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Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21
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N.C.G.S. § 20-138.3 makes it unlawful for a person less than 21 years of age to operate a motor vehicle after, or while, consuming any alcohol or another controlled substance. Driving After Consuming Under 21, also called a “baby DWI” or “provisional DWI,” is a serious charge that can result in significant criminal and DMV consequences.

It is important to note that driving while your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above the legal limit of .08, or if the officer finds other evidence of impairment, will likely result in an additional Driving While Impaired charge (DWI). A conviction of Driving After Consuming Under 21 is a Class 2 misdemeanor, potentially resulting in a fine, probation, and/or jail time. Furthermore, a conviction of Driving After Consuming Under 21 results in a mandatory one-year driver’s license suspension.

Drivers who were at least 18 years of age at the time of the offense, and meet other requirements, may be eligible for a limited driving privilege. Additionally, some judges may offer an opportunity to “earn” a prayer for judgement continued (PJC) following a conviction of Driving After Consuming Under 21. To “earn” the PJC most judges will require completion of community service hours and/or substance abuse treatment. If a PJC is granted, then the judge will not impose any fine, probation, or jail time, and no license suspension will result from the conviction. 

Our experienced attorneys will be able to assist you in potentially obtaining a PJC and avoiding the harsh consequences that accompany a conviction of Driving After Consuming Under 21. If you are interested in talking to an attorney about your case call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 1-(919)585-1486 for a free consultation. You can also email attorney Kristi Haddock or Wiley Nickel directly at kristi@wileynickel.com or wiley@wileynickel.com, respectively.

Kristi Haddock
Speeding Tickets in a School Zone
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Speed limits around school zones have traditionally been lowered to protect children and pedestrians in the area during school hours. Drivers approaching the zone should receive ample notice from signs in the area, designating both the speed and the times during which that speed is enforced.

Normal speeding charges in Wake County are generally easily reducible with the help of an experience traffic attorney. A speeding ticket in a school zone can be much more difficult to reduce and carry significant consequences, such as points on your license and increased insurance rates. An experienced attorney will be able to assist you in getting the best possible outcome.

At the judge’s discretion, you may be able to get a prayer for judgement continued. In order to get a PJC most judges will also require community service. The benefit of a PJC, as a result of successfully completing community service, is that your insurance rates will not increase as a result of your ticket.

Our experienced traffic attorneys can help determine if you are eligible for a PJC and work on getting you the best possible outcome for your situation. If you have received a traffic citation or charge, and have questions about a Prayer for Judgment Continued, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 1-(919)585-1486 for a free consultation. You can also email attorney Kristi Haddock or Wiley Nickel directly at kristi@wileynickel.com or wiley@wileynickel.com, respectively.

Kristi Haddock
Paying Court Costs and Traffic Tickets Online
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Most traffic and criminal matters may be paid online after the case is resolved at this link: https://www3.nccourts.org/onlinepayments/menu.sp

Once on the site you will be prompted to enter your case number and county name. You can find all of this information on your cost sheet, which you received in court.

Once your case is resolved you have only 40 days to pay your court costs before the DMV is notified of your failure to pay which will result in the suspension of your license and an additional $50 late fee.

If you have not yet been to court, we do NOT recommend using this tool. Paying traffic tickets online is an admission of guilt. With some traffic offenses admitting guilt, prior to getting them reduced in court, will result in an automatic suspension of your license. An experienced attorney will be able to help you receive the best possible outcome for your traffic offense.

If you have received a citation or have court costs that you are interested in paying online, you can call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC. at 919-585-1486. The Offices are located in Cary, NC. You can also email the attorneys at the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel by emailing Kristi Haddock at kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com, respectively.

Kristi Haddock
When Can I Use a PJC?
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North Carolina law grants judges the discretion to enter a Prayer for Judgement Continued(PJC). This is an appealing option as it allows for prevention of penalties, such as increased insurance or license revocation, that are often associated with misdemeanor traffic offenses. While appealing, this option is only available for certain offenses. Certain judges may also require the completion of community service or driving school as part of the process for a PJC. A skilled attorney will be able to assist you in understanding when a PJC is available.

There are also limitations on the amount of times a PJC can be used. It is a common myth that if you get another ticket after using a PJC both tickets and their penalties will come back. This myth is not true. However, it is true that a PJC may be used only once every 3 years for insurance purposes, and once every 5 years for DMV purposes. Using a PJC more than is allowed can result in confusion for insurance and the DMV, possibly leading to an increase in points.

