Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Raleigh Criminal Attorney Defends Cases from Every Possible Angle

On any given day, the courthouse is going to be filled with all types of law enforcement officials—from sheriff’s deputies, to transport officers, to officers testifying in court, etc. Consequently, bringing a firearm to a courthouse—much less discharging it—really is a bad idea. Criminal lawyers understand poor judgment. And they will defend your case from every possible angle. If you ever find yourself charged with a crime, you may want to contact a Raleigh criminal attorney immediately.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer: What to Do in a Slip and Fall Accident

The third is to contact a Raleigh personal injury lawyer as soon as you can before you even give a statement to an insurance adjuster. It is imperative that you talk to a lawyer regardless of how minor the injury may be. The law firm of Kurtz and Blum offer free initial consultations, so you don’t have to worry about how much you have to pay to have your case evaluated. Why you need to talk to a lawyer In North Carolina, victims of slip and fall accidents can be barred from compensation if they are found to have contributed to their injuries. A consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Raleigh, NC will inform you of what to do or say to refute any allegations of Contributory Negligence on your part and possibly help you to get the compensation you deserve.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Talks About the Other Repercussions of a DWI Conviction

North Carolina has strict DWI laws. An experienced Raleigh DWI lawyer with Kurtz & Blum knows how devastating a DWI conviction might be, especially with a second offense. Fortunately, DWI cases are not always a slam-dunk for the prosecution. Simply being arrested does not amount to a conviction. There are many elements in any case that can be questioned, especially in court. And prior to a case reaching the courtroom, there are often opportunities for a seasoned Raleigh DWI attorney to negotiate with the district attorney to obtain the best possible outcom.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Raleigh Lawyer Wonders if Post-Racial America Remains a Dream

A reputable Raleigh lawyer desires nothing but a speedy and fair trial for clients, which is also the right of every human being. Whatever the case involves, such an experienced lawyer can point out the wrongs within such accusations. We believe that any compassionate attorney in Raleigh, NC would agree that all citizens should be treated equally in the eyes of the law. While it is part of life that police will sometimes simply make mistakes, we feel it is our duty to ensure that those charged with a crime not be subjected to racial bias. It’s an important step if we are going to realize a true post-racial America.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Understanding Plea Bargaining

Some people think that when one is charged with a crime, say, illegal possession of marijuana, the case automatically goes to trial. The truth is that trials are often an arduous process. At times, the prosecution team ends up deciding to use its resources and time on other cases while still seeing some sort of penalty given to the criminal (or suspect, for that matter).

As such, prosecutors may offer the suspect’s legal counsel a plea bargain agreement. The conditions of such agreements usually vary per case, but the common denominator is that the suspects plead guilty to the crime they are charged with. In return, the charges against them or the penalties will be reduced. Prosecutors offer these so they can get a conviction as swiftly as possible.

Suspects must understand, however, that accepting a plea bargain agreement does not automatically put them at an advantage. It could even put them between a rock and a hard place. This is why it’s critical for suspects to have a skilled criminal defense attorney by their side to ensure that when a plea bargain agreement is offered, the conditions would be for their benefit.

If, for instance, the suspects and their lawyers are confident that the prosecution team doesn’t have enough evidence to prove guilt, a plea bargain may be refused. Whatever the decision is, the criminal lawyer would have the client’s best interest in mind.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum vigorously defends their client's rights. To contact a knowledgeable and experienced Raleigh criminal lawyer who truly knows the law please call 919-832-7700.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Consult a Lawyer after a Traffic Accident

According to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, reported traffic crashes increased by 2.5 percent in 2012, compared with those in 2011. The number of fatalities also increased by 4.5 percent within that same time frame. What these numbers show is that traffic accidents are a genuine threat; they may occur any time. So if you ever find yourself involved in one, you would benefit greatly from consulting a personal injury lawyer.

The blaming game of traffic accidents

Accidents on the road may occur for a variety of reasons, including overspeeding, vehicle defects, driver error, faulty road conditions, distractions, bad weather, and intoxication. Most traffic accidents involve only two vehicles, with the driver or passenger of one party alleging that the driver from the opposite party is the one who caused the accident.

Your traffic accident could only be the beginning of your problems

Immediately after a traffic accident, the other driver’s insurance company may try to get you to make certain admissions or pin you down to take a recorded statement. All these could work to your disadvantage. It’s important to consult a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. By doing so, you’ll be guided clearly on the steps to take to protect yourself from liability and lawsuits.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum understands the consequences of a traffic accident. To contact an experienced car accident attorney in Raleigh, please call 919-832-7700.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Basic Law Firm Structure

Most lawyers in the U.S. work for a law firm, if not establish their own. The number of lawyers and non-lawyers in a law office usually dictate the extent of their capability. Some firms maintain a small workforce of a few attorneys and a dozen or so support staff members. Most law firms operating statewide normally don’t need hundreds of employees.

At the tip of the law office's spear are the partners, who are often the most experienced legal practitioners on the team. In many cases, they are also the founders of the law office. The typical law firm operates on a partnership structure to enable the expansion of its skill pool and offer more services.

Just below the partners in terms of hierarchy are the associates, who normally make up the bulk of a law office's pool of lawyers. Although often less experienced than partners, associates are just as competent and skilled, and offer their services at a lower cost. Associates can become partners by working for three to ten years, although it is uncertain whether their name will be added to that of the law office.

