Restrictions On Search And Seizure

Restrictions on search and seizure

As some North Carolina residents may know, there are rules as to when a citizen or their home may be searched and items may be seized. This right to privacy is protected under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

Law enforcement may be allowed to search an area and confiscate evidence if they believe a crime may be taking place on the premises. For example, if police officers have probable cause to believe that an individual has marijuana stored in his or her basement, they might be able to obtain a search warrant based on the reasonable belief drug crimes occurred there. If, upon entering the residence, the police notice drug paraphernalia in another room, they may confiscate it.

There are instances when police may search without a warrant. The search of a person’s outer clothing may be appropriate if law enforcement officials believe the individual is hiding a weapon on their person. After being arrested and taken into custody, police are empowered to search an individual or his or her vehicle if it was impounded or if police believe it contains evidence of a crime. However, if there is no reason to believe that a crime was or might be committed, such a search is not condoned.

If someone is seen committing a crime and a pursuit ensues with the suspect running into a home, the police may enter the residence without a warrant. Further, under such conditions, police may inspect the premises based on a reasonable idea that someone is hiding there and may be armed.

If an individual is illegally searched, they may wish to contest any charging placed against them. An attorney may assess the situation by reviewing police records and, if the procedure was performed illegally, help structure a formal complaint.

2 Women Detained For 11-Pound Marijuana Delivery Via Usps

2 women detained for 11-pound marijuana delivery via USPS

A North Carolina mother and her daughter were detained on felony drug charges on March 4 after U.S. Postal Service inspectors interrupted the Jan. 16 delivery of a package through Priority Mail with the daughter’s delivery address on it. After obtaining a search warrant, authorities opened the box and allegedly discovered 11 pounds of marijuana valued at around $22,000.

The following week, authorities delivered the box and reported that the 51-year-old mother and 28-year-old daughter received it. Authorities did not say whether they had identified the alleged mailer of the package. Both of the women were taken to Rowan County Detention Center and charged with drug trafficking. The daughter faces an additional charge of maintaining a residence to store and sell controlled substances. The women have since been released on bonds of $5,000.

Authorities say that this wasn’t the first time the women had received packages containing marijuana. Additionally, the daughter was previously convicted of misdemeanor charges for possession of drug paraphernalia and felony charges for possession for schedule I and II substances. She has a prior revoked license conviction as well.

When individuals are charged with drug trafficking for marijuana, they could face harsh sentences that include fines and jail time. The severity of these consequences could intensify for defendants with prior convictions for similar charges. The defendants, however, could try to negotiate plea deals with the prosecutors if they are unable to discredit the evidence against them. Depending on the terms of the plea bargain, the defendants may only be fined or assigned probation for a certain period of time.

Two Arrested By Drug Task Force

Two arrested by drug task force in North Carolina

According to the New Bern Police Department, two Craven County residents were arrested on various drug charges following a raid by the Coastal Narcotics Enforcement Team. The suspects, a male and a female, were taken into custody at their New Bern residence.

Authorities said CNET executed a search warrant at a home on Morningstar Drive and recovered a gun, 20 grams of marijuana, 12 bindles of heroin and $6,000 in cash. After their arrest, both suspects were charged with possession with the intent to sell and deliver marijuana, possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver Schedule I controlled substances, possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver Schedule IV controlled substances, maintaining a dwelling for the sale of controlled substances, conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin and possession of marijuana. Bond for both individuals was set at $100,000.

The purpose of CNET is to investigate organizations and individuals involved in the trafficking of narcotics. The team is composed of detectives from the New Bern Police Department, Craven County Sheriff’s Office, Trent Woods Police Department, River Bend Police Department, Havelock Police Department, Jones County Sheriff’s Office, Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office and Carteret Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone arrested on drug charges, such as heroin possession, marijuana possession or the intent to sell and deliver illegal drugs, could face severe consequences if convicted. However, every defendant has the right to counsel under the Constitution in order to protect their rights and mount a vigorous defense. After reviewing the details of the case, a criminal defense attorney could recommend the best course of legal action. Possible strategies include fighting the charges in court or attempting to negotiate a favorable plea deal with prosecutors.

North Carolina Man Charged With Drug Possession

North Carolina man charged with drug possession

Authorities say that a 59-year-old man accidentally arranged a drug deal with a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent through a series of text messages. Although the man had an arrest record, local police say that he was not being investigated when the incident took place. Therefore, there was no reason for the man to have the agent’s number.

