Get Answers to Your Most Commonly Asked Questions About Injury, Criminal, Divorce and Civil Law in North Carolina.

Questions about an important legal matter involving an injury claim, a criminal charge in state or federal court, a divorce or custody issue or a civil litigation case?  We answer many of your questions here.  This is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice.  It is designed to give you the information you need to get started and to be knowledgable about the process so that you can make good decisions about your case going forward.

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  • What should I do if I think I may be arrested soon?

    If you think you may be arrested, contact us as soon as possible.  We will make arrangements to see you immediately.  It is vital that you speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer quickly for several important reasons. 

    Peaceful Surrender

    First, we can plan and arrange a peaceful surrender on mutually agreeable terms.  This may avoid an embarrassing scene in public or at your home or workplace.  Law enforcement officers generally prefer this method because it eliminates common security risks.

    Your Right to Remain Silent

    Second, we can appear with you and avoid common mistakes people make during arrest.  Many people feel pressure to answer questions posed by law enforcement officers.  This is always a bad idea.  The officer may say, “I just want to get your side of the story.”  Your answers may be the most damning evidence in the case against you.  One of the most important rights you have under the constitution is the right to remain silent.  You should always discuss the matter thoroughly with your attorney before speaking with anyone else. 

    Your Other Rights

    Third, we can help you understand your other rights and know when to use them.  Will they ask to search your car?  Your home?  Will they ask you to submit to a polygraph? Can they do that? 

    Bond

    Fourth, we can appear with you before the magistrate.  The magistrate will answer several questions in determining an appropriate bond amount.  How serious are the charges?  What is the risk of your non-appearance?  Do you pose a danger to the community?  Besides your word, what evidence do you have to show that you will be there for court and that you present no danger to the community between arrest and trial?  We can appear with you and speak for you to the magistrate.  We may be able to help secure your pre-trial unsecured or lower bond amount.

     

  • What should I do if my child is charged wtih a crime in Wilmington, NC?

    A criminal charge always presents a challenge.  Some challenges are bigger than others.  However, it is sometimes our response to a challenge and not the challenge that defines us. A challenge can be an opportunity. This criminal charge may be your opportunity to improve your child’s position and to get him back on track so that he can and reach his potential in life.

    This challenge can also be very dangerous.  Criminal allegations can produce life-altering consequences.  The magnitude of the consequences will depend upon the response.

    If you have changed diapers, called out spelling words, and spent Saturdays on soccer fields, you have invested too much to give up now.  You can help them by getting them the best possible lawyer immediately.  It is vital that this is done before communicating with law enforcement.  Call now to find out why.

    Our Criminal Defense lawyers can provide help now in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Hampstead, Shallotte, Burgaw, Top Sail Island, New Hanover County, Pender County, Brunswick County and Onslow County.

    Call (910) 341-7570 or toll free at (877) 593-4233 now and we will develop a plan to meet this challenge head-on without sacrificing the goals you have for your child's future.

     

  • What should I do if I am charged with DWI in Wilmington, North Carolina?

     

    DWI Lawyers in Wilmington NC

    Anyone can be charged with a crime.  Now that YOU have been charged, your reputation, your career, and your freedom may be in DANGER.  WE CAN HELP!  Our Experience, Effort and Relationships are a phone call away.

    In North Carolina, DWI is punishable by up to two years in prison (even more under certain circumstances).  If convicted, you can receive a sentence of imprisonment even if you have no previous criminal convictions.  In addition, the DMV is required to revoke your driver’s license after a conviction for DWI.  NCGS § 2-17(a)(2).

    However, just because you have been charged with DWI does not mean you are guilty of anything.  You have rights!  The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you (1) drove (2) a vehicle (3) on a highway, street or public vehicular area (4) while impaired.  NCGS § 138.1(a).  You may be able to argue that they have failed to prove an element or you may be able to challenge the stop, the arrest or the intoxillizer results.

    If you are convicted, there will be a sentencing hearing where the judge will weigh aggravating and mitigating factors that may apply to your case.  NCGS § 138.1(d).  The results of this hearing will determine your punishment.  This is also the time when you would file a Petition with the Court formally requesting a Limited Driving Privilege.

    The DWI process is complex in North Carolina.  The defense of this criminal charge involves the analysis of many legal issues and requires extensive knowledge of Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, the Rules of Evidence, and Criminal Procedure.  The proper application of these laws to the facts of your case will determine whether you will be convicted and (if convicted) the nature and extent of your punishment.

    The next call you make could determine the outcome of your case.  The outcome of your case may have a tremendous impact on your life.  Take control by calling (910) 341-7570 NOW!  The call is free. 

    DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers in Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Leland, Shallotte, Burgaw, Hampstead, Bolivia, New Hanover County, Pender County, and Brunswick County.

  • What should I do if I am charged by police with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina?

