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.