Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Raleigh DWI Attorney Questions New Utah Law that Sets State BAC Limit to Only .05%

Utah is not backing down from a tougher stance on drunk-driving, standing by a law it passed earlier in 2017 that brought the state’s maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) limit to 0.05%. The law, scheduled to take effect in 2018, will fine offenders over $1,300 and confiscate their licenses for at least 90 days.

The law has elicited polarizing reactions both in and out of the state. Advocates of road safety, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), supported the measure, and still hope for further deterrents against impaired driving. Read more from this article:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Raleigh Drug Lawyers Further Examine Dangers of Carfentanil as Opioid Deaths Explode

North Carolina already suffers from one of the worst opioid epidemics in the United States. Now, a deadly new mix of drugs is making a lethal substance even more dangerous.

Carfentanil – a type of fentanyl used to tranquilize large animals – has been identified as a key ingredient in drug mixes that contain heroin or other opioids. Ten thousand times more powerful than morphine, and a hundred times more potent than deadly fentanyl, carfentanil is only legal for veterinary use. Its nickname – “the elephant tranquilizer” – suggests how unfit it is for human consumption.

This substance has been linked to at least 33 drug-related deaths around the state this past year.

Grim statistics

If it runs rampant, carfentanil might aggravate already grim projections about the opioid crisis in North Carolina. Heroin, fentanyl, and their related analogs caused more than half of local opioid deaths in 2016 (58.4%). This number is expected to shoot to 90% by 2021 if the epidemic is not properly addressed. Read more from this article:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney Examines Study on the Use of Police Body Cameras

A study led by Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department shows that body cameras on police officers have not had “any statistically significant effect” on law enforcement officials use of force or citizen complaints.

The results are bound to reopen debates about the policy, which was believed could help improve police procedures around the country and possibly curb abuse. Calling for further research, some parties have said that the D.C. police force is among the best-trained in the nation – and could have been simply doing the right things all along.

Points of contention

The use of police body cameras has always come with questions. When cities nationwide began deploying them as the problem of police brutality exploded in 2015, many were quick to point out concerns like costs, rules on who will wear them and when, as well as who will have access to the videos. Read more from this article:

Monday, December 4, 2017

Raleigh Family Attorney Shares More Insights on Explaining Divorce to Kids

As a caring family lawyer, I can help see you through divorce and many of the aspects of this difficult process.

In this article, I’ll share more tips on how you can talk to your kids about divorce. Knowing how to explain it to children, and answer their questions, can help you hold your family together even in the face of separation.

Don’t underestimate your children

Divorce is one of those “adult” things that you might think are completely incomprehensible to children. But the truth is, nowadays, kids tend to be rather familiar with the concept.
On a very basic level, children who have been going to school – and encountered classmates whose parents are divorced – may already know that “divorce” means one’s mommy and daddy will no longer be living together. They might be not as interested in what “divorce” means regarding separation of assets, but what it really means for them. Read more from this article:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Raleigh DWI Attorney Discusses the Charge of “Driving After Consuming”

You’ve heard of driving under the influence and driving while impaired – but if you're under the age of 21 you may find yourself in need of a DWI attorney to handle DACs?

Driving After Consuming (DAC) is a serious offense in North Carolina, separate from Driving While Impaired (DWI). It made the headlines recently when an 18-year-old boy crashed his vehicle into a power pole in east Charlotte, taking down traffic lights and shutting down the road. The teenager, whose injuries were not life-threatening, was charged with DAC, a misdemeanor applying to persons younger than 21. Read more from this article:

Monday, November 27, 2017

Drug Attorney Discusses Recent Arrests on Interstate 40 for Trafficking 130 Lbs. of Marijuana

What can happen at a routine traffic stop?

For two women driving through Orange County, North Carolina last month, it turned out pulling over didn’t lead to just a simple traffic ticket – but rather arrests for trafficking 130 lbs. of marijuana.

Recently, deputies stopped two women driving a Toyota Camry on Interstate 40 for a rather routine traffic violation. When they brought out a K-9 officer, the drug-sniffing dog detected the odor of cannabis from the vehicle. It promptly discovered bags upon bags of marijuana in the trunk, worth an estimated $500,000.

