The Chief Judge of Mecklenburg County, in anticipation of the wintry mix and ice on January 11, closed the Magistrate’s office. Mecklenburg County Sheriff Bailey had harsh criticism of the move, fearing for safety, overcrowding and the potential effect on cases. One of his main concerns was that arrestees were not being seen by Magistrates within a reasonable amount of time, as guaranteed by North Carolina law. This is especially important in DWI cases where a processed individual has the opportunity to obtain independent blood alcohol test results. With so much time elapsing before release, an individual is deprived of that opportunity to challenge evidence obtained by the state. Anyone who was detained during that time frame may have had substantial rights altered and should seek more information.
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