Raleigh Juvenile Drug Possession Attorney

Drug possession is always a serious offense, no matter what the amount or circumstances. Marijuana is still illegal in the state of North Carolina, so any amount can be considered “drug possession.” An adult can be charged, tried and convicted, but juvenile drug possession may have a somewhat different path through the criminal justice system.

Drug charges can also have long-lasting consequences. Just being charged can limit choices in school activities as well as reduce college/education, housing, vocation and military enlistment choices. Should your child be asked later if they had any arrests, he or she will have to answer “yes,” and it will show up during a background check. Even a minor drug charge should be taken seriously.

The Juvenile Court System

Raleigh Juvenile Drug Possession AttorneyThere are two forms of criminal justice for juveniles—one for underage misdemeanors, and one for adults. The focus of the juvenile court system is rehabilitation, not incarceration. Numerous programs exist in Wake County that aim to reduce and prevent juvenile crime and offer diversions from such behaviors, as well as entry into the juvenile and adult criminal court systems.

Anyone arrested under the age of 16 is considered a juvenile, particularly for non-violent offenses (truancy, shoplifting, etc.) There are penalties and punishments for breaking the law, but the judge has the option of using alternative sentencing, such as drug counseling, probation with conditions and community service.

Juveniles won’t have a trial by jury as an adult would (unless they’re tried as an adult), and would attend a hearing with only a judge. After a caseworker evaluation and report, the judge will decide on the best disposition and sentencing for the child. The child has the opportunity to have the charges dismissed and the records sealed at the age of 18 once his or her sentence is completed.

However, if the juvenile is charged with a felony (i.e., drug trafficking, weapons possession), no matter what the age, they’ll probably be sent directly into the adult criminal justice system. Should that happen, the child will then will be tried as an adult, can serve jail time and may not have the opportunity to have any charges eventually dismissed.

First Offender “Forgiveness”

North Carolina offers a “First Offenders Program” that allows, under certain circumstances, the first offense to eventually be dismissed. This only works one time, and a second drug charge allows the first to be used in court.

An attorney experienced in drug possession defense and juvenile crime can help you and your child decide if the First Offenders Program is right for your case, and if so, help you through the process.

What If Your Child Is Actually Innocent?

It’s not uncommon for several teenagers in a car or other close proximity to all be charged with drug possession when only one actually has it. This is particularly true of marijuana when a police officer detects the odor at a traffic stop. If your child has a solid legal defense, such as insufficient evidence, or if he or she were the victim of an illegal search/seizure, it’s better to go to court with an attorney and present that defense instead.

If your child is innocent, don’t use up his or her only chance at the First Offender’s Program instead of going to court and being acquitted. An attorney experienced in juvenile drug possession charges can discuss this with you and prepare an effective defense for an acquittal.

Get The Legal Help Your Child Needs

If your child has been charged with juvenile drug possession in Raleigh, it’s time to find an attorney who can help, right now. You need someone who is experienced and can represent you and your child in court.

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley is now an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you and your child through the court process. He can defend your child against drug charges, fight wrongful charges and work for a more reasonable sentence if convicted. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your child’s case at (919) 832-0307.

When Does Drug Possession Become A Felony?

If you find yourself facing a drug charge—especially if it’s your first—you may not understand everything that’s involved. There are varying degrees of drug charges based on how much you were found to be in possession of, as well as the type of drug you were carrying.

While it doesn’t take much to trigger a drug charge, it’s always a serious offense, and should never be taken lightly. Instead of a public defender, hiring a experienced Raleigh drug possession defense attorney to defend you may be the difference between jail and probation, or a long sentence vs. a short sentence.

How Will You Be Charged?

When Does Drug Possession Become A Felony?

There are four possible classes of law that may be used:

• Misdemeanor Drug Laws
• Felony Drug Laws
• Felony Drug Trafficking Laws
• Federal Drug Laws and Federal Drug Trafficking Laws

Everything depends on what you were arrested with, how much, and how the substance is classified.

Marijuana Is Still Illegal In North Carolina

Nine US states have legalized marijuana for personal use, and 29 states allow marijuana to be prescribed by a doctor for medicinal use. While medical evidence shows the benefits of cannabis therapy for a number of conditions, North Carolina isn’t in either “pot-friendly” group. You can still be stopped and arrested for its possession and/or distribution in the state, and a “doctor’s note” or prescription is not acceptable as a valid defense.

