(910) 793-9000
(910) 793-9000
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Wilmington, NC 28403

Collins Law Firm :: Blog

Archive for September, 2010

Felony Charges Disposed Most Rapidly in the 5th Judicial District (New Hanover and Pender Counties)

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

New Hanover County CourthouseThe Wilmington Star recently ran a story about a report published by the Administrative Office of the Courts which shows that felony criminal charges, on average, have been resolved in the shortest amount of time amongst all of the 43 prosecutorial districts in North Carolina. The statewide median number of days for the resolution of felony cases was 181 days, within the 5th prosecutorial district, the median number days was 106. The district attorney’s office attributed the efficiency to the felony district court program run by Assistant District Attorney Holt Trotman. The program is informally known in the court house as felony Thursday, because the court is held on Thursdays.

The only dispositions which are possible are guilty pleas or dismissals. If cases are not resolved in district court, they are then sent to the Grand Jury for indictment and resolved in Superior Court. If a defendant is charged with a low level felony and has a clean criminal history, it is often possible to have those charges reduced to misdemeanors. In some cases deferred prosecutions can be arranged which would result ultimately in the dismissal of the case. In many cases, charges which were originally felonies which are dismissed through a deferred prosecution or outright dismissed, can be expunged and completely removed from one’s public criminal record, if the defendant has not had an expungement before. Criminal charges which were dismissed but for which there was not an expunction will remain on one’s criminal record. However the record will show that the charges were dismissed. Attorney David Collins of Collins Law Firm regularly appears in the felony district court program for New Hanover County which is located in Wilmington, NC. If you wish to call us for a consultation regarding any legal matters for which you need legal representation, feel free to call us at (910) 793-9000.

Drug and Alcohol Violations on the UNCW Campus

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The UNCW newspaper, theseahawk.org, recently reported that alcohol violations were up 50% and drug violations were up 23% over the previous year. Students should be aware that if they are convicted of an alcohol or drug offense such as possession of marijuana, underage drinking or possession of an open container, a criminal conviction could remain on their record for the rest of their life. However, there are ways to avoid a conviction and Collins Law Firm has avoided convictions in hundreds if not thousands of cases involving controlled substances or alcohol.

The article also reported that burglaries are down 47% from the previous year which is good news.

Collins Law Firm is located only one mile from the UNCW campus and offers student discounts so UNCW students should feel free to call (910) 793-9000 for a consultation regarding legal matters we handle.

Labor Day is Over – Fall is Almost Here

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Fall Leaves and Roots by Zach DotseyLabor Day is over, school started back and it is almost fall. We hope everybody had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. There was heavy traffic in most parts of the country and if you happened to get a speeding ticket or traffic citation in Southeast North Carolina, Collins Law Firm can help.

In most cases, so long as you have a clean driving records for speeding tickets at non-excessively high speeds, we can avoid court appearances and points on both your insurance and DMV record. For people with violations already on their record, there are still ways in most cases that points can be avoided. In some cases the defendant may have to go to driving school and in some cases a Prayer for Judgement Continued (PJC) maybe used. However, PJC is a valuable option to dispose of a traffic charge which should only be used when necessary.

For example, if there are multiple members of a household and one person uses a PJC, if another person in the household gets a traffic citation within the next three years and receives a PJC, insurance points will assessed for that violation.

Collins Law Firm has been representing people charged with traffic citations, speeding tickets, and other criminal charges in Southeast North Carolina for over ten years and we will be happy to discuss your situation with you by phone at no charge if you receive a traffic citation. Call the Collins Law Firm at (910) 793-9000.

Labor Day Weekend

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Wilmington Traffic | Source: WWAYTV3.com

Hurricane Earl has passed our area, and thankfully without inflicting much serious damage to our area.

Now we are heading into a busy Labor Day weekend. The American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting a 10% increase in travelers on the road this year over last year. They predict that about 34.4 million people are likely to take trips of at least 50 miles.

That means that everyone needs to take greater precautions and plan for heavier traffic and slower travel paces. Law enforcement is likely to be stepped up this weekend and many people will likely receive speeding tickets or other traffic citations, and there are likely to be more accidents on the road than on non-holiday weekends. There are also likely to be impaired drivers and boaters who will receive DWI/DUI’s and BWI/BUI’s (boating while impaired/under the influence).

Anyone who receives a ticket or other criminal charges, or who is involved in an accident can call Collins Law Firm for a consultation about what we can do to help. We have been serving Southeastern North Carolina around the Wilmington, NC area for over ten years, representing people charged with traffic tickets or other criminal charges and people injured in traffic accidents or crashes.

Please be safe and have a wonderful weekend!

Collins Law Firm

Hurricane Earl

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Hurricane Earl image from Weather.comHurricane Earl is rapidly approaching coastal North Carolina, and many people in our area are likely to be affected by this storm.

Those in the affected areas may sustain damage to their property. If they have home owners insurance, some or all of the damages may be covered. However, in order to increase the chances of claims being paid accurately, you should document the damage. For example, if you live in a flood-prone area and are likely to incur flood damage, you should videotape the areas likely to be affected before the damage occurs to show the pre-damage state of your property. Likewise, if you are likely to sustain damage to the exterior of you dwelling, videotape or take pictures of the exterior to show what good shape it was in prior to the storm.

If you are in an area where there is a mandatory evacuation and you fail to evacuate, there may not be emergency services available to you for a period of  time. Therefore, if you are in an area with a mandatory evacuation you should heed the warnings and evacuate.

Collins Law Firm hopes that no one gets injured in this storm and that the property damage will only be slight or none at all.