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Statesville Legal Blog

Police must read you your Miranda rights

Law enforcement officers here in North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States are required by law to give you a Miranda warning when placing you under arrest. Police must do this so that you're reminded that your actions can send a message about whether or not you're guilty of a crime. If a law enforcement officer fails to tell you about these rights, then any evidence that is discovered after that may be thrown out by a judge.

Individuals are afforded several rights under the Miranda warning. Defendants are instructed that they have a right to remain silent. They're told that that anything that they say can and will be used against them in a court of law. Part of the Miranda warning is that defendants are supposed to be instructed about their right to an attorney and that they will be appointed one if they can't afford one on their own.

North Carolina ranks fourth for DWI/DUI arrests

U.S. Drug Test Centers published a report earlier this month in which they ranked each state in order based on the number of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) arrests that occur in the state per 100,000 residents. The data reveals that North Carolina ranked fourth among all states for DWI/DUI arrests. There were 518.8 individuals per 100,000 inhabitants who were taken into police custody of suspicion of this crime here in Tarheel state last year alone.

The statistics also revealed other interesting information about DWI/DUI arrests here in North Carolina. The highest percentage of individuals who were arrested for this crime during the past 10 years was in 2009. That year, there were 725.95 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants.

You have options when it comes to debt collection

Businesses who have tried to collect on debts from their customers have two primary options to pursue when all their in-house collection options have failed. Company owners can either hire a bill collector or an attorney to chase after their customers for them. There are benefits associated with both types of debt collection efforts.

One primary difference between collections attorneys and bill collectors is what type of actions they can take. A bill collector can make calls, send letters and pursue other debt collection efforts along that vein. Lawyers have a lot more leeway in that respect. They often start by sending letters then escalate the case by filing suit in court if that correspondence goes unanswered. They can request that a judge order wage garnishment or place a lien on a debtor's property if debts aren't paid off.

Defending yourself against assault and battery charges

Assault charges may follow an incident in which one person allegedly causes harm to another. Any charges that involve an act of violence against another person can result in serious penalties. If you are dealing with accusations of assault or battery, it is in your interests to take your situation seriously and move forward with developing a strong defense strategy as soon as possible. 

Assault and battery charges often go together, but they are two separate things. The first step in any good defense plan is to know what you are up against and understand the charges brought by the prosecution. No matter the details of your individual situation, you have the right to a presumption of innocence and to fight for a beneficial outcome to your case.

What constitutes child abuse in North Carolina?

Many different criminal offenses fall under the umbrella of child abuse. These include emotional, sexual or physical violence, exploitation and neglect. Most cases of child abuse are reported to authorities by mandated reporters. These are individuals such as teachers, doctors, therapists, pastors and others who have close interactions with kids.

North Carolina law describes child abuse as any instance in which a child is placed at significant risk of injury, whether it happens accidentally or intentionally. The state statute goes on to describe how anyone who allows a minor to suffer serious emotional damage or who permits, commits or encourages sexual abuse of a child may be charged with this crime.

What should nontraditional families know about estate planning?

Currently, only 65% of families in North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States are considered traditional ones. These are described as ones with a single mom and dad and kids. All other families are blended, childless, inter-religious, inter-racial, those led by homosexual parents and others. This matters because traditional approaches to estate planning are no longer appropriate for most families here in Statesville or anywhere else in this country.

Nontraditional families have to be cautious when planning their estates. Much of the language used on standard estate planning forms are drafted for traditional families, not modern ones. Intestate succession rules have been crafted much the same way. This is why members of nontraditional families should steer clear from using readily accessible online forms when planning their estate.

You don't have to consent to police frisking or vehicle searches

In most states including North Carolina, law enforcement officers aren't required to take out a search warrant to go through your vehicle during a traffic stop. Police here in Statesville and elsewhere in the state need only to have probable cause to be able to do this. This means that law enforcement officers must be presented with evidence or facts that you've engaged in criminal activity for such a search to be lawful. There are steps that you can take to reduce your risk of having your vehicle searched.

Being calm, courteous and responsive to a law enforcement officer can go a long way. You should greet them warmly when they first approach your car. You shouldn't argue with them if they accuse you of some type of a traffic-related offense. You also should avoid admitting to any infraction that law enforcement may accuse you of as such admissions can be used against you in a court of law.

Beware! E-wills aren't legal in most states

Every few decades, there's a new generation of millionaires that emerge. These young people often bring with them their nuanced ways of making money. New generations also bring with them ideas for changing how things have been historically done. One of the things that they've recently looked to modernize is how wills are traditionally drafted.

Currently, most every state recognizes attorney-prepared, typewritten wills signed by testators in front of witnesses. In many other jurisdictions, either handwritten or oral wills are legal.

Are you certain there was probable cause for your arrest?

It can be overwhelming and frightening to find yourself facing arrest and criminal charges. Whether this is your first offense or you have a criminal record, you know how important it is to act quickly and work to protect your rights and interests. One of the first steps of this process is to carefully examine the circumstances of your arrest.

North Carolina police cannot arrest someone simply because they feel like it. There must be a valid and clear reason to take this course of action, which is something called probable cause. If there was no valid reason for your arrest or you are certain that you experienced a violation of your constitutional rights, you can fight back. If there is evidence of these things, it could negate the entire case against you.

What steps should I take to acquire a North Carolina business?

Many companies try to grow their service area or distribution channels by acquiring a new company. While some businesses enjoy an existing relationship want to join forces, many others ones have plans to go out and find someone to work with. There are some steps that companies should follow when looking for another business to partner with.

You must be able to articulate what it is that you're looking to gain by joining forces with another company.

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