Class 1/Class 2 Misdemeanor

This includes:

• Possession of drug paraphernalia (N.C.G.S. § 90-113.22): any kind of tools or equipment used in the production, sale, or use of controlled substances.
• Possession of marijuana, up to 1.5 ounces, and may include up to 45 days of jail time.
• Possession of Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV drugs (opioids, codeine, cocaine, marijuana.)

Class 3 Misdemeanor

Very small amounts of marijuana, less than a half-ounce, is called “simple possession of marijuana.” This includes derivatives hashish and hashish oil. Simple possession incurs a $200 fine, but a first offense doesn’t usually include jail time. A second offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which can include 30 days in jail.

Schedule I

Any charge for these substances is a felony on the first arrest. Schedule I is the class of drug that includes:
• Heroin
• Ecstasy
• GHB
• Methaqualone
• Peyote
• Opiates

Other “harder” drugs may be included. A first arrest for one of these substances is always a felony with at least 4 months of jail time, as is the second.

Schedule II-VI

A first offense for these drugs is a Class 1 misdemeanor charge, but a second offense becomes a Class 1 felony:

• Cocaine
• Raw Opium
• Opium Extracts, Fluid and Powder
• Codeine
• Hydrocodone
• Morphine
• Methadone
• Methamphetamine
• Ritalin
• Ketamine
• Anabolic Steroids
• Some Barbituates
• Valium
• Xanax
• Rohypnol
• Darvon
• Clonazepam
• Barbital

Felony Drug Laws In North Carolina

Harsher penalties are involved with stronger and larger amounts of drugs, turning drug possession into a felony. North Carolina drug felonies are classified as Class G, H, or I, and include:

  • The sale of any Schedule I or Schedule II drugs (Heroin, Opium or Cocaine) are considered Class G felonies.
  • The manufacture of methamphetamine (Meth) is a Class C felony. If “manufacturing” is found to be only packaging and/or labeling meth, it’s a Class H felony.
  •  The sale of Scheduled III, Schedule IV, Schedule V, and Schedule VI drugs are punishable as Class H felonies. This includes marijuana, a Scheduled VI drug; it’s punishable as a Class H felony.
  • Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver (PWISD) of Schedule III through Schedule VI drugs, (except cocaine and heroin), a Class I felony.
  •  Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver (PWISD) or sale of any counterfeit drug, a Class I felony.

Drug Trafficking

Possession, sale, transportation, warehousing or distribution of prohibited substances always comes with prison time. Providing “substantial assistance” to authorities can help reduce your sentence, and the judge has some leeway in sentencing. But you’ll need to speak a lawyer right away in order to ensure that your case is handled properly.

While the laws generally address large amounts of illegal drugs, sometimes the amount involved is relatively small. There are multiple levels of punishment for each type of drug, varying from 2 years (25 months) to more than 18 years in prison. This includes (but isn’t limited to) marijuana, meth, cocaine (crack or powder), heroin/opium, LSD and MDMA.

One would be able to see a  full schedule system of North Carolina’s controlled substances and possession penalties .

Drug Charge Defense

Whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, your defense is critical to the outcome. A criminal defense attorney experienced in drug cases can defend you in court and make sure your rights are protected. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation.

Suspended License Attorney In Raleigh, NC

Having your driver’s license suspended in Raleigh can be a very big problem, particularly if you have to drive to your job, drive for your job, or otherwise need transportation. Public transportation may be difficult, inconvenient or non-existent for where you need to go. Taxis and other private transportation can be expensive. Dewey P. Brinkley can help you bounce back after receiving a suspended license.

Why Was Your License Suspended?

Suspended License Attorney In Raleigh, NCNorth Carolina will suspend your license for a myriad of reasons. Drunk driving is an obvious reason, (including things like refusing to take a breath or blood test) but there are many other reasons:

  • A certain number of accumulated “points” on your driving record
  • Speeding, greater than 15 miles over the speed limit if you’re over 55 mph, 30 days
  • Failure to stop and render aid at an accident, 1 year
  • “Willful racing” (illegal street racing, as well as watching, betting on or participating in racing), 3 years (vehicle will also be seized)
  • Driving without insurance or allowing insurance to be canceled
  • Failure to appear in court and/or pay traffic fines
  • Failure to pay child support

Your license can also be suspended for multiple minor infractions, such as accumulated tickets and/or traffic fines.