The women – both from the San Francisco Bay Area – were held at the Orange County Sherriff’s Office under a $100,000 secured bond. Read more from this article:

Friday, November 24, 2017

Raleigh Criminal Attorneys Say Organized Shoplifting Rings Are Going Mainstream

Shoplifting has plagued retail businesses for decades, but this year, it has loomed larger than ever. Authorities say shoplifters have increasingly become the engines of organized theft rings, which systematically ferry stolen goods from thieves to the “fencers” who knowingly resell them. Organized theft has also found a new niche in profiting off gift cards obtained for “returning” stolen goods.

The problem has sent Raleigh criminal attorneys, law enforcers, and storeowners looking to a new Organized Retail Theft Act. This law should make it easier to prosecute suspected ring members and deal harsher penalties on those convicted. But solving the problem might not be as easy as it appears.

The online black market

Gone are the days when shoplifters or fencers resell items on the shadier corners of town. Nowadays, seemingly legitimate vendors on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace could be trading stolen goods to unlimited audiences. The ubiquity, and relative anonymity, of online platforms make them harder to catch, though federal officials have made a number of key arrests in recent years. Read more from this article:

Friday, October 27, 2017

Raleigh Family Lawyer: The Questions You Should Ask Before Filing for Divorce

Are disagreements and differences weighing down your marriage? Whatever you may be going through, you should understand that divorce is a life-changing step, and, like marriage, should not be taken without preparation. Oftentimes marital disputes can be addressed through counseling or a brief separation period to give yourself time to heal or to reflect on your life.

The Daily Times and The New York Times have recently posted articles that ask the questions you should consider before calling a Raleigh family lawyer and pursuing a divorce. Here are several of the questions that can assist you in deciding if a divorce or a separation is the right step for you at this time. Read more from this article:

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Skeptical About Credibility of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE)

Over the years, law enforcement officials have intensified efforts to crack down on individuals driving while impaired (DWI) by relying on Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). Police officers who become certified DREs evaluate drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs by applying a 12-step process; aside from impairment, their skillset supposedly lets them identify the type of drug as well.

The DRE program means well and counties across North Carolina welcome these trained officers to boost road safety. However, recent incidents have called its credibility into question.

DRE Can Sometimes Stand for Drug Recognition Errors

A few prominent cases that shed doubt on DREs occurred in Georgia, where investigative journalists revealed that a DRE from Cobb County, police officer T.T. Carroll, had arrested at least three drivers while they were sober. Read more from this article:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Reminder from Drug Lawyers: Raleigh Police Can’t Detain You to Wait for a Drug-Sniffing Dog

Imagine this scenario: while driving around Raleigh, a police officer pulls you over and asks for your license. He questions you and perhaps issues a traffic ticket – and then makes you wait forever while he calls for a drug-sniffing dog to arrive and inspect your car.
What should you do in such a situation? Should such a thing even happen?

Unreasonable seizures and reasonable suspicion

According to a 2015 Supreme Court ruling, this scenario amounts to a violation of the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures. An officer “may conduct certain unrelated checks during an otherwise lawful traffic stop,” wrote Justice Ruth Ginsberg in the 6-3 decision, but “may not do so in a way that prolongs the stop, absent the reasonable suspicion ordinarily demanded to justify detaining an individual.”  Read more from this article:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Raleigh Criminal Attorneys Speak on DA’s Decision Not to Press Charges Against NCSU Football Players

Five football players from North Carolina State University (NCSU) will not be charged with sexual assault, following an investigation into allegations raised against them earlier this year.

“Our office has undertaken a detailed review of the information provided from the investigation by North Carolina State University police,” said Wake County District Attorney (DA) Lorrin Freeman. “The evidence does not support moving forward with a criminal prosecution.”

Three female students had said five young male athletes assaulted them during a party at a campus apartment in July. NCSU Police Chief Jack Moorman then called the case “unusual”, since the assaults reportedly happened separately – while in the same location – in a span of 90 minutes. Read more from this article:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Wonders Why are Mistakes Made By Police, Courts and Prosecutors Remain Secret to the Public

As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I know that the justice system is not flawless. Actually far from it.

Police can (and often do) make serious mistakes during an investigation. Analysts and clerks may accidentally mishandle (or completely lose) valuable evidence. In addition, prosecuting attorneys and judges might unintentionally overlook important details during a trial. While their missteps can be understood as human error, they can come at great human cost – like wrongful convictions.

