Grandparent Custody and Visitation Rights

By King Law Offices July 24th, 2014

In general, a parent has a fundamental and constitutional right to raise and nurture their child.  We often get questions from grandparents who wish to obtain visitation or custody right of their grandchild or children and often do not fully understand what their rights are. Grandparents do have the right to claim custody and visitation rights even over the objections of the biological parents, but the process is complex.

Grandparent rights are considered to be derivative of parental rights, which means that if the child is adopted into another family or the biological parents have their rights terminated—the grandparents lose their right to visitation and custody. In many situations, the grandparents may have a right to institute an action for visitation rights if a substantial relationship exists between them and the child. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Sued?

By King Law Offices | July 18th, 2014

If you are served with papers, remember that this triggers important deadlines for the attorney that you should hire. This is the first and foremost thing. Do not wait around!

The worst thing to do is ignore the papers that were served on you. This will most likely result in some type of money judgment against you, and it will be too late to do anything about it. You cannot ignore this process.

It is important that, once you are served, you review and carefully read the papers that are given to you. These papers will most likely include a summons and a complaint. The summons is important because it will tell you how long you have to file an answer, which is your response to the complaint. The complaint will inform you of the lawsuit that has been filed against you and give you more details regarding the case.

If you have insurance that relates to what you are being sued for, be sure to let your attorney know. If the legal issue in the complaint is something that you have insurance for, your fees may be covered.

Once you have figured out what the issue is about, and if it is unrelated to your insurance, there are two options: represent yourself (this is called ‘pro se’) or hire an attorney. The best advice would be to research for an attorney that handles the types of cases you were served with. We at King Law Offices provide services among a multitude of topics. If you need help with any legal matter, please contact us for an appointment today.

What to Do If You’ve Been Involved in an Auto Accident in North Carolina?

By Maggie Jaynes | July 11th, 2014

An auto accident can be one of the most frightening events you will encounter.  It is important to attempt to remain calm and make sure that the situation is handled in a way that ensures you receive the medical treatment that is vital to your recovery.  First, you should always contact law enforcement as quickly as possible regardless of what the at fault driver suggests and never move your vehicle in advance of police presence.  The police are able to prepare a report and provide information that can be dispositive in determining who is the at-fault driver. Further, without a detailed police report, insurance companies regularly deny claims for compensation.  Read the rest of this entry »

Completing A Financial Affidavit to Help Your Alimony and Spousal Support Case

By Brandon Jaynes | July 7th, 2014

A financial affidavit is a statement of your expenses on the date of your separation and sets out your financial expenses and needs on a monthly basis. The affidavit explains what you own, what you owe, what you earn, and what you spend. This form will be used by the court to determine your monthly expenses and monthly needs, which will help to determine the amount of money you may receive or have to pay to your ex-spouse, whether it is for alimony or otherwise.

First, you should gather as much financial information as you can, including tax information, pay stubs, credit card payments, check registers, bills, and records of any debts and payments made on debts. This information will help you and the attorney to fill out the affidavit and be as accurate as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

North Carolina’s Concealed Carry Permit Law

By King Law Offices | June 30th, 2014

Applying for a Permit

To apply for a concealed carry permit, you must do so at the Sheriff’s Department in the county where you reside. You must submit an application, fee, fingerprint scans, certification of completion of an approved safety course, and a signed release form. The sheriff will either issue or deny the permit within forty-five days after receiving the aforementioned list and obtaining the required mental health records from the State. Permits are valid for a period of five years.

To qualify to carry a concealed handgun, you must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of the state for at least thirty days. You must at least age twenty-one and must not suffer from any physical or mental issues that prevent you from safely operating a handgun. You must have completed an approved firearms safety and training course. Read the rest of this entry »

Can I Own or Possess a Firearm if I’ve Been Convicted of a Felony?

By King Law Offices | June 23rd, 2014

Generally no, you cannot own or possess a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony. This applies even if you have just been charged of a felony and not yet convicted. A firearm is “any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, or its frame or receiver, or any firearm muffler or firearm silencer.” If you violate this law, you will be punished with a Class G felony.
Read the rest of this entry »

How to Reduce your Bail Bond on a North Carolina Criminal Charge

By King Law Offices | June 16th, 2014

The setting of a bail bond is a way for the court to ensure that a person obligated to appear in court will do so.  It also is supposed to protect the public from potentially dangerous defendants.  In practice, it is sometimes a spur of the moment decision, and it can be heavily influenced by perception of a particular defendant.    The seriousness of the crime, prior criminal record, employment, family circumstances, and living situation can all play a role in making a bail bond decision.  When representing yourself, the way you articulate your situation can be crucial in determining whether or not you await trial behind bars.  Read the rest of this entry »

Can I get an Expunction or Expungement of my Criminal Record?

By Brandon Jaynes | June 9th, 2014

An expunction is the removal of a criminal record by an order of the court. When there is a successful expungement/expunction, a person will be restored to the status she held prior to existence of her criminal record.

North Carolina has twelve different expunction statutes. However, the ability to expunge a criminal record in our state is not very common.  It is not rare, and King Law Offices regularly does them; however, they are not available to everyone. In general, there are three main categories of expunctions. The first involves a first time, nonviolent offense that occurred more than 15 years ago. The second involves a first time offense that was committed under the age of 18 or 22 (depending on the charge). The third, involves a charge that was dismissed or disposed “not guilty.”