  • One speeding conviction for speeds greater than 75 mph
  • Two convictions of speeds greater than 55 mph within a 12 months period
  • One conviction of speeding faster than 55 mph with a reckless driving  conviction within a one-year period
  • A suspended court sentence (or part thereof) requiring that you may not operate a motor vehicle for a specific period of time

Driving while your license is suspended is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and you could receive a fine as well as jail time.

How Do I Get My License Back?

For simpler suspensions, such as unpaid tickets and fines, it’s just a matter of complying with the requirements of the ticket or going to court. You’ll also have to pay a fine, as well as possible court costs, in addition to

You won’t have to re-apply for your license after a suspension, you’ll just have to comply with the conditions to release the suspension. You may also be offered the option to attend administrative hearings, which may shorten your suspension. (Some suspensions may require this step.)

Administrative hearings also have fees, from $40 to $450, depending on the reason for your suspension/revocation.

Hardship Licenses

In some cases, you can apply for a hardship license that includes very limited driving privileges. You can’t request one if you’ve had a DUI conviction, requested one in the last 3 years, facing pending charges or have several concurrent charges in North Carolina or any other state. In addition to proof of insurance, you’ll need a viable reason for driving, such as to and from work, maintaining your household and providing emergency medical care.

License Revocation

More severe than a suspended license, revocation means that you are no longer allowed to drive. Depending on the severity of your revocation, you can still have your driving privileges restored, it may just take longer (and cost more.)

You’ll be required to schedule and attend an administrative hearing. Before requesting a hearing, North Carolina’s DOT suggests consulting a suspended license attorney to see if your situation warrants one, or if you need one.

Start Driving Yourself

A suspended or revoked license doesn’t have to mean the end of everything. Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for getting your license back and your driving privileges restored. Call him today at 919-832-0307 (or contact him online) to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?

Drunk driving. It’s a serious problem in the US, including North Carolina, and one that even the US Supreme Court feels is important enough to rule on.

The Fourth Amendment

This is the amendment that prohibits illegal search and seizures. However, The Supreme Court has ruled that because drunk driving is such a danger, DUI checkpoints aren’t illegal. They just have to be random, and not used for general crime control.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?

In other words, the checkpoints are put up randomly and in various places, (i.e., not on a particular intersection every weekend) to enable police to check for drunk drivers. Should police encounter other, non-vehicular violations, (such as wanted suspects for other crimes) they are allowed to place these individuals under arrest. But they can’t use the checkpoints for that reason.

Checkpoints also have to be publicly announced. You can find out when and where checkpoints will happen at RoadBlock.org or DUIBlock.com.

North Carolina’s Gen. Stat. §20-16.3A also makes the state’s DUI (“sobriety”) checkpoints legal for the purpose of finding and removing drivers under the influence who are a danger to other drivers.

Checkpoints usually occur late at night and early in the morning in the areas of bars and restaurants where, presumably, drunk drivers will frequently be caught.

Probable Cause

As a rule, a police officer must have probable cause to suspect you and stop you for something. Because of The Supreme Court’s ruling, DUI checkpoints in response to the innate dangers of drunk drivers do not override the rights of all drivers under the Fourth Amendment.

You Are Required To Stop

Since police officers are looking for drunk drivers at DUI checkpoints, you are required to stop. If you’re not drunk driving, have a current license and insurance, and not committing any other sort of crime, your stop will be quick and easy. It’s better to just go through the checkpoint and you’ll be on your way, even if it’s just a few minutes of delay.

If you see a DUI checkpoint or roadblock and turn left, right or around to avoid it, the police have the right to follow you, stop you, and specifically ask you why you avoided the stop. Even if your turn was completely legal and legitimate, (such as turning at an intersection or stop light to go to your residence or workplace) police have the right to stop you and ask about it.

Detecting Inebriation

If the officer suspects any inebriation or you exhibit signs of it, you’ll be asked to pull over and exit your vehicle. The officer will then ask you to submit to field sobriety testing and may administer a breath and/or blood test. You are required to comply or risk seizure of your driver’s license.

Get A Strong DUI Defense Attorney

The laws surrounding DUIs are complex. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney who has strongly defended numerous DUI cases and will fight for you in court. A DUI is a serious charge, and you need someone who will make sure your rights are protected. Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free DUI case consultation.