The bulk of the law firm's staff is comprised of support staff. These aren't necessarily lawyers, but they help lawyers by providing research materials, preparing documents, filing cases in court, and so on. Support jobs include law clerks, receptionists, researchers, legal assistants, legal secretaries, and court runners.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum provides ethical legal counsel for residents of our great city. To contact a Raleigh lawyer please call 919-832-7700.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer: The Potential Dangers of Increasing UAV Use

Crime is inherently a cat-and-mouse affair. Whenever the authorities believe that they’ve effectively prevented a crime from ever happening again, crooks just find a new way to continue their dastardly acts. There’s no doubt that criminals today are becoming more brazen, more cunning, and more creative. Take for example, the attempt of two people to smuggle contraband into a South Carolina prison by using, of all things, an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Injured by Distracted Driving? Call a Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer

Distracted driving is a form of impaired driving in which a driver’s ability is compromised because he/she isn’t able to devote his/her full attention on the road. With the proliferation of smartphones, it’s easy to imagine what the leading cause for distracted driving is nowadays. To curb smartphone use while driving, one Virginia-based company is working on a device that detects drivers texting on the road. A recent Space Coast Daily article provides more information on this development.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tenacious Raleigh DWI Lawyer Mounts Tough Defense amid Tough Laws

Nine months after his drunk driving stint, Justin Bieber plead guilty to DWI charges and settled with a plea that involved a $50,000 donation to charity. The 20-year-old pop sensation was arrested in Miami in January after racing in a 30-mph zone at twice the speed limit. Even after being pulled over, he continued to show defiance in front of the cops. Bloodshot eyes, flushed face, and marijuana use evidently pointed to DWI, resulting in his arrest.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Seasoned Raleigh Lawyer Defends Clients in Racially Motivated Arrests

Durham recently joined the ranks of several North Carolina towns and cities in requiring police to put consent searches in writing. The decision by the city council came in response to racially motivated arrests, which have widened the rift between police and the community for years. Consent forms stood out among 34 recommendations put forward by the city's Human Relations Commission. Durham is the second city to require consent forms. Fayetteville pioneered this method in 2012 under similar circumstances. Other areas considering this approach include Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville, Winston-Salem, and Wilmington. Unlike Fayetteville and Durham, however, these cities do not require police to comply with this method.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What is Embezzlement?

Theft is a serious criminal offense anywhere in the world. Although a common driver for theft is extreme poverty, compounded by a great personal need, cases exist when people who are otherwise able to provide for themselves commit the crime anyway despite their favorable position. Such cases give rise to so-called white-collar crimes, included among which is the crime of embezzlement.

Embezzlement is a type of property theft. While simple theft on its own may already be seen as a serious crime, embezzlement is even more so because it involves a breach of trust.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Personal Injury Lawyer Can Make all the Difference

An injury can happen anytime, anywhere. If you should suffer from an injury through a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, or a manufacturer’s defective product, it’s easy to be overcome by the many details of your injury that needs immediate attention. Granted, your most pressing concern would be to receive the appropriate medical treatment. Your next concern should be how to get compensated for the injury you sustained.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fallacies in the Courtroom

Logical fallacies refer to statements that seem right but are actually wrong because they don't contribute to the argument at hand. Philosophers love pointing them out to show the weaknesses of other people’s arguments. Defense lawyers also find knowledge of logical fallacies useful when pointing out the flaws in the State’s case against their clients.

Below are some examples of logical fallacies you'll often come across at a hearing.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer Will Fight the Good Fight with You

These are great tips. In the event that someone approaches you with a settlement deal that you find is not in your favor, know that you have the right to refuse it and take your case to court. Talk to an attorney about it immediately so you can make the best decisions. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to someone’s careless actions, you should not settle with getting the short end of the stick. In fact, you will likely have to fight for your right to receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t worry, a trusted Raleigh personal injury attorney with Kurtz & Blum is ready to fight with you every step of the way.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Raleigh Lawyer Never Got Invited to the “Party Mansion”, Now It’s Been Sold!

Since then, Verbal has moved his parties to an even bigger space: a 22,000-square foot, $5.7 million quasi-nightclub called "The Metropolis." What's even more interesting, however, is how much hot water he is in at present. Prior to the sale of the Party Mansion, Verbal pleaded guilty to counts of tax fraud, healthcare fraud, and money laundering. By now, you've probably seen the connection between lavish living and embezzlement. White-collar crimes aren't always easy to prove, however. Just ask a reputable Raleigh lawyer.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

DWI Arrests are up nearly 90% in 2014 according to Raleigh DWI Lawyer, Howard Kurtz

In North Carolina, interlock devices are required for impaired drivers found to have a BAC of 0.15 or higher and been charged with DWI before. There's still room for the requirements to get even stricter. If you or anyone you know is accused of DWI, Kurtz & Blum will exhaust every possibility of acquittal or a reduction of your sentence. The Prospect of Jail Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, a reputable DWI lawyer in Raleigh who understands how judges and prosecutors interpret sentencing guidelines may be able devise a strategy to mitigate your sentence.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer—Forensics and Freedom for Wrongly Convicted

Thanks to the outstanding work and collaboration put in by passionate justice advocates and criminal defense attorneys all over the country, innocent men like McCollum and Brown can now taste the freedom that has eluded them for years. Thankfully, there are many people who work ceaselessly to ensure convicted individuals receive rigorous advocacy, forensic testing and better representation when possible. This story of McCollum and Brown’s serves as a stark reminder of how easily an innocent person can be convicted. And that it can happen to anyone. The Raleigh criminal defense attorneys at Kurtz & Blum share a keen understanding of forensic science and we are always ready to help those who feel they have been wrongfully accused of a criminal offense.

New Evidence, Old Evidence Rules

Digital evidence opens up a new, untapped chapter of forensic science. These days, your Facebook post or Word file can and will be used in or against your favor in court.

