What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
Crimes in North Carolina generally are categorized as misdemeanors or felonies according to the severity of the punishment associated with the particular crime. Misdemeanors generally are crimes involving punishment of fines or jail time that is less than a year. Felonies are more serious which usually require probation, lengthy jail time , or sometimes both.
What is meant by plea bargaining?
Plea bargaining is a type of negotiation in which the defendant usually agrees to plead guilty to a lesser criminal charge in exchange for a concession offered by the prosecutor. Usually the prosecutor will forego additional charges or may even dismiss some charges. A defendant must knowingly and voluntarily enter into the plea which means they must fully understand what the consequences of such a plea will have on their life.
Should a person enter a plea of guilty or take their case to trial?
The answer to this questions will always depend on the case and the evidence in the case. No one should automatically take a plea without an experienced attorney, at Davis Law Office, reviewing the case. Once an assessment is made, only then can this question be answered. There are always risks with taking a case to trial, however, sometimes trials are needed to preserve a person's rights and freedom.
Can a criminal record be expunged in North Carolina?
There are certain types of offenses that are not allowed to ever get expunged from a person's record. Most cases that have been dismissed or if a person was found not guilty are eligible for expungement from a record. The laws on expungements have recently changed in North Carolina. These changes may change your eligibility for getting your record expunged or certain offenses off your record. Contact our office today so that our attorney can review your record to determine if you qualify for an expungement.
What are the grounds for divorce in North Carolina?
North Carolina recognizes an absolute divorce. The parties have to be separated for a year before they can file for divorce. The other party cannot contest the divorce if they have been separated for one year, at least one party intends for the separation to be permanent , and they have not resumed the marriage. There is no need to file a legal separation if a person testifies or signs under oath when the parties separated.
What is child support and how is it awarded?
Child support is monetary compensation by one spouse to another for the purpose of supporting his or her minor children. In North Carolina, each parent has an obligation to support his or her minor children regardless of whether the parents are married. Child support awards are determined pursuant to statutory guidelines, which take into account the parties' respective adjusted gross income. The child support guidelines also take into account other factors such as child care, health insurance, other support obligations, and sometimes other expenses. The major determinant in child support is whether the parties share custody, or if one parent is the primary caretaker.
How is custody and/or visitation decided?
Custody of children is mostly decided by the parents. This can be done voluntarily without litigation or sometimes with a court order after litigation has started. After a party files for custody it is mandatory, baring a waiver, that the parties attend mediation to work out a custody schedule. Most of the cases are resolved in mediation. If not, the parties will have to go to court and have a judge decide the custodial schedule that would then be outlined in a custody order.