Expunctions, how do they work? What is a PJC?

Contrary to common belief, a PJC (Prayer for Judgment Continued) does not solve every problem.  They are not a silver bullet.  They are very helpful with certain kinds of traffic tickets, but they also indefinitely postpone a final judgment in a criminal case.  This can really hurt your future.  Without a final judgment, there cannot be an expunction. You should know that opportunities to expunge a criminal record in North Carolina are relatively rare. Instead, criminal records eligible for expunction in North Carolina are generally limited to the following three categories:
  • A first-time, nonviolent offense committed more than 15 years ago
  • A first-time offense committed under age 18/22
  • A charge that was dismissed or disposed “not guilty”
A CRIMINAL RECORD often gives rise to significant barriers to gainful employment, affordable housing, family unification, and a variety of other benefits and opportunities essential to productive citizenship. In North Carolina, an expunction is the destruction of a criminal record by court order. An expunction (also called an “expungement”) of a criminal record restores the individual, in the view of the law, to the status he or she occupied before the criminal record existed. With rare exception, when an individual is granted an expunction, he or she may truthfully and without committing perjury or false statement deny or refuse to acknowledge that the criminal incident occurred. The primary exception to this is for purposes of federal immigration. Please see North Carolina General Statutes §15A-151 for other exceptions. This summary provides details of the following twelve expunction statutes:
  • Juvenile Record………………………………… NCGS §7B-3200
  • Misdemeanor Under Age 18…………………… NCGS §15A-145
  • Gang Offense Under Age 18…………………… NCGS §15A-145.1
  • Controlled Substance Under Age 22 …………… NCGS §15A-145.2
  • Toxic Vapors Under Age 22……………............. NCGS §15A-145.3
  • Nonviolent Felony Under Age 18……….……… NCGS §15A-145.4
  • Nonviolent Offense…………………………...... NCGS §15A-145.5
  • Prostitution Offense………………………......... NCGS §15A-145.6
  • Charge Resulting in Dismissal or Not Guilty ….. NCGS §15A-146
  • Identity Theft………………………………….... NCGS §15A-147
  • DNA Records………………………………....... NCGS §15A-148
  • Pardon of Innocence……………………………. NCGS §15A-149
In addition, this summary provides the following information and resources:
  • Certificates of Relief……………………………. NCGS §15A-173
  • Indigent Fee Waiver
  • Steps to Submitting a Petition for Expunction
  • How to Read an ACIS Criminal Record Report
  • Petition for Expunction of Nonviolent Offense, Sample
  • Petition for Expunction of Dismissed Charges, Sample
  • Petitioner’s Affidavit, Worksheet
  • Affidavit of Good Character, Worksheet
  • Affidavit of Good Character
More information and source material. Questions?  Contact us and the attorneys at David R. Payne law firm would be happy to speak with you. Read more "Expunctions, how do they work? What is a PJC?"

Do you need a “do-over”? And what is a Motion for Appropriate Relief?

