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Marine Charged with felony for killing NC High School Student

Early Analysis of Tragic Onslow County Automobile Incident On Monday, March 27, 2017 26-year-old Marine Corp. Avionics Tech Staff Sgt., Joshua Block, hit and killed 16 year-old David Pallacio of Onslow County who was walking to board a stopped school bus. Block passed the stopped school bus that reportedly had its stop sign out. As a case of wrongful death, here are the implications.       Resolution Joshua Block has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and is currently in jail under a $40,000 bond. How will this case be resolved? Here’s our early analysis.  

Everything You Need to Know About an Assault Charge in NC

How Is Assault Defined In North Carolina? In North Carolina, an assault is any harmful or offensive touching. The range is pretty wide – it could be as simple as the accused grabbing someone in a way that is offensive to them, to violent assault that results in grave injury. I had a male client charged for assault for slapping a girl on the behind in a bar. I have seen a violent assault, where somebody was punched in the mouth resulting in injury. I’ve encountered plenty of witnessed assaults where someone simply drew back on someone as if to hit… Read More

Waiver of a Criminal Jury Trial Is Now Possible in North Carolina
Waiver of a Criminal Jury Trial Is Now Possible in North Carolina

The waiver of a criminal jury trial is now possible in North Carolina. In the fall of 2014, North Carolina voters approved an Amendment to the North Carolina Constitution to allow bench trials for felonies in Superior Court, except when the State is seeking a sentence of death. In all other cases, a criminal defendant has the right to request a waiver of trial by jury and instead be tried by a judge. North Carolina law now establishes the procedure for waiver of the right to a jury trial in criminal cases in Superior Court. To do so, the defendant… Read More

Senate Bill Clarifies Credit for Time Served by Defendants
Senate Bill Clarifies Credit for Time Served by Defendants

SENATE BILL 185 is the law in North Carolina. It clarifies credit for time served by accepting a recommendation by the North Carolina Sentencing Commission. The law now states that a defendant should receive credit for any time served related to the incident resulting in the charge. It further clarifies that credit for time served does NOT include any time a defendant has spent in custody as a result of a pending charge while serving a sentence imposed for another offense. This means criminal defendants must make sure to understand why they are being held and not to expect credit… Read More

You Can Use a Handgun on a School Campus IF…
You Can Use a Handgun on a School Campus IF…

You Can Use a Handgun on a School Campus IF… North Carolina law provides an affirmative defense to possession of a handgun on educational property IF the person was a concealed carry holder and thereby authorized to have a handgun in a locked vehicle and removed the handgun from the vehicle only in response to a threatening situation in which deadly force was justified to defend oneself or others pursuant to G.S. 14-51.3. See the full explanation of the legislation here.

Can a Bystander Sue for the Emotional Distress of Witnessing a Horrible Accident?
Can a Bystander Sue for the Emotional Distress of Witnessing a Horrible Accident?

A bystander may sue in order to recover injuries for negligent infliction of emotional distress, even though the bystander was not directly involved in an accident. For example, a wife is walking along a city street. By chance, she sees her husband’s car approaching. A drunk driver comes tearing around a corner and smashes into the husband’s car, it catches on fire and is quickly engulfed in flames. Based on her observations the wife is sure her husband did not survive the accident. In fact, the husband manages to escape the flames and survives the accident with minor injuries. The… Read More

Defending DWI Charges
Defending DWI Charges

What Is the Top Misconception About Being Arrested for DWI? Often, people think just because they or someone they love has been accused of Driving While Impaired (DWI), especially when the accused did drink or take medication prior to driving, that there is nothing that can be done with their case. This is NOT true in many, many cases for the people I represent. In a DWI case, just like any other criminal case, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each and every element of the charge of DWI. Here’s the run-down. You can have a drink or two and… Read More

What is an Owner’s Liability for an Animal Attack?
What is an Owner’s Liability for an Animal Attack?

If an animal bites you, the first thing to determine is: who is the owner of the animal? In most states, the owner of an animal can be held liable for the injuries it inflicts, provided that the owner knew (or had reason to know) that the animal had “dangerous propensities.” In other words, if an animal owner knows that his or her animal is dangerous and could cause injury to a person, the animal owner can be held liable for the animal’s harmful actions. Determining whether an owner knew of an animal’s “dangerous propensities” can be difficult. The first… Read More

What Should You Do If the Police Try to Speak with You?
What Should You Do If the Police Try to Speak with You?

What should you do if the police try to speak with you? Have you ever stopped to consider what you would do if you were suddenly faced with the prospect of being arrested and being asked by the police to give a statement?  Most law-abiding citizens never consider such circumstances because they do not foresee the possibility of ever having problems with the law.  Unfortunately, life is not predictable and many people find themselves in compromising positions where the police will attempt to speak with them. There are several reasons why it may be in your best interests not to… Read More

Don’t Lose Your Personal Injury Claim to a Computer
Don’t Lose Your Personal Injury Claim to a Computer

Unless you are careful, you can lose your personal injury claim to a computer. Many auto insurance companies now use the “Colossus” computer program to evaluate the claims of accident victims.  Colossus is the software used by many insurance companies to aid in predicting the settlement value of injury claims. According to the program’s designer, Computer Science Corporation, it is used by more than 50 percent of the nation’s claim adjusters and by more than 300 insurance companies. Out of the top 20 property and casualty insurers in the United States, 13 are using Colossus. The insurance companies who use it… Read More