Yet digital evidence hardly changes the rules for acquiring evidence in general. For any medium to qualify as valid evidence, it must possess the distinct qualities of admissibility, which entails a whole host of questions. For instance, where and when was the evidence obtained? Is it relevant to the case at hand? Was it even obtained under due process?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Working Up the Judicial Ladder

Judicial systems are arranged in a hierarchy, from the lower courts all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Do you know how the system is organized in North Carolina?

Here's a closer look into the North Carolina judicial system.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Aftermath of a Car Accident: Personal Injury Case

Some roads in North Carolina are simply accidents waiting to happen. These include long stretches of tight curves on very narrow road mountain roads or faulty roads with numerous potholes or other problems. Still most accidents are due to human error. If you have been injured in such an accident you have the right to file a personal injury claim.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dealing with Insurance Companies after an Accident

Being involved in a serious auto accident can be a scary experience. Apart from the automotive repair costs, there may also be other bodily injuries to deal with. Many victims of a car accident believe that it’s only natural for the negligent party’s insurance to compensate them immediately for their injuries and damages, but things are rarely that simple. If your car gets damaged, or if you sustain an injury from a car accident, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling car accidents.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Types of Vehicles Counting under DWI Law

Most DWIs involve the operation of a car, but DWI arrests are not specifically limited to only driving a car.

All over the U.S., courts have sentenced people to jail time, community service, or both for DWIs not involving an automobile. Section 20-138.1 of the North Carolina General Statutes defines "impaired driving" as driving any vehicle upon any vehicular area in the state. Nowhere in this statute explicitly states that it has to be a car.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Says Circumstances Don’t Always Indicate Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

When two separate crimes occur in similar circumstances, some prosecutors are ready to “jump the gun” (pun intended) and point to the same individual. I guess this is a natural part of human behavior. Fortunately in this country, that is not enough for our criminal justice system. This is exactly what recently happened in Durham, NC. The staff reports on the acquittal of Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr. for the alleged murder of graduate student Abhijit Mahato.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Elder Abuse and Neglect

Elder abuse and neglect is a serious issue and growing problem as our population continues to age. Seniors who can no longer take care of themselves, either because of the natural effects of aging or due to medical conditions like Alzheimer’s, must be looked after by a family member or a professional caregiver. Most cases of neglect are considered a matter of civil law, but sometimes the abuse is so egregious that it rises to the level of a criminal offense. The Winston-Salem Journal reports how Nannie Kollar, the daughter of her 92-year-old mother was accused of elder abuse and was subsequently cleared.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

21 Turns 30 - Raleigh DWI Lawyer Discusses the Minimum Drinking Age

July 17, 1984 marked a milestone for the country. It was on this day that President Ronald Reagan signed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, setting the minimum drinking age in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to 21. As a result, traffic fatalities and injuries dropped significantly over the years following its enactment, saving an estimated 900 lives annually.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nobody’s Perfect – Raleigh Lawyer Explains the Importance of Ethics on Newly Appointed Judges

Gov. Pat McCrory recently appointed Michael Stone as the new District Court judge of 16A, which encompasses Hoke and Scotland Counties. Stone replaced John H. Horne, Jr., who retired last July after serving as District Court judge for seven years. As yet, no date for the Raeford, NC lawyer's swearing-in has been released.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Client’s Due Process Rights are Paramount for Criminal Lawyer

The job of a criminal lawyer isn’t to see justice served—that is the job of the judge and jury. Neither is it to see the accused be subject to punishment—that is the job of the prosecution. Instead, the job of the criminal lawyer is to defend his client, committing himself (or herself) fully to that role. It is only when all three parts of the criminal justice system do their jobs to the best of their abilities that the system as a whole works as it is intended—that is, to test the truth in each case.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Contributory Negligence: What Does It Mean?

Contributory negligence means that an injured party cannot claim damages if he or she is deemed to have contributed to the sustained injury or damage to property in any way. North Carolina (along with the states of Alabama, Maryland, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia) recognizes this rule. For injury victims filing a claim, contributory negligence is the least favorable outcome.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Can You Say No to Field Sobriety Tests?

The North Carolina Law Enforcement Division is bent on curtailing drunk driving incidents. For this reason, the state has implemented DWI checkpoints or roadblocks which give police officers the right to stop cars, regardless of whether there is any suspicion of drunk driving.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Supports New Law On Medical Use of Marijuana Oil

In this year’s follow up documentary, “Weed 2”, Gupta goes on to apologize again and state, “I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down.”  If you haven’t seen it, it is certainly worth watching.

In North Carolina, marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI drug and possession of less than ½ ounce is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of less than $200 and possibly some time for community service.  Still anyone charged with possession of any drug should contact a reputable Raleigh criminal lawyer.

Friday, August 15, 2014

In Case of a Dog Attack, Consult a Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer

Complicating the issue further, many states and municipalities have passed laws that limit a dog’s ability to roam at large. Due to the intricacies of the "one free bite" rule, a respectable Raleigh personal injury attorney with Kurtz & Blum can answer your questions.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a domestic animal call us at 919-832-7700 to speak with a personal injury lawyer to better understand you legal rights. It is probably best to avoid settling with a dog owner’s insurance company out of court until you have all the facts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Night Out, a Few Drinks and a DWI - Raleigh DWI Lawyer Says, Don’t Think It Can’t Happen To You.

Andrew Young might be well-known locally for his tell-all book, The Politician, and experience serving as an top aide to John Edwards, but in many ways he is just a regular middle class professional who went out one night and is might have had “one too many” and would be advised to seek counsel of a seasoned Raleigh DWI lawyer who to help defend his rights.

