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Winston-Salem Criminal Defense Blog

Bar and restaurant raids lead to over 130 arrests

From May 4 to 6, North Carolina authorities raided a number of bars, restaurants and clubs across the state in an effort to deter violence. The operation led to the arrest of more than 130 people, many of them on drug charges.

According to media reports, two Asheville establishments were among those targeted by North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents during the sting. Ellington Underground was cited for multiple violations, including failing to clear tables and counters of alcoholic drinks after 2:30 a.m. The private club's 26-year-old owner was also arrested after agents allegedly found several bags of cocaine on the property. He was charged with felony possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Polanco restaurant was cited for failing to purchase alcoholic drinks from a wholesaler.

Multi-agency operation nets drugs, firearms

Authorities in North Carolina took 13 people into custody on drug-related and other charges following a two-day operation by seven law enforcement agencies. Dubbed "Operation Hammer Time", the operation seized 15 firearms, 90 grams of cocaine in crack and powder form, more than 2 pounds of marijuana and hundreds of ammunition rounds.

Law enforcement obtained four search warrants for residences in the Happy Hill neighborhood. They seized a number of drugs and firearms there and then executed another search warrant in south Rocky Mount where they found two more handguns and more cocaine. They seized another handgun when they made a traffic stop related to the search warrant.

Police charge 3 after pulling over rap group tour bus

Police in North Carolina have reported that three men were charged with drug possession after a tour bus being used by the hip-hop group Migos was stopped on Highway 105 on the evening of April 12. According to a press release from the Boone Police Department, the tour bus was pulled over after officers assigned to provide security for the band detected the odor of marijuana as the vehicle left the George M. Holmes Convocation Center. The group performed at Appalachian State University to promote their third studio album "Culture II". None of the men charged were members of the group.

Reports suggest that a probable cause search of the tour bus led to the discovery of significant quantities of illegal drugs. Police claim to have recovered almost a pound of marijuana along with 26 ounces of codeine and quantities of the prescription drug Xanax. The amount of marijuana allegedly seized is sufficient to warrant felony drug charges in North Carolina.

Do I need a lawyer to defend me against criminal charges?

If you had a medical condition that could result in a radical change in your ability to enjoy your life as it is, would you seek help from a doctor? Most people would obtain the opinion of a professional and pay whatever it costs to avoid consequences that could jeopardize their well-being.

The same may be true if you are facing a legal issue that places your future and your freedom at risk. If you are dealing with criminal charges, you may be tempted to handle them on your own. Perhaps you have read enough online or seen your share of court dramas on TV that you feel you have a firm grasp on how to defend yourself. However, there are numerous reasons why the assistance of a legal professional can benefit you in this situation.

Traffic stop leads to drug charges

According to police in Sampson County, North Carolina, three people were taken into custody after a traffic stop on Interstate 40. Authorities initially pulled over the vehicle that the individuals were in for a traffic violation. During a search of the vehicle, police found 17 pounds of cocaine. There was no mention as to what gave police probable cause to search the vehicle.

It resulted in a 27-year-old and 35-year-old man being charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Their bond was set at $1 million each. A 41-year-old man was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver or sell it in addition to cocaine trafficking. His bond was also set at $1 million. The sheriff praised the deputies for their work in finding the drugs and taking the alleged dealers off the street.

A warning about waiving a traffic offense

Getting a traffic citation can be awkward. Most drivers in North Carolina don't go around intentionally committing offenses like running traffic control signs, operating an unsafe vehicle or speeding. In many cases, it's likely they have simply come to the conclusion such infractions are common and so few tickets are issued that the odds are they won't be cited. If you are pulled over, it can leave you feeling flustered.

It is important for you to be aware that a ticket amounts to an allegation by the police, even if it doesn't feel that way. You have a right to challenge the ticket or plead guilty to the offense. On some occasions, an officer might inform you that your infraction can be handled without going to court – that is, what you are charged with is a waivable offense.

NC Public Safety Department opens new probation violation centers in Burke and Robeson counties

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The Department of Public Safety is opening two new Confinement in Response to Violation (CRV) centers to house and provide intensive behavior modification programs for those who have violated probation. These new CRV centers in Burke and Robeson counties are recently closed state prisons which have been repurposed to incarcerate probation violators for 90-day periods of confinement in response to technical violations of probation, parole or post-release supervision as provided in the Justice Reinvestment Act of 2011.

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