    Anyone can be charged with a crime.  Now that YOU have been charged, your reputation, your career, and your freedom may be in DANGER.  WE CAN HELP!  Our Experience, Effort and Relationships are a phone call away.

    In North Carolina, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia is a Class 1 Misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 120 days in jail.  It is often charged along with some other type of drug offense.  In addition to jail, punishment can include a fine and probation.  In general, a misdemeanor conviction is permanent.  It may prevent you from getting a job or getting into a school.  It is a serious charge that can have lifelong consequences.

    HOWEVER, just because you are charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty of anything.  You have rights!  Before you can be convicted of a crime, the state must be able to prove each element of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  In addition, you may be able to suppress illegally obtained evidence or negotiate with the District Attorney’s Office based on your character and accomplishments.  It is vitally important that you immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

    Criminal Defense requires extensive knowledge of Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, the Rules of Evidence, and Criminal Procedure.  It also requires familiarity with the other parties involved including the judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers.  How you deal with these laws and these people will likely determine whether you will be convicted and (if convicted) the nature and extent of your punishment.

    The next call you make could determine the outcome of your case.  The outcome of your case may have a tremendous impact on your life.  Take control by calling (910) 341-7570 NOW!  The call is free.

    Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Criminal Defense Lawyers in Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Leland, Shallotte, Burgaw, Hampstead, Bolivia, New Hanover County, Pender County, and Brunswick County.

  • What should I do if I am charged with Assault on a Female in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina?

               Anyone can be charged with a crime.  Now that YOU have been charged, your reputation, your career, and your freedom may be in DANGER.  WE CAN HELP!  Our Experience, Effort and Relationships are a phone call away.

                Assault on a Female is a Class A1 Misdemeanor.  It is punishable by a statutory maximum of 150 days in jail.  If convicted, you can receive a sentence of imprisonment even if you have never been convicted of anything.  In addition, those convicted of assault on a female can also be fined, required to take classes and undergo psychological evaluations.

                However, just because you have been charged does not mean you are guilty of anything.  You have rights!  In order to convict, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that are (1) at least 18 years old, (2) a male, and that you (3) committed an assault (4) on a female.  In addition, you may be able to suppress illegally obtained evidence or negotiate with the District Attorney’s Office based on your good character and prior achievements.  It is vitally important that you immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

                Criminal Defense requires extensive knowledge of Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, the Rules of Evidence, and Criminal Procedure.  It also requires familiarity with the other parties involved including the judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers.  How you deal with these laws and these people will likely determine whether you will be convicted and (if convicted) the nature and extent of your punishment.

               The next call you make could determine the outcome of your case.  The outcome of your case may have a tremendous impact on your life.  Take control by calling (910) 341-7570 NOW!  The call is free.

    Assault on a Female Criminal Defense Lawyers in Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Leland, Shallotte, Burgaw, Hampstead, Bolivia, New Hanover County, Pender County, and Brunswick County.

  • What should I do if I have been charged with shoplifting or larceny in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina?

               Anyone can be charged with a crime.  Now that YOU have been charged, your reputation, your career, and your freedom may be in DANGER.  WE CAN HELP!  Our Experience, Effort and Relationships are a phone call away.

                In North Carolina, shoplifting and larceny are Class 1 Misdemeanors punishable by up to 120 days in jail.  In addition to jail, punishment can include a fine and probation.  In general, a misdemeanor conviction is permanent.  It may prevent you from getting a job or getting into a school.  It is a serious charge that can have lifelong consequences.

                HOWEVER, just because you are charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty of anything.  You have rights!  Before you can be convicted of a crime, the state must be able to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  In addition, you may be able to suppress illegally obtained evidence or negotiate with the District Attorney’s Office based on your good character and prior achievements.  It is vitally important that you immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

                Criminal Defense requires extensive knowledge of Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, the Rules of Evidence, and Criminal Procedure.  It also requires familiarity with the other parties involved including the judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers.  How you deal with these laws and these people will likely determine whether you will be convicted and (if convicted) the nature and extent of your punishment.

    The next call you make could determine the outcome of your case.  The outcome of your case may have a lasting impact on your life.  We help young people and professionals in situations just like yours.  Call us at (910) 341-7570 now to find out what we can do to help you today.  The consultation is free.
     

    Shoplifting Larceny Criminal Defense Lawyers in Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Leland, Shallotte, Burgaw, Hampstead, Bolivia, New Hanover County, Pender County, and Brunswick County.

  • I was charged with Assault on a Female in Wilmington, NC. I did not do it. My girl friend just wants it dropped. Will the DA drop the case? Do I need a lawyer?

    Like most days, I was in court today.  While I was there I witnessed the following scenario. 

    A man was charged with Assault on a Female.  The man said he did not do it.  The female said he did not do it.  She wanted the case dismissed. 

