North Carolina is making big strides with new laws in 2016. The official announcement came last October when 50 laws were passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCory during the 2015 legislative session. Some laws took effect immediately while others were enforced on January 1st. It’s essential to be aware of new laws and understand your rights. Here are a few of North Carolina’s recent changes we feel are most important to our clients.

Move Over Law 

Before, drivers were required to change lanes or slow down when approaching police and first-responder vehicles parked on the side of the road with lights flashing. This rule hasn’t changed, but now motorists must also do the same for garbage and recycling trucks with flashing lights.

Revoked License Church Transportation 

A revoked license in North Carolina from DWIs or speeding tickets limit motorists from driving anywhere except for work, education and medical emergencies. Now traffic offenders are granted the right to travel to church or any type of religious worship.

Automatic License Plate Readers 

The ability to use license plate readers is allowed in patrol cars or at fixed locations. Agencies that use readers must have legal documentation to show they are allowed to use the device and maintain all information on file. Once license plate data is taken, the information can be kept for only 90 days unless the evidence is used for a search warrant or investigation.

Electronic Cigarettes 

As the electronic cigarette industry grows, so does the concern of its presence around minors, especially young children. North Carolina now requires child-resistant packaging to enforce child safety. Violations of this new law will result in the most severe type of misdemeanor.

Graffiti Felonies 

Graffiti has never been accepted, and now harsher penalties are in place for those who spray-paint public and private buildings, public statues and tombstones. Although vandalism and property damage was previously addressed under North Carolina law, this new law is labeled as a “graffiti vandalism” offense, for which first-time violators will be charged with a misdemeanor if found guilty. Third-time offenders are at risk to be charged with a felony.

Laws are ever changing and it’s critical to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in our state. At Ludlum Law Firm, we’re committed to protecting your rights. If you’re facing any charges, whether from traffic tickets, DWI or serious felonies, we want to help.

Our attorneys work with clients in Duplin County, NC and Sampson County, NC. Whether you need help with your case or have questions about North Carolina’s newest laws and how they might affect you, please contact our firm. We’re ready to fight for your case and keep you informed about your rights.