New North Carolina Laws in 2018

With the brand new year comes new laws that went into effect in North Carolina on January 1, 2018. From new drivers getting more information regarding how to respond when law enforcement pulls them over to new political parties having an easier time getting on state ballots, various issues are addressed in the 20 North Carolina laws.

The following are some of the most significant laws that went into effect in North Carolina this New Year:

  • Traffic stops – Violent and fatal encounters between police and motorists in the news led the General Assembly to require new drivers be taught what to expect during a traffic stop, and what is considered an appropriate response. It is mandatory for the required information to be taught during driver’s education courses. According to the state DMV, the information should be in the latest handbook by the end of March.
  • Prescribing rules – In response to North Carolina’s opioid epidemic, the legislature approved a wide-ranging drug abuse prevention law. Taking effect with the new year, an element of that laws contains a provision that prevents a doctor or other healthcare professional from prescribing more than five days of opioids after the initial visit for acute injuries and more than seven-day supply following surgery. There are exceptions and refills can occur in a follow-up visit.
  • Ballot access – A new law allows easier access for third parties and unaffiliated parties into political races. A political party used to have to collect signatures equal to two percent of the number of voters in the most recent general election. Now, it’s 0.25 percent, or about 83,500 fewer names compared to before.
  • More partisan races – A new law will make all of North Carolina’s Superior Court and District Court elections partisan—meaning you will now know the political parties of the candidate judges.

For more information, contact our Raleigh criminal defense attorneys at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh today.

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