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Asheville, North Carolina, Criminal Defense Blog

North Carolina trio faces drug possession and other charges

Sometimes, a person can end up in trouble simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately, friends and associations may draw the attention of law enforcement, and those who are in the vicinity may find themselves facing criminal charges. Two North Carolina women may be regretting their recent visit to the home of a man who was the target of an ongoing police investigation.

Police say their investigation led them to the home of a 63-year-old man who had a record of felony convictions. Reports do not indicate if police had a warrant when they entered the man's home, but once inside, they executed a search. Officers claim to have recovered cocaine, drug paraphernalia and a firearm. The possession of a firearm by a convicted felon may result in severe penalties if the man is convicted, especially since police believe the man intended to distribute the drugs.

North Carolina woman faces DUI and assault charges

The threat of arrest may cause people to do unexpected things. This may be because they already have convictions on their records or they simply fear what may happen next. The possibility of a drunk driving charge may be especially concerning for a North Carolina driver, and one woman may be facing an uncertain future following a recent arrest.

The 26-year-old woman was pulled over by state police for allegedly speeding just after 2 a.m. The trooper who approached her car reported smelling alcohol on the woman. He also claimed that the woman's eyes were red and that she had an open container of alcohol with her in the vehicle. The officer said that the woman became physically resistant when he attempted to arrest her, pushing him, assaulting him and attempting to run away.

Are field sobriety tests accurate?

If you are ever pulled over for suspected drunk driving, you may be asked to perform a few tests in order for the officer to check for impairment. These are field sobriety tests and they are standard procedure in North Carolina and elsewhere. While that may be so, are they accurate?

You always hear about how inaccurate Breathalyzers tests may be, but what about the other sobriety tests? While they serve a purpose, experts agree that they may not be 100 percent accurate. In fact, they are very subjective in nature because they depend on the administering officer's opinion and understanding of the test.

North Carolina has zero tolerance for underage drinking

Alcohol has different attractions for different people. For many teens, however, there is often a sense of rebellion or the need to fit in with other teens who are drinking. As a person nears 21, the legal age to drink in North Carolina and other states, he or she may feel that 19 or 20 is close enough to get away with consuming alcohol. However, the state's zero tolerance laws may prove that to be a bad decision.

In North Carolina, those who are younger than 21 may not consume alcohol. In fact, it is a misdemeanor offense that may result in fines, community service, court costs and potentially jail time, if convicted. The consequences can be even more severe if an underage drinker drives after consuming alcohol.

North Carolina couple arrested after neighbors complained

Without question, drug crimes are the scourge of many neighborhoods. Residents who suspect their neighbors are involved in manufacturing or selling drugs are often justified in their concern. However, those accused of committing these crimes have rights that deserve to be protected. A North Carolina couple recently found themselves in the crosshairs of multiple law enforcement agencies after police allegedly received tips from neighbors.

Police say they had received numerous complaints over the past six months about drug activity in their neighborhood. The complaints centered around a particular residence that became the focus of a multi-agency investigation. Apparently, officers began watching the residence. Police conducted a traffic stop when a car left the home recently, which included a search of the vehicle. Reports indicate that police found illegal contraband, including meth pipes, and they placed the 35-year-old woman driving the vehicle under arrest.

Man faces weapons offenses for having gun on campus

In the wake of the many shootings on school properties and other gathering places, it is natural for people to take precautionary measures if they suspect someone has a weapon. In fact, it is against the law in some states, including North Carolina, to carry a concealed weapon on a college campus. While the debate about gun control may never be settled, one man recently discovered that authorities take weapons laws seriously.

A 21-year-old GED student was recently arrested after another student allegedly saw him in a stairwell with a gun. A little after 10 a.m., the other student informed police that an armed man was on campus. Authorities shut down the college for about 45 minutes while police investigated. Reports say that initially, the GED student hid the gun to avoid getting caught. However, police soon located the gun and reported that it was loaded and stolen.

North Carolina couple charged with numerous crimes

Criminal charges can arise from many situations. In some cases, they may result from the alleged wrong-doing of a friend or acquaintance. One North Carolina woman is facing drug possession charges after her boyfriend, who was accused of numerous offenses, apparently drew police to her house.

The incident began when a gas station attendant called police after a driver apparently left the scene without paying for gas. The attendant apparently gave the police dispatcher a detailed description of the vehicle and the driver. On their way to the scene, officers passed a vehicle matching the description given by the attendant. A brief chase ensued before police lost sight of the car. They established a perimeter and began a methodical search of the area.

How could drug convictions impact your student financial aid?

Drug-related charges could have negative impacts on individuals of any age. However, convictions for such allegations could have differing effects depending on the stage of life you may be experiencing. For instance, as a University of North Carolina at Asheville student, a drug conviction could potentially throw your education off course in a variety of ways.

Though legal punishments for drug convictions could obviously have negative effects, such convictions could also make you ineligible for federal financial aid. As a result, you may find yourself unable to pay for your education for a certain period of time or possibly indefinitely. Therefore, you may wish to better understand how the details of your legal issues could impact the potential for lost financial aid.

MADD seeks harsher penalties for drunk driving charges

The opioid crisis has many in North Carolina seeking solutions to all manner of impairment issues. Additionally, some jurisdictions are looking for stricter ways to deal with those who operate motor vehicles while impaired. Drunk driving charges carry increasingly harsher penalties as lawmakers join the fight. Finding solutions to one special cause has one region calling for penalties that are even more severe.

A local law enforcement agency has formed a task force to study the issue of drivers who are impaired with children in their vehicles. With the support of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, the task force met to brainstorm ways to protect children who are placed in dangerous situations, such as when the adult responsible for them is unfit to drive. Representatives from MADD say incidents of child endangerment are increasing, and laws are changing too slowly to satisfy the advocates of stricter penalties for DUI convictions.

North Carolina battles underage drinking

For several years, local TV viewers may have noticed a series of public service announcements aimed at youths. The goal of the ads was to reduce underage drinking by making teenagers aware of the potential dangers. Some described the commercials as morbid, using fear to alarm teens and jar them into avoiding alcohol until they turned 21. However, the director for the North Carolina Alcohol Board Control Commission's Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking recently unveiled new commercials aimed at a different audience.

Two new ads put the attention on parents after focus groups revealed that youths are more likely to drink when their parents did not emphasize its dangers. In fact, 84 percent of middle school students surveyed believed better communication with their parents would affect their views about alcohol. The problem is that parents may not be sure how to approach the delicate topic with their children, so the commercials encourage parents to make the topic of underage drinking part of normal conversations.

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Asheville, North Carolina, Criminal Defense Blog | Messer Law Firm