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Archive for the ‘Misdemeanors’ Category

Browsing Post with the Tag: Misdemeanors


Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Expungements, Expunctions Anyone can be charged with a crime, and many people are wrongfully accused. Just because someone has been charged does not mean they are guilty. Criminal charges, even wrongful criminal charges, result in criminal records which can affect people for their entire life. Therefore, it is very important that people who are charged take the matter seriously and take appropriate steps to avoid or mitigate the negative consequences of criminal charges. In some cases, it is possible to have criminal records expunged which means the official public records are removed and destroyed by a process called expungement or expunction.

In North Carolina, if a person is convicted of a crime which occurred after they were 18 years of age or older, the conviction cannot be expunged. However, in some cases, it may be possible to reopen a case through a motion for appropriate relief, and thereafter have the charge dismissed. If successful, it may then be expunged. Convictions for misdemeanors which occurred before the defendant was 18 years old may be expunged when certain conditions are met.

Criminal charges for which the defendant was not convicted, i.e. the charges were dismissed or the defendant was found not guilty, may be expunged. However, a defendant may only receive an expungement for a set of charges which all occurred within a 12 month period or which were all disposed in the same term of court. A defendant may only receive one expungement in North Carolina, with a few exceptions.

Criminal charges based on another person using their identity (i.e. identity theft), which are dismissed may be expunged, and there appears to be no limit on the number of charges which can be expunged under this provision. In addition, charges for which one has received a pardon of innocence may be expunged, and there appears to be no limit on the number of charges which can be expunged under this provision. There are also statutes which provide for expungement of some drug charges which are dismissed pursuant to statutory deferred prosecution provisions.

If you have been charged with a crime and want to discuss the possibility of an expungement or expunction, call Collins Law Firm at 910-793-9000.

What is a Prayer for Judgment Continued (or PJC)?

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

What is a Prayer for Judgment Continued?A possible disposition for a criminal or traffic charge (either an infraction, misdemeanor, or a felony) unique to North Carolina state courts, is a Prayer for Judgment Continued, or PJC.  When requesting a court to grant a request for a PJC, the proper way attorneys ask is to request that the “judgment be continued,” or to request that the court “continue judgment.”  While a PJC is an excellent result in many cases, it may not be the best result for all criminal or traffic cases.

Our experience has been that the effect of a PJC is highly misunderstood by most people, including lawyers or other legal professionals not experienced in traffic or criminal law.

The effect of a PJC for traffic violations is controlled by statutes and varies with the context in which it is considered.  A PJC may or may not avoid points, and the rules are different with respect to driver’s license points (or DMV points) or insurance points.   We have posted an article explaining more details about what a PJC is and how it may affect one’s record on our site, and a brief summary of how a PJC may affect insurance and DMV points for traffic violations.

Any time you are considering requesting a PJC, you should always consult with an experienced criminal or traffic lawyer.  If you have a pending court date for a criminal matter or traffic violation, call Attorney David Collins at Collins Law Firm for a consultation at 910-793-9000.

At Collins Law Firm, we have been practicing criminal and traffic law in Southeastern North Carolina for over a decade and David Collins has been licensed to practice law in both North Carolina and South Carolina since 1993.  The counties we cover for criminal and traffic matters include (County/Seat of Court): Brunswick County/Bolivia, NC; New Hanover County/Wilmington, NC; Pender County/Burgaw, NC; Columbus County/Whiteville, NC; Bladen County/Elizabethtown, NC; Sampson County/Clinton, NC; Duplin County/Kenansville, NC; and Onslow County/Jacksonville, NC.

Back to School, or Off to College for Your First Semester

Friday, August 27th, 2010

For students, the summer is over and school is starting again. Many students will be starting college for the first time and it will be in a new environment with many challenges and temptations.

Underage drinking and use of controlled substances is common on most, if not all, college campuses.   For some law enforcement agencies, back to school means stepped-up enforcement of alcohol laws as well as general law enforcement.   This means that many students will be receiving criminal charges or citations for underage drinking or other related criminal activities including underage possession, underage consumption, and fake ID’s.   Some people do not consider these serious charges, but they are misdemeanor charges for which a conviction can mean a criminal record that can affect a person for the rest of their life with respect to getting jobs, renting apartments and otherwise.   Anyone charged with a crime should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Collins Law Firm regularly represents people who have been charged with alcohol law violations and other crimes such as possession of marijuana or other controlled substances.   In most cases for first time offenders, we are able to avoid a conviction, and court appearances are usually not necessary for defendants we represent on these type of charges.    However, in most cases, the defendant is required to perform a certain number of hours of volunteer service, or to participate in some type of educational program regarding alcohol and controlled substances, or both.

If you or someone you know has received a citation or criminal charge for an alcohol law violation or related charge, Collins Law Firm can help.  Call us at (910) 793-9000(910) 793-9000 for a free telephone consultation or make an appointment to come in for a consultation.