DWI arrests can have serious consequences, especially when a minor is in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.  An experienced DWI lawyer in Raleigh like those of us at Kurtz & Blum can help people for all lifestyles navigate the court system.  If you have questions about DWI, talk to us. We can be reached at 919-832-7700.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Raleigh Lawyer Weighs in on Recent SCOTUS Cell Phone Privacy Decision

The ruling does not mean that the contents are off limits completely, just that officials are required to show probable cause and must wait for a magistrate (judge) to issue a proper warrant.  There are also a few exceptions where exigent circumstances might excuse the warrantless search of a cell phone, but such circumstances will be highly scrutinized to ensure they comply with the law.

Well-established Raleigh law firms like Kurtz & Blum work hard to protect and defend the rights of their clients. We routinely challenge questionable law enforcement practices to ensure our clients receive the best possible outcome.

By the Numbers: Speeding in North Carolina

A 2013 study reveals that North Carolina law enforcement officials issue one traffic citation each minute. In addition, it would appear that roughly 8 out of 10 involve speeding. Finally, according to that same study, Wake County issued the largest number of citations, comprising nearly 9%.

But what is the cost of getting a speeding ticket? While a simple speeding ticket will not likely land you in jail, the hefty fees associated with a speeding ticket can still be quite burdensome. In fact, it's not just the fines you should worry about. Insurance companies are also likely to raise your rates.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why Fleeing a Car Accident Scene Isn’t Advisable

After a major car accident, all the individuals involved have the duty to remain at the scene and wait until medical professionals and police authorities arrive. They also have to stay there until they give their testimonies to the police so a report can be duly filed.

Unfortunately, some people, as an initial reaction, choose to flee the scene. In North Carolina, doing so will be subject to a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. They will likely face fines (as much as the court deems appropriate) and ordered to serve up to 120 days in jail. That’s only the beginning, though. While fleeing the accident scene seem like a small-time offense, it could bring terrible consequences later on.

First, people with misdemeanor conviction on their records are likely to find it challenging to land their dream job. This is because it’s more common these days for companies to do criminal background checks on job candidates. Second, a misdemeanor conviction may also affect the process of applying for professional licenses.

For instance, anyone applying for state licensure with the North Carolina Respiratory Care Board is required to submit a notarized form where they have to fill out a personal background questionnaire that contains the question, “Have you in the past ten (10) years been convicted of a misdemeanor?”

For this reason, anyone who fled an accident scene should ensure they have a qualified criminal lawyer to defend them so they can avoid a misdemeanor conviction.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum vigorously defends their client's rights. To contact a Raleigh criminal lawyer who truly knows the law please call 919-832-7700.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Deal with a Car Accident

Driving in busy expressways like the Interstate 540 can be tricky, especially during the late afternoon rush hour. You may be running late to pick up your kids from their soccer practice or a movie date with your romantic partner and boom! Next thing you know, you’ve rear-ended the vehicle in front of you whose driver, like you, is running late for something.

The first thing to remember when involved in a collision—no matter how minor it may seem—is to seek medical attention for both you and the other people involved in the accident. Thus, as soon as you can, pull over to a safe spot and dial 911 or any medical rescue team you know of assigned to your area. While waiting for medical professionals to arrive, you and the other drivers can exchange insurance and contact information.

At this point, it’s critical to refrain from making apologies or anything similar like, “I should have looked at the road more attentively.” Any statement of such nature can be considered as you admitting fault in the accident, which can be used against you when you seek compensation from the insurance provider. At this stage, it’s best to file for a personal injury claim with the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum vigorously defends their client's rights. To contact an experienced Raleigh personal injury lawyer please call 919-832-7700.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

HB 812: Where are the Whiskey Plates?

House Bill 812, sponsored by James Boles, Jr. (R-District 52, most of Moore County), has been stuck in limbo for more than a year. Its last known action, according to online bill tracker Open States, was for reference to the Committee on Transportation. Did the House quietly drop the bill on "whiskey plates?"

HB 812 is a proposal for special license plates to be issued to drivers with DWI offenses. As of today, only four states have enacted laws authorizing the use of these whiskey plates, known in popular parlance. If passed (which is highly unlikely due to the lack of updates), the driver will have to carry a whiskey plate for seven years from the day his driving privileges were restored.

The bill was proposed to make identification of drivers with DWI offenses easier for law enforcement and the public. However, according to Raleigh-based DWI lawyer Seth Blum, the proposal harkens back to colonial times where public shaming was a preferred punishment. There's little gain in tagging those with DWI history compared with proven systems like interlock devices.

For Mr. Blum, the current sanctions in place, such as community service and one-year suspension of driving privileges, are sufficient. The bill, he writes, "kicks DWI defendants when they are already down." It's safe to say that, at some point during the bill's journey to becoming a law, it may have attracted serious flak from other lawmakers, if not the public.

Seth Blum is an experienced DWI attorney in Raleigh, NC. To contact him please call 919-832-7700 or visit

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Raleigh Criminal Lawyer on the High Price of School Safety

As the Wake County school district places an ever-increasing importance on having school resource officers or SROs (i.e., police officers) in the districts high school and middle schools, advocates are alarmed by what they see in schools where police presence has intensified.

The concern is that criminal charges are being filed against students for minor misconduct that does not require the involvement of the police, the courts or the services of a Raleigh criminal lawyer; matters that previously would have been resolved in the principal’s office.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer: Compensation for a Bicycle Injury

For both Segerstrom and Morrison it would be a day they would both like to forget.  Such a short, unexpected series of events creates a maze of complex issues. First and foremost is the medical treatment and recovery.  There are also health and auto insurance issues that will have to be dealt with and potentially there could even be litigation that could result in compensatory or even punitive damages.