Take the case of Joseph Sledge, an innocent man convicted of double murder in 1978. He was exonerated in 2015 partly because evidence that would have cleared his name was rediscovered. A county clerk recently found it misplaced on the top shelf in an evidence room; it had been deemed missing for over 30 years. Read more from this blog:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Can You be Charged with Murder for Selling an Illegal Substance? Raleigh Drug Defense Lawyer Weighs in

In July 2017, Amanda Katherine McLeod was indicted in Raleigh on a charge of second-degree murder. Three months earlier, she had sold the powerful and deadly drug, fentanyl, to a woman named Emily Renzo. On the same day, Renzo was found dead due to an overdose of fentanyl mixed with heroin.

McLeod was placed in police custody in May, when officials arrested her on grounds she had been maintaining a dwelling to keep or sell drugs. It wasn't her first brush with the law – she had been previously convicted in 2013 for drug-related charges but was granted probation.

While she was a convicted felon, did she really deserve to be charged with Renzo's murder? Read more from this blog:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Raleigh DWI Attorney Considers New Laws to Curb Use of Cell Phones While Driving

It seems that the use of your cell phone while driving may become the next big thing that you'll need a DWI attorney to defend you in court.

That, at least, is the scenario you would face in Washington state, where a new "E-DUI" law was recently passed. It prohibits the use of any electronic device while driving, even while a driver has stopped in traffic or at a traffic light. The first citation would come with a $136 fine, and a second citation within five years would cost $236.

Washington was the 14th state to mandate drivers to put down their phones, and it seems they might not be the last. A law on "driving under the influence of electronics" is under consideration in Massachusetts, and in Idaho there is support for legislation similar to Washington's. Read more from this blog:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Family Law Attorney Shares Six Tips on Talking to Children About Divorce

As an experienced family law attorney, I know how to handle a divorce and all the sensitive negotiations that come with it. But over years of experience, I've come to understand something more important: how difficult it can all be on a client’s children.

The family law attorneys at Kurtz & Blum care about the welfare of your children as much as the outcome of battles on child custody and support. This is why we are sharing six tips on how parents can talk to children about divorce. Such advice may help nurture a parent's relationship with their children – even when a marriage is truly over. Read more from this blog:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Raleigh Sex Offense Attorney Shares Concerns Over New Law that Could Convict Teens for Sexting

Sexting, or sending sexually-explicit text messages, may seem exciting for many teenagers even though most are unaware of the potential consequences.

Recently, the House of Representatives passed a new bill that adds major new stipulations to the current law on sex-related crimes. As far as the laws on child pornography are concerned, sending, trading and now even requesting images of underage teens is considered a serious crime.

According to the bill, the main purpose is to crack down on the distribution of child pornography. Questions on the merit of the bill, however, arise from the fact that most people who do engage in this practice are not your typical child pornography enthusiasts. Read more from this blog.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Raleigh Drug Attorney Warns Against Voluntary Police Encounters

A North Carolina man unwittingly exposed himself as a major grower of opium poppy plants when he confessed to law enforcement officials when they came knocking on his front door.

According to the Washington Post, Catawba County resident Cody Xiong thought the investigator was coming for his heroin-producing plants-as much as $500 million worth.

Exactly what the officer was doing making a house call in such a remote location or why Mr. Xiong was so quick to confess is not clear. But whatever the reason, he suddenly found himself faced with some serious drug offense charges, specifically manufacturing a Schedule II drug, as well as trafficking in opium. Read more from this blog.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How Could Tiger Woods be Arrested for DUI When He Wasn’t Drunk? Raleigh DWI Lawyer Explains

Most people think that you can only be charged with DWI if you were caught driving while intoxicated with alcohol. What they fail to realize, however, is that the cause of the “intoxication” can include any number of over-the-counter medication.

This was the lesson learned from Tiger Woods’ recent run-in with the law. According to reports, the golf champion was arrested back in May under suspicion of driving under the influence in Florida. Based on the dash-cam footage and the official reports, his Mercedes Benz had two flat tires and some other damage when police officers approached his car on the side of the road at 2:03AM.

Woods did not appear to have a clear idea of what was going on or where he was, leading the officers to have him perform a serious of roadside sobriety tests. All indications initially led them to believe that he was drunk, except for the fact that the breath alcohol test he took showed he had no signs of alcohol in his system. Read more from this blog.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Foster Parents and Adoption—A Great Opportunity According to This Raleigh Family Attorney

In California, a 32-year-old woman woke up one day to find that she had become the mother of five little girls. No, they did not appear out of nowhere, and no, it did not necessarily happen overnight. The case of Lacey Dunkin is an admirable one because she took a chance by accepting the responsibility for taking care of these children that truly needed the love and devotion of a new mother.

