the area, the victim has the right to obtain compensation to recover from injuries or emotional distress brought by the accident.

In North Carolina, however, getting due compensation is not as easy as in other states. NC is one of the few states where the Pure Contributory Negligence Rule is recognized. Under this rule, the victim of a car accident is not entitled to compensation should he or she be discovered to have contributed to the accident—even by a mere 1 percent! It will, then, be to the victim’s benefit to hire a Raleigh lawyer who can establish the other driver’s full accountability for the accident.

The team of lawyers the other driver will hire will likely do everything in their power to involve the victim in the accident, to help their client escape blame. For example, they may insist that the victim didn't make the proper turn signal or was driving too close to their client’s vehicle.

Fortunately, a qualified lawyer can help prove that the victim had no hand in the accident by gathering evidence from witness testimonies and medical reports.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How Felonies are Handled Under North Carolina Law

Like all states, North Carolina classifies a crime either as a felony or a misdemeanor, with the former generally encompassing more serious crimes than the latter. Unlike other states, however, North Carolina further classifies felonies and misdemeanors into distinct classes and each class has a corresponding punishment. Committing a Class I felony could lead to community service while committing a Class A felony could result in life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Moreover, crimes are also judged according to the defendant’s prior record level (i.e. previous offenses) so that he or she can serve one punishment or another. For example, as of September 2013, committing a Class E felony in the state could result in an intermediate sentence (like community service), provided that the defendant has a prior record level of 1 or 2. A level of 3 to 6 will automatically land an active punishment (like 15 to 63 months in prison).

The court also considers the defendant’s disposition to see if the crime he or she committed was aggravated or mitigatedA felony is considered aggravated if it is proven that the defendant acted with malicious intent, while it is considered mitigated if the person, for example, only acted out believing his or her actions were legal. Depending on the defendant’s disposition, the court can extend the prison time and/or include more penalties such as fines.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer: FAQs on How to Expunge a Criminal Record

"Q: What happens to my criminal record when it gets expunged? An expunction puts you back in the same place as if you had never been charged with the crime at all – it acts as an eraser that can give you a “clean slate.” Your charge or conviction will not show up on a criminal background check, and law enforcement and the court system can’t use an expunged charge against you. You can learn more about criminal expungement by consulting an experienced Raleigh criminal defense attorney with Kurtz & Blum. To discuss your options, please give us a call at 919-832-7700."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Conduct in the Courtroom

Any demands proper etiquette during a hearing. Neither side will benefit from a hearing where both parties throw harsh language at each other or argue in loud voices. You can't even laugh in a courtroom. Case in point: in 2010, a man in Fayetteville was charged with a misdemeanor after laughing at the courtroom for reasons he refused to say.

Disorderly conduct can have a serious implication on the outcome of your case. When the bailiff says “All rise” as soon as the judge enters the court, stand up. Lawyers say the action is meant for honoring the sanctity of the courtroom.

By the way, anyone can be ordered out of the courtroom if they're becoming a nuisance to the trial; not just the plaintiff and defendant. Even the small audience behind them can be ordered to leave the courtroom if they exhibit disorderly conduct, such as booing.

Courtrooms also enforce a strict dress code; wear clothes as if you're going to mass on a Sunday. In some cases, it's not advisable to wear shirts and clothing that depict anti-government or illicit themes. If you're confused about the varying courtroom rules by state, assume that these rules also apply to your state.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Raleigh: The Independent Medical Examination

"To counter this, a professional Raleigh personal injury lawyer will often ask an IME doctor how much money she makes, or how often she testifies for the defense. The lawyer asks this question to show bias. If the doctor on the stand tries to dodge such questions, the lawyer can then take steps to get the answer he needs. If ever you become involved in a personal injury case and the defense asks you to submit to an IME, talk to an experienced Raleigh personal injury attorney at Kurtz & Blum prior to the medical exam. Our lawyers will likely have specific information or advice for you about the doctor you will be seeing."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

With Police Tightening DWI Monitoring, You Need an Experienced Raleigh DWI Lawyer

"Should you be arrested for DWI, however, you can build a strong DWI defense case with the help of a qualified Raleigh DWI lawyer. Even if you have registered a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding 0.08 percent, there are options. It’s very important to seek advice from a Raleigh attorney who has a lot of experience with DWI cases. He or she can help you explore your options. With their help, you may be able to avoid the worst and often reduce the penalties for the offense. Coping with a DWI case alone is a terrible idea. Fortunately, people can find a reliable DWI lawyer in Raleigh by contacting the law firm of Kurtz & Blum. With our help, anyone charged with DWI can sleep a little better at night knowing that your case is in good hands."

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DWI Case: Yes, the Blood Test Can Be Challenged

Most DWI (driving while intoxicated) cases involve blood being drawn. Many people believe that the results of a blood analysis are accurate and indisputable. As any good DWI lawyer will tell you, that isn’t always the case.