It is believed that he simply had a wrong number and it happened to put him in contact with the agent. The deal took place on May 19, and the man was taken into custody at the scene of the transaction. He was charged with sale and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance as well as possession with intent to sell the substance. Authorities say that they found cellphones, tablet computers and three grams of crack cocaine in a black Dodge Charger.

Police say that an individual who drove the man to the transaction site also faces criminal charges. The driver was charged with maintaining a vehicle for the sale of controlled substances, but he has been released from jail. The man who had been sending the text messages had a court date scheduled for July 1 and was still in custody as of May 22.

Individuals who have been charged with drug possession or intent to sell may wish to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to create a defense to the charge that may result in a plea bargain or the case being dropped entirely. Possible defenses include pointing out errors in the police report against the defendant or arguing that the drugs belonged to someone else or were stored in a vehicle without his or her permission.

High School Teacher Facing Drug Charges

High School Teacher Facing Drug Charges

North Carolina parents may be interested in the case of a Wakefield High School teacher who has been charged with drug trafficking. The 22-year-old teacher, who resides in Knightdale, was apprehended on July 10 and booked into Wake County Jail. She is facing multiple drug charges. The woman’s mother, stepfather and sister were also taken into custody and booked on drug charges.

Charges issued against the school teacher include manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a dwelling for keeping or selling controlled substances. She is being held at Wake County Jail on $250,000 bond.

The attorney for the woman’s stepfather says that the 52-year-old man used the marijuana for medical conditions including cancer. The attorney stated that the marijuana was for this man’s exclusive use. Officials at Johnston County School District confirmed that the teacher is a social studies teacher at West Johnston High School, and that she has been teaching there since August 2014. A representative of the school district stated that the teacher has been suspended with pay.

Drug charges, especially those involving manufacture or distribution, are a serious matter, but being charged does not mean that the defendant is guilty. Someone who is charged with drug crimes has legal rights, including the right to representation by legal counsel. A criminal defense attorney could review the case to make sure that the defendant’s constitutional rights have not been violated. For example, if evidence was obtained during an illegal search, the violation could possibly result in the charges being reduced or dropped entirely.

Couple Allegedly In Drug Ring

North Carolina couple allegedly involved in drug ring

According to authorities, a doctor and his wife are facing charges for their alleged involvement in a large-scale prescription drug ring. Eight people, including the physician and his wife, were indicted by a grand jury in July. The doctor and his wife are charged with Level Three drug trafficking and will face mandatory prison time if they are convicted.

Police say the pair obtained 25,000 prescription painkillers to feed their addictions by convincing staff and teachers from several area schools to help them. The physician reportedly wrote prescriptions in the names of the teachers and staff members. Allegedly, these individuals would pick up the prescriptions and then give them to the doctor’s wife. The wife, who was a teacher at one of the schools, would reportedly exchange information on school property. According to authorities, no prescription drugs changed hands on school property.

The penalties for large-scale drug trafficking can be severe, including mandatory prison time, fines, a criminal record and probation. If the defendant is a professional, a conviction may mean the loss of his or her career or professional license. The first thing a criminal defense lawyer might do is review the state’s evidence and the defendant’s own testimony.

If the prosecution’s evidence is weak or the lawyer discovers a problem with it, such as a lack of chain of evidence, he or she might file a motion to have the evidence suppressed. However, if the evidence is deemed admissible, the lawyer might suggest a plea bargain. The defendant might have to accept a conviction for lesser charges, but he or she would be able to avoid a trial.

Pharmacist Charged With Drug Trafficking

Charlotte pharmacist charged with drug trafficking

A pharmacist in North Carolina was arrested on drug charges and subsequently surrendered his license. This individual had been in the business for more 40 years. It is alleged that he sold fentanyl and 30 oxycodone pills to an undercover informant back in April.

The pharmacist surrendered his license on May 28. With the surrender of his license it appears that a Charlotte pharmacy will also be forced to close at some point in the near future. The pharmacist was freed on $10,000 bond.