Lacey’s Story

It started out as a desire to have children of her own without requiring the benefit of marriage. Upon the suggestion of her own mother, she looked into the option of foster care, and became certified in 2011. It wasn’t a matter of simply volunteering for the job, though. There was training and a home study course that she had to pass before she could become certified for foster care. Read more from this blog.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Raleigh Criminal Attorneys Share Insights into Children Accused of Sex Crimes

When she was 10 years old, Charla Roberts pulled down the pants of an elementary school classmate. It was a childish prank – but it landed her on the state’s sex offender registry after being prosecuted for “indecency with a child.” Roberts’ name stayed on the list until her early 20s. Even after it was removed, information about her sex offender record stayed online, free for anyone to read and judge.

The New Yorker details Roberts’ story, as well as those of other juvenile sex offenders named in registries throughout the country. They share a common theme: how a singular act in their youth, which they may not have properly understood, continued to stigmatize them into adulthood. Read more from this blog.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Will North Carolina Legalize Medical Marijuana? Raleigh Drug Lawyers Discuss the Issue

According to poll results released in May 2017, 80% of North Carolinians want medical marijuana legalized. Support was strong from both sides of the political fence, with 83% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans approving of the idea. Millennials – individuals born in 1981 or later – were its staunchest supporters at 65%.

The poll, conducted by Elon University, also showed that 51% of North Carolinians oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana.

State legislators had filed a bill to legalize its medical use in February 2017. Read more on this article.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Reacts to Firing of County Employee Found Guilty of DWI

A New Hanover county employee made the news in recent weeks after being charged with driving while impaired (DWI). In this case, it was not his DWI charge that was newsworthy, but other incidents following his arrest.

According to WECT 6, the county employee “misrepresented facts” about his arrest to his employers and “failed to disclose details about the blood test performed after he refused a breathalyzer.” These actions that ultimately resulted in his termination. Read more from this blog.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Raleigh Family Lawyer Shares 7 Things You Should Never Do If You're Getting Divorced

Let's get real for a minute.

It's simple, divorce usually results in all sorts of complications – whether its emotions, legalities, finances, and/or relations within a separating couple’s circle. Understandably, these complexities can affect any person’s decision-making, leading to unfavorable actions during divorce proceedings.

Business Insider recently published seven things you should take care not to do if you are getting a divorce. Four of the points they stress are meant to protect your personal finances:

  1. Don’t talk to a financial adviser you don’t understand.
  2. Don’t rely on electronic copies of your assets.
  3. Don’t try to be clever with money.
  4. Don’t attempt to live the same lifestyle as before your divorce.

Read more from this blog.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Raleigh DWI Attorney Comments on Power Outage to Hundreds of Fellow Citizens.

If found guilty, Estes faces immediate 30-day driver's license suspension with the possibility of limited driving privileges after 10 days. He could also end up facing a hefty fine and community service depending on the judge’s discretion.

A DWI conviction is no laughing matter. More than the direct penalties set by law, it can also tarnish an individual’s reputation, which may affect every aspect of his or her life, from his ability to get a good job to his relationships with friends and family.

However, any experienced DWI attorney will tell you that breathalyzer results are not always accurate. Read more from this blog.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Raleigh Family Attorney Notes that Divorce or Separation Doesn't Have to be Uncivil

If you’re planning to get divorced, you’re probably worried about how your decision will affect your children. Though you may not love your spouse anymore, you probably do not want your kids to think bad of them. Still, organizing schedules, dividing up holidays and shuffling kids between alternating parental visits isn’t going to be easy. That said, shared custody with your future ex-spouse can work when both of you are respectful, cooperative and manage your emotions.

A Case Study: Bruce Dyson’s divorced parents try to make custody work

Divorced parents Adam Dyson and Victoria Baldwin decided to set aside their personal differences and work together to ensure that their son, Bruce Dyson, is able to adjust to family changes. They do so by continuing to take family portraits every year.

If you want to make co-parenting work with your ex, here are some strategies suggest by an experienced Raleigh family law attorney.Read more from this blog.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Raleigh Drug Attorney Questions the Outrageous Bond Given to a Low Level Drug Offender

The decision of the District Attorney’s office to add or “trump-up” charges in this type of criminal case filing is likely designed to coerce a plea bargain. If the arrested individual is charged with multiple crimes, the odds are substantially greater that the individual will plead guilty to one or more of the crimes to avoid a potentially lengthy sentence. Prosecutors are able to avoid a lengthy and costly trial.