It is generally considered that the blood sample being analyzed in the lab is in the same condition as the blood in the person’s vein at the time it is collected. This, however, is rarely the case. The law requires that a blood sample remain uncontaminated from collection to analysis to reporting. Lawyers know that the integrity of the sample can be adversely affected at any time during these processes.

The technicalities behind the possible contamination of a blood sample is lengthy and complicated. Nonetheless, you should understand that in the event you get pulled over and arrested for DWI, and are required to take a blood test, the result from the analysis isn’t always accurate and can be contested. Thus, you can fight the allegations being levelled at you.

If you or someone you know wants to challenge a DWI charge, contact an experienced and knowledgeable attorney immediately. He can inform you of your options for dealing with the charge and help you find the right way to beat it.

A Seasoned Raleigh Lawyer Applies the Law to Help Their Client's Case

"While the events surrounding this case may be sad and tragic, the outcome is a validation of the essence of the law—that every person accused of a crime or wrongdoing is innocent until proven guilty. The case highlights the need for the right representation for anyone who has to face the legal system, in order to credibly present their side of the story. Hence, any resident of Raleigh, North Carolina who may be involved in a criminal case should seek the help of a seasoned Raleigh lawyer for his defense. Terry Lynn Lingerfelt may have pulled the trigger which ended the life of Michael Scott Gragg, but the circumstances as presented during his trial suggest that he acted within the bounds of the law. Competent attorneys in reputable Raleigh law firms such as Kurtz and Blum can thoroughly comb through the details of a case and effectively apply the law to help vigorously defend their client. The work these lawyers perform is integral in keeping the spirit of fairness and impartialit

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fighting for Your Right in Slip-and-Fall Accidents

You've decided to get a headstart on your Christmas shopping, and thus, you decide to take a trip to the mall after work. You make a few notes on your shopping list and decide that you are ready to shop. As you excitedly grab your things and leave your desk, however, you slip and fall, breaking your wrist in the process. As you make an effort to compose yourself, you see that a printer cable was clearly in your path, probably left behind by the IT department. You realize that the accident could have been prevented if only the cables were properly secured to the floor.

In situations like this, you must know that, as you have suffered an injury at your workplace, you have the right to file a Workers' Compensation claim. If you are awarded with the claim, you would have a chance to receive the appropriate financial aid to cover your medical expenses.

However, note that filing a claim is best done with help from an attorney who can help you get fair compensation. Though you can negotiate with an insurance company on your own, you have better chances of being compensated properly if you hire an attorney to work on your behalf. Receiving maximum compensation is especially important when your injury is likely to hinder you from performing your work in the best way possible, or worse, cause you to miss days or weeks of work.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Criminal Justice Myths & Realities, a Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Exposes the Truth

"Recently, we found an article containing some criminal justice myths and realities. If you or someone you know has been arrested, a knowledgable Raleigh criminal lawyer can help expose the myths so people make the best decisions about their case. In the article posted by the National Council on Crime & Delinquency, author Jesse Lava listed five of the most popular myths below: The police focus on violent crime The accused get an adequate defense The accused get a trial The punishment fits the crime Justice is blind (with an emphasis on racial equality) The first myth is that police primarily focus on violent crime. But Martin Horn, executive director of the Permanent Commission on Sentencing in New York, said that violent crime comprises the smallest percentage of reported incidents. Bonnie Hoffman, a deputy public defender in Loudoun County, Virginia, stated that most offenders are arrested for property crimes and drug-related offenses."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


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Charged With Driving While Intoxicated? Here's How a Raleigh DWI Lawyer Can Help

"Before the DWI Squad starts their operation, Raleigh drivers should be aware of the North Carolina drunk driving law to avoid the expense and inconvenience of DWI charges, such as revoked license, DWI classes, attorney fees, community service, and even the possibility of jail time. When charged with DWI, however, the most important thing to do is to seek the help of legal experts. An experienced Raleigh DWI lawyer can help clients secure a pre-trial limited driving privilege, which allows them to drive even without a license for certain purposes at certain times if their license has been taken due to being charged with DWI."

Monday, November 4, 2013

Raleigh Lawyer Notes Changes to Expunction Laws in North Carolina

"Howard Kurtz, a Raleigh lawyer at Kurtz & Blum, notes that various changes have been made to North Carolina’s expunction laws. Expunction allows an individual to remove (expunge) a criminal charge from his or her state record, thereby removing the fear of a prospective employer taking that charge against the person. The Charlotte Observer details more on expunction in the state: More than 1.5 million of North Carolina’s 9.5 million residents had a criminal record at the end of 2010, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. North Carolina saw a 30 percent increase in residents with criminal records between 2006 and 2008."

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Arrested for DWI? Hire a Good Defense Lawyer

You’ve got a stressful week ahead as your mother-in-law is visiting in a few days while your daughter is preparing for her upcoming piano recital. As if these things weren't enough, you've been tasked to keep some visiting clients company for the whole duration of their stay. Tired and a bit intoxicated after the welcome dinner, you call it a night and drive home—only to hit another vehicle just a few blocks away from the venue.

