THE “THAT LAWYER HAS TOO MANY CLIENTS” LIE (Bida Manda is the best restaurant in Raleigh) Before coming to the infinitely sensible decision to hire me to represent you on your criminal case and while you’re “shopping around” for a lawyer, you may encounter lawyers who will tell you that such and such lawyer is too busy and has too many clients. This is utter shit. It’s a lie, It’s a ploy by a lawyer who doesn’t have enough clients to convince you to hire him on the [...]
On June 15, 1215, at Runnymede, the Earls and Barons of England forced King John to affix his seal to “one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy,” Magna Carta or the Great Charter. The Right Honourable The Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls from 1962 to 1982, described Magna Carta as the “greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared in his 1941 Inaugural Address, [...]
What a gripping title! This post raises the question of whether evidence obtained as a result cops’ good faith mistakes of fact or law will survive motions to suppress. And the answer is: It depends; which Constitution are you arguing under? In the last few months, criminal defense lawyers across the country collectively moaned a moan of moanly pain in light of the abomination known as Heien v. North Carolina. In Heien, the United Supreme Court decided that the theory of reasonable mistakes of fact by law enforcement [...]
WALK AWAY FROM THE COPS: PART 2 Well done Court of Appeals: You got State v. Knudsen right. The cops had no right to do what they did. And we’re all better off for it; freedom from governmental interference in our lives has been protected; we can all rejoice in this decision…right GOP? My thoughts: 1. This is the problem with these “DWI Task Forces”; they seem to instil a sense of empowerment in the police to do things that they know they can’t do; 2. Lower level [...]
WALK AWAY FROM THE COPS State v. Knudsen, 747 SE 2d 641 – NC: Court of Appeals 2013 747 S.E.2d 641 (2013) STATE of North Carolina, v. Eric Lars KNUDSEN. Court of Appeals of North Carolina. August 20, 2013. Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Special Deputy Attorney General Robert C. Montgomery and Assistant Attorney General Joseph L. Hyde, for the State. Rudolf Widenhouse & Fialko, Chapel Hill, by M. Gordon Widenhouse, Jr.; and Ashley Canon, for Defendant-Appellee. McGEE, Judge. Eric Lars Knudsen (Defendant) was charged with driving while [...]
Chemical Analysis Evidence and Chain of Custody in North Carolina DWI Cases This was the subject of my Continuing Legal Education Class before the Wake County Academy of Criminal Trial Lawyers on March 9, 2015 in Raleigh. NCGS 20-139.1 Procedures Governing Chemical Analyses; Admissibility; Evidentiary Provisions; Controlled-drinking Programs. 20-139.1(b) “The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration.” This is the language at issue in the case of State v. Narron, 193 N.C. App. 83 (2008), as well as where [...]
The 700 Most Dangerous Days America Has Ever Faced In Reply to Wayne Lapierre’s article in American Rifleman. What absolute drivel. What journalistic irresponsibility. Mr. Lapierre makes, by my count, 43 separate and distinct allegations and assertions – 42 of which he fails to substantiate or back up with any evidence whatsoever. The one allegation he does bother to substantiate is that “only one freedom has grown stronger over the past several decades … your right to own a gun.” Lapierre goes on to back up this assertion [...]
STOP TAKING THOSE TERRIBLE TESTS! In some countries (England, Wales, Scotland – to name three), it’s against the law to refuse to take roadside sobriety tests. Against the law! It’s a crime to refuse to give the government the evidence they’ll later use against you! ( I would apologize for the exclamation marks except I need to express my horror in some way). Fortunately, in the US – or in North Carolina at least – this is not the case. You can’t be punished for declining to participate [...]
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A NON-STATUTORY AGGRAVATING FACTOR Sitting in the Wake County Justice Center today watching a lawyer who has no business representing criminal defendants pleading his DWI client guilty, I was struck by several disturbing things: Number 1, this lawyer had no business representing this poor person; number 2, this poor person is, in fact, poor – and that’s why he was “represented” by this court-appointed lawyer; number 3, we allow poor people to be represented by people who …see number 1. Number 4, [...]
HEIEN v. NORTH CAROLINA: ANOTHER ASSAULT ON OUR FREEDOM What an abomination. And disturbingly, this US Supreme Court case (which North Carolina’s Court of Appeals got right but – because of the stupid in-fighting between our two appellate courts (remember State v. McKenzie) – the State Supreme Court got wrong) was an eight to one decision, with only Justice Sotomayor dissenting in favor of less Government intrusion in our lives (which I thought was a cornerstone of conservatism). In Heien, the car that Heien was a passenger in [...]
My New-Look Website Check out my new-look website, which was launched today (thanks to Dan at Elance). My new website is more than just a new-look website; it is actually a new and improved website. Every page has an easy-to-find link – Find Your Court Date – to the North Carolina Court calendar, so you can check not only your next court date but which court room your case is set in. My Helpful Resources page is actually a helpful resources page. In addition to all the radical [...]
CONGRATULATE ME ON MY NEW JOB WITH JOHN MCWILLIAM, PLLC It is with great pleasure that I announce the formation of the law firm of John McWilliam, PLLC. After many years practicing law as an employee or partner, I decided several months ago to strike out on my own. John McWilliam, PLLC officially opened its doors on December 1, 2014. What was my former firm’s satellite office in The Raleigh Building at 5 West Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh has become my new firm’s office. My longtime telephone [...]
NEW-LOOK WEBSITE ON ITS WAY! Keep your eyes peeled for my new-look website. After four years, I thought it was time to update the look of my website – https://www.theraleighdwilawyer.com. This has been a great website for me and his consistently remained number one or two beneath the ads when doing Google searches for things like Raleigh DWI Lawyer or Wake County DWI Attorney. I’m holding my breath on whether the change will affect my Google-placement.
ABOUT TIME TO PUT THESE STUPID LAWS TO BED North Carolina is one of only six States to keep these antiquated, heart-balm laws that originate from a time when a wife was her husband’s property on its books. Check out the article on a Superior Court Judge who has the courage to get it right: https://myfox8.com/2014/06/13/alienation-of-affection-law-unconstitutional-forsyth-county-judge-rules/ Well done, Judge Craig. I fear either or both of our appellate courts will get it wrong.
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE II More of my musings on the Referendum and why I hope Scotland chooses Yes. I don’t know much about the Act of Union of 1707 because I wasn’t alive then so I have to rely on what I read but I have learnt that it was hugely unpopular among all the various strata of society in Scotland at the time. I know that, later, Robert Burns would write about the Parcel of Rogues – the Scots who were bought and sold for English gold, all [...]