Motion for Appropriate Relief   Did you get some bad advice?  Did you pay your ticket online without consulting an attorney?  Or you may have pled guilty due to coaxing by an officer or other unqualified party, and now your insurance has increased or you found out your license is suspended. If you believe your conviction was defective, there is a second chance available by a "Motion for Appropriate Relief" (MARs).  MARs can be filed for most criminal matters, including traffic violations, misdemeanors and felonies. For example, if you were convicted of a criminal offense and someone other than your attorney told you to plead guilty, that may be a defect that warrants an MAR. A MAR is a motion made after judgment to correct any errors that occurred before, during, or after a criminal trial or proceeding, including errors related to the entry of a guilty plea.  It is a legal mechanism that allows people who have been convicted of a crime to challenge their conviction because the conviction was obtained in violation of their Constitutional rights. The most common grounds raised in a MAR are:
  • violation of the right to effective assistance of counsel
  • Pleading guilty without advice of an attorney
  • Improper advice by unqualified parties such as police officers, DMV or Court personnel
  • newly discovered evidence
  • prosecutorial misconduct
  • actual innocence or
  • Illegality of sentence.
All the grounds for a Motion for Appropriate Relief under listed under N.C.G.S. § 15A-1415.    Under a related statute G.S. 15A-1414, a person convicted of a criminal offense may seek relief for any error that occurred before or during trial within 10 days after entry of judgment.   G.S. 15A-1417 describes the relief available when a court grants a motion for appropriate relief, including vacating of a conviction if the court finds it invalid for one of the reasons described in G.S. 15A-1415. An order vacating a conviction does not necessarily terminate the criminal case; the State may retry the defendant unless, in addition to vacating the conviction, the court enters an order dismissing the charges. The Court has the authority to order that an MAR or dismissal nunc pro tunc, a Latin phrase literally meaning "now for then," is a concept derived from the common law that is utilized by courts as clerical correction or as an equitable remedy. An order issued nunc pro tunc has retroactive legal effect, essentially modifying a previous order or entering an effective date of a court order retroactively. This can be critical when your license is suspended by DMV because of prior convictions that were obtained defectively.   Filing a Motion for Appropriate Relief can be very complicated depending on the case. An experienced attorney will review your case, and may need to interview witnesses, investigate the facts of the case, review the discovery that leads to new evidence, and review the entire history of the case from start to finish. Sometimes the court will require an evidentiary hearing to be held on the motion, where the lawyer will have to call witnesses, present evidence, and challenge the State's evidence, and make arguments to the court.   Hiring the right attorney for the job can be the difference between a winning motion and a losing motion.  Call today for a free consultation on whether an MAR is the right action for you. Read more "Do you need a “do-over”? And what is a Motion for Appropriate Relief?"

Should you give breath sample? 3 of3

Part 3 of 3 DWIs are tough,  but you don’t have to face it alone.  Call us after hours at 828-393-3000 for a consultation. Driving Related DWI Itemized Costs and Suspensions.   Pretrial Limited Driving Privilege
  • $100.00 Paid 10 Days After Charge To: Clerk of Court
  • Purpose: If license is revoked for 30 days, the pretrial limited driving privilege allows for limited purposes for the final 20 days of the civil revocation.
30 Day Civil Restoration Fee
  • $100.00 Paid 30 Days After Charge to: Clerk of Court
  • Purpose: To Get License Back 30 Days After DWI Charge
Post-trial Limited Driving Privilege
  • $100.00 upon  Conviction or When Eligible to: Clerk of Court
  • Purpose: Allows driving for specific limited purposes during the period your license is revoked for the DWI conviction
Ignition Interlock System
  • Installation Cost: Approximately $75.00 Monthly Cost: Approximately $75.00 to: Installation Company
  • Purpose: Driving may only be allowed with an interlock system
License Restoration Fees
  • $50.00-$100.00 Upon Restoration of Driver’s License (Following Revocation for Refusal or DWI Conviction) to: NC DMV
  • Purpose: Restore Driver’s License
Court Fees Fine & DWI Fee
  • When you plead guilty or are found guilty of DWI Fine Allowed by Statute: Up to $10,000.00 Typical DWI Cost: $200.00 – $500.00
  • Payable to: Clerk of Court
Court Costs
  • When you plead guilty or are found guilty of DWI Cost: $190.00
  • Payable to: Clerk of Court
Jail Fee
  • When you plead guilty or are found guilty of DWI you must pay jail fees Cost: $40.00 Per Day in Jail
  • Payable to: Clerk of Court
Community Service Fee
  • When you plead guilty or are found guilty of DWI Cost: $250.00
  • Payable to: Clerk of Court
Lab Fees for Blood Cases
  • When you plead guilty or are found guilty of DWI Cost: $600.00
  • Payable to: Clerk of Court
Supervised Probation Fees
  • Schedule Determined by Probation Set-up Cost: $40.00
  • Monthly Fee: $40.00
  • Payable to: Clerk of Court
Alcohol Assessment and Treatment Assessment:
  •  At Assessment Cost: $100.00
  • Payable to: Agency Performing Assessment
Treatment:
  • Time of Payment: Determined by Agency
  • Typical Cost: $160.00 – $800.00
  • Payable to: Agency Conducting Treatment
  High Risk Insurance after you plead guilty or are found guilty of DWI is expensive.  Your insurance cost will increase by as much as 340% for example, if you pay $300 now, you will pay $1320 afterwards.  Collision, comprehensive coverage may be difficult to find, and it may cost more than outlined by the department of insurance.  DWI is a 12 point offense that results in your automatically losing your license for one year.  It is possible to get a limited privilege to drive after you plead guilty or are found guilty of DWI, but that requires a court order, and you must carry that order also known as a “paper license” with you when you drive.       Read more "Should you give breath sample? 3 of3"

Is Uber Cab Legal in North Carolina?