Local authorities come by, and the next thing you know, you are being given a breathalyzer test. You are subsequently charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), your third offense thus far. Under North Carolina laws, you can face up to two years in jail if you are convicted; fortunately, you have an opportunity to set things right by hiring a topnotch Raleigh criminal defense lawyer.

Such a lawyer will exert every effort to build up a good defense against the charges filed against you. Your lawyer will take into consideration the circumstances surrounding your case and analyze your situation from all angles in order to formulate a solid defense strategy. With a competent lawyer by your side, you’ll have a much better chance of getting your penalties reduced.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Raleigh Lawyer Stresses the Need of Public Education on Legal Rights

Founded by Atty. Howard A. Kurtz and Atty. Seth A. Blum, who have over 40 years of combined trial experience, the practice is one of the trusted Raleigh law firms that focus on criminal defense, family law, DWI (driving while impaired) cases, personal injury and workers' compensation, and professional malpractice. They have been established since 1998 and are a proud member of various lawyer organizations, like the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. They also have a BV Distinguished® evaluation from the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™. Interested parties who need to discuss a case or want timely advice on legal matters may fill out and submit a contact form on They may also browse Frequently Asked Questions on the website.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Discusses the Importance of a Head-Mounted Video Cameras in DWI Cases

Raleigh, North Carolina (September 12, 2013) – Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, a trusted legal firm that provides Raleigh DWI lawyer services, talks about the importance of a dashboard camera (dashcam) in handling DWI (driving while intoxicated) cases. According to them, the footage recorded by this equipment is crucial in formulating legal strategy for individuals charged with DWI. A dashcam is an onboard camera installed on the front window of a car. It automatically starts recording when the vehicle is started and stops when the vehicle is turned off. It also features an automatic looping capacity, which lets the oldest footage be recorded over when its memory card is full. Originally used as surveillance technology for self-protection, it is now a tool commonly used by police authorities to record traffic incidents and exchanges at DWI checkpoints.

Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Insurance Company Secrets

The firm shares these tips and many other related resources because they want to empower their prospective and current clients to make sound decisions when pursuing a personal injury case. The information the practice shares may also help people choose their counsel wisely when looking for a Raleigh personal injury attorney. The lawyers at Kurtz & Blum can be trusted to provide legal advice and court representation. They handle personal injury cases that involve automobile and truck accidents, wrongful death, workers' compensation, and legal malpractice. They also handle cases that involve dangerous and defective products, as well as workplace, construction, and slip and fall accidents, among others.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Comments on Rumored Funding for Public Defense

Raleigh, North Carolina (September 16, 2013) – Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, a trusted firm offering Raleigh criminal lawyer services, supports the rumored authorization of $2 million in additional funding for North Carolina's public defense system. Rumors of the increase surfaced following the budget talks recently held by state legislators. The additional funds are supposed to be used for hiring additional public defenders across the state, in order to meet the demand for indigent defense services that has increased since the economic slowdown of 2008. According to the firm, this move by the legislators could mean that North Carolina is finally enacting measures that will make their criminal justice system fulfill the requirements of the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They also compared the development to that being pursued in Idaho, where lawmakers are scrambling to adequately satisfy obligations for defendants.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Claiming Injury from Defective Products

 One of the most common lawsuits filed in North Carolina courts involve the issue of personal injury. One of the reasons for its popularity lies on the fact that as a term, personal injury is extremely broad—encompassing issues such as road accidents, accidents at work or at home, assault claims, as well as accidents caused by product defects.

While product liability issues appear less often than other types of personal injury claims, they are probably the most publicized in media. This is due mainly to the fact that claims of this nature usually involve a big company that has widely distributed an allegedly defective product that people claim to have been hurt by. 

One of the reasons why many companies announce product recalls publicly is because federal law compels them to do so. To protect the safety of consumers, the federal government has even put up a website—www.—where six different agencies work together to update the general public on any product recalls.

The website aims to inform consumers about potentially dangerous products so that they may be able to discern better which product to purchase and use. After all, even the most innocuous-looking toy can inflict personal injury to an unsuspecting child. In 2007 alone, train model Thomas and Friends railway toys and the iconic Easy Bake Ovens were both recalled—the former, for containing excessive amounts of lead paint and the latter, for its potential to become a fire or burn hazard.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Common Defenses Against DWI

Driving under the Influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are serious offenses that can merit a stiff penalty for the offender. If you get involved in a DUI or DWI case as a defendant, it is highly advisable to hire a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this field.

Proving DWI involves two things: (1) you were driving the vehicle at the time of the incident; and (2) you were “under the influence” of alcohol which impaired your ability to drive safely. A DWI defense can be successful if you, through your lawyer, can disprove or cast doubt on one or both of these conditions.

