Many people believe that certain laws are absolute when in reality, they are not. Legal knowledge can be confusing, and unfortunately, some myths persist in our collective understanding. To help clear things up, here are 10 legal myths debunked. From the misconception that a State Trooper must wear a hat to issue a citation, to the belief that having a civil claim guarantees large monetary awards, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn the truth about common legal myths and ensure you have the accurate information you need.
A State Trooper cannot issue you a citation without a hat on. Although it is hard to know how this myth came about, it is simply not true. A Trooper’s authority to issue citations derives from his or her position, not headgear.
Having a civil claim means you will be awarded damages.
At King Law, we advise our clients on courses of action that best help them achieve their goals. Simply “having a case” does not mean the same thing as having a case that will lead to large monetary awards.
A contract must be in writing to be enforceable.
Many verbal contracts are enforceable. A law called the “Statute of Frauds” sets out which contracts must be evidenced by writing. However, it is typically advisable to hire an attorney to draft a written contract for evidentiary purposes.
The police must read you your Miranda rights after arresting you.
Miranda v. Arizona only applies to custodial interrogations. Accordingly, police officers are only required to read an arrestee their Miranda rights when they are (1) in custody and (2) about to be questioned.
Police need a warrant to search your vehicle.
Due to the “Carroll Doctrine”, vehicles that are operative (mobile) typically may be searched by the police on probable cause alone, even without a search warrant. The police may need a search warrant to search a vehicle that is not readily mobile, or to conduct an in-depth “inventory search”.
Most cases end up going to trial.
It is commonly accepted that over 90% of cases (both criminal and civil) never make it to trial. Do not be deterred from taking legal action due to fear of a trial.
You can find most of the answers to your legal questions online.
Attempting to find answers to legal questions without a law school education and legal training is often extremely difficult. It is critical to speak to a licensed attorney and avoid attempting to untangle the complex web of law alone.
If you have insurance, you do not need to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Insurance companies are incentivized to have to pay out as little as possible. If you are injured due to the negligence or wrong of another, you should still contact a qualified firm that handles personal injury cases, such as King Law.
You must file a court document to legally separate from your spouse.
In many states, like North Carolina, a married couple must be separated for one year before they are eligible to file for divorce. To be separated means to live in two separate residences. However, there is no required filing necessary to begin the separation process. You should, however, hire an attorney to guide you through the process and draft a separation agreement, which can save you a world of trouble later in the process.
I do not need estate planning documents because my belongings will still go to whoever I wish.
Those that pass away without estate planning documents (such as a will, trust, or POD account) will have their estate distributed according to the state’s default estate plan: intestacy. More often than not, this is not the desired estate plan for anyone. Further, if no state-designated takers are alive at the decedent’s death, the estate will “escheat” (become the property of the state the decedent resides in).
If you believe any of these legal myths, it is time to contact King Law Offices at (888)-748-KING. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through the complex world of law and ensure you have accurate information. Whether you are dealing with a civil claim, a divorce, or need help with estate planning, we are here to help. Do not hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a consultation today.