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about Criminal Defense in North Carolina and South Carolina


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Forced Blood Draws- A Video

Simple Justice "But for the Video, This won't hurt (me) a bit" has an eye opening video depicting several arrested for DWI/DUI undergoing a forced blood draw. It highlights the controversy around forced blood draws in DWI/DUI cases. The recent Missouri case handed down by the US Supreme Court paves the way for the necessity of a warrant in forced blood draws, however a warrant does nothing to diminish the severity of strapping citizens down, putting them in a head hold and forcing a needle in their arm.

I have blogged on the practice of forced blood draws. As a Deputy District Attorney, I handled these cases regularly and showed videos of them during jury trials. It is hard to describe how extreme, and in the words of Simple Justice, "barbaric" they are.  This video, although eight minutes in length, is worth watching.

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Juveniles in Jail?

A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that juveniles who were sent to juvenile hall made them 13 percentage points less likely to finish high school and 22 percentage points more likely to be imprisoned as adults.  Business Insider had a short story highlighting the working paper by Anna Aizer and Joseph Doyle.
This paper analyzed over 35,00 juvenile offender during a 10 year period in the Chicago area. The authors found that incarceration had a minimal deterrent effect. Rather, punishments that included curfews and electronic monitoring resulted in a higher likelihood of juveniles becoming productive adults.

It costs on average of $88,000 a year, around $241 a day to keep a child in custody. With severe economic budget cuts in the North Carolina judicial system and juvenile crime decreasing in North Carolina, alternatives to incarceration and raising the minimun age  from 16 years to 18 years should be considered.

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Operation Firecracker & DWIDUI Checkpoints

Summer may have officially started June 21st, but last night started likely the first of many DWI/DUI checkpoints in Mecklenburg County. According to the Charlotte Observer, CMPD issued forty six charges at a DWI checkpoint in South Charlotte last night. Eight people were charged with DWI/DUI and seven were charged with Driving While License Revoked. Other charges included open container of alcohol and other miscellaneous traffic charges.

North Carolina's Department of Transportation "Booze it & Lose It: Operation Firecracker" campaign runs from June 28 through July 7. I found this video on their website.

If you have been arrested for a DWI/DUI, it is important to contact an criminal defense attorney for a consultation.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Updates Provided by The Law Office of Carilyn Ibsen PLLC 

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

The .05 Solution

The National Transportation Safety Board recently issued a recommendation that state governments across the country should reduce the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit from .08 to .05. This caused a recent wave of media attention on drunk driving. Those who support the change cite alcohol related traffic deaths that could possibly be reduced with a lower limit. Those who oppose it, one being the director of the American Beverage Institute, state that it will do nothing to prevent the "hardcore drunk drivers" from getting behind the wheel. A USA Today editorial recommended the use of interlocks in lieu of a lower BAC.

The writing has been on the wall for this reduction for quite some time.  Criminalists I worked with at the Orange County District Attorney's Office told  me 10 years ago that .08 blood concentration would eventually be reduced to a .05 or .04..Whether this will actually happen is likely a political question within state governments. 

However, the media has not addressed the economic implications of  criminalization of lower blood alcohol concentration- the dramatic increase in criminal cases across the country. District and Superior Courts in Mecklenburg County are already overcrowded with cases. Among this backlog of cases, the North Carolina Court System just issued 80 million dollars in budget cuts over the next four years; 638 full time employees cut, including magistrates and district attorney staff that handle criminal cases. NC Policy Watch has an article that talks about this issue. Jail overcrowding and the ability of the police departments to handle such an increase in arrests on a daily basis is another issue.

Perhaps the .05 solution is not as simple as it seems.

Mecklenburg County Criminal Law Updates Provided by The Law Office of Carilyn Ibsen PLLC 


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