If you were arrested while in the act of driving, disproving the first condition would be difficult. However, if you were simply sitting behind the wheel, and no evidence can be presented to show you had been driving, you can use this in your defense. Additionally, if you were pulled over, detained, or arrested without probable cause, you can challenge the validity of the arrest. Likewise, if you were not read your Miranda rights after the arrest, you may also argue against the arrest or against certain evidences by the prosecution.

Another common DWI defense is to challenge the observations made by the arresting officer, such as the manner you were driving, talking, or walking during the sobriety test. If you can present evidence to contradict or successfully cast doubt on the officer's testimony, you can use this to get acquitted from the charge.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lawyers Who Have Earned Fame

 TV shows have both glorified and vilified the law profession, leading people to view lawyers either as cheats or as saints. An article by Kimberly Cahill says that collectively, lawyers have a negative image and are generally disliked. There are, however, many lawyers who have earned a place for themselves in history because of the principles they believed in. Among these are:

  1. Mahatma Gandhi – Famous for promoting non-violent reform, Gandhi first worked as a legal representative in Pretoria, South Africa. While in Africa, he developed the political views, ethics, and leadership skills that would prove instrumental in his fight against the caste system. Gandhi also fought for the right of suffrage for Indian nationals in South Africa.
  2. Nelson Mandela – Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela is best known for his role in helping end apartheid in South Africa. Mandela opened his law practice in Johannesburg in 1952. Throughout the 50s and 60s, he campaigned long and hard for equal rights, not pausing even when sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964. His efforts to abolish racial discrimination and segregation finally bore fruit in the early 1990s under the administration of then-President F.W. de Klerk. From 1994 to 1999, Mandela served as the first black president of South Africa.

  1. Abraham Lincoln – A careful, logical thinker, Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is said to have taught himself law by reading books. A trial and appellate lawyer for twenty-three years, he was known for his skill in tripping up witnesses during cross-examination. Lincoln is best known for contributing significantly towards the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Lawyers aren’t always seen in the best light, but many have made a remarkable impact on society and the world as a whole.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Evidence & Car Accident Personal Injury Cases

As sensationalized as the crashes in Hollywood movies are, these slow motion scenes don't really give people an accurate picture of what happens in road accidents. In most cases, accidents like these happen at the blink of an eye, and it would be over in a matter of blurred seconds to anyone caught in it. That said, if you do get into an accident, always make sure to get as much evidence as you can, because this is the best chance you'll have of winning your personal injury case.

When you get into an accident, it is important to establish who was at fault, as well as to determine the amount of damage and injury you've suffered from the crash. Take as many pictures of the scene as you can, going in at different angles to get a clearer image of the effects of the crash. Also, try to get the accounts of bystanders on what they saw happen, so that you can prove that the accident happened through no fault of your own. If you suspect that the other driver may be impaired, then alert the officers responding to the scene.

There are so many other things you can do to build a solid case against the other driver, from keeping an extensive record of your injuries and treatments, to seeking legal counsel before contacting your insurance provider. Your evidence will help you get the compensation you deserve, so always make sure you have it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tell-tale Signs of Abuse in Nursing Homes

There may come a time when you will have to send an elderly loved one to a nursing home or other assisted-living facility in your community. Despite promises of being visited, it can be an emotional time for someone in their twilight years to be watched by persons not of their own flesh and blood. However, the danger of personal injuries arises if the caregiver assigned to them somehow slips in their duties. There are some clues you should watch out for, as these indicate that your loved one is being put through a tough time.
Physical abuse is the most visible form, through signs like unexplained bruises or pressure sores. While marks on the wrists might come from restraints, you should investigate the cause of the marks if your elderly loved one has never been an uncontrollable person. Emotional abuse can be evident if you’re talking to your loved one and it suddenly takes them a long time to recognize you.
If your loved one exhibits any of these tell-tale signs, be prepared for the possibility that abuse might be taking place. The sexual abuse of the elderly includes making them look at pornographic material and forcing them to strip. If your loved one is supported by Social Security pensions or other retirement support assets, it can be a challenge to prove that their assigned carer used the funds for other purposes.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Why Do People Drink and Drive?

Even a kid knows that it's dangerous to drink and drive, so why do a lot of people still do it (and try to avoid the cops in the process)? Driving under the influence (DUI, sometimes known as DWI or driving while intoxicated) is a serious offense, as in “$200 to $10,000 fine and 1 day to 3 years imprisonment.” Indeed, drunk driving is a serious offense in North Carolina. As it turns out, it's not that they willingly choose to drive while drunk, as most drunk drivers simply make bad decisions while they are under the influence.

Imagine, you're at a party with friends, drinks all around until sunrise. You realize that you'll be fine driving by yourself once the party's over, so you enjoy the free-flowing stream of beer and liquor with your peers. The more you consume, the blurrier your perception of reality becomes. In the end, you make the bad decision to drive home instead of calling a cab, due in no small part of the amount of alcohol in your system. That's basically how DUI or DWI starts.