Lynn Prather is a seasoned Raleigh personal injury lawyer with Kurtz & Blum.  She explains the difference be the following types of damages:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Cautions Residents Against Drinking and Boating

To help you become more aware of DWI checkpoints, Seth Blum, a seasoned Raleigh DWI lawyer with Kurtz & Blum explains what you can expect.

Often the authorities that man a DWI checkpoint will include members from a variety of agencies.  For instance, this might include Raleigh Police, Wake County Sherriff's Office and the State Highway Patrol.  Outside the city you might also see other police departments, members from the emergency services, the fire department and even local high school students. Therefore, it's not unusual to see officers wearing different uniforms at one checkpoint.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What If North Carolina Legalized Pot?

North Carolina lawmakers passed a law that allowed the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil to treat seizures. It's not to be considered as a pro-marijuana stance since the law doesn't change anything regarding illicit drugs or other forms of medicinal marijuana. What if, one day, North Carolina joined the growing number of states that have legalized pot for recreational and medical use?

Of course, there would be changes in the penal code since possession and use of marijuana would no longer be a crime (although intent to distribute, or hoarding, may still be illegal). In addition, as DWI also includes the use of drugs, lawmakers will have to set a BAC equivalent. Raleigh lawyers believe the magic number is at 5 ng (nanograms) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

This isn't a definite number as of today. Most pot-legal states have no BAC equivalent for THC, simply addressing any sign of impaired driving to provide probable cause. This is a challenge for pot-legal states, especially in defense courts. Blood tests and the like don't constitute logical evidence since, at around two to three hours, drugs level off faster than alcohol.

Between legal pot advocates and the decision to legalize pot, lawmakers are caught in the middle of a hard and even harder place. This is why states are in no rush to join the growing community of legal pot. For now, North Carolina will have to stick with CBD oil for seizures only.

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Raleigh Lawyer Discusses the Case Against Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon

According to Howard Kurtz, an experienced Raleigh lawyer with Kurtz & Blum, this case illustrates the reality that criminal behavior can be found at every level of our society.  As members of a democratic society we put our trust in the hands of our elected officials.

These public servants are generally held to a higher ethical standard because of the temptation to use their considerable influence for personal gain.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Discovery Process in Criminal Cases

In criminal law, the discovery process, which takes place before and throughout the trial, plays a crucial role in ensuring that defendants get a fair trial. During this process, the prosecution provides the defense with the information they plan to introduce at trial, and vice versa.

This exchange of information allows either party to formulate the appropriate plan to counter each other’s arguments. For the defense, the discovery can also determine if a guilty plea should be entered—in this case, if the strength of the prosecution’s case proves to be insurmountable—or if a plea bargain might be a viable option.

While a lot of information can change hands during the discovery process, there are limitations to what can be exchanged. The identity of a confidential informant, for example, cannot be revealed during the discovery until a motion is filed and approved by the court to have the prosecution disclose his identity. Additionally, the prosecution’s work product, such as notes created by the prosecution for their own use, cannot be provided to the defense.

The criminal defense lawyer plays an important role in the discovery process. Using his sound judgment, the defense attorney can assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, thereby allowing him to advise his client accordingly about the best course of action in a particular situation.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum vigorously defends their client's rights. To contact a Raleigh criminal lawyer who truly knows the law please call 919-832-7700.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dealing with a Car Accident Properly

Being involved in a car accident can mean sustaining one or more injuries, some more serious than others. For instance, a driver who is hit in the rear by another will likely sustain a neck injury in the form of a neck strain or whiplash.

As a kid, you were probably taught that whenever you hurt someone, you should say sorry. In a car accident, it’s best to forget this lesson, however. This does not mean you are turning your back on being morally upright; it simply means you are protecting your legal rights while investigation is ongoing.

In any car accident, downright admission of fault can result in negative consequences. Even when the other party is hounding you and screaming at you to carry the blame, avoid preempting the investigation. If you admit blame, this will likely be used against you once the other party files for a car accident insurance claim. Remember, even a slight admission like, “I should have looked more carefully…” can be misconstrued as admission of guilt.

As such, it’s best to remain civil and keep quiet after an accident. Let police authorities and insurance adjusters determine exactly who’s to blame for the accident. Exchange insurance information with the other driver and truthfully answer the questions asked by the police officers, but do no more than these. For your benefit, hire a personal injury lawyer who can help fight for your legal rights in such cases.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum vigorously defends their client's rights. To contact an experienced Raleigh personal injury lawyer please call 919-832-7700.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

How to Obtain a Limited Driving Privilege

In Wake County, if you get arrested for a DWI, you face a 30-day minimum revocation of your driver’s license at the outset of your case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may be eligible to apply for a limited driving privilege after the first 10 days of revocation. The limited driving privilege is only allowed for work or school purposes.

Requirements for the limited driving privilege

To petition the court for a limited driving privilege, you’ll need to fulfill two requirements. First, complete a substance abuse assessment conducted by an approved service provider in Wake County and submit the results of your assessment to court. Second, follow the recommendation of the assessment, which can be to enroll in substance abuse education or treatment. You are not required to complete the recommended education or treatment to obtain your limited driving privilege.

The assessment will cost you some money, and you can expect the recommended education or treatment to cost you some more. Make sure to keep a record of all transactions and paperwork as they will prove useful.

