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Asheville, North Carolina, Criminal Defense Blog

Women charged with weapons offenses after hotel search

The laws protecting citizens from unlawful search and seizure are often carefully skirted by police. While their efforts to curb crime are commendable, the result may be the violation of civil rights and potentially an unlawful arrest. Two North Carolina women are now facing weapons offenses following a search of their hotel room, the validity of which a defense attorney may question in court.

Police officers reported that they were walking past the hotel on routine patrol when they smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the area of a particular room. A magistrate granted a search warrant based on the officers' claims. The officers knocked on the hotel room door. A woman answered, and police engaged her in conversation.

NFL player charged with drug possession

Convictions for possession of illegal substances can carry serious, long-term consequences. Employers often take seriously the criminal records of candidates, and a drug possession charge, even for a small amount of marijuana, has the potential to jeopardize many future opportunities. While the National Football League continues to consider the inclusion of marijuana on its list of banned substances, for now, its possession is a crime in North Carolina.

Recently, defensive lineman T.Y. McGill was charged when alcohol enforcement agents claim to have seen him with marijuana outside his North Carolina hotel. After denying he was carrying marijuana, he is said to have eventually told agents he was in possession of the substance. He was apparently assessed a fine and also charged with misdemeanor possession.

Proposed law is game-changer for suspended licenses

A speeding ticket or other moving violation may seem like no big deal. You may even laugh about the number of citations you have gotten or brag about the times you just missed getting a ticket. If those tickets resulted in points on your license, you may be aware that, after a certain amount of time, the points disappear from your driving record.

On the other hand, those points can accumulate quickly, especially if you have a heavy foot. Before you know it, you may be facing the suspension of your driver's license. Currently, the only solution to a suspended license is to wait it out. However, a new law is making its way through the North Carolina legislature that may change that policy.

Do beer sales at North Carolina colleges spur underage drinking?

The new college semester is in full swing at many institutions across the country. Fall semester also means the start of football season, and fans of college football may have waited through a long summer to once again enjoy their favorite sport. Now, many university campuses, included several in North Carolina, are allowing the sale of beer at football games, taking advantage of the nation's penchant for combining alcohol and sports to raise a little extra money. However, some argue that beer sales at college stadiums encourage underage drinking.

Opponents of the decision to offer alcohol sales at college sporting events point to the recent increase of alcohol-related deaths on the nation's campuses. Some data shows that almost 2,000 students die each year from incidents related to alcohol use or abuse. Since most students on the average college campus are under the legal drinking age, those caught with alcohol risk legal ramifications as well.

Drunk driving suspected following North Carolina crash

Accidents on interstates happen every day in North Carolina. While some occur because of drivers engaging in illegal activities, many occur due to an unexpected change in road conditions or lack of familiarity with an area. Despite this, it is easy for police officers to assume that an accident was caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol, for example. In fact, they believe that a recent crash on an interstate was the result of drunk driving.

The incident happened on a day in August. State troopers claim that the driver of a pickup truck lost control, causing the truck to crash. Another vehicle was ultimately involved in the accident as that driver reportedly attempted to avoid the accident.

North Carolina man faces felony charges after search and seizure

Few would argue that the recent increase in heroin addiction and overdoses is alarming. Law enforcement agencies in North Carolina make a commendable effort to rid the streets of drugs that threaten the lives of many. However, despite the desperation of the drug epidemic across the country, police must still perform their duties within the confines of the law. These laws protect those suspected of involvement in the drug trade from illegal search and seizure.

The U.S. Constitution forbids police from entering the private home of a citizen without a valid warrant. Similarly, unless a person grants permission, officers may not search his or her car or body without a warrant. Search warrants are granted by judges who are convinced that probable cause exists, allowing police and investigators to enter a private home and look for specific evidence of illegal activity.

Weapons offenses for North Carolina students carrying guns

Parent sending their children off to college this month are likely reminding their dear ones to be safe on and off campus. Some North Carolina parents may be taking the extra step of providing weapons for self-protection. However, some school administrations are warning students that they may be risking weapons offenses by bringing certain items on campus.

North Carolina State University invited police officers to speak to students about what they may and may not have for personal protection. For example, stun guns are not permitted on many campuses throughout the state, although manufacturers of the devices are advertising sales aimed at college students. Additionally, while a student may not possess a gun, certain employees may be allowed to keep them in their cars or in on-campus housing.

Charges of white collar crime are a threat to your freedom

If you are under investigation for any type of white collar crime, you may be unsure of what you should do or not cognizant of the serious nature of your current situation. White collar crimes are federal charges that can include various types of illegal behavior. If under investigation in North Carolina, facing allegations or already charged, you have no time to lose in protecting your interests.

White collar crimes are non-violent, and they almost always relate to the acquisition of money through some type of illegal means, such as bribery, forgery, theft, deception and more. You do, however, have the right to defend yourself, no matter what you presume about the case against you or the nature of the criminal charges you are currently facing.

North Carolina nurse arrested for drug possession

Drug charges often carry serious penalties for those convicted. Depending on the circumstances, someone arrested and charged with drug possession may face fines and prison if a North Carolina court finds him or her guilty. Moreover, certain professions consider drug crimes serious enough to place one's employment in jeopardy, especially if the accused is a licensed professional in the health care industry.

For the past four months, a local rehabilitation center was under investigation because medications had been reported missing. However, police had no leads in the case until recently. Making a routine traffic stop, police approached the car of a woman who worked as a nurse at the rehabilitation center. The officer reported that he saw in plain sight pills in the woman's car. The officer made a connection between the nurse and the pills missing from the rehabilitation center.

Drunk driving charges filed after fatal SUV/ATV accident

A tragic accident can haunt someone for years, especially if he or she feels responsible for the outcome. In some cases, however, someone may feel sorry for what has happened but not be alone in culpability. One North Carolina man has openly expressed his grief for a fatal accident in which he was involved. While he definitely faces drunk driving charges, investigators have not yet filed any charges related to the accident.

Although his license was revoked because of a previous DWI, the man was driving his SUV along a winding, rural highway when two teenagers on an ATV came onto the road. The driver did not have time to react to the ATV, and the SUV struck the ATV with such force that it split the 4-wheeler in half. The 14-year-old driving the ATV died, and his 13-year-old friend was hospitalized in critical condition.

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