Nielsen Legal

Asheville, North Carolina Legal Blog

Here's what college students say about their drinking habits

You'd be hard-pressed to find a North Carolina college campus where zero percent of the student-body drinks alcohol. Even dry campuses report issues that are alcohol or drug-related. In order to better understand alcohol statistics in colleges throughout the nation, it helps to analyze why students drink in the first place. Your reasons for consuming alcohol on or off-campus may not be the same as your roommate's; however, many students agree that certain factors significantly impact their choices.        

If you're age 21 or beyond, you may legally drink alcohol, provided you are adhering to your own campus's rules. However, many students choose to completely abstain from alcohol while in college, simply because college life is stressful enough as it is, without tossing additional risks and problems into the mix. Nobody is perfect, so if you make a poor decision or somehow wind up facing legal problems that are alcohol-related, you can tap into local support resources to try to mitigate your circumstances.  

Fighting back against allegations or charges of robbery

Facing criminal charges of any kind are a serious threat to your personal freedom and your future interests. Regardless of whether the charges against you are serious felony charges or a minor misdemeanor offense, it is critically important to shield your interests to the best of your ability, fight these charges and work to keep your record clear. 

Robbery charges are particularly serious criminal charges in North Carolina. A conviction could lead to time behind bars and other penalties that can permanently alter the course of your life. Every robbery case is different, but you will find it beneficial to understand the applicable laws that pertain to your case, the specific charges against you and how you can build a strong defense.

Drug trafficking: Much more serious than possession charges

North Carolina readers know that criminal charges of any kind are a direct threat to their futures. This is especially true when facing charges that come with significant penalties, such as drug trafficking charges. Individuals charged and convicted of drug trafficking could face penalties that can change the course of their lives.

If you are facing drug trafficking charges, your future and your freedom are on the line. It is critical to confront them with a strong defense and work diligently to avoid grave consequences. It can be helpful to learn more about your defense options and the next steps you should take as soon as possible after an arrest.

Did counting money lead to white collar crime counts against you?

Whether you're native to North Carolina or recently moved here when you landed a new job, you've likely heard the term blue collar associated with people who earn their incomes in the labor industry. If you happen to work in an accounting department or as an entrepreneur or corporate executive, you may also be familiar with the term white collar as it relates to non-labor employment. In the 1930s, people started using the phrase white collar crime to describe non-violent illegal acts perpetrated for financial gain.

You may have heard or used the term a hundred times but never imagined you might one day face criminal charges regarding such offenses. The Federal Bureau of Investigation considers corporate fraud a top area of concern. Therefore, if police arrest you on suspicion of a white collar crime, you'll no doubt have your work cut out for you in your attempt to avoid conviction.

Underage? Repeat offender? Specific factors may impact DUI charge

Many facets can go into a charge for driving under the influence. Your age, criminal record, actions during the arrest and numerous other factors could impact the type of allegations with which police could potentially charge you. Because of the uncertainty that comes along with a DUI stop, you may wonder about the severity of your particular case.

Even if you do not feel impaired, you could still face criminal charges for DUI. Officers may base their decisions on a variety of aspects, and you may need to gain information on what led to the charges in order to better know how to defend against them. Additionally, you may also want to learn more about North Carolina state laws regarding DUI.

Was your speeding ticket based on a radar gun? Challenge it

As you drove down the road, you may have seen the patrol car too late. You looked down at your speedometer and realized that you may have been driving over the speed limit. The radar gun was prominently poking out of the window of the patrol car, and you suspected that flashing lights and a speeding ticket were in your future.

A speeding ticket may not seem like a big deal. You just pay the fine and go about your business, right? It may not be that simple if you already have points on your license or if your employer frowns upon traffic violations, especially if you drive for a living. Then there is the chance that your insurance rates could rise as well. Can you challenge the radar gun's results? Yes, and it could be in your best interests to do so.

Drug crimes involving cocaine are felony offenses

Drug charges of all kinds carry pretty significant penalties in North Carolina if a conviction ultimately occurs. Cocaine-related drug crimes are considered particularly serious. It does not matter if you face charges of simple possession, trafficking or anything in between, all cocaine-related charges are felony offenses.

This week's column will give a brief rundown of state cocaine laws and will provide information about what you can do to help yourself if you face charges for a cocaine-related crime.

New laws for cells behind the wheel

People are slowly catching on about the risks they are taking when they text and drive. Hardly a week goes by that the news does not report a tragic story of a young mother killed by a driver texting, a child in a crosswalk run over by a distracted driver or a teen posting to Facebook seconds before a fatal crash.

California has seen its share of tragic accidents, yet its distracted driving rule had a serious flaw. The regulation specifically forbade the use of hand-held phones for talking and texting. In other words, you could still hold your phone and scroll through your playlist, post on social media or take a video without technically breaking the law.

Probable Cause Hearings and Grand Jury Indictment

North Carolina laws provide three ways by which a case can be prosecuted in Superior Court, which is where all felonies must be tried. The prosecutor may request that a judge find probable cause that the person committed a crime after a hearing in open court. This is called a probable cause hearing. If the District Court judge finds probable cause exists, the District Court judge can bind the person over for a trial in Superior Court.

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