In a drug trafficking case the intent to sell must be demonstrated. While the state and federal penalties for a conviction for such a charge are extremely severe, the consequences of either an arrest or conviction can also be devastating. Though arrests and convictions are two different things, the media does not always distinguish between the two. An arrest comes about when there is suspicion of wrongdoing. However, a conviction is only supposed to result when proof is presented in court showing the individual is guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Still, even an arrest for such an individual could be devastating because it brings a cloud of suspicion on the manner in which he does business. “Pharmacists obviously have a duty to comply with all laws and regulations governing the dispensing of prescription drugs to patients,” stated the executive director for the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy. Though this is undoubtedly correct, we cannot afford to assume that the individual is guilty based upon an arrest taking place.

contact information

plumides, romano & Johnson, pc

PHONE: 704-333-9900

FAX:   704-358-0536

Three Individuals Facing Drug Charges Following Traffic Stop

Three Individuals Facing Drug Charges Following Traffic Stop

Three individuals were arrested on a variety of drug-related charges when their car was pulled over on March 30, 2014. Among other alleged offenses, a 32-year-old man from Newton, North Carolina was charged with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance, conspiracy and drug trafficking. A 20-year-old woman from Hickory and 36-year old man from Hiddenite were also charged with conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance.

A police officer pulled the vehicle over due to what he reported was a burned-out license plate bulb and what he described as nervous behavior. A search of the vehicle allegedly led to a large knife, a BB gun, hypodermic needles baggies of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia being discovered. All three were jailed and held under bond.

It’s not clear what connection the individuals had with each other. However, in at least the case of the 20-year-old woman, two felony drug charges are being faced. This could potentially mean an extremely long prison sentence.

There are circumstances when such arrests take place that an individual’s constitutional rights have been violated by the conduct of arresting officers. Though it’s not entirely clear what led to the actions being taken by law enforcement officers in this matter, we would hope officers have done more than just pull individuals over for a minor traffic matter before deciding to search a vehicle.

Criminal defense attorneys can make certain that an individual’s rights are not violated during the course of an arrest. In some circumstances this can mean excluding certain evidence from trial. Unfortunately, not every individual arrested understands their rights and may sometimes provide information to law enforcement authorities before first speaking to an attorney.

Drug Conspiracy Charges

Drug conspiracy charges brought against 12 individuals

Federal authorities have charged 12 individuals with alleged conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. According to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, seven of those individuals had been arrested on December 10th. Three others are claimed to be fugitives.

The arrest is said to be a part of a multi-agency investigation. These agencies would have included DEA, ATF, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, and a number of local and county law departments.

It is claimed that the defendants that the conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute began during the summer months of 2012. This supposedly involved more than 50 grams of methamphetamine or more than 500 grams of a substance containing detectable amounts of methamphetamine. The drug conspiracy purportedly took place primarily in three North Carolina counties.

A conviction for drug charges such as this could result in severe penalties. All 12 defendants face a minimum of 10 years in prison – the maximum sentence involving a life sentence. The defendants could also be ordered to pay a $10 million fine.

Possibly in no other area of law do clients require able attorneys to represent them than when charged with a crime. And when it comes to a conspiracy, great care must be taken to prevent individuals from being wrongfully convicted. Individuals may be coerced into pleading guilty when faced with such punishments. Also, other members arrested may be convinced to testify against others in return for a more lenient sentence.

We need to keep in mind that it still remains up to prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement officers to prove that such a conspiracy actually took place. Evidence introduced at trial must be reliable and relevant to the matter at hand.

Alleged Embezzlement Of $50,000

Embezzlement of $50,000 alleged in Charlotte

According to Charlotte officials, a contract employee was said to have embezzled more than $50,000 from the city’s transit system. The alleged embezzlement was supposed to have taken place over a period of two years.

The Charlotte Area Transit System had contracted out the handling of money and paperwork concerning fines collected from riders without tickets. The embezzlement purportedly took place within the firm that handled these fines. This same firm agreed to refund the money without any admission of wrongdoing.

There is no explanation as to how the embezzlement was supposed to have taken place within the police report. While police do state that there was a suspect responsible for accepting payments and then using the money for personal purposes, no arrests had yet taken place when this story was reported.

Individuals faced with felony charges could end up paying large fines or spending a significant amount of time in jail. However, there does need to be probable cause of a crime for an arrest to take place. Also, the burden of proving that a crime has been committed lies with prosecuting attorneys and arresting officers. Until this burden is met, the presumption of innocence needs to remain.

Please speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney before making any statements to prosecutors or police officers. With an attorney, one’s chances of being convicted are reduced. Attorneys can analyze and investigate one’s circumstances, discuss what legal options are available, and put together a strategy so to minimize or eliminate the penalties that one faces.