This is why it's nice to have friends who can take you home. When you know that you'll be going to a party with beer, don't bother bringing your car. Stay away from trouble by enjoying the party without trying to go home by yourself drunk.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Should Your Represent Yourself in Court?

The American Constitution doesn't prevent individuals from representing themselves in court—which is defending their side of the story without the help of lawyers. Outside the United States, a famous example of self-representation in court involves former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, who had his 1940 conviction overturned despite strong evidence against him. As long as you're knowledgeable about the law, you can save money on legal fees by representing yourself in court.

However, whether you get to represent yourself in court is usually for the judge to decide. Experts say that judges assess four factors before deciding if plaintiffs and defendants are capable of representing themselves in court: age, level of education, English proficiency, and the gravity of the crime. If judges see deficiencies in one or all of these factors, they're most likely to appoint lawyers to represent defendants and plaintiffs in court.

There aren't many examples of self-representation in court files. If you're worried about the budget, remember that the law entitles you to a lawyer if you can't afford one. You can hear this part in the Miranda Rights. Unless you have a knack for civil or criminal law, hiring a lawyer is your best option to getting a good outcome.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Racism and Justice: Get a Raleigh Criminal Lawyer to Guide You

The repeal of the four-year old Racial Justice Act created too many speculations and controversies for death-row inmates and their families. In times like these, the help of a trusted Raleigh criminal lawyer can clarify their situation. The Racial Justice Act aims to correct racially-biased sentences and is not about doing away with death penalty. Death-row inmates must prove that they have biased sentences to reduce their penalties to life sentence. It can be a good news to the inmates, but they need to gather concrete evidences and statements to strengthen their defense. The act is still uncertain for the death-row inmates of North Carolina. Nevertheless, it gives them the opportunity to rectify the mistakes done to them. To increase their chances of doing so, they have to get a tried and tested criminal lawyer who will strengthen their evidences and statements.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What Are Misdemeanor Crimes?

In the United States, criminal offenses can be classified as either property crime or personal crime. Both of these types are then grouped according to their severity with felony being the most serious. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are considered lesser crimes than felonies, but graver than infractions.
Whether a certain criminal act would be considered as a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction depends largely on each state. In fact, many states further classify different levels of misdemeanors. When a person commits a crime that's considered as a misdemeanor, he or she may or may not serve jail time for it. The maximum sentence for misdemeanors is a mere 12 months.
Aside from serving jail time, there are a few states where people convicted with misdemeanors lose their civil rights like all convicted felons do. Some of these rights include the right to carry guns and the right to vote. Being prohibited from getting employed in certain jobs, however, is a punishment that all states can impose on certain types of misdemeanor crimes.
Crimes that are usually deemed as misdemeanors, such as driving under the influence or DUI, could turn into felonies due to certain circumstances, such as actually hitting a pedestrian while driving.

Prove Your Innocence With A Raleigh DWI Lawyer

Proving your innocence against a DWI accusation is kinda hard. You must have a time-tested Raleigh DWI lawyer by your side to help you. This was shown by New Bern Mayor Lee W. Bettis Jr. when he was arrested and charged earlier in May. He was reported by a motorist due to swerving back and forth onto the road as he maneuvered his Chevrolet van. His breathalyzer result was 0.00, but it didn't clear the mayor's charge, failing in subsequent tests. He was charged with failure to obey highway markings, and failure to maintain lane control. Some drivers think that passing the breathalyzer test can get them off the hook. However. there are other tests that the authorities can administer, just to make sure. As the test and the hearing proceed, getting an experienced lawyer, like Kurtz and Blum, is a big must to represent you in court. You better get your attorney as soon as possible. Free yourself from the agony of being convicted of a DWI. Consult your local attorneys, now.

Friday, September 6, 2013

On Legal Action Following a Car Accident

A popular bumper sticker once read that a certain four-letter expletive happens. The sticker couldn't be more apt as a decal for cars, which remain one of the deadliest forms of transportation in the world. Car accidents are the leading causes of death in America, and more people have died in automobile crashes than in airplane disasters.

Whether you survive a car accident or not, it will cause all sorts of physical and emotional distress for both you and your family. The medical bills needed to pay for treating a crash victim could also cause financial distress. If you or your relatives feel that someone must take responsibility for the tragedy, it's possible to file a personal injury claim against an individual suspected to be the cause of the accident.

In a legal dispute revolving around a car accident, the plaintiff should be able to prove the negligence of the defendant. It would help plaintiffs to acquire proper documentation of the incident as soon as it happens, so that any details wouldn't be missed. Eyewitness accounts, pieces of evidence, and testimonies will be scrutinized by the court to verify the claims of the plaintiff. Only by convincing the court of the defendant's negligence can the plaintiff win the case and be awarded compensation.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Going for a DWI Probation

When the cops have booked you for driving while impaired (DWI), the sentence can work out in one of a few ways. These include the suspension of drivers' license, fines, and a degree of jail time – or all three penalties mixed into a punishing cocktail. However, the defendant's counsel can convince the judge to put their client on DWI probation with a probation officer assigned to keep tabs on him. There are conditions that the offender should follow, which may differ on one of five aggravated levels as stated in North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS).

