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Statesville Legal Blog

How to set up a special needs trust without forfeiting benefits

If you have an adult child or another family member with a physical or mental disability that impacts their ability to care for themselves, you want to ensure that they are provided for once you're no longer around. Many people create special needs trusts for this purpose. Here's how it works.

The disabled person is the beneficiary of the trust, and it's managed by a trustee designated by the trust grantor. Special needs trusts may include money, property and other assets. They're often designed to continue for the length of the beneficiary's life or until the assets have been used up.

Laws involving drinking and driving vary between the Carolinas

Many South Carolina residents spend time in North Carolina enjoying the beaches and other attractions, visiting family and friends or attending college. Many laws regarding drinking and driving are the same in both states. For example, if you're 21 or older, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above can get you arrested in both states. That drops to just a .02 BAC if you're under 21.

A DUI conviction or guilty plea can carry fines, jail time and license suspension in both states. The precise penalties vary based on a number of factors, such as whether it's a first or subsequent offense.

INcrease your chances of avoiding DWI/DUI stops in North Carolina

You undoubtedly already know that the easiest way to avoid a DWI/DUI stop in North Carolina, or anywhere, is to completely refrain from consuming alcohol before driving. However, even such seemingly foolproof measures do not always work because police often make mistakes and arrest people for suspected drunk driving who have not been drinking at all before getting behind the wheel.  

That said, there are several things you can do to lower your risk for having a nice evening out ruined by becoming subject to a traffic violation or criminal investigation. Even if you do all of these things, however, it's still no guarantee that a police officer will never stop you or that you will avoid arrest. That's why it's critical that you know your rights and how to protect them in case a problem arises. 

Beware of police interviews when facing murder/homicide charges

Because Statesville is not one of North Carolina's larger cities, most crimes reported in the area are minor. However, serious offenses like murder, homicide and manslaughter do occur.

Police officers and prosecutors want to solve serious crimes like murder. They want to make the city safe, but they also want to appease a population that may be pushing for a resolution. Whatever drives these officials, sometimes they may go too far to seek a confession for murder or homicide charges. These confessions typically begin and end during law enforcement interviews and interrogations that can go on for hours or even days.

Are there any ways to get out of a DUI?

As someone who is facing a DUI charge, it's a good idea to go over your rights. Your attorney likely has ideas on how to reduce or eliminate the charges against you with a strong defense, but he or she can't help you do so until you give him or her all the information on what happened with your traffic stop.

The stop has to fit within the regulations provided to police. Did you know, for instance, that the police can't just pull you over without a reason? You would have had to have gone through a red light, swerved or made other errors that would make the officer pull you over before he or she could do so legally.

Teen dies from fentanyl overdose, man faces murder charges

If a person dealing drugs gives out drugs to multiple people and one of them dies, should he or she be held responsible for that death? That's a question that will have to be answered because of this case in North Carolina.

A college student in North Carolina died from an overdose following a night spent using drugs. According to a June 6 report, the man, a 19-year-old criminal justice major, had used an opioid mixture including fentanyl, a poisonous mix that is so powerful it resulted in an overdose. The autopsy reported that the man died from an accidental overdose. The police disagree and think it may have been a murder.

Understand the importance of a shareholders agreement

Divorces can happen to any married couple, even those who seem like they have it all. The reality is that no one really knows if a marriage will break down, and even with work, sometimes, they fall apart.

If you run a business with your spouse, then you should consider having a shareholders agreement before you see your marriage fall apart. A shareholders agreement is like a prenuptial agreement, but instead of protecting you personally, it's protecting your business.

Facing legal problems regarding prescription drugs?

If you suffer injury in a car accident, fall off a ladder while painting your house or otherwise suffer from a chronic pain condition, a North Carolina doctor might prescribe an opioid drug to help alleviate your pain and discomfort. Prescription drugs don't always cure an illness or eradicate an injury but they can help minimize symptoms or help improve your condition.  

The saying that there's always a thorn where there's a rose may apply to prescription drug use. Yes, it may be worth it to you to take a strong narcotic, an amphetamine or other prescription medication to get rid of pain or improve your condition enough that you can go back to work or play outside with your kids. However, many such drugs are highly addictive and can wind up causing worse health problems in the long run, not to mention legal trouble as well. 

Field sobriety test results: Not always accurate

Field sobriety tests are a way that the authorities check on the mental and physical condition of drivers on the roads. Drivers who cannot pass these tests aren't necessarily intoxicated or using drugs, but they could have issues occurring that make it dangerous to be behind the wheel.

Also known as roadside sobriety tests, field sobriety tests normally take place before a Breathalyzer tests. There are three primary tests including tests to identify if you can stand on one foot, if you can walk in a straight line and if your eyes move from side to side in the correct manner.

Here's what to know about a search warrant

If the police suddenly arrive at your home, in person or at your vehicle stating that they have a search warrant, it means that they've obtained permission to search a location or person and to seize anything that is evidence of a crime. The search warrant itself will be addressed to you, as the person who is to be searched or whose property is to be searched.

In most cases, law enforcement does need to have a search warrant before searching your property, but that's not always the case. For example, if there is evidence of a crime in plain sight, the officer may obtain it immediately.

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