Probable Cause Hearings

Felony cases may be initiated by a criminal warrant. If this happens, at the defendant’s first appearance, the judge must set a date for a probable cause hearing within fifteen days of that first appearance. If no court is in session that is available within that fifteen days, then the probable cause hearing must on (more…)

Failure To Appear

If you fail to appear in court when scheduled to do so, you may face additional criminal charges.  There are many innocent reasons why you may have missed a court date. You may have been sick and unable to make it, or perhaps an emergency situation arose. You may have been confused as to the actual court (more…)

Limited Driving Privileges

There are a number of laws surrounding the charge of impaired driving, or DWI, that are implicated when someone is charged with impaired driving.  One of these is an immediate civil revocation of a driver’s license in North Carolina.  There are other revocations that can occur, such as the one-year revocation following a conviction, but in (more…)

How Long?

A common question that criminal defendants (or their family members) ask if “How long am I looking at?” for a jail/prison sentence. With a bit of legwork, the criminal defendant can typically get a pretty good idea of what he or she may be looking at under North Carolina law. I will attempt to provide (more…)

Driving While License Revoked

A driver’s license is something most people depend on every day. We often take this privilege for granted and fail to realize just how important it is until it is taken from us.  When you need to make it to work or pick up a sick child from school- your driver’s license is essential. The (more…)

Synthetic Drugs and Federal Laws

Over the last five years, there has been an explosion of new synthetic drugs in the marketplace that provide consumers with a ‘legal’ high without the need of back alley deals to buy marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamines.  Even recently, these man-made drugs could be purchased at local gas stations, smoke shops or convenience stores with (more…)

North Carolina District Court Criminal Mediation

While going to trial is probably the way most people envision solving a dispute (and is probably the most traditional way people envision criminal matters being settled), in some situations, mediation may be the best possible route for all involved parties.  Mediation is “a process where an impartial third party promotes an exchange among the (more…)

Possession and N.C.G.S. §90-96

North Carolina General Statute §90-96 is one of the most used statutes for criminal defendants facing drug possession charges. The statute is entitled “Conditional discharge for first offense.” Before understanding how and why it is used, it is important to look at who it is available for. There are three basic requirements to meet before (more…)


Under North Carolina law, probation is a punishment that a judge may choose to assign to a criminal defendant.  Probation is available for defendants whose criminal charge puts them in a category that allows for what is called intermediate or community punishment or if the person is convicted of Driving While Impaired, taking into consideration (more…)

A Marijuana Charge Doesn’t Have to Ruin your Record

Few things are more important than preserving your clean criminal record.  In a bad economy and tough job market, the last thing you need is to have avoidable criminal convictions that will hurt your future employment prospects.  Although marijuana is still illegal, North Carolina has enacted legislation that oftentimes protects first time offenders.  NCGS Section (more…)