919-533-7000

Raleigh | Smithfield | Charlotte | Orlando

Recent blog posts

NC defense lawyerNorth Carolina criminal law categorizes a variety of actions as assaults, some of which are misdemeanors and some of which are serious felony offenses. Any assault charge is something you should take seriously, but it can be difficult to understand exactly what is at stake on your own. With the help of an attorney, you can better understand the charges you are facing and defend against them.

Misdemeanor Assault Charges

The basic assault charge in North Carolina is known as “simple assault,” and it is charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor. You could face simple assault charges if you intentionally physically injure another person, if you attempt or threaten to do so, or if you are involved in an “affray,” which is a public physical altercation. A conviction for simple assault can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 30 days of jail time or community punishment for a first offense. An assault on a sports official, such as a referee or umpire, can be charged as a more serious Class 1 misdemeanor, with a sentence of up to 45 days and fines at the court’s discretion.

A variety of aggravating factors can increase an assault charge to a Class A1 misdemeanor, the most serious level of misdemeanor offense in North Carolina. You may face an aggravated assault charge if you have been accused of one of the following:

...

NC family lawyerWhen a couple gets divorced in North Carolina, they have many important issues to resolve regarding both their finances and their children. One issue that lies at the intersection of these two important concerns is the determination of a child support order. Child support is crucial to ensure that your children’s needs are provided for, but you may have many questions about how child support is calculated and whether you will have to make payments.

How Is Child Support Calculated in North Carolina?

According to the North Carolina child support guidelines, the income of both parents must be considered when calculating child support obligations. Based on the application of the guidelines, one parent will be expected to contribute directly to their child’s financial needs, while the other parent will make regular support payments to account for their fair share.

The child custody arrangement is an important factor in determining which parent will be obligated to make child support payments. If one parent is granted primary custody, meaning they will have at least 243 overnights with the child throughout the year, the other, non-custodial parent will typically be the one to make support payments. The amount will be determined based on the non-custodial parent’s percentage share of the combined income of the two parents.

...

IL accident lawyerAccording to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 600,000 car accidents each year involve a hit-and-run driver, accounting for around 6.5 percent of all car crash injuries and around 4.5 percent of all fatalities. If you or someone in your family has been the victim of one of these accidents, recovering compensation for your injuries can be quite difficult. However, it is by no means impossible, and an experienced attorney can help you identify and pursue the best course of action.

Identifying the Fleeing Driver

Any time you are injured in a car accident, you should call 911 as soon as possible so that you can get medical help and the police can arrive to create an accident report. This is especially important after a hit-and-run, as there may be a limited window during which the police are best able to locate the at-fault driver. You should give the responding officer as much information as possible about the driver, including the color, make, and model of their vehicle; their license plate number; the direction in which they left the scene; and any details about their physical appearance. Witnesses to the crash may also be willing to provide helpful information that you might have missed yourself.

It is also a good idea to hire an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Your lawyer can work with law enforcement and help you identify any other possible sources of evidence that could be used to locate the driver, including video footage from nearby security or surveillance cameras. If the police can pinpoint the identity of a hit-and-run driver based on the available evidence, the driver can face felony charges and driver’s license suspension, in addition to civil liability for the injuries you have suffered.

...

NC immigration lawyerA criminal conviction in the U.S. can have serious consequences for the status of a lawful permanent resident, temporary visa holder, or undocumented immigrant. In many cases, it is grounds for removal or deportation. Immigrants are often unsure of their rights if they are arrested on criminal charges, and as a result, they fail to exercise them. If you are aware of your rights, you may be able to achieve a better outcome in your case.

Are Immigrants Protected by the U.S. Constitution?

Many of the rights afforded to criminal defendants in the U.S. are described in the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These rights apply not just to U.S. citizens, but anyone who is charged with a crime for which the U.S. has jurisdiction, including both lawful and undocumented immigrants.

For example, immigrants, like citizens, are protected from unreasonable search and seizure of their property and person by the Fourth Amendment, as well as from self-incrimination by the Fifth Amendment. This means you are not required to consent to a search by an officer without a warrant, and if the officer proceeds, any resulting evidence may be inadmissible in a criminal case. You are also not required to answer an officer’s questions, aside from identifying yourself, and in many cases, the officer will notify you of your right to remain silent upon your arrest.

...

NC defense attorneyIf you are charged with driving while impaired (DWI) in North Carolina, it is reasonable to be concerned about the penalties you may face. Any DWI conviction can come with serious consequences, but because of the complexities of the state’s DWI sentencing laws, it can be very difficult to tell just how serious they may be. Learning about North Carolina’s different levels of DWI can help you approach your defense with more confidence.

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in North Carolina DWI Cases

North Carolina has five different levels of punishment for DWI offenders. To determine the appropriate level for the case at hand, the court will consider three different categories of factors:

  • Grossly aggravating factors are the most serious, and they include things like prior DWI convictions within seven years, driving with a revoked license due to impaired driving, causing serious injury, or having a passenger under the age of 18.
  • Aggravating factors include having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.15, causing an accident, driving recklessly, driving with a revoked license due to other traffic offenses, or having prior convictions for other traffic offenses.
  • Mitigating factors can result in lower punishment levels, and they include things like having a BAC of 0.09 or below, driving safely at the time of impairment, having a safe driving record, being impaired by a prescribed drug, and complying with mental health