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Category Archives: Criminal Law

Expunction Laws in NC Strengthened Effective December 1, 2013

Effective December 1, 2013, North Carolinians who have received an expunction (or are thinking about obtaining an expunction) will have stronger protection when searching for jobs. Session law 2013-53, ratified on May 8, 2013, creates a new statute – “N.C.G.S. § 15A-153. Effect of expunction; prohibited practices by employers, educational institutions, agencies of State and … Read More

New NC Criminal Laws Effective December 1, 2013

During the 2013 legislative session, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bundle of new laws and changed numerous laws already on the books. Since “ignorance of the law is not an excuse” (despite the overwhelming amount of laws and their complexity,) the Clifford Division has summarized most* of the new criminal laws and changes … Read More

When Do The Police Not Need A Search Warrant?

The Fourth Amendment bans warrantless searches and seizures, unless an exception applies. In this instance, the exceptions may very well have swallowed the rule. The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly wrestled with warrantless searches over the years. In some decisions, it seems as if the Fourth Amendment has almost been completely eviscerated. But, then … Read More

DWI Stops and the Use of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (“SFSTs”) are used in North Carolina to help determine whether a suspected driver is actually impaired. SFSTs, along with other preliminary factors, will be used to determine whether probable cause for impairment exists. Upon determination of probable cause for impairment, the officer should issue a preliminary breath test to determine whether … Read More

Fair Amusement Ride Operator Denied Bail Reduction

On October 27, 2013, a Wake County judge refused to reduce the bail of a man charged with injuring five people and tampering with an amusement park ride.  Prosecutors allege that Timothy Tutterrow, 46, of Quitman, Georgia altered the safety systems on The Vortex, a popular ride at the recently closed North Carolina State Fair. … Read More

Actor Arrested For DWI In North Carolina

On October 16, 2013, actor Christopher McDonald was arrested in Wilmington and charged with DWI.  Mr. McDonald has appeared in various films, including Happy Gilmore, Thelma and Louise and Requiem for a Dream. When arrested at approximately 2:30 a.m., Mr. McDonald reportedly had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .15, almost twice the legal limit. Mr. … Read More

New North Carolina Expunction Takes Effect in October

Starting in October 2013, a new expunction became available to citizens of North Carolina in the fight to clean up past mistakes on their criminal record. North Carolina General Statute 15A-145.6 allows certain prostitution convictions to be expunged for nonviolent offenders. Those falling under this statute must have been convicted of a prostitution offense – … Read More

The Effects of Grossly Aggravating Factors on DWI Punishments

North Carolina has special sentencing requirements for Driving While Impaired convictions unique from the sentencing of all other criminal convictions within the state. Perhaps the most unique and potentially the most severe of these DWI sentencing requirements occurs when certain “Grossly Aggravating Factors” are present. These statutorily created factors appear in North Carolina General Statute … Read More

New Law Allowing Attorney Representation at Public University Disciplinary Proceedings

Public University Disciplinary Proceedings In August, the North Carolina legislature passed legislation allowing attorneys to fully represent accused students in certain disciplinary proceedings at public universities in North Carolina. Under new North Carolina General Statute § 116-40.11, enrolled students and official student organizations at public universities in North Carolina are eligible to hire a licensed … Read More

The Expanding Availability of Expunctions in North Carolina

Recent changes in North Carolina expunction law have broadened the scope of expunctions available while simultaneously making expunction law more complicated. Due to the complexity of expunctions, you should hire a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through the process. North Carolina now allows expunctions for, among others — 1. Certain dismissed misdemeanor and felony charges … Read More