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Statesville Legal Blog

When are oral wills allowed in North Carolina?

There are situations in which a person can have a legally binding will that's not written. Nuncupative (oral) wills are allowed here in North Carolina if a person's death is imminent. That's why they're sometimes also referred to as deathbed wills.

There are restrictions on nuncupative wills. For example, in North Carolina, the person who is dying must ask two people to witness the dictation of the will. The instructions that comprise the will need to be written down as soon as possible. Further, a nuncupative will cannot supersede a person's written will.

The rights of hearing-impaired people in police encounters

Any interaction with law enforcement can be frightening and stressful. However, for people who are hard of hearing or deaf, dealing with officers can be especially difficult. It's been estimated that as many as 9 percent of people may be hearing impaired to some degree. As our population ages, that number will likely rise.

People who are hearing impaired have the same rights when it comes to dealing with law enforcement and the justice system as anyone else. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) details those rights and the accommodations that must be made available.

Advice for staying sober on Super Bowl Sunday

While Super Bowl Sunday isn't an official American holiday, it might as well be for millions of football fans and those who just enjoy having a reason to party on a winter Sunday. It's also one of the heaviest drinking days of the year. Most Super Bowl parties, whether they're in a home or a bar, involve copious amounts of alcohol. Law enforcement officers are out in force looking for drunk drivers.

Whether you've decided not to drink on Super Bowl Sunday because you want to get home without a DWI/DUI (and get others home safely), or you no longer drink at all, avoiding alcoholic beverages can be a challenge. Assuming that you don't want to stay home and binge-watch something on Amazon Prime or Netflix, let's look at some ways that you can enjoy a Super Bowl celebration without drinking.

Do you have to answer an officer's questions when pulled over?

The Raleigh Police Department has posted a video online showing a simulated traffic stop in order to provide guidance to motorists about what to do if they're pulled over by an officer. In the video, motorists are told that they should answer any question the officer asks.

However, as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) points out, no one is required to answer all questions they're asked by an officer. The North Carolina driver's license handbook states that motorists are required to identify themselves when asked to by an officer. It doesn't say that they're obligated to respond to other inquiries.

Do you know the limits of what police can do?

You have certain rights no matter what type of criminal allegations you are up against or charges you are facing. It is in the interests of any North Carolina reader to know what these are and what to do when experiencing a violation of these rights. One way to do this is to become familiar with the limits of what law enforcement can do.

The job of law enforcement is to protect the public and investigate crime. However, in the execution of these jobs, they cannot violate the rights of the public. There are strict limits to where they can search and how they handle privately owned property when investigating a crime.

Former North Carolina congressman changes plea to 'no contest'

A former North Carolina congressman pleaded "no contest" in early December to a drunk driving charge. He was arrested last July in Ohio.

One-time Republican Rep. Andy Dulin was stopped approximately 60 miles outside of Cleveland on a turnpike. He reportedly refused to take a field sobriety test, although it's not clear which test(s) he refused to take.

Follow these rules to stay safe when stopped by the police

There's actual research to back up something that many people have long suspected about our nation's police force: There are a lot of angry people in uniform.

According to the Pew Research Center, slightly more than one out of every five officers admits that they are either "always or often" frustrated or outright angry while on the job. They also feel very negative about the public in general.

Student housing rights may not be absolute

Many Americans spend their first years out of the house in a college dormitory or off-campus housing. North Carolina's fine higher education options attract many students to apartments owned by other people or institutions, and they should know the expectations of their tenancy in these homes.

When it comes to the quality of housing, students do not have to accept the unacceptable. Every lease comes with an implied warranty of habitability, meaning the owner or superintendent must maintain certain minimum standards in inhabited rooms or homes. Bug or rodent infestations, hot clean water and proper protections from the elements and the public are part of this warranty.

Vaping alcohol won't prevent you from getting a DWI/DUI

Vaping has become a popular way to consume all sorts of substances, both legal and illegal. Some people enjoy vaping alcohol. They get the "buzz" more quickly than when they drink it. They also avoid the taste. If you like the way whiskey makes you feel, but don't enjoy the flavor, vaping it may seem like a good option.

When you vape alcohol, it takes a different route through your body than it would if you sip it or down it in shots. Instead of going into your digestive system via your stomach and intestines, it's going directly into your lungs.

Sheriff's deputy on leave after tackling girls recording arrest

A Harnett County sheriff's deputy is on administrative leave and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has gotten involved after an incident caught on cellphone video earlier this month. The video shows two deputies tackling a teenager who was recording an arrest and then the girl's sister who was recording the officers wrestling her sibling to the ground.

The deputies were reportedly responding to a report of drug activity when they pulled over a vehicle. The 17-year-old driver was arrested for having a handgun under his seat. They say that one of the passengers was in possession of marijuana and that they smelled marijuana in the vehicle.

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