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Wilmington Criminal Defense Law Blog

Father and son arrested after raid

Residents of North Carolina who are concerned about the prevalence of illicit drug use and trafficking in the state may be interested to learn of two arrests by the State Bureau of Investigation. On March 17, 2017, a 59-year-old physician and his 27-year-old son were both arrested after warrants were served at their home. It is uncertain if either individual has legal representation.

The SBI conducted raids at the physician's home and his medical office. The physician, who was employed at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center in Greenville, has been charged with three counts of trafficking opium or heroin. The charges stem from the fraudulent prescriptions he wrote for the drugs. The doctor is currently jailed on a $4.5 million bond.

African-Americans and wrongful convictions

African-Americans living in North Carolina and around the country should know that they are much more likely to be wrongfully convicted of certain crimes than white Americans. According to a study released by the National Registry of Exonerations, factors such as misconduct by officials as well as racial bias increases the chances thattheywill be unjustly convicted for sexual assault, illegal drug activity or murder.

Out of 1,900 defendants in examined cases from 1989 to October 2016 who were convicted of crimes and then later vindicated, 47 percent were black Americans, a figure that is three times their representation in the population. The results of the study also stated that African-Americans were seven more times at risk of being wrongly condemned of murder than whites. Regarding drug crimes, black people have 12 times the risk of being wrongfully convicted than white people.

1 killed in truck accident

On March 7, it was reported that a North Carolina driver was charged after a passenger, who was riding in the bed of his pickup truck, fell onto the road. The man, who was identified as a 36-year-old Wilmington resident, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities stated that the man had been sitting in an office chair that was placed into the bed of the pickup truck when the accident happened. The driver, a 34-year-old man, was charged with multiple offences, including driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, felony death by motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license. He was being held on a $500,000 bond.

Springing clocks forward may cause more car accidents

North Carolina residents may not think much of changing the clocks each spring. However, there are more car crash deaths on the first Monday after the change than on a typical Monday. Researchers in a 1999 study found that there are 83.5 deaths on the "spring forward" Monday compared to 78.2 on a normal Monday. This was according to 21 years of fatal car crash data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

Research from other countries has found a similar link between the spring time change and an increased occurrence of car crashes. In Canada, a 1996 study found that moving the clocks ahead an hour led to an 8 percent increase in car accidents. A study conducted in 1980 in Britain also found that there was an increase in accidents related to pushing the clocks ahead an hour.

The truth about crime in America

North Carolina residents may know that President Donald Trump has made fighting crime a priority. However, the crime rate has actually fallen drastically in the past quarter century. According to FBI data, the violent crime rate has fallen by roughly 50 percent from 1993 to 2015. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that the rate has fallen by 77 percent during that same time period.

Whether an individual is a victim of crime may depend on where he or she lives. For instance, there are more than 600 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in Alaska and Nevada. However, there were fewer than 200 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in New Hampshire and Maine. This may be explained by population density as well as economic conditions in those areas. Regardless of the crime rate in a given area, many crimes are not reported to the police.

5 common DWI/DUI defense tips

Getting a DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence) can result in serious penalties. For those who are arrested and charged for these offenses, there are some viable techniques that can result in reduced or dropped penalties. Here are five tips about how to defend against a DWI/DUI.

6 charged after 2,200 pounds of marijuana seized

On Feb. 14, North Carolina authorities reportedly took six people into custody after they were accused of distributing approximately 2,200 pounds of marijuana. The six people were identified as a 25-year-old man, two 28-year-old men, a 43-year-old woman, a 44-year-old man and a 67-year-old man. All six individuals were charged with conspiring to traffic drugs.

Authorities stated that the received a tip about a large shipment of marijuana that was allegedly in the Asheville area. At about 6:30 p.m., the authorities began a raid on a home that was located in the 200 block of McKinnish Cove Road. It ended at about 2 a.m. the next day. Investigators stated that the amount of marijuana that was recovered had an estimated street value of about $3 million.

Deaths on U.S. roads reach highest level in almost 10 years

The National Security Council said in a report that traffic deaths were up 6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. All told, they caused an estimated $432.5 billion in damages. The increase in fatalities was partially because of a 3 percent increase in miles traveled as low gas prices in North Carolina and around the country and a better economy encouraged people to get on the road. However, the increase in miles traveled did not fully explain the increase in fatalities.

There were 40,200 roadside fatalities in 2016, and the NSC has made several suggestions to reduce that number. It would ban the use of phones in vehicles including cars equipped with hands-free devices. It would also seek to implement a graduated licensing system for drivers under the age of 21. Interlock ignition devices would be required for anyone who has been convicted of a drunk driving offense.

Driver survey has troubling results

Drivers in North Carolina and across the United States may be interested in the results of a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and GfK, a market research firm. The survey ran from Aug. 25 through Sept. 6 and asked 2,511 drivers about their habits while behind the wheel.

In the report released on Feb. 15, millennials were found to engage in the most unsafe behaviors while driving. Almost 70 percent of respondents aged 16-18 admitted to texting while driving, running a red light, or speeding in the previous 30 days. Drivers who are 19-24 years old made up the largest group of offenders, with over 88 percent of them confessing to engaging in dangerous behavior when driving.

Man facing drug charges after 3 people overdose

A North Carolina man was handed drug charges after police launched an investigation into three overdose incidents that occurred on Jan. 31. The Alamance Narcotics Enforcement Team located the 34-year-old man after learning that the three individuals who overdosed may have obtained heroin from his address. All of the overdose incidents took place in Alamance County within an hour of each other.

The Special Operations Unit, the Special Response Team and Animal Control assisted the Alamance Narcotics Enforcement Team in its search for the accused man. When the man was located in Mebane, officials say that he was in possession of 3 grams of heroin and various items believed to be different types of drug paraphernalia.

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