Short answer: Probably, yes.  The services have faced backlash in some markets from existing taxi and limousine services, with accusations that they are operating an illegal taxi operation, but they are not the same as a taxi service, for one thing, they don’t pick up random people off the street.   You can’t hail an Uber cab, unless you use a smart phone to do it. What is Uber Cab?  Uber runs as a very clever smart phone app.  You download the app, enter your credit card information, and request a ride.  Uber is essentially a fairly sophisticated dispatch service.  Uber notifies the nearest available driver, who accepts or declines your request.  The app uses GPS maps showing driver and passengers, and an estimate of how far away each is.  You will see a photo of your driver and can watch them approach on your GPS map.  You get in the car and take the ride.  The fare is processed through your phone and credit card.  No cash is exchanged and there is no tipping. The state General Assembly last year passed legislation allowing the company to begin operating in North Carolina.  The company's lobbyists got a clause inserted into an omnibus regulatory reform bill (see section 12.1.a[i]) that contained a section called "Regulation of Digital Dispatching Services." It describes how companies like Uber do business and specifically prohibits cities from imposing regulations on them.  (Though that may change, because it is contrary to the nature of government to ignore a marketplace.)  If you are a driver for Uber Cab, and you are charged with a violation of city or county ordinance, call us 828-258-0076, or after hours at 828-393-3000 for a consultation. Uber has created a marketplace for drivers and passengers to agree on an exchange of money for service in a way that is new.  You should be aware that Uber uses “surge pricing” when demand is high and supply is limited in real time, so at peak times you pay up to 6x normal fees.  Adam Smith would be proud.  You are warned on the app whenever surge pricing is in effect.  But some consumers have still complained of price-gouging, usually when they sober up and notice the bill the next morning. Uber signs up drivers only after conducting background checks and reviews of driving records.  They verify that the driver has a valid license, insurance, and a newer model car.  Uber also uses a two way rating system, so bad drivers and bad passengers are quickly weeded out.  Drivers are paid by electronic deposit on a weekly basis.  The underlying premise of the Uber Cab business model seems to be that serial killers don’t use I-phones.  (That’s a joke, Uber.)   So what happens if there is a wreck with an Uber cab?  We don’t really know yet.  Many automobile insurance policies specifically do not cover wrecks that occur if you are using your car in a commercial “for hire” service.  So is the Uber driver personally responsible for damages?   Maybe.  The Uber company explains on the website that they carry a commercial policy for 1 million dollars that covers collisions during a trip, but it’s so new, to my knowledge it hasn’t been tested yet in North Carolina.   If you are injured in a wreck with an Uber Cab, call us after hours at 828-393-3000 for a consultation.     [i] SECTION 12.1.(b)   G.S. 160A-304 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: (c)Nothing in this Chapter authorizes a city to adopt an ordinance doing any of the following: (1)  Requiring licensing or regulation of digital dispatching services for prearranged transportation services for hire connected with vehicles operated for hire in the city  if the business providing the digital dispatching services does not own or operate the vehicles for hire in the city. (2)  Setting a minimum rate or minimum increment of time used to calculate a rate for prearranged transportation services for hire. (3)  Requiring an operator to use a particular formula or method to calculate rates charged. (4)  Setting a minimum waiting period between requesting prearranged  transportation services and the provision of those  transportation  services when the prearranged transportation services are digitally dispatched. (5)  Requiring a final destination to be set at the time of requesting prearranged transportation services through digital dispatching services. (6)  Requiring or prohibiting taxi franchises or taxi operators from contracting with a person in the business of digital dispatching services for prearranged transportation services for hire.   Read more "Is Uber Cab Legal in North Carolina?"