Raleigh, NC Suspended License? Here’s What to Do

Most of us don’t think about what would happen if we lost our driving privileges. How would you get back and forth to work, and run errands? Get to your doctor’s and other appointments? Having a suspended license can be very difficult to overcome. A suspension (or revocation) also becomes a permanent part of your driving record that you can’t expunge.

If you are suddenly without the ability to drive yourself around every day, you may need an attorney to help you get your license back.

The Reason

There are a number of reasons why North Carolina may suspend your license. While DUI is a frequent cause for suspension, there are others, including:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Refusal to take a blood or breath test at a traffic stop or DUI checkpoint
  • Accumulated “points” on your driving record from minor violations
  • Unpaid traffic tickets and other issues
  • Part of a separate criminal court sentence
  • Non-DMV related issues reported by other state agencies, such as failure to pay child support

How Long Is My License Suspended For?

Depending on the violation, you’ll lose your North Carolina driving privileges for anywhere from 30 days to 4 years (for a second offense DUI.) Once that period is completed, and you’ve fulfilled the suspension requirements, your privileges will be restored. You do not have to re-apply for a driver’s license after a suspension.

Multiple offenses (especially from DUI) involve a revocation or permanent loss of your driving privileges.

How Do I Get It Back?

Raleigh, NC Suspended License? Here’s What to Do

Your license can be restored after meeting eligibility requirements and paying all fines and fees. You may be required to attend an administrative hearing to shorten your suspension. A hearing may be required to determine your eligibility for restoration of your driving privileges after the revocation period.

North Carolina charges fees to restore your driver’s license once your requirements are completed (i.e., substance abuse assessment, driver’s ed, etc.) To pay these fees, you can go to any driver’s license office to pay in person, or by mail. These fees are separate from any other fines or charges imposed by the court or the DMV.

Additionally, if your suspension involves another agency, you will also be required to complete their requirements before your license is restored. For instance, if your license was suspended for back child support, your license won’t be restored until your balance is paid in full and brought current.

Applying For A Hardship License

Under certain circumstances, you can also apply for a “Hardship License” that would allow limited driving privileges after you’ve completed part of your suspension or revocation.

In addition to proof of insurance, you’ll have to offer a valid reason, such as driving to and from work, provide emergency medical care, and/or to run your household.

Your “limited license” would allow you to drive for 1 year, or for the remainder of your revocation, whichever is shorter.

Get Your License Back

Losing your license can be devastating. An experienced attorney can help you through the process of restoring your driving privileges.  Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley has helped hundreds of people restore suspended and revoked North Carolina driver’s licenses. Call us at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free consultation. We can’t get every suspended (or revoked) license restored, but we’ll help you through the process, and help you avoid mistakes that may extend your suspension.

What Are DUI Checkpoints, And Are They Legal?

You’re driving down a highway, minding your own business, and then you see the flashing lights. The police, doing a random checkpoint for DUI. No problem, until you realize you’ve had a craft beer. Or a locally made wine. Or a glass of whiskey with a friend. What do you do now? Are these DUI checkpoints even legal? Can they really do that?

DUI Checkpoints Are Legal

North Carolina has some of the toughest DUI laws in the US. DUI is taken very seriously, and the state allows random checkpoints to find and detain inebriated drivers before they cause crashes, injuries and possibly deaths on the road. Checkpoints can also be used to find unlicensed and uninsured drivers, something that can’t be observed by general driving behaviors.

What Are DUI Checkpoints, And Are They Legal?

These checkpoints are legal under N.C. Gen. Stat. §20-16.3A. While the Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures, the Supreme Court has ruled that DUI is serious enough problem that random checkpoints are legal, and not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Police cannot use checkpoints as a regular method of general crime control, that is, seek out non-traffic related violations.

DUI checkpoints are required to be random, not in the same place on a regular basis. Since surprise is the most effective way of catching inebriated drivers, checkpoints are only identified by flashing police lights.

Generally, the police must have probable cause to stop someone. But in response to the epidemic of drunk driving, checkpoints became an easier way to find and remove drivers from traffic. The government has a direct interest in combating drunk driving, and checkpoints are effective in finding those drivers to get them off the road. The US Supreme Court ruled them legal in response to the demand in 1990.