    The ADA (the state prosecutor) explained to the female that this was a criminal case not a civil case.  He explained that she was not a party to the lawsuit, that she was a witness; that she had been subpoenaed to be in court, that she could be compelled to testify, that she told the officers on the night of the incident that she was assaulted, and that it is a crime to lie to the police.  He then asked her again, “Were you assaulted?”

    This particular female stood her ground.  “No”, she said.  The pressure continued.

    The man pled “Not Guilty.”  The judge conducted a short trial. The man testified that he did not assault her.  The female testified that the man did not assault her.  The judge found the man “Guilty”.  The judge sentenced the man to 20 days in jail and probation.

    The ADA is not a bad person.  He is not a bully.  In fact, he is a good person.  The judge is not crazy.  They are both trying to protect a person who they believe was the victim of assault.  They believe she may be in danger.  They believe that she was telling the truth to the police and that she is not telling the truth now.  The ADA’s job is to protect victims whether or not they cooperate.

    Every day women come to court and say, “He is sorry.”  “He did not do it.”  “He did not mean to do it.”  Many of those women are the assaulted over and over again.  Some of them are seriously injured.  A few of them have been killed.

    That is the backdrop against which your case will be considered.  You do need an experienced criminal defense lawyer and you need one now.  If you have questions about your case, please call or contact us  on the right hand column of our home page or through the chat option for more information.

     

  • What is a Suppression Motion in criminal defense in North Carolina?

    Suppression

    If there is a legal basis, your lawyer will file a motion with the court asking the court to “suppress” certain evidence.  Evidence is suppressed when a judge determines that the jury will not be allowed to consider it in determining whether you are guilty.   Suppression motions can be very important in criminal cases.  A successful suppression motion can end a criminal prosecution, greatly improve your chances or winning at trial or provide a basis for effective plea negotiation.

    Filing a Suppression Motion can have negative consequences, as well.  The prosecutor may seek to indict you on additional charges where there is a factual basis.  Also, the prosecutor could file enhancements that may increase mandatory minimum sentences.  In federal prosecutions, the government’s need for your cooperation could diminish if there are other available sources for the same information.

  • What is discovery in a criminal case and why is it important?

    Evidentiary Analysis

    Your lawyer should request and review the Discovery materials in your case.  The Discovery materials are the police reports, lab reports, witness statements, photographs, videos and other evidence that the prosecutor will try to use to prove your guilt.  As your lawyer is reviewing discovery, he or she will be looking problems with the prosecutor’s evidence.  He or she will consider constitutional issues relating to the stop, the search and interrogations.  He or she will consider the Rules Evidence and how they apply to your case.  He or she will contemplate and research some of the thousands of cases that interpret these and other legal principles.  I have been in a criminal courtroom almost every weekday since 1997 and I perform some type of research in almost every case.

    He will consider whether any of the harmful evidence can be suppressed because it was illegally obtained.  He may be able to suppress evidence that is not lawfully presented.  He will also consider whether any defenses may apply in your case.  He will then be able to give you an opinion on whether or not you are likely to be convicted in court.  The probabability of your conviction will help you decide whether you want to plead or try your case.

    More importantly, the issues identified through this process will be the basis for plea negotiation.  Great lawyers go through this process very carefully.  Many lawyers do not go through it at all or give it a casual glance.  This process is the difference between a good result and a bad result.  Often when you see a different result in similar cases, the difference results from effective evidentiary analysis.

  • What should I do if I think I may be charged with a crime?

    Charged with a crime? Your reputation, career, money and freedom may be at risk. The lawyer you choose can mean the difference between winning and losing.

    If you have been charged or believe you may be charged with a crime in one of North Carolina's state or federal courts, you need to act now. The decisions you make in the hours, days, and weeks to come may affect you for the rest of your life. You have rights. What are they? When should you use them? Should you "answer a few questions" or ask for a lawyer? Should you give the police consent to search? Should you submit to a polygraph or lie-detector test? Does it make any difference that they did not read you your rights? Can you just explain why you did it? Do you have to prove that you did not do it?

    Just because you were charged with a crime does not mean you will be found guilty. It does mean that you will be required to make decisions quickly. Good decisions are almost always the result of good information. You will get much of your information from your criminal defense lawyer. If your lawyer gives you good and reliable information, then you will make good decisions. If he does not, then you will not. The lawyer standing beside you when you make these critical decisions can make the difference between winning and losing, between vindication and incarceration, and between freedom and imprisonment.

    As criminal defense lawyers in North Carolina, we can assure you: this is a critical time in the life of your case. If you have been charged with a drug offense, DWI, financial crime, larceny, domestic violence, sexual offense, crime of violence, or other offense in Wilmington, New Hanover, Brunswick, or Pender County, or anywhere else in North Carolina, you need to begin now. You need to make sure that your side of the story will be told. Call Speaks Law Firm toll-free at 877-593-4233 today to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the reliable information that you need. Sometimes people don't call until they have already made a mistake that will cost them dearly. Don't make that mistake. Please call now.