Top Four New and Updated State Laws in 2018

Lawmakers were very busy in 2017, and as a result, a number of new and updated laws go into effect on January 1, 2018. These laws cover a wide range of issues, all the way from law enforcement traffic stop protocol to election law revisions that benefit fringe political parties.

Altogether, there are twenty new and updated North Carolina laws. Below is a quick rundown of the ones that made our top four list.

  • Traffic Stops – When overhead lights flash in the rearview mirror, tempers and emotions are often high. Due to the high number of violent encounters between motorists and police officers, the General Assembly passed a requirement that new drivers learn what to expect during traffic stops and how to respond to certain situations. The state DMV says that drivers’ education handbooks and course materials should be updated by the beginning of April.
  • Prescription Rules – In a new law which addresses the opioid crisis, doctors and other healthcare providers cannot prescribe more than five days’ worth of opioids for acute injuries within seven days after surgery.
  • Ballot Access – Previously, state law required at least 2 percent of the state’s voters to sign a petition to allow a third party onto a state ballot. A new law dropped that requirement to 0.25 percent, which means about 83,000 fewer names.
  • Partisan Judges – A new law makes all North Carolina Superior Court and District Court elections partisan. So, voters will know whether judicial candidates are Democrats, Republicans, or affiliated with other parties.

For more information about your rights in North Carolina, contact the Raleigh criminal defense attorneys at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, Attorneys at Law, today. Go online now or call us at 919-887-8040.