The twelve expunction statutes include the following situations: juvenile records, misdemeanor under age 18, gang offense under age 18, controlled substance under age 22, toxic vapors under age 22, nonviolent felony under age 18, nonviolent offense, prostitution offense, charge resulting in a not guilty or dismissal, identity theft, DNA records, and pardon of innocence.  There are subcategories under these, and the only way to ensure that your situation is covered is to have a consultation with our firm.

The expunction process can be time consuming and  there are many steps involved, but the attorneys here at King Law Offices are here to help you through it. First, we will obtain a complete criminal record in order to determine if you are eligible for expunction, as well as determine what type of petition needs to be filed with the court. Once the proper forms are complete, King Law Offices will ensure that the proper county specifications are followed in order to get your petition on the right track. When everything has been filed properly, the wait begins. Waiting to hear back from the State Bureau of Investigation and Administrator of the Courts can take six months in some cases. However, once the petition has been returned, it will either be reviewed by a judge or a hearing will be held in order to dismiss or approve your expunction.

Again, this is a brief overview of the process and there are many  important details involve. If you would like to discuss a potential expunction of your criminal record, please call our office at 828-286-3332 to set up an appointment and get started as soon as possible.

Related Post: Are you Eligible for an Expunction?

Partition by Sale vs Partition in Kind

By King Law Offices | June 1st, 2014

Partitioning is a division in real or personal property between co-owners. This typically occurs when property is inherited or passed down to heirs. There are two types of partitioning: Partition in Kind and Partition by Sale. These are described in Chapter 46 of the North Carolina General Statutes.

Partition in Kind (also known as Actual Partition) occurs simply when the property is divided, equitably and fairly, between the multiple owners. Each co-owner will own a certain percentage of the property. Courts tend to favor this approach because it does not require someone to sell their property against their will.

Partition by Sale occurs on two occasions. First, a Partition by Sale could occur if the property at issue cannot physically (or equitably) be divided among the co-owners. A Partition by Sale can also occur when a Partition in Kind could not be made without substantial injury to any of the interested parties. This means that, if dividing the property among the co-owners would substantially injure any or all of the co-owners, the court will order a sale of the entire property and the proceeds from the sale will be divided up among the co-owners and distributed accordingly. When determining what constitutes “substantial injury,” according to North Carolina General Statute §46-22, the court will look at the following issues:

  • Whether the fair market value of each co-owner’s share of the actual property would be materially less than the amount each co-owner would receive from a sale of the property as a whole.
  • Whether dividing the property through Partition in Kind would result in material impairment of any co-owner’s rights.

If you are the party seeking a Partition by Sale rather than a Partition in Kind, you have the burden of proving that substantial injury would otherwise occur.  It is generally frowned upon to compel someone to sell his or her property, which is why Partition in Kind is the most favored and most often route taken. However, if property is inherited or passed down by law, and co-owners are unable to agree on certain things, Partition by Sale allows a way out.  Either way, please contact us for a consult with a competent attorney at King Law Offices to discuss your specific situation and options.

Should I just pay off my North Carolina traffic ticket?

By Brandon Jaynes | May 26th, 2014

At some point in time, nearly everyone receives a ticket for a traffic infraction.  The experience of getting a ticket can be burdensome and cause undue stress.  Many people choose to deal with the ticket by paying it off.  This is often the worst way to handle a traffic ticket, even as North Carolina pushes you to pay it off online.  Traffic violations lead to points on your insurance, which directly lead to increases in your insurance rate.  For example, if you are ticketed for traveling 76 mph in a 65 mph zone, this ticket will be assessed 4 points on your insurance.  The result is a 90% increase in your insurance rate.  On top of the insurance concerns, traffic violations accumulate points that can eventually lead to you losing your license.

Increasingly, more court systems are allowing payment for traffic tickets online.  While this may appear to be a simple fix to your problem, you are actually pleading guilty to that offense and welcoming all of the consequences that accompany it without any reduction.  Even if you are guilty, you will lose the option to reduce the impact on your driving record and insurance that may be available to you.

Different from other areas of the law, many avenues for avoiding traffic violation points are readily available.  In North Carolina, these include a potential reduction of speed to under 10 MPH over the speed the limit; a reduction to improper equipment (a non moving violation that should not change your insurance rate); or, a prayer for judgment continued (PJC), when the court indefinitely withholds judgment.  Most district attorneys are more than willing to help you out, as traffic is a special area of the law.

If any of these options appeal to you, the smartest move is to speak with a lawyer.  Lawyers who handle traffic tickets are familiar with the consequences on your insurance and license that a ticket can bring, and they can advise you on the proper course of action.  Many people mistakenly assume that adding a lawyer increases the hassle and expense when handling a traffic matter.  A lawyer can fight on your behalf in negotiations with prosecutors to reduce the amount of future expense.  When considering the insurance rate increases, it can often be the smartest financial move.  Further, a lawyer is normally able to appear in court on your behalf, allowing you to remove yourself from the stress of handling the ticket.

In short, make sure you consider all options before simply paying off your traffic ticket.  A speeding or other traffic citation can result in your license being suspended, your insurance rates increasing, and your driving record being ruined.  King Law Offices now offers a promotional rate for many traffic tickets in the state of North Carolina.  Engaging our services may seem to be an extra cost up front, but can very likely save you thousands over the long run.