Articles Tagged with traffic stop

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What am I obligated to do if I’ve been pulled for Drinking and Driving?”

In North Carolina, a driver can be charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI) if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, or driving with an impairing substance or with any amount of a Schedule I substance in his or her system. DWIs are dangerous for all parties involved. As such, this is a serious charge that can result in severe consequences that impact one’s life. Even so, it is important that a driver arrested and charged with this crime is entitled to proper criminal procedure. Law enforcement officers are human; they too can make mistakes. If law enforcement makes a mistake while arresting a driver, this can be used to reduce charges or even dismiss a case. The following are common mistakes that officers might make during a DWI arrest.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. This is not to say that a person is lawfully permitted to carry a weapon at all times or own any type of weapon that he or she wants. There are rules and regulations that dictate who can possess a firearm, what types of firearms are permitted, and when and where those weapons can be carried. What happens when a person with lawful possession of a gun is stopped by the police during a routine traffic stop? This is a complex issue and it depends on the situation and context of the police encounter. Different situations and circumstances often lead to different reactions.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can the police search my car without a warrant?”

In most instances, police officers are required to have reasonable suspicion when they conduct a traffic stop. Speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, using a phone while driving, or other traffic violations give an officer reasonable suspicion to pull a car over and investigate what is happening. When an officer conducts a traffic stop, he or she usually asks for your license, registration, and insurance, and then runs your information through their system to check you out. However, what happens if the reason the officer conducted the stop, providing reasonable suspicion, disappears? Can officers still conduct the traffic stop and ask for your license? The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently ruled on this issue and found that yes, an officer can continue the traffic stop even if the cause for the stop disappears.

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Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What am I obligated to do if I’ve been pulled for Drinking and Driving?”

Throughout the country, we often hear a lot of debate about an individual, or his or her property, being subjected to search by law enforcement. The Fourth Amendment of the constitution gives us the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. While there are many cases and court opinions that detail when law enforcement is able to search an individual, or his or her property, we often forget that an individual is able to voluntarily consent to a search. With voluntary consent to search comes a whole host of questions. Can a voluntary search be inferred? Are there particular factors that indicate a person has consented to a search? In the recent case of State v. Bartlett, the North Carolina Court of Appeals found that an individual’s race may be a factor in deciding whether or not a person has voluntarily consented to a search.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “If I have an outstanding warrant, what should I do?”

What started as an ordinary traffic stop turned into a felony charge for one North Carolina man. Keith Sellars was driving home from dinner when he was pulled over by a cop for running a red light. While the cop was running Sellars’s license and conducting a background check, it became evident that there was a warrant out for Sellars’s arrest, according to the New York Times.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”

If you have seen the movie “Minority Report” starring Tom Cruise, you are familiar with some of the scary and seemingly futuristic ways that technology could come to influence the criminal justice system. Though we are not in danger of implementing some of the most terrifying ideas found in the movie, it is undoubtedly true that technological advancements are playing a greater and greater role in courthouses all across the country. We must all begin to grapple with these changes and decide how far we are comfortable letting computers and artificial intelligence shape our justice system.

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Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”

When most people think about their last interaction with a police officer it almost always involves a traffic stop. A person was speeding or not wearing a seat belt or ran a red light or was talking on a cellphone and a cop does what cops do and pulls the person over. This traffic stop can serve as a window to other, potentially more serious things. For instance, the cop could use the traffic infraction as an excuse to investigate other, potentially unrelated, crimes. In some especially tragic instances, the traffic stop can prove deadly, with officers engaging in violence.