If you have received a traffic citation or charge, and have questions about a Prayer for Judgment Continued, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 1-(919)585-1486 for a free consultation. You can also email attorney Kristi Haddock or Wiley Nickel directly at kristi@wileynickel.com or wiley@wileynickel.com, respectively.

Kristi Haddock
Legal Representation at the DMV
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The  North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles mandates that anyone convicted of a second DWI within 7 years faces a four-year suspension of their driver’s license. After two years, drivers with a four-year suspension are eligible to request a DWI conditional restoration hearing. It is important to consider hiring an attorney for this complicated and lengthy hearing process.

Two years from the date of your conviction you may start the hearing request process. The first step will be scheduling a preliminary restoration hearing. Following that hearing you must obtain a FBI background check, a substance abuse evaluation, and have three witnesses available to testify at your final hearing.

Once your hearing date is scheduled an experienced attorney will sit down with you and your three witnesses to prepare for your hearing.

Attorney’s Kristi Haddock and Wiley Nickel are ready to guide you through this process. When your ability to drive is at stake, you cannot afford to cut corners. Call our office for a free consultation today, 919-585-1486.

Kristi Haddock
Complying With a DUI Checkpoint
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The Supreme Court has held that DUI checkpoints are not an infringement of our Fourth Amendment rights to be free from searches and seizures. This means that police may conduct DUI checkpoints and ask for your license at these checkpoints without the need for reasonable suspicion.

In complying with an officer’s request at a DUI checkpoint you should roll down your window and hand the officer your driver’s license and registration. If the officer suspects you have been drinking or that there is a motor vehicle violation, she may ask you to pull over for further questioning. You do not have to answer any question she asks you, such as whether you have been drinking or where you are coming from. If she has reasonable suspicion that you have been drinking, then the officer may perform roadside sobriety tests. These tests include the one-legged stand, the walk and turn, or the HGN test. While it is not required that you perform these tests, your refusal to do so can be used against you in court. But, without results from these tests, the State must still overcome the burden that the officer had probable cause to arrest you.

Even without these tests, the officer may still arrest you. The officer will then ask you to step into an onsite bus to submit to a breathalyzer test. In North Carolina, refusal to take this test will result in a loss of your license for one year. However, you have the right to request the presence of someone during the testing to witness it being conducted. The officer will allow 30 minutes for the person’s arrival. If the person is not there within 30 minutes, then the officer will continue with the test.

If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated contact the The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel to discuss how we can help with your case. Call 919-585-1486 for a free consultation with attorney Kristi Haddock or attorney Wiley Nickel. Our office is located in Cary, NC at 2401 Weston Parkway near the I-40 exit at Harrison Avenue.

Kristi Haddock
When to Seek Legal Representation for a Traffic Ticket
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A traffic ticket may seem like a simple offense, but this simple offense can carry with it large fines, suspension or revocation of your license, and increased insurance rates.  In North Carolina it is generally not required that a driver have legal representation for a petty traffic offense, such as a simple speeding ticket or expired registration. However, retaining an attorney enables the driver to have help dealing with this stressful situation and ensures that the traffic ticket is resolved in the most favorable manner for both your license and your insurance.

Legal representation may also save you a trip to court and the hours of time that often accompany a court appearance. For many traffic citations, a waiver of appearance will allow one of our attorneys to go to court on your behalf. Meaning, that if you received a traffic citation while travelling in Wake or Chatham county hiring one of our attorneys will save you a trip back. It is important to note that paying a traffic ticket, including paying online, is an admission of guilt and can lead to unforeseen consequences.

The situation regarding traffic citations becomes more important for commercial drivers, including commercial truck drivers. Commercial driving licenses (CDL) are subject to stricter and more severe license consequences than standard operators. CDL holders must ensure that the stricter consequences for their traffic tickets do not interfere with their ability to continue holding a CDL.

Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC are happy to help anyone seeking effective and knowledgeable representation for assistance with Wake county traffic tickets. You can reach attorneys Kristi Haddock and Wiley Nickel at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our office is located in Cary, NC at 2401 Weston Parkway near the I-40 exit at Harrison Avenue.

Kristi Haddock
When Can Police Search My Car?
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Police must have probable cause to search your vehicle. Once you are pulled over for a traffic offense, such as speeding, driving without a tail light, or expired registration, police can approach your vehicle to ask for your license and registration. If law enforcement smells marijuana coming from your vehicle this gives them the requisite probable cause to search your vehicle. However, there are exceptions and limitations to where police can search.

Police officers must have individualized probable cause against the specific occupant(s) they are attempting to search. If police wish to search a container within the vehicle, such as a purse, the officer attempting to search must have probable cause that either the marijuana or related paraphernalia will be found therein.  Lastly, if police wish to search the trunk of your car the officer must have specific probable cause attached to the trunk.

If you were charged with a traffic offense, possession of marijuana, or possession of drug paraphernalia call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation. Attorney Kristi Haddock and Attorney Wiley Nickel are available by phone at 919-585- 1486. Our office is located in Cary near the intersection of Harrison Avenue and I-40.

Kristi Haddock
Charged with Underage Drinking?
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In North Carolina it is illegal to consume alcohol under the age of 21. Concerts, and other summer events, are often patrolled by alcohol law enforcement (ALE) looking for underage consumers who are violating NCGS 18B-302, which dictates that anyone under the age of 21 is forbidden from consuming alcohol. Further, the use of a fake ID or the purchasing of alcohol for anyone under 21 is illegal.

Concerts and sporting events can be a popular place to pregame or tailgate in parking lots. While it is common to think you are safer in your car, this is not the case. Law enforcement patrolling the parking lots of events are on the lookout for illegal activity. The smell of marijuana or alcohol coming from a vehicle can lead to a citation or arrest for underage drinking, marijuana possession or possession of drug paraphernalia.  

 If you are a first-time drug or alcohol offender, you may qualify for the opportunity to have your case dismissed. An experienced attorney may work out a deal for you to do drug or alcohol classes in exchange for a dismissal of your charges.  

While drug and alcohol charges may seem minor, you should only move forward with the help of an attorney. A conviction for drug or alcohol charges could impact things like employment, housing, and financial aid.

Charged with a DWI, underage drinking, or marijuana charge? Call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation with attorney Kristi Haddock or attorney Wiley Nickel.

Wiley Nickel
How Do I Figure Out When and Where My Court Date Will Be?

In order to check the date, time and courtroom of your case, you can use the following link:

 

http://www1.aoc.state.nc.us/www/calendars/CriminalQuery.html

 

You will need to select “Wake County” from the drop-down menu and type in your last name, first name (do not put a space after the comma) and then click “Submit Query.”

 

When the list comes up, you will be able to click on your name to bring up the details of your case, including the charges, case number, court date, and session of court. In Wake County, there are two different sessions of court: (1) “AM” (meaning (9:00 a.m.) or (2) “PM” (meaning 2:00 p.m.). It is important that you know which session of court you are attending so that you do not miss court.

 

You may not see your scheduled courtroom on the website at first, but about a week before your scheduled court date, the assigned courtroom will appear on the website. However, because the courtrooms have been known to change unexpectedly, you should check the assigned courtroom on your scheduled court date.

 

The Wake County Justice Center is the large marble building located across from the Wake County Courthouse. The address is 300 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC.

 

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC today for a free consultation. You can reach the office at 919-585-1486. 

Wiley Nickel
What Happens When I Miss My Court Date?
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You should always do everything you can to attend court on your assigned court date, but if you end up missing court the judge may issue a bench warrant. A bench warrant is very similar to an arrest warrant, which means that you can be arrested. A judge may not issue a bench warrant but it is completely in their discretion to do so.

 

Although police may not actively pursue you because your charge is only traffic related or another minor offense, the police could do so if they wish. So in order to avoid your arrest, you should bring any and all documentation that might explain your absence and then contact a lawyer to see what your options are. You lawyer may be able to help explain why you missed the court date and get a new court date rescheduled.

 

You need an experienced attorney who will keep your interests in mind and be able to get the best outcome for you. If you have missed your court date, call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation at 919-585-1486.

Wiley Nickel
What is the 90-96 Program?
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If this is the first time ever being charged with a crime and you have been charged with an alcohol or drug offense, you might be eligible for the first time offender program called 90-96.

 

Under North Carolina General Statutes Section 90-96, courts are allowed to defer prosecution of alcohol and drug offenses for first time offenders. Essentially, first time offenders are given the opportunity to earn a dismissal through completion of this program.

 

The 90-96 program is a great option for first time offenders and sometimes even if you are charged with an alcohol or drug offense for a second time. The 90-96 programs requires that you attend alcohol and/or drug classes, pay the required fees and abide by the conditions of the program in order to have your case dismissed. Although as part of the 90-96 program you are required to sign an admission of guilt, this admission is irrelevant so long as you comply with the programs requirements within the year.

 

Once you have completed the 90-96 program and your case has been dismissed, your case will be eligible for expungement to clear your criminal record of the charge.

 

If you were charged with an alcohol or drug offense and would like to learn more about this program, or you have completed the program and would like help getting your criminal record expunged, call the attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at 919-585-1486. 

Wiley Nickel
What Happens When I'm Charged With Using A Fake I.D.?
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As spring break and summer break quickly approach for college and high school students, many students will find themselves in trouble for using fake identification in their free time.

 

While an underage person’s use of fake identification may not seem so serious at the time, a conviction under North Carolina laws can result in revocation of your drivers license. 

 

In North Carolina, N.C. Gen. Stat. 18B-302(e) makes it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to use fraudulent identification to:

1)    Enter or attempt to enter a place where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed; or

2)    Obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages; or

3)    Obtain or attempt to obtain permission to purchase alcoholic beverages

 

If you are convicted under N.C. Gen. Stat 18B-302(e), your drivers license must be revoked for a one-year period.

 

Under N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-23(3), displaying or representing as your own, a drivers licenses not issued to the person displaying it is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Upon a conviction under this statute, you may lose your drivers license for up to one year.

 

If you are charged with having a fake I.D. contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys at 919-585-1486.

Wiley Nickel
Ignition Interlock - What is it?
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Ignition Interlock Devices  are small breath analyzers that check a driver’s breath for alcohol before letting the car’s engine start and during various intervals while driving.

 

After a DWI conviction, NC DMV places certain alcohol concentration restrictions on drivers. In addition, NC DMV also requires ignition interlock for drivers whose licenses are restored following a conviction for DWI if:

·      You had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher; or

·      You were convicted of a second offense of DWI, which happened within seven years of the offense for which your license was revoked; or

·      You were sentenced to an Aggravated Level One DWI

 

Ignition interlock devices restrictions can be troublesome for drivers. Such a restriction requires:

·      You may only operate a vehicle that is equipped with ignition interlock

·      You must personally activate the ignition interlock system before driving the motor vehicle

·      You must contain an alcohol concentration restriction of either .04 or .00

 

How long you are required to have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle depends on how long your original revocation for DWI was. For example, if you were revoked for one year, then you must have ignition interlock for one year from the date of restoration of your license.

 

If you are required to have the device installed, you must pay all fees associated with its installation, maintenance and service, which are considered a condition of having your drivers license. Fees associated with ignition interlock are generally only a couple dollars a day, but that can add up quick and cost you around $1,000.00 a year. This cost is in addition to any fines or penalties you are already required to pay as a result of your conviction.

 

Violating an ignition interlock restriction means that you can be charged with Driving While License Revoked for Impaired Revocation, which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. A charge of DWLR based on an ignition interlock violation results in your license being suspended pending the resolution of the case.

 

If you have received a DWI and may be at risk for having an ignition interlock, call 919-585-1486 to make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys, or stop by the office during regular business hours. You can also reach us directly via e-mail at wiley@wileynickel.com or Kristi@wileynickel.com to schedule an appointment whenever works best for you.

Wiley Nickel
What is Domestic Violence in North Carolina?
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Under North Carolina law, domestic violence convictions result in harsher collateral consequences than some other misdemeanor convictions. Domestic violence is one of several acts against a person who has one of the following relationships with the accused, such as:

·      Spouse

·      Ex-spouse

·      Person of the opposite sex who lives or has lived with the accused

·      Child or grandchild

·      Person with which the accused has a child

·      Current or former household member

·      Person of the opposite sex with whom the accused is in a dating relationship, like a girlfriend or boyfriend

·      Person of the opposite sex with whom the accused used to have a dating relationship

 

It’s common to see crimes such as Assault on a Female or Simple Assault in the Domestic Violence courtroom, but other charges may be considered crimes of domestic violence if the alleged victim and the accused have a personal relationship.

 

If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime in Wake County, The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel is here to help. If you have questions regarding your charge, and how to proceed, call our office at 919-585-1486 today! 

Wiley Nickel
When Should I Stop For A Stopped School Bus in NC?
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In July 2017, Roy Cooper signed the “School Bus Cameras and Civil Penalties” bill into law allowing individual counties to adopt ordinances and cite motorists by using cameras installed on the stop-arms of buses. The new law authorizes counties to adopt ordinances with civil penalties of $400 for the first offense, $750 for the second offense and $1,000 for a subsequent offense.

 

Passing or failing to stop for a stopped school bus is a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina that can result in significant fines and the possibility of up to 120 days in jail. A person is guilty of this offense by:

(a)   Driving

(b)   A vehicle

(c)   Approaches from, any direction, on the same street, highway or public vehicular area

(d)  A school bus

(e)   That is displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights AND is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging passengers

(f)   Passes or attempts to pass the school bus OR fails to bring the vehicle to a full stop and remain stopped

(g)   Before the bus’s mechanical stop signal has been withdrawn, the flashing red stoplights have been turned off and the bus has started to move

 

In order to avoid such a charge, you should know the rules about when you should stop for a school bus:

·      Two-lane roadway: all traffic from both directions must stop

·      Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: all traffic from both directions must stop

·      Four-lane roadway without a median separation: all traffic from both directions must stop

·      Divided Highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: only traffic following the school bus must stop

·      Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: only traffic following the bus must stop

 

If you’ve been charged with Passing or Failing to Stop for a Stopped School Bus, give The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC a call to discuss the facts of your case at 919-585-1486. Attorney Kristi Haddock and Attorney Wiley Nickel are available for a free consultation.

Wiley Nickel
Raise the Age in North Carolina
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In 2017, North Carolina relinquished its title as the only state in the U.S. that automatically prosecuted juveniles 16 and older as adults. As a result of the North Carolina General Assembly’s Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Act, most 16 and 17 year olds will now be prosecuted in juvenile court instead of the adult court system.

 

Beginning December 1, 2019, a “delinquent juvenile,” as defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. 7B-1501(7), will include 16 and 17 year olds who commit crimes or infractions, except for motor vehicle laws, or indirect contempt by a juvenile. However, under the new law, once a juvenile has been convicted of any offense in either district or superior court, including violations of motor vehicle laws, the juvenile must be prosecuted as an adult for all subsequent offenses. This means that if a teenager already has an adult conviction when the new law becomes effective, the law will not benefit them.

 

The new law provides that all offenses committed by 16 and 17 year olds will originate in juvenile court. This means that 16 and 17 year olds accused of misdemeanors and low-level felonies such as larcenies, break-ins and other non-violent crimes, will now have a chance to for their cases to be handled in juvenile court. Since studies have shown that children in the juvenile system are less likely to return to jail, North Carolina is finally taking a step towards reducing its growing prison populations.

 

What has not changed is that violent teenagers can still be moved into the adult system. Class A-G felonies that are committed by 16 and 17 year olds require mandatory transfers to superior court by a notice of an indictment or a finding of probable cause by the court. However, this new provision will provide prosecutors with the ability to maintain some discretion by reducing charges before the time for filing or a probable cause hearing.

 

If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense and are 16 or 17 years old contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLCfor a free consultation.  Until the “Raise the Age” Bill becomes effective we can handle cases for 16 and 17 years olds in adult criminal court. 

Wiley Nickel
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: What Are Police Looking For?

If you have ever seen a movie or television show depicting drunk drivers, you may have seen police officers asking drivers to say the alphabet backwards, count fingers or touch their noses in order to help determine whether the driver is intoxicated. In reality, law enforcement officers will very rarely use those often-depicted tests because more reliable tests exist.

 

The three most common Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) that a police officer will likely ask you to perform if he or she suspects you of driving while impaired are: One Leg Stand, Walk and Turn, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

 

One Leg Stand

Officers will likely ask you to stand with one leg out in front of you – parallel to the ground—approximately six inches off the ground for nearly thirty seconds. While officers are giving you instructions for the test, you will be instructed to stand with your feet together, keep your arms at your side and listen to performance instructions.

 

During the performance part of the test, officers are looking to see if you exhibit any of the following four clues:

·      Swaying

·      Using your arms for balance

·      Hopping

·      Dropping your foot

 

Walk and Turn

Officers will also likely ask you to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a straight line, turn 180 degrees on one foot and repeat the steps in the opposite direction following either an actual or imaginary line. During this exercise, officers want you to watch your feet, count out loud and keep your hands at your side.