Level V Punishment carries the light penalties, as stated under NCGS § 20-179(k). A jail term of between 24 hours to 120 days plus fines of up to $200 are imposed. If the judge grants probation, they can state other conditions to augment obligations of undergoing substance abuse and related education.

Level I DWI Punishments under NCGS § 20-179(g), the toughest, carry terms of between 30 days to 24 months plus a fine of up to $4,000 if the chief aggravating factor was the defendant being accompanied by a minor at the time of the offense. However, if probation is ordered, the defendant should abstain from alcohol for a minimum of 30 days up to the maximum term, but the authorities will keep watch through an alcohol monitoring system.

Prison time can be trying for the defendant. If probation status is granted, it's up to them to make amends.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When is a Plea Bargain Acceptable?

Many courts in the U.S. are burdened by a backlog of cases that have yet to reach a verdict. To expedite the process behind certain proceedings, many cases today have the option of reaching a “plea bargain” agreement. In this resolution, both parties agree on certain arrangements that are usually less severe than what the court may have in mind. However, take note that not all cases, as well as charges, are eligible for a plea bargain. cites three factors for a plea bargain to be the most viable resolution. First, the crime must not be serious enough to warrant severe punishment from the law. Second, the evidence must not be strong enough for the court to find a person guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Lastly, the likelihood of the person being found guilty must not be too strong.

In most cases, however, courts push through with plea bargains because they're overburdened by the amount of backlogs. Experts say only a tenth of criminal cases filed in the country proceed to trial. As long as the judicial system has lots of unresolved cases stuck in limbo, plea bargains may as well be a viable alternative to a lengthy and costly judicial process.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Basics of North Carolina's Criminal Law

Being accused of a crime, especially if it is a serious crime like fraud or murder, is something that must be taken seriously. Criminal law is very black-and-white when it comes to dealing justice: everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. That last phrase is very important because it means that even someone who is genuinely innocent can be on the receiving end of a jail sentence if the prosecution convinces the court that he or she is indeed guilty of the crime.

North Carolina's criminal law follows the same procedure and it only differs with other states' criminal laws on a few things. Like any other criminal law, North Carolina classifies a crime as either a misdemeanor (minor crime) or a felony (serious crime). Unlike other states, misdemeanors and felonies can be classified even further into several classes. These classes dictate the severity of the punishment to be administered by the court, from a lifetime sentence (Class A) to a few years in prison (Class J).

However, misdemeanors can be elevated into felonies depending on certain circumstances. In North Carolina, for instance, assault can be considered a felony if the crime was committed with a deadly weapon and the victim was seriously injured. Otherwise, the crime is considered as a misdemeanor, which might land the defendant with less than a year in prison and several fines to be paid.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Where Does it Hurt: On Personal Injury

Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of deliberate bodily injury. Everybody has the right to be free from harm, yet serious accidents can happen anytime, leaving victims either grievously injured or nearly dead. Yet, all the safety equipment in the world combined can't stop mishaps from sprouting out of the blue.

Victims can't always be saved from harm, but that doesn't mean they're completely helpless after they've been disabled. If they believe that the damages caused to them arose from the negligence of another, then they can file a personal injury claim against the defendants. The goal of a personal injury claim is to let the defendant claim responsibility for the calamity and offer compensation to the victims.

Those looking to file a personal injury lawsuit should know that it's subjected to varying Statutes of Limitations, meaning there's a time limitation in filing for these lawsuits. Each state has it's restrictions, and they're typically between one to two years from the day of the accident. Note that victims of accidents should always prioritize their health before they start pursuing the one who caused their physical pain. Victims, while helpless during the accident, can receive compensation for the trouble they've gone through, and it's through filing a personal injury claim.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finding a DWI Lawyer for Help

Having regular liquor drinking sessions with close friends can be a form of relaxation for some people. However, as they say, always do things in moderation or you might regret the consequences. It would also be wise to remember not to drink when you intend to drive or not to drive when you have had some drinks.

Driving after having had some drinks, regardless of your alcohol threshold, can be risky for it could impair your ability to drive. You not only put yourself in danger, but other people as well. In fact, drunken driving is one of the major causes of vehicular accidents all over the world—and most of them serious or fatal. They cost billions of dollars in property damage and medical expenses annually.

Meanwhile, you can either be charged for DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated), but they both refer to impaired or drunken driving. The laws concerning these offenses can be complex and having legal representation like a DUI or DWI defense lawyer can help your cause. Otherwise, you may have to spend some time in detention or pay a hefty fine.