In the process, the accused may believe he or she is getting a ‘good deal’ due to his or her lack of knowledge of court proceedings.

If you are charged with a drug felony, remember that you cannot trust the District Attorney, or anyone on the side of law enforcement to look out for your best interest. They will use your lack of knowledge about the law against you.

Whether you are facing excessive charges or are completely innocent of the charges filed, a knowledgeable drug lawyer with Kurtz & Blum can help protect your rights and will aggressively fight for your freedom. Read more on this article.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Raleigh Criminal Lawyer Discusses Fake Subpoenas

If a witness refuses to talk to a district attorney, the law gives prosecutors a way to compel these witnesses to show up through the issuance of a subpoena. However, before the judge can issue a subpoena, the prosecutors must first present a convincing argument that the witness’s testimony is essential to the administration of justice.

The takeaway here is that a subpoena can’t be issued to a witness without the judge’s approval. However, in New Orleans, the District Attorney’s Office reportedly maintained a practice of issuing ‘fake subpoenas’ to get witnesses to come forth.

The story behind the fake subpoenas

A recent report by The Lens, a New Orleans nonprofit news service, claimed that the DA’s office had been issuing notices to witnesses labeled ‘subpoena,’ which contained language that explicitly threatened witnesses with possible arrest in an effort to pressure them to cooperate. Read more from this blog.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Raleigh Divorce Lawyer Notes How to Avoid Going Broke During and After Divorce

While the overall rate of divorce has been declining for several years, approximately one-third of the couples married today will, at some point, seek a divorce. Unfortunately, the costs associated with ending a marriage financially cripple a large number of those going through a divorce. However, there are strategies divorcing couples can use to minimize their financial exposure.

Carefully Inventory All Property

Virtually every divorce attorney will stress the importance of accurately inventorying all property held jointly or individually by the couple. As an experienced Raleigh Family Lawyer I generally wish to see evidence of all properties, including deeds, titles to vehicles, bank statements, and retirement accounts. Of course, there are other items to document as well. Expensive jewelry, collections, and even items like time-shares all must be accounted for.
Read more from this blog:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Says Wake County Tops List of Most New Year’s Eve DWI Arrests

Two of the NC triangle counties may have had too much fun over the holidays, according to recent data. New North Carolina Department of Transportation data shows it to be among the top five counties with the most DWI arrests during the yuletide season.

Over the holidays, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s Holiday “Booze It & Lose It” anti-DWI four-week campaign yielded 2,400 alcohol-related offenders, while another 264 were drug-related.

The top offenders during this campaign included Wake County (247), Guilford County (177), Mecklenberg County (162), Cumberland County (117), and Forsyth County (110). Beyond these numbers, what this reveals is an overabundance of DWI charges confronting the courts–and these figures are from just one season in the entire year. Read more from this blog:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Raleigh Drug Defense Attorney Shares Insights into Obama's Grant of Early Release to NC Man for Low-level Drug Possession Conviction

Just before Barack Obama officially ended his term as President, he signed the commutation or reduction of sentences for hundreds of convicts for non-violent drug offenses. This final act of his Presidency brings the total of reduced sentences to 1,385. For families and their loved ones, this act means finally being reunited with the those convicted for non-violent criminal offenses. For those convicted, this means a brand new lease in life.

A Lucky Break

One of those lucky enough to have been granted early release is Raymond Surrat, a North Carolina man given a mandatory life sentence for a non-violent drug offense. According to the judge who handed out the sentence, he had “no choice” but to sentence Surrat because of his previous drug convictions. His involvement in a cocaine-distribution conspiracy had a recommended maximum penalty of about 20 years. Read more from this blog:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney Shares Insights on an Inmate Seeking New Appeal

Do you remember the book Fatal Vision?

Well, it was true crime novel by Joe McGinnis detailing the case of Captain Jeffrey R. MacDonald, a former Army surgeon, who was found guilty of killing his wife and two children and is now serving three life sentences in Cumberland, Maryland.

MacDonald has always insisted that he is innocent. After years of failed appeals, MacDonald now claims he has new evidence that proves he is not the killer.
Read more from this blog: