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Collins Law Firm :: Blog

Archive for February, 2022

Fatal Crash Factors: Speeding and DWI

Tuesday, February 8th, 2022

WECT reported on February 3, 2022, that they requested and reviewed recent traffic data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) due to a “dramatic increase” of traffic-related fatalities in our area. New Hanover County’s District Attorney (DA) Ben David even referenced 35 fatalities that occurred on New Hanover County’s roads alone.  WECT interpreted the DOT data as the highest rise in fatal crashes ever recorded with traffic death numbers in 2021.

State Highway Patrol data show troopers responded to fewer DWI-related crashes in 2021, but speed continues to be a problem.

Wilmington Police Department (WPD) reflected a 48 percent decrease in speeding tickets issued in 2021 than in 2020.  WPD admitted there have been staff shortages since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and each of the law enforcement agencies have struggled with filling their many vacancies.  However, WPD swore in eleven officers on January 28, 2022.

With respect to being short staffed, DA Ben David said, “They’re doing more with less than any time I’ve been a prosecutor.  One of my real hopes for 2022 is that we really ramp up enforcement, particularly with two things that kill people on the roads: speed and DWI enforcement.” In conclusion, we should expect to see more blue lights in 2022 according to WECT who reported that there will be an increase in enforcement with an emphasis on Speeding and DWI, which are key factors for fatal crashes.

By Michelle K. McDonald, Paralegal

North Carolina Expunction Law Revision

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

Although many provisions of the Second Chance Act went into effect in 2020—a new law intended to give one in four North Carolinians who have a criminal record a chance at a clean slate—hit a key milestone in December 2021.

Beginning on December 1, 2021, charges for which one was found not guilty or which were dismissed, will be expunged by operation of law pursuant to N.C.G.S.§15A-146 (a4):

(a4) Dismissal, Not Guilty, or Not Responsible on or After December 1, 2021. – If any person is charged with a crime, either a misdemeanor or a felony, or is charged with an infraction, the charges in the case are expunged by operation of law if all of the following apply:

(1) All charges in the case are disposed on or after December 1, 2021.

(2) All charges in the case are dismissed without leave, dismissed by the court, or result in a finding of not guilty or not responsible.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, no case with a felony charge that was dismissed pursuant to a plea agreement will be expunged pursuant to this subsection.

These automatic expunctions do not apply to dismissal which are the result of a deferred prosecution, or which were dismissed pursuant to a plea of guilty to another charge.

Before this new law went into effect, the fact that one was charged with a crime remained on ones records and would show on criminal background checks despite a dismissal or a finding of not guilty, unless the charges were expunged after one petitioned the court for an expunction of record.  For charges which were dismissed or acquitted prior to December 1, 2021, one still needs to petition the court for an expunction.

Should you have a criminal record and would like to have your record expunged, please contact Collins Law Firm for a confidential consultation to determine your eligibility.

By Michelle K. McDonald, Paralegal