North Carolina also allows checkpoints to look for uninsured and unlicensed drivers, as well as those using suspended licenses. They don’t need a warrant, only need to follow written policies and ensure that the checks are completely random.

Your Rights DUI Checkpoints

NC DWI Sentencing Guidelines | Dewey Brinkley DWI Attorney in Raleigh

Since the checkpoints are lega but controversial, you can object, but you are still subject to being stopped and questioned.

You can refuse a Breathalyzer test at the checkpoint, but you may be required to take other sobriety testing. Refusing may also imply guilt, you could be brought to the station, and it could harm your case later.

You can also request to wait for your attorney. But that may be interpreted as giving yourself time to allow your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) to decrease before it’s tested.

Don’t Turn Around

If you see a checkpoint, your first temptation may be to turn around and go in the other direction, even if you haven’t been near alcohol.

You may get away with it, and you may not. Police have the right to follow you and pull you over to ask why you decided to avoid the checkpoint. Even without alcohol, police see it as a presumption of guilt and avoiding them. You could even be taken into the station.

The Easy Way To Get Through A DUI Checkpoint

It’s simple: stop when told, answer questions, be polite, comply with the officer’s requests, take a test if asked, and you’ll be on your way. If you haven’t been drinking, you’ll be driving again quickly.

Need Help After A DUI Checkpoint?

Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He’s aggressively defended numerous DUI cases and will fight for you in court. DUI isn’t something to be taken lightly, and you need someone in your corner. Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free DUI consultation.

How Does Juvenile Court Work?

No parent ever wants to hear the words “juvenile court.” It’s unfortunate, but inevitably, some parents will.

North Carolina sees “juvenile delinquents” as individuals who can be rehabilitated. “Adults” of any age will be held responsible for criminal acts they commit, so they are arrested, charged, put on trial and sentenced if they are found guilty.

If your child is in trouble with the law, it helps to understand how it all works, and what you can expect.

The Basics

How Does Juvenile Court Work?The focus of juvenile court is rehabilitation instead of jail time. If someone underage commits a wrongful act that’s classified as misdemeanor, it’s generally called a “delinquency.” There is no jury in juvenile court, and all decisions are made by a judge, who has a wider selection of rehabilitation options instead of just incarceration.

While juveniles are given punishment for breaking the law, there are a number of options besides standard jail sentences available for youthful offenders. They can also have their records wiped clean after 18 or 21 by participating in rehabilitation. Alternative sentences, such as spending time in a youth development center, probation and driving restrictions are also available.

The word “crime” usually refers to an adult offender. There are juveniles who commit “adult” crimes, and these individuals are tried as adults. The severity of the crime allows a judge to bypass the juvenile court system. Incarceration is the most likely outcome.

Delinquent vs. Undisciplined

A “delinquent” is a juvenile who has committed a crime, including traffic citations. The severity of the crime is the determining factor. Most individuals in the juvenile court system are accused of misdemeanors, such as vandalism, underage drinking, and shoplifting.

An “undisciplined” juvenile is one who skips school frequently, goes into places they shouldn’t be (i.e., bars), has been a runaway, and is outside the discipline of his or her parents, custodians or guardians.

Juvenile Justice

This is the name North Carolina gives to the division of the criminal justice system that deals with anyone under 15 that commits a criminal act. It also deals with 16- and 17-year olds who get into trouble. Most offenses can be expunged, sealing off the court record.

Court proceedings are handled in state district courts.

When a juvenile is accused of a crime, a citizen or law enforcement officer files a complaint, and a court counselor takes him or her through the intake process. The counselor evaluates the complaints and decides whether court action is warranted, or if community resources should be deployed. This takes between two and four weeks.

The counselor identifies the juvenile’s needs and matches him or her with community resources as needed, and can create a “diversion plan” with the parents.

A judge can also order probation, “diversion” (similar to probation, without a court appearance) and detention, which involves confinement. Detention is usually reserved for repeat offenders, and may require him or her to stay until the age of 21.

Once the restriction period and/or incarceration is successfully completed, some juvenile offenses can be expunged.

You can see a flowchart of the process that illustrates how this system works.

Tried As An Adult

Juveniles who commit felonies such as weapons possession, drug charges, alcohol/tobacco use or possession, assault and other crimes can be sent directly into the adult court system and tried there. Although the juvenile retains his or her right to legal counsel, there is no longer a right to privacy. The case will be made public for anyone over the age of 15, just as if the individual were over 21.