When you drive, always be in your best condition. Alcohol and drugs do not help your driving ability. However, if you find yourself charged for any DUI or DWI violation, make sure that you have a lawyer to assist you.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hire a Lawyer from Raleigh, NC for Traffic Tickets

Some people from Raleigh, North Carolina deliberately ignore traffic tickets for minor offenses without understanding the possible consequences. Without even knowing it, you could get arrested for not paying your ticket or for failing to appear in court. Before the problem gets worse, it's advisable to face the problem head on to get the best possible results; you may also want to consider hiring a lawyer.

While getting a lawyer for something seemingly minor as a traffic offense may seem extreme, the fact remains that an attorney will know the best possible strategy for your particular situation. As a result, there is a good chance that your day in traffic court will be more positive and the results will be in your favor. When hiring a lawyer make sure that you get one who is willing to fight on your behalf and not just go for easy solutions like pray for judgment pleas.

A pray for judgment plea is neither an admission of guilt nor innocence; a judge can either accept or dismiss this plea. Once a judge accepts this plea, the accused is dismissed but the judge will impose certain conditions so the violation won't be on your record. This type of plea is usually used as a last resort by reputable Raleigh lawyers since they will usually exhaust all efforts to achieve the most ideal outcome possible.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Objection!: On Criminal Lawyers

The law exists so that all individuals can observe their rights without trampling over the rights of others. However, a utopia wherein everybody abides by the rules has yet to exist, and crime remains a facet of life. Laws are implemented to enforce peace and stability in society, while rooting out behavior which could violate the order.

Many would see the law as harsh and draconian, but it doesn't play favorites when it comes to delivering the verdict. All are equal in the eyes of the law, and it's only until a suspect is found guilty that he is truly classified as a criminal. Thus, the law also respects the innocence of suspects unjustly accused.

You could be suspected of a crime for any reason, even if you haven't committed a single offense all your life. This doesn't mean the law will immediately find you guilty and wrongly incarcerate (or execute) you, for you are entitled by the law itself to call upon a public defendant or criminal lawyer to your defense. A defense attorney will investigate the circumstances of the crime and tell the court your side of the story in the hopes that the jury finds you innocent. At the very least, defense attorneys can negotiate for lesser charges. Most importantly, they can refute the prosecution's claims with their immortal line: “Objection!”

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Properly Deal with a Car Accident

When involved in minor accidents in accident-prone areas like the crash-prone double-lane circle at Hillsborough and Pullen in Raleigh, it is instinctive for you to ask if anyone was hurt or if anyone is in need of urgent medical attention. In some cases though, even when it is not your fault, you would find yourself apologizing as a way to pacify the other victims of the accident. This is especially true when you're in a state of panic or trauma.

Such an action, unfortunately, can have dire consequences, especially when the accident was not of your doing. This is because in North Carolina, you can be charged with contributory negligence even if you were found to have contributed to the accident in a small way. When this happens, you're likely to receive limited or restricted compensation.

For this reason, despite the tragic circumstances of an accident, it is important to maintain composure and refrain from apologizing since this will automatically be construed as admitted fault, even partial fault. The legal efforts involved in proving that you didn't cause the accident in any way are daunting, but you can receive just compensation as long as you have an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side. The attorney will make sure you are covered for lost wages for missed work, medical bills, physical therapy costs, and others.

Friday, June 21, 2013

What You Need To Know About DWI

Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense that pertains to operating a motor vehicle while drunk on alcohol, high on drugs, or both to the point that mental and motor skills are impaired. A driver may be subjected to several sobriety tests if the police officer has reason to believe that he or she is intoxicated. When any of the test returns positive, the officer can confiscate the driver's license and bring the matter to court.

A DWI conviction, depending on state laws, may have serious repercussions such as imprisonment, a heavy fine, and suspension of the driver's license. Even first time offenders cannot simply get away with it. Habitual violators, on the other hand, may lose a lot of their civil rights and give up their driver's license for a very long time, permanently even.

Apart from those mentioned, another consequence that drunk drivers have to face is the increased cost for their auto insurance. If they have jobs that require driving or security clearances, chances are they'd find themselves unemployed. Getting back one's license isn't a speedy task either as one cannot just reclaim it after the revocation period. Some states require that drunk drivers undergo "DUI schools" where they need to fulfill certain requirements before they can "graduate" and have their driver's license back.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Reality of Divorce in North Carolina

For better, for worse.... Those classic wedding vows are supposed to bind couples forever. Sadly, only around half of those who take this vow in North Carolina seem to be able to live up to them, as the 2008 statistics show that more than 50% of marriages in the state end up in divorce.

The high divorce rate in North Carolina has sparked debates among its legislators and citizens. Some say it is too easy to get a divorce in the state. On the flip side, there are those who say getting a divorce in North Carolina is actually much more difficult compared to other states, while the process for getting married is way too easy, encouraging hasty weddings. Those who are critical of quick marriages say this is more likely to result in failed unions, hence, contributing to the high divorce rate.

