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Wilmington Legal Issues Blog

Underage DUI from a parent's point of view

Drunk driving charges often bring a number of hardships into a person's life, whether they have lost their ability to drive or are worried about spending time behind bars. Often, these charges can lead to additional problems. For example, being unable to drive or being sentenced to prison can result in the loss of one's job. Moreover, many young people have been charged with underage drunk driving and this can create problems within an entire family. If your child has been accused of driving while they were under the influence of alcohol, there are many different issues that may need to be considered.

For starters, you may be worried about your child's future, such as their ability to land a certain job or attend college. These are valid concerns and highlight the importance of approaching an underage DUI case properly. There could be various details surrounding the incident that you may not know about or that your child may not think will have much of an impact on the case. However, sometimes even details that seem minor can completely change the outcome of a case.

Keeping a positive attitude during a custody dispute

A dispute over the custody of your child may be very difficult to work through and you could feel overwhelmed. After all, your child’s future may be at stake and your relationship with your child could be significantly impacted by the custody decision. However, you should do your best to keep a positive attitude during this time for a number of reasons. Not only can positivity reduce stress, but it could also increase the likelihood of you being able to secure an end result that is more favorable from your point of view.

For starters, if you are positive it may help improve your image in the courtroom. Moreover, this positivity could help you do a better job of reviewing the various details of your case and doing all you can to work toward an ideal solution during your custody dispute. On the other hand, negativity can hurt your ability to go over the details of your case and present yourself well. Our law office fully recognizes the emotional drain that parents often experience when they work through custody disputes and other family law matters. However, it is very important to prevent these negative feelings, such as anger, depression or stress, from complicating your life further.

Were your rights violated during a DWI traffic stop?

If you are facing criminal charges related to drunk driving in North Carolina, you may feel overwhelmed by the potential penalties you could face. Charges of driving while intoxicated can lead to consequences that may include time behind bars, expensive fines and loss of driving privileges. You understand the importance of acting quickly to protect your interests. 

One of the most important aspects of any defense plan is to carefully evaluate the initial suspected DWI traffic stop. Law enforcement must follow certain protocols when stopping a driver, and it is possible you experienced a violation of your personal rights. If this happened, you can fight back by challenging the very foundation of the case against you – evidence from the traffic stop.

Grandparent visitation in North Carolina

When parents in Wilmington choose to divorce, their lives (as well as those of their children) are not the only ones that are deeply impacted. The children's grandparents can also feel the sting of separation knowing that access to their grandchildren could become restricted. The fear of that happening may even prompt some to seek legal action in order to keep seeing their grandkids. 

While most might think that parents would continue to want their children's grandparents to be a part of their lives (even after divorce), circumstances often arise that may prompt one parent to limit that access. Section 50-13.2(b1) of North Carolina's General Statutes shows that the law does indeed allow grandparents to petition for visitation rights. As is the case in any matter involving custody, however, such privileges are only granted if the court believes doing so is in the best interest of the children involved. 

Do all North Carolina couples need a prenuptial agreement?

As you prepare to marry, you are likely not thinking about a potential divorce and what it could mean for your future. It may seem impractical and unromantic to think about how a divorce could change your life, but you could eliminate some of the uncertainty of this process by having a prenuptial agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a tool that many North Carolina couples find beneficial. Even if you do not consider yourself to be wealthy, you may still reap the benefits of this type of document. A complete evaluation of your financial situation and other factors can help you determine if this is a smart step for you before you walk down the aisle. 

Will you get alimony?

When you and your spouse choose to divorce in Wilmington, you might automatically assume that you are entitled to alimony. This likely comes from the assumption that the awarding of alimony is largely a punitive measure. While state law does account for that to a certain degree, the actual purpose of alimony is help support you until you are able to support the same standard of living you enjoyed while married on your own. 

Yet before you can be awarded alimony, the state must recognize you as a dependent spouse. Generally speaking, a dependent spouse is considered to be one that makes less than his or her significant other. Even if you are a dependent spouse, the court will still consider a number of other factors before deciding if your soon-to-be ex-spouse should pay you alimony. According to North Carolina's state statutes, these include: 

  • How long you were married (and the standard of living you both achieved together)
  • Your earnings or earning capacity, along with your taxes and liabilities, as well as how your earning capacity would be affected if you were to be given primary custody of your children
  • Your contributions as a homemaker (or other sacrifices you may have made to support your spouse's career)
  • The property and assets you brought into the marriage
  • Your age, along with your physical, mental and emotional health, and your relative needs

Drunk driving test accuracy rates

Have you been arrested and charged with a driving under the influence offense in North Carolina? If so, you are likely interested in learning how you may defend yourself against these charges. First, it is important to remember that an arrest does not mean you are convicted of a charge and you have the right to a defense. 

After you were stopped but before you were arrested, you may have been asked to perform some tasks by the officer or officers involved. These are commonly called field sobriety tests but do not let the name fool you. These tests cannot prove or measure any intoxication or sobriety. Instead they are used to indicate that you might be drunk so as to support you being arrested per FieldSobrietyTests.org.

A DWI conviction in North Carolina can have serious consequences

Being taken into custody for drinking and driving can understandably be unsettling. A number of questions may run through your mind -- for example, how soon will the public find out about your arrest, and could a conviction for driving while intoxicated, or DWI, ruin your employment opportunities in the future?

North Carolina, like other states in the United States, strictly forbids driving and driving. However, the Tar Heel State has among the most complex and strictest penalties in place for individuals arrested for and convicted of DWI. Here is a glimpse at what consequences you could face for a DWI conviction in the state.

Maintaining your emotions during a custody dispute

From disagreements with children to the cost of raising a child, there are times when it can be difficult as a parent. However, those who are going through a dispute over child custody may face an overwhelming amount of pressure and uncertainty. Divorce can be a challenging process, especially when these types of disputes arise. However, parents who are worried about the outcome of a dispute may benefit from trying to keep emotions in check, going over any details of their circumstances that are relevant, reviewing custody laws, and discussing the situation with their child.

As with other aspects of family law, there are many different outcomes parents find themselves in when it comes to custody. Courts go over an array of factors but aim to secure an end result that serves the best interests of a child. There may be any number of issues pertaining to your circumstances or your spouse's circumstances which could have an impact on the way in which custody is awarded and you should do what you can to prepare for court. Moreover, you should try your best to prevent negative emotions from having a negative effect on your case. Often, parents feel angry, depressed, or overly stressed out during these times, but these emotions can interfere with their ability to obtain a positive outcome.

Property division can cause even more division during divorce

Divorce can understandably be stressful from both an emotional and a financial standpoint. One of the biggest sources of financial conflict during a divorce proceeding is property division.

The division of property involves splitting assets ranging from real estate to cars and cash in a joint bank account. Here is a glimpse at what spouses who are going through divorce can expect during property division in North Carolina.

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The Law Office of L. Bryan Smith, P.C.
3965 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28403

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