What to do next

Once you’ve decided to proceed with the recommendation, give your attorney a copy of your court paperwork (including your citation) from your DWI case, a certified copy of your DMV driving record, and a copy of the results of your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of your arrest.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum vigorously defends their client's rights. To contact a Raleigh DWI lawyer please call 919-832-7700.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Field Sobriety Tests That Are Difficult to Dispute

Police conduct various field sobriety tests, but only three tests have been standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Here's a rundown of the three:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
In an HGN test, the driver is asked to track a moving object, usually the police officer's finger or flashlight. An impaired driver would normally find it difficult to track the object because the nystagmus—involuntary eye movement—happens at lesser angles. Police also use the HGN test to find out what kinds of drugs the driver may have consumed.

Walk-and-Turn (WAT)
The WAT test is one of two divided attention tests (the other being the one-leg stand test) where the officer instructs the driver to perform simple physical actions. Usually, the driver will be asked to walk on a straight line, heel-to-toe. A driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher may commit more than one mistake (e.g. falling down or balancing with arms).

One-Leg Stand (OLS)
The OLS test, as the name implies, requires the driver to stand on only one leg and lift the other six inches above the ground. The driver will also count while performing an OLS for 30 seconds but starting at 1,000 (i.e. 1,001, 1,002, 1,003). Just like the WAT test, committing two or more errors suggests a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

The combination of these standardized field sobriety tests accounts for an accuracy rate of 91 percent, according to studies.

The law firm of Kurtz & Blum vigorously defends their client's rights. To contact a Raleigh lawyer please call 919-832-7700.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Get Help from a Raleigh Criminal Lawyer to Overturn Your Conviction

While many people will tell you that there’s nothing you can do about a criminal charge once you are convicted, that is not necessarily true. There are ways to overturn a conviction, but in order to do so you will need the help of a capable Raleigh criminal defense attorney.

No matter what legal avenue you pursue to try to overturn your conviction, the bottom line is that your chances are only as good as the lawyer you work with. If you’re looking to hire a Raleigh criminal lawyer for representation, contact a trusted and established law firm like Kurtz & Blum. Our experienced criminal lawyers provide free case evaluation and initial consultation in the office or by phone.  Call us today at 919-832-7700.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer: Vortex Operator Gets Torrent of Fines

In legal terms, negligence is defined as the failure to perform one’s duty in accordance to applicable standards. If a person in North Carolina is injured because another person or business disregarded ordinary standards of care, he or she may obtain compensation from the party who caused the injury with the help of a Raleigh personal injury lawyer.

In a January 6 post, Kurtz & Blum discussed the Vortex ride accident at the NC State Fair that injured five people. Authorities conducted an investigation into the cause of the accident and discovered that the ride’s critical safety devices have been tampered with and compromised. Vortex ride owner Joshua Gene Macaroni was charged with felony assault.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Can Taxi Apps Reduce Drunk Driving? A Raleigh DWI Lawyer Shares His Thoughts

Any type of tool that can keep drunk drivers off the road is certainly good news to a professional Raleigh DWI lawyer. North Carolina, after all, has been fighting drunk driving for years. The state’s efforts seem to have paid off, though, judging from the 22.7-percent drop in impaired driving fatalities over the past ten years, according to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

However, the state still ranks third behind Pennsylvania and California when it comes to the number of fatal DWI crashes. Authorities still have a long way to go to get drunk drivers off the state's roads. As such, the expansion of taxi apps in cities like Raleigh and Chapel Hill are a welcome development.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Trusted Raleigh Lawyer Reiterates a Defendant’s Right to Fair Trial

Part of the Miranda warning goes: "Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law." For one Kansas convict, however, the clause missed the word "have."

Howard Kurtz, a skilled Raleigh lawyer with Kurtz & Blum discusses a recent case of a man on trial for murder who coincidentally has the word “MURDER” tattooed around his neck.

Jeffrey Wade Chapman, charged with the murder of Damon Galliart in November 2011, asked the court for permission to have a tattoo artist remove the tattoo across his neck (shown in the mugshot). Chapman feared that the infamous tattoo may weigh heavily against him when he appears in court. Although county police pointed out that the law permits tattoo artists to practice only in licensed facilities and not in jail, prosecutors did not object to hiding the tattoo underneath clothing or bandage.

Qualities of a Great Defense Attorney

With the loss or retention of freedom hinged on the outcome of a criminal case, having a capable defense attorney to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial is immensely important. Not all attorneys are alike, however, so defendants should always be on the lookout for signs of a great defense attorney before hiring one.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

The roundabout at the NC State University Bell Tower is well-known by locals as an accident-prone area. If you encountered a recent accident here that resulted in car damage and injuries, know that you have the right to file an accident claim. Ideally, doing so merely takes gathering pertinent documents like police reports and medical reports and filling up necessary forms.

Such tasks are simple enough for those who are used to doing something similar at their desk job. However, in reality, the process of filing a claim is far from being simple. For this reason, accident victims should really look into hiring the services of a personal injury lawyer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vehicle Seizure after a DWI Arrest

If you have been arrested for Driving While Impaired (DWI) in North Carolina, not only will you lose your license, but you could end up losing your vehicle as well. According to state legislature, vehicles are subject to seizure if the driver is arrested for DWI while his or her license is already revoked because of a prior DWI charge, or if he or she has no valid license and no liability insurance.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer Comments on the Chaos of Late Night Apartment Fire

However, pursuing a legal claim will almost certainly mean dealing with a long, complicated and confusing litigation process, not to mention the mountain of paperwork required to be completed in a timely manner. Thus, if anyone you know wishes to pursue a personal injury complaint, it’s always best that you seek the help of a knowledgeable Raleigh personal injury lawyer.

A personal injury lawyer will have the experience and legal know-how to be able to answer any questions you may have, counsel you about the best course of action to take, and even provide you with the representation you need in court.

Friday, May 2, 2014

After 28 Years Willoughby Retires as District Attorney. Raleigh Lawyer Wonders Who’s Next.