Whatever the reasons behind the high rate of divorce, it cannot be denied that the process for getting one can be emotionally painful, mentally exhausting, and financially challenging. To be able to get a divorce in North Carolina, one has to fulfill several requirements that could prove contentious to the divorcing parties, including the grounds for divorce, alimony, property distribution, and child support.

This emotionally, mentally, and financially taxing process makes the services of expert North Carolina divorce lawyers very important. A sympathetic, competent, and trustworthy lawyer will fight for their client's rights and will be the voice of objectivity in what is often an emotional battle. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Save Your Name from Further Disgrace: Hire a Criminal Lawyer to Help You With Your Criminal Case

When you get involved in a criminal case, your name will be dragged through the mud regardless of whether you are guilty or not. Apart from getting jailed, you must also worry about the repercussions of the case on your reputation. After all, who wants a criminal record attached to their good name?

This is why getting a lawyer who specializes in criminal law is the best idea when facing a criminal case. As you pursue this fight, you need to get someone who is capable enough to represent and defend you to save your reputation. The logical person to help you is a criminal lawyer who doesn't just possess the necessary training but also has enough experience working on similar cases.

This criminal lawyer will help you all throughout the case. First, he will be more than willing to listen to you as you tell your side of the story. Then, he will inform you of the strength and weaknesses of the case. This will help you gain awareness of the possible loopholes, as well as the angles you have to pay more attention to. Evidence-gathering is another crucial part of the case that the attorney will assist you with.

In other news, a criminal attorney is more than your staunch defender. He can also help clear your criminal record if you are eligible. This process is called expungement or expunction.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Three Things an Attorney Should Have to Succeed

A career in law is still one of the most sought-after professions in the world. The challenges can be difficult, but the fulfillment and compensation one gets from the job is tremendous. Whatever specialization he chooses, a lawyer can be successful if he has the credibility, passion, and capability to handle cases.

Just like in any profession that involves people, a good reputation is important to a lawyer. A law practice does not have a chance of thriving if there are questions about its members’ characters. Credibility is everything to a lawyer; this is how he builds his clientele. Word-of-mouth and referrals from satisfied clients make a law firm successful.
The lawyer should likewise be passionate about his profession. Every aspect of law should be of interest to an attorney to enable him to render outstanding legal representation to clients. At the same time, he must have passion for people. A legal eagle must be able to communicate with clients, other lawyers, jury, and judges to win a case.

Finally, a lawyer must be capable of handling cases. This means that he must have the knowledge to argue all sides of a case. Furthermore, a gift to conduct thorough research before going to court is what makes a lawyer stand out and achieve success in the field.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Be Proactive: How to Avoid Getting a DWI

You don't have to be drunk to get charged with DWI. Regardless of what you perceive as your alcohol tolerance level, you get booked on driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) when your blood alcohol falls below the threshold of 0.04% or 0.08%, depending on the vehicle type and state law. Besides testing for blood alcohol content (BAC) through a breathalyzer, a driver may also be tested for alcohol in his blood and urine. The cop that pulls you over may also administer a standard field sobriety test, such as standing on one leg for 30 seconds.

In North Carolina, failing the BAC limit of 0.08% will warrant a DWI charge. Accidents related to drunk driving have become alarming enough that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that states lower their BAC threshold to 0.05% from 0.08%. Yearly, 10,0000 people die in drunk driving accidents, and 146,000 are injured.

While public response to this recommendation are mixed, some authorities in the beverage association argue that taking the variables of weight, gender, and stomach contents, among others, 0.08% is the level that registers significant impairment among drivers on average. Lowering the BAC will only criminalize even responsible adults who drink moderately.

If you must drink, have a designated driver bring you home, so plan ahead before drinking. Contrary to popular belief, taking a shower, eating a big meal, or drinking hot coffee will not make you less drunk. Only time will sober you up. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

How Drinking Affects Your Driving

Drinking and driving are two words that can't go together, two diversions that can't combine sequentially. Although North Carolina has a legal level of intoxication for drivers, one slip and you could end up with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), a confiscated license, a bad reputation, a wrecked car, or worse, a victim.

Alcohol has a direct effect on the neurotransmitters inside the brain. By altering the levels of the different neurotransmitters, a person's normal action and reaction response is altered. Speech could be slurred, movements could be sluggish and unbalanced, and perspective could blur and become disoriented. The greatest danger in drinking and driving is how alcohol can reduce your sensory process and response, compromising your judgment on the road.

When a cop suspects a drunk driver behind the wheel, the cop will flag him down to the side of the road. The driver will be tested for blood alcohol content (BAC) in his breath (through a breathalyzer), blood, or urine. The BAC limit varies from state to state and the legal threshold limit for commercial drivers is lower than for non-commercial ones. There is zero tolerance for any minor caught driving under intoxication.

There are different levels of punishment for drunk driving-related violations; rather than find out the hard way, the lesson is simple enough: don't drink and drive. If your manners slide and you get drunk, find someone to drive you or hail a cab.