 

During the performance part of this test, officers are looking to see if you exhibit any of the following eight clues:

·      Starting the test too soon

·      Using hands for balance during the test

·      Not maintaining balance during instructions

·      Stepping off the line

·      Missing heel-to-toe by more than ½ inch

·      Incorrect turn

·      Wrong number of steps

·      Stopping the test early

 

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

Nystagmus is the involuntary jerking of the eyes that can be caused for a number of reasons, including alcohol impairment. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) is an involuntary jerking of the eye that occurs naturally as the eyes are rotated at high peripheral angles. Alcohol and certain other drugs can cause exaggerated HGN and trigger HGN at an angle of less than 45 degrees. Before the test an officer will check the subject for equal pupil size, resting nystagmus and equal tracking to rule out any medical condition that may render the test ineffective. An officer will then ask you to follow a stimulus that he or she will move from left to right and right to left while watching for certain clues. A common misconception is that officers look for you to follow the stimulus without head movement. Although officers will note that, it is not a clue they are specifically looking for.

 

While performing the test an officer will be looking for the following clues in each eye:

·      Lack of smooth pursuit (i.e. – jerking while following an object)

·      Nystagmus at maximum deviation

·      Nystagmus prior to 45 degrees

 

Each of these tests has defenses that you may want to explore with your DWI/DUI attorney. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel have experience challenging the results of these tests, along with all other aspects of your DWI/DUI case. Contact our office at 919-585-1486 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys today about your options.

Wiley Nickel
Marijuana Possession: Small Quantities, Big Consequences
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While some states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, North Carolina has not. In North Carolina, possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana, is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Although you may only have a $200.00 fine and no jail time, there may still be long-term consequences. However, the more marijuana you possess, the higher chance of jail time and the more severe the long-term effects can be. Possession of up to 1.5 ounces is a Class 1 misdemeanor with the potential to serve up to 45 days in jail and if you have more than 1.5 ounces, you may be charged with a felony and face up to 12 months of jail time.

 

While the short-term consequences of misdemeanor drug possession may not seem so harsh, there are long-term effects on employment, housing, and finances. Drug possession charges will show up on background checks when applying for job. Employers want to hire people they can trust so misdemeanor drug charges can severely hamper your chances at receiving a job. In fact, some vocations (such as law enforcement, the military or teachers) may not consider you a candidate if you have a history of drug charges. Drug charges may even make a landlord weary to rent a home or apartment to you. Most significantly, your financial aid may be suspended if your drug conviction happened while you are receiving aid or you may be completely disqualified from financial aid if you received certain types of drug charge.

 

If this marijuana possession charge is your first offense, the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel may be able to help. You may be eligible for the 90-96 program, which allows you to have the charge dismissed after completing court mandated classes and community service. Once you complete the program and have the charge dismissed, our office may be able to assist you in getting the charges expunged. 

 

Whether this is your first offense or not, contact Attorney Wiley Nickel or Attorney Kristi Haddock to discuss your options in Wake County at wiley@wileynickel.com or Kristi@wileynickel.com.

Wiley Nickel
Driving After Consuming Under 21
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You may have heard of Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI), but what exactly is Driving After Consuming (DAC)? In North Carolina, Driving After Consuming is a serious offense, completely separate from the commonly known DWI. In fact, if you are under 21 years old, depending on the specific facts of the case, you may even be charged with driving while consuming and driving while impaired.

 

Under N.C.G.S. § 20-138.3, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to drive a motor vehicle on a public street, highway or vehicular area after consuming any amount of alcohol or controlled substance in North Carolina. Since driving while consuming applies to minors under 21 years of age, special rules apply. For example, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard of .08 is irrelevant. A minor that has a BAC of even .01 could face a Driving After Consuming charge. A minor with a BAC of .08 or higher may also be charged with a DWI if the officer finds other signs of impairment.

 

A conviction for underage Driving After Consuming can lead to punishments similar to a DWI conviction such as substantial fines, probation and/or jail time. As a minor, not only can a conviction affect your ability to have a drivers license, but also your education, career and future. Driving After Consuming under the age of 21 is a Class 2 misdemeanor that can result in up to 60 days in jail and your drivers license revoked for up to one year. A driving while consuming charge may also lead to long-term consequences on automobile insurance rates.

 

In Wake County, some judges may offer an opportunity to “earn” a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) following a Driving After Consuming after completing community service and/or substance abuse treatment. Once a PJC is granted, there will be no fine, probation or jail time and no license suspension. In order to gain the most favorable result possible in your case, its imperative that you have an experience attorney on your side.

 

If you have any questions about driving while consuming, or you or your child has recently been charged with this offense, contact the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel have experience representing clients with DAC and DWI charges and will work diligently to get the best possible outcome for you. You may contact the offices at 919-585-1486 or email the attorneys directly at Kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley@wileynickel.com.

Wiley Nickel