Just like Raleigh lawyer and co-founder of Kurtz & Blum founder, Howard Kurtz, Colon Willoughby received his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1973. He received his Juris Doctor at Campbell University in Buies Creek six years later. Prior to his election as District Attorney in 1986, he worked for a local law firm after finishing law school.

During his time in office, Willoughby’s team tried numerous high profile cases. For almost 30 years, he oversaw the prosecutors who handled offenses ranging from serious felonies such as murder, robbery, rape and drug trafficking, to minor offenses like shoplifting and trespassing, as well as, white collar crimes like fraud and embezzlement.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Facts behind the McDonald’s Coffee Case

Lawyers handling personal injury cases always explain to their clients if their cases are worth pursuing, and what their cases are really worth. Some clients may be goaded to sue because of what they’ve read about the infamous “McDonald’s coffee” case, particularly the damages collected. However, the truth is far from what ordinary people know about the case.

Here’s the myth: The Claimant Stella Liebeck suffered minor burns on her legs when a McDonald’s coffee cup accidentally fell on her lap. Liebeck sued McDonald’s for failure to adequately label the coffee cup, and was awarded compensation to the tune of $2.7 million dollars.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Talks About The Consequences of Fleeing from a DWI Checkpoint

A capable Raleigh DWI lawyer will look for problems with the procedures used at the checkpoint or other issues that can be used to provide a strong defense. Even if the evidence is overwhelming, your attorney will work very hard to get you the best possible outcome.

The moral to this story is clear, if you ever get pulled over at a DWI checkpoint in North Carolina pull over and deal with the police in a calm polite manner. If you are ultimately arrested and charged with DWI, the next step is to seek help from a qualified Raleigh DWI attorney.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Coping with a Hit-and-Run Charge: How a Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Helps

Any driver involved in a hit-and-run accident will certainly need to hire a Raleigh criminal lawyer who could help them provide a defense. In North Carolina, if a driver is involved in an accident that resulted in death and failed to stop at the scene, he or she is likely to face a felony charge and possibly vehicular homocide.

No matter what the circumstances, remaining at the scene of a road accident is important. A hit-and-run drivers who fails to comply with this obligation will need a good defense strategy and an experienced Raleigh criminal attorney like the ones at Kurtz & Blum.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Defending Your Right in a Bank Fraud Case

Technology has afforded people numerous advantages, like a smooth and easy line of communication and information accessibility via the Internet. However, some technological advancements such as image alteration software and high-quality printers have made it easy for unscrupulous people to forge bank checks. Some counterfeit bank checks closely resemble the real ones, and even bank tellers can’t tell the difference.

However, if you happened to unknowingly cash a fraudulent check, you may be charged with a criminal offense. Even if you say that the check came from a neighbor or colleague as payment for a debt, the act of cashing it puts you under suspicion by the authorities. In this scenario, it is wise to turn to a Raleigh criminal lawyer to help you out with the case.

The mere accusation can cost you your reputation, making it necessary for you to enlist experienced lawyers to come up with a good defense. Being innocent, you may have insisted to the local authorities that you did not know the check was fake, but such insistence will fall on deaf ears if you don’t have evidence to support it. A criminal lawyer can assist you in creating a way to convince the authorities of your innocence.

A criminal attorney will help gather enough evidence to build a strong case. For instance, he or she may find and interview witnesses who may have seen you receive the check nonchalantly and cash the check at the bank in the same manner. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Workplace Injury: Who’s Liable?

If you suffer an injury from work, it doesn’t matter who caused it—you should still be paid workers’ compensation. That’s because you should be guaranteed coverage from an employer’s insurance. Whether your injury is the result of employer negligence, co-employee carelessness, or your own fault, employers are still responsible for ensuring worker’s safety as long as the accident occurred on company property or during company time.

Since workers’ compensation is almost always the only legal remedy that injured workers have, shared fault (actions or inactions from both employer and employee which led to the latter’s injury) does not affect the employee’s right to benefits. For instance, if you get injured because of improper use of company equipment, your own misuse of the machine will not reduce the workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to these general guidelines. Examples of offenses that preclude workers’ comp benefits include intoxication, violation of an express company safety policy, and injuries that were intentionally self-inflicted. Should you be found guilty of these offenses, you may have your benefits greatly reduced or taken away completely.

If you want to understand and defend your rights to workers benefits, schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation with a personal injury attorney today.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Consult a Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer for Workplace Death Cases

According to the report, all of the 23 people who perished on the job were men. These were fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, and friends that someone held dear. They did not deserve to lose their lives simply because they went to work. Anytime an employee is killed on the job, the loved ones left behind should seek the services of a qualified Raleigh personal injury lawyer.

It’s good to hear that the number of workplace fatalities in the Tar Heel State have dropped significantly. However if, a loved one has been hurt on the job, know that you may have a cause of action for negligence or even wrongful death against the employer. Consult a personal injury lawyer in Raleigh, NC at Kurtz and Blum to learn the options that you can take.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Does an Insanity Defense Really Work? A Skilled Raleigh Lawyer Knows How and When it Might.

North Carolina operates under the M’Naghten rule which states, “The central issue of this definition may be stated as "did the defendant know what he was doing, or, if so, that it was wrong?"

Further complicating the matter, the presiding judge has at his sole discretion to ability to determine the sanity of the accused from the fact presented.

