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Statesville Legal Blog

What is the Fourth Amendment?

The Fourth Amendment is there to protect you against unfair searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment protects you when you are in a vehicle, walking down the street or in a place where it's reasonable to assume you'll receive privacy. Any items taken from your possession unlawfully are unable to be used against you in a court of law.

The Fourth Amendment applies in many situations including:

  • When you are stopped for police questioning
  • When you're arrested
  • When an officer enters your home
  • When officers enter your business
  • When officers confiscate your vehicle
  • When you are pulled over for a traffic infraction and an officer searches your vehicle

Migos tour bus stopped, 3 arrests made

No matter who you are, there is potential to be arrested if you're violating the law. Whether you're famous or just another person walking down the street, getting caught doing drugs or being too intoxicated can lead to an arrest.

Take, for example, this case involving a rap trio known as Migos. Migos had recently performed at the Holmes Convocation Center at Appalachian State University before heading back on the road. The tour bus was stopped by police in Boone after they reported smelling marijuana coming from it at the school's venue.

What are field sobriety tests and are they accurate?

Field sobriety tests, you've seen them in movies. A police officer pulls over someone suspected of impaired driving, asks him or her to get out of the car and walk a straight line or say the alphabet backwards. How he or she does will determine if the officer will make an arrest. While movie examples fail to provide the most accurate view of field sobriety tests, such tests do exist and North Carolina residents suspected of driving while impaired may be asked to submit to them.

What are the standard field sobriety tests? Are they always accurate? Does a DUI charge mean I should expect a conviction?

Illegal searches could lead to evidence being inadmissible

You may be under the impression that a police officer may search you because he or she believes you've done something wrong, but the reality is that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects you against illegal searches and seizures. To get a warrant that gives the officer a right to search you, your vehicle or your property, there must be probable cause.

You are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. What that means is that while in most cases the police do need a warrant, not all cases require one. For example, if you're caught smoking marijuana outside, the officer may legally search you for additional drugs. It is reasonable that he or she would think to search you for drugs since you're openly using them.

Millennial estate planning: Starting now

Millennials, or the generation born roughly between 1981 and the early 2000s, are reaching ages that suggest they should start estate planning now. Many in this age range are starting families, and some have a great number of assets.

The issue with Millennials and estate planning is that the majority went through the Great Recession and may be first-time investors and planners when it comes to their estates. It's of the utmost importance that this generation understands the necessity of estate planning along with the current rules that will take precedent if they don't have these documents when they pass.

Jeff Hardy arrested following single-vehicle crash

No matter who you are, it's a danger to get behind the wheel and drive. Even if you don't hurt anyone else, you're threatening your own health and safety.

It's always important to know when you're too intoxicated to drive. You should call a taxi or have a designated driver ready to take you home. If you don't, you could end up in the following kind of situation.

Leasing commercial spaces: Get a good contract

In most cases, people looking to open a business start by renting a facility. Why? It's easier to get a rental property. You don't need as much capital, and you can save the funds you have for the things you need to keep your business running smoothly.

With any commercial lease, there is a contract. You need to understand the terms of the contract to make sure they're right for your business. For example, you should find out if you're responsible for common areas, utilities, taxes or other expenses in addition to the rent itself.

3 killed in deadly crash at local coast

Multiple-vehicle collisions are some of the worst. A single impact is always bad, but when they begin to add up, the injuries seen are devastating. Those who might have otherwise survived suffer hit after hit, injuring themselves past the point of being able to get help.

Multiple-vehicle accidents could happen for many reasons from drivers traveling too closely to one another to driving with distractions. When they happen, many people end up with injuries and some may suffer fatal consequences.

Charges keep piling up for man arrested 3 times in 8 days

It's one thing to get arrested, but it's another to get arrested multiple times in a few days. Getting arrested multiple times makes you look very bad in the eyes of the law, even if they're all coincidental or as a result of being set up by the same officer multiple times.

This case is a good example, however, of how a single arrest can lead to several others as a case unfolds. As new charges mount, the initial arrest may lead to arrests later in the week or month for people accused.

Addiction: Illness or crime?

There is no denying that drug addiction is a serious problem. Media reports refer to it as an epidemic, relating it to other health issues. However, society seems to deal with drug addiction as a crime, leaving many who suffer from the stranglehold of drugs to face criminal penalties. While it may be true that crime and drugs seem to follow one another, you may simply see that your loved one is struggling, and that is not a crime.

Lawmakers have long tried to assuage the general public by taking a strong stand against drugs in their neighborhoods. They tighten laws and increase penalties so that merely having a substance in your pocket can lead to fines or jail time. North Carolina and many other states may arrest a person who has no controlled substance but is carrying a pipe or needles used to take drugs.

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