Accidentally Breaking the Law

I was in court the other day, and the assistant district attorney said to me, “there isn’t anyone around who hasn’t committed several misdemeanors.”  He wasn’t referring to the people in court that day.  He was referring to everyone!  He also wasn’t saying that because he was making a statement on how bad he thinks (more…)

DWI – Why is my Case Taking so Long?

Your legal problem started by being pulled over and charged by a police officer with a traffic and criminal violation. And not just any criminal violation, you were charged with a DWI – driving while intoxicated – which is a criminal offense unto its self. Many DWIs are charged after an initial  traffic violation has occurred – (more…)

Who Qualifies for an Expungement?

There is a laundry list of qualifications that a petitioner must meet before they are eligible for  an expungment.  These qualifications are outlined in Article 5 of the North Carolina General Statutes and  more specifically in § 15A-145 through § 15A-149.  The majority of the statutes are only applicable to petitioners under the age of 21 (more…)

To Plea or Not to Plea?

Jail or a suspended sentence does not require much thought for most people. However, many people do not realize the future ramifications of accepting a plea offer, while others have a better understanding than the attorneys representing them. With a plea bargain the lawyer will speak to the District Attorney prior to the case being (more…)

Are You Eligible for an Expunction of Your Criminal Record?

UPDATE: The Law Regarding Expunctions Has Recently Changed. Please Click Here For Updated Info. Expunctions in North Carolina are actually a fairly complex area of the law. This is especially unfortunate given today’s connected world. Essentially, even things that were charges decades ago can be found in a North Carolina background check. Those charges, even if (more…)

DWI Sentencing

When it comes to sentencing for criminal convictions, Driving While Impaired (DWI) convictions are their own area of law.  There is a specific list of aggravating factors and mitigating factors for DWI sentencing, and the punishments can vary considerably depending on what level of punishment into which you fall. First, let us examine the grossly aggravating, aggravating, (more…)

Probable Cause Hearings

Felony cases may be initiated by a criminal warrant. If this happens, at the defendant’s first appearance, the judge must set a date for a probable cause hearing within fifteen days of that first appearance. If no court is in session that is available within that fifteen days, then the probable cause hearing must on (more…)

Failure To Appear

If you fail to appear in court when scheduled to do so, you may face additional criminal charges.  There are many innocent reasons why you may have missed a court date. You may have been sick and unable to make it, or perhaps an emergency situation arose. You may have been confused as to the actual court (more…)

Limited Driving Privileges

There are a number of laws surrounding the charge of impaired driving, or DWI, that are implicated when someone is charged with impaired driving.  One of these is an immediate civil revocation of a driver’s license in North Carolina.  There are other revocations that can occur, such as the one-year revocation following a conviction, but in (more…)

How Long?

A common question that criminal defendants (or their family members) ask if “How long am I looking at?” for a jail/prison sentence. With a bit of legwork, the criminal defendant can typically get a pretty good idea of what he or she may be looking at under North Carolina law. I will attempt to provide (more…)