For these reasons a successful insanity defense is extremely rare and unlikely to see a professional Raleigh lawyer enter such a plea.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Consequences of DWI Convictions

Being convicted of a driving while impaired (DWI) crime not only tarnishes a person’s reputation but also takes a toll on one’s finances. A convicted DWI offender faces significant expenses related to different aspects. Here are two notable ways how DWI convictions can become costly:

Pricey Fines

Aside from jail time, DWI convictions may entail considerable fines that can reach up to the maximum of $10,000. Prior DWI offenses and other aggravating factors, such as speeding while attempting to elude officers, can raise these fines. It all depends on the level or extent of felony committed as determined by the court.

Higher Insurance Premiums

Your insurance premiums can shoot up following a DWI conviction as insurance companies are likely to consider you a high-risk driver. Such a remark on your record can increase your insurance premiums by up to 400% and remain that way for as long as seven years. North Carolina implements a Safe Driver Incentive Plan or (SDIP), where repeat instances of DWI can drive up your premiums even further.

Aside from these financial burdens, you could be facing the loss of driving privileges. To mitigate such penalties, you might want to hire a competent Raleigh DWI lawyer whose experience and skill in criminal defense should prove invaluable.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

DWI Checkpoints: What a Raleigh DWI Lawyer Wants You Know

A sobriety checkpoint in Raleigh allows law enforcement officials to stop any vehicle on a public road without reasonable suspicion. Any individual who is charged with DWI at a sobriety checkpoint should consult with a qualified Raleigh DWI lawyer on how best to deal with their case.

While a checkpoint allows authorities to stop any driver, they still need to be properly setup and follow necessary guidelines. If the checkpoint was not properly set up or doesn’t meet the required standards, a skilled Raleigh DWI attorney may be able to help get the charge dismissed.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Comments on a Major White Collar Fraud Case

Financial fraud is a serious crime with serious consequences. A reputable Raleigh criminal attorney who handles fraud and other while collar crimes has a responsibility to their client to explore all the options to obtain the best possible outcome.  Sometimes that includes pleading guilty, as was the case here.

In addition to a lengthy sentence, Webb was also ordered to pay $11.9 million dollars to his victims. Of course this was a rather extreme case.  Usually cases of fraud involve a number of factors that may be used to affect the outcome.  Each case is unique and the facts of the case need to be considered carefully by a knowledgeable attorney.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Of Lawyers and Attorneys: The ABA's Point of View

The term "lawyer" and "attorney" are often used interchangeably that this practice has become widely accepted among English speakers. If these words mean the same thing, then why aren't all lawyers called attorneys?

While the general public treats both terms as synonymous, the American Bar Association (ABA) draws a fine line between the two. Even with a minor difference, the ABA treats this detail as a discerning factor in separating the licensed from the unlicensed.

The term "lawyer" refers to anyone who has studied the law but doesn't necessarily practice it. In fact, an entrepreneur with some knowledge of business law may pass himself off as a lawyer but is hardly the go-to guy for legal representation. A lawyer must pass the bar exam to legally practice law and is otherwise limited in giving general legal advice.

On the other hand, the ABA prefers the term "attorney" when referring to a duly licensed lawyer. First coined in 1768, an attorney-at-law is one who has passed the bar exam and met other requirements to practice in his chosen field. When looking for someone to legally represent you in a case, look for an attorney.

The term "lawyer," at any rate, is more encompassing. Attorneys are basically all lawyers (as they know law), but lawyers aren't necessarily attorneys (not all of them are attorneys by profession).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Raleigh Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Clean Up a Messy Traffic Accident

Instead of processing claims smoothly, some insurers intentionally make the process laborious and confusing.  Too often they attempt to pressure victims into signing release of liability statements or make modest settlement offers. Good lawyers understand how to deal with insurance companies to protect their client's best interests.

This story is a good example of why personal injury cases are not always s cut and dry as they might first appear. Anyone who has been involved in an automotive injury should contact a trusted Raleigh personal injury attorney to review the case in detail. The attorneys at Kurtz & Blum are experienced in accidents of all kinds.  To schedule an appointment or discuss a particular case, please call us at 919-832-7700.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Qualified Raleigh Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights During a Medical Review Hearing

People with disabilities have enough problems without the additional burdens placed upon them by the state without cause.  Anyone who finds themselves subjected to a DMV Medical Review Hearing should seek the counsel of a capable Raleigh lawyer to ensure that their rights as motorists and citizens are protected.

If you or someone you know finds themselves in this position, you can turn to one of the trusted Raleigh law firms like Kurtz & Blum to represent you and defend your basic rights.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Questions DWI-style Checkpoints for Impaired Driving Research

Unfortunately, North Carolina is not one of them. If anything, the use of DWI checkpoints in North Carolina seems to be picking up as more tax payer sources are directed to these strategies.

If you are stopped at a DWI checkpoint and charged with DWI, you need to speak with a Raleigh DWI lawyer who has experience defending such cases.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Functions of a Criminal Attorney

Once you decide to engage the services of a criminal attorney, you might want to keep in mind what such a legal professional can do for you other than argue your case in court. A criminal attorney can help you in other respects that may not be apparent at first:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Reports on the Guilty Verdict of Amanda Hayes

This case garnered wide spread media attention including being portrayed on NBC's Dateline and covered by the others in the media.  These cases are complicated and tend to evoke a lot of emotion in the public. We understand the verdict based upon the evidence presented.

We believe in our justice system and believe in the right for anyone accused to be presumed not guilty until it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  We believe that is the proper role of any professional Raleigh criminal defense attorney.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Cost of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

After having to pay medical bills following an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, the thought of having to shoulder legal fees is often the main factor that deters injured individuals from hiring a qualified personal injury lawyer. However, given the possibility of obtaining a favorable settlement, this really should not be an injured person’s sole concern. Fortunately, as far as costs are concerned, personal injury attorneys often have safeguards in place to ease the financial burden on their clients.