Raleigh Juvenile Defense

If your child has been arrested for breaking the law, you’ll need an attorney who understands the juvenile court system in Wake County to help you through the process and through court. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney, and will aggressively defend your child in court against any charges, major or minor. Call today at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free consultation.

Will a DUI Affect my Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship Application?

Becoming a US citizen is an arduous, time-consuming process. Even getting a visa or becoming a permanent resident with a “green card” can take time, and there’s a lot of administrative work involved. The last thing you need on the way to becoming a law-abiding US citizen is to break the law. But if you’ve done just that with a DUI, it could impact your immigration status. A strong criminal defense attorney can defend you in court against a DUI.

Gaining US Entry

Will a DUI Affect my Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship Application?

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is a division of Homeland Security, and now manages entry into the United States. Their services include citizenship and permanent residency, including naturalization, bringing foreign family members of US citizens into the US, assisting with foreign adoptions and relocating foreign persons into the US after wars and disasters. They also assist people wishing to work in the US with HB-1 visas.

USCIS examines not only your application but your character. A single DUI conviction will not necessarily bar you from citizenship or a green card. But if a DUI is not your first, or it’s combined with another crime or crimes, (such as drug possession) you may very well lose your visa, green card status, or have your citizenship application disqualified. You will likely also be deported.

Medical Conditions

One of the many determining factors for US admission is a person’s health and medical conditions. As a medical condition, alcoholism can be grounds for denying US admission and would be a separate ground for disqualification.

Full Disclosure

You should always disclose a DUI when asked, particularly on your N-400 application. If you don’t, it will show up during a criminal background check anyway. Lying on your citizenship application will increase the chances it will be declined.

Immigration officials take DUI very seriously because it is a serious crime. You will be asked about the DUI and any mitigating factors, such as harm to anyone else in the car or if children were in the car with you. North Carolina also has some of the strictest DUI laws in the US.

Some things that will prevent you from getting a visa, green card or citizenship status include:

  • Crimes of ”moral turpitude,” that is, crimes that display a lack of “good moral character
  • Violations of controlled substances (drug) laws, either of the US or another country
  • Numerous criminal convictions that brought prison sentences of five years or more, whether singly or together
  • Participating in or benefitting in any way from:
    • Illegal drug trafficking, inside or outside the US
    • Human trafficking, inside or outside the US
  • Money laundering
  • Prostitution

Any one of these crimes, combined with a DUI or two will affect your application. You can review the list of disqualifications for permanent residency and citizenship at the USCIS website. Your immigration attorney can help you sort through your application, review any potential issues and help you resolve them. You’ll need a criminal defense attorney to help you with a DUI.

Form I-192

If you are barred from entering the US for one of the above inadmissibility criteria, you can file an I-192 Waiver for “Forgiveness of Inadmissibility.” While it is not a guarantee, should you find yourself deemed “inadmissible” as a result of a DUI, you can ask for forgiveness to enter the US. However, this form is for non-immigrants only, and not for individuals who intend to stay in the US and live here.

Legal Defense For DUI

If you’ve been arrested for DUI, and don’t know where to turn, call us for help. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney and has worked with many individuals to reduce their penalties or acquit them. Call him at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free consultation. He will aggressively defend you in court. (Note: Dewey P. Brinkley is a criminal defense attorney, and does not practice immigration law.)

Is It A Crime Or A Delinquency?

If you or someone you know has a child who’s involved in wrongdoing and is going through the criminal justice system, you may not understand the different proceedings and penalties. In this article, we’ll discuss the basic difference between a crime and delinquency as it relates to underage offenders.

Two Systems

Is It A Crime Or A Delinquency?

There are two different court systems for offenders in North Carolina: juvenile court & criminal justice and the adult criminal court system.

A “juvenile” in North Carolina is defined as someone under the age of 16. Juveniles are usually sent to the juvenile justice system for misdemeanor offenses (shoplifting, vandalism, underage drinking, etc.). If a juvenile is charged with a felony, even as young as 13, they will bypass juvenile court and be tried in the adult court system.

There are two definitions of a juvenile: a “delinquent,” who has actually committed a crime, and an “undisciplined” juvenile, who is out of the control of parents or guardians, has run away from home, skips school and commits other infractions.

A delinquency is a wrongful act committed by a juvenile, whereas a “crime” is generally attributed to an adult, over the age of 16. But there are differences based on the severity of the crime committed.

The Juvenile Court

The goal of juvenile court is rehabilitation rather than incarceration. Juveniles are punished for their offenses but given the chance for a clean slate after they turn 18 through rehabilitation and alternative sentences such as probation, time in a youth development center, or prohibited from operating a motor vehicle. Many offenses can be expunged at that time and court records sealed.

Juveniles In Adult Court

Sometimes juveniles commit more serious crimes that send them into the adult system before the age of 18. Since North Carolina considers anyone over 15 to be an “adult” for these purposes, it is at that point the “delinquency” becomes a “crime,” particularly if it’s a serious one (including felonies such as murder.) “Adults” of all ages are held responsible for their actions, arrested, charged with a crime, sent to trial, and if found guilty, incarcerated.

Some of the more common crimes committed by “delinquent” juveniles include:

Crimes like these and other felonies will send a juvenile into the adult system where they will be tried as an adult, and if convicted, sent to prison. The juvenile has the right to legal counsel, but no longer has the right to privacy, and the case will be made public as if he or she were over 21.

Juvenile Criminal Defense in Raleigh

If your child is charged with a juvenile or adult offense, Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you and your child through the court process, defend your child against charges and work for a more reasonable sentence. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your child’s case at (919) 832-0307.

 

Distracted Driving And The Law—What You Should Know In Raleigh

While drunk driving gets a lot of attention, intoxicated persons are not the only dangerous drivers on the road.

Distracted Driving And The Law—What You Should Know In RaleighDistracted driving—especially texting while driving—causes a fair number of accidents by itself. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 3,500 people in the US were killed in 2015 by distracted drivers, and 391,000 are injured in the same way every year.

Teenage drivers are the largest group of offenders, but every day over 660,000 people in the US are doing something else while they’re driving in broad daylight:

·         Talking on their cell phone

·         Texting/emailing using their cell phone

·         Eating/drinking

·         Adjusting the stereo or another entertainment system

·         Other tasks that take attention away from driving

North Carolina’s “It Can Wait” campaign, as well as tougher new laws, aren’t having the positive effect officials hoped it would. That means a lot of people are still driving around and not paying enough attention to the road and other vehicles. If this is you, there are a few things you need to know.

Driving Distractions Cause Accidents

Anything that distracts your full attention from the road can cause a driver to be distracted enough to cause a crash. Texting is particularly dangerous not only because of the distraction factor but also by the cognitive actions involved—typing, reading, sending. (This is also called “inattentional blindness.”)  All drivers are prohibited from texting in North Carolina.

AT&T has an online driving simulator that demonstrates how dangerous texting and driving can be.

While we know there are times where you “really need to take this call,” play it safe and pull over to the side of the road to do so if you can.

The Police Can Pull You Over For Texting

If your vehicle is in motion and you are caught texting behind the wheel, you can be pulled over and ticketed, with a $100 fine. This is true even if you’ve committed no other traffic violation (such as speeding or running a red light.) It’s not illegal to read or send texts or emails if your vehicle is stopped or parked (such as at a red light or in a parking lot while waiting for someone.)

“Novice Drivers,” those who are under 18, are prohibited from all cell phone use while driving, not just texting.

School bus drivers are also prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. This includes handheld and hands-free phone use.

GPS devices are currently allowed, however, they are also a distraction and can also cause an accident, as does using a cell phone’s GPS app.

What’s Next?

Although there is a movement to stop all cell phone while driving in North Carolina, not just texting, it hasn’t happened yet. Deaths in North Carolina have been attributed to distracted driving, but there really isn’t anything beyond the texting ban, yet.

Earlier this year, the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program launched “One Call Could Wreck It All,” an initiative to remind drivers to stop driving distracted. AT&T launched “It Can Wait” in 2013, and continues to promote safe driving, along with encouraging drivers everywhere to take their pledge and not drive distracted.

Let Dewey P. Brinkley Help

If you’ve been in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact our office at 919-832-0307 for a free consultation today. Mr. Brinkley is a Board Certified Specialist and an experienced defense lawyer who will represent you in court and ensure you have a fair trial with the strongest possible defense. He has extensive trial experience as a prosecutor in Wake County, North Carolina, and will work closely with you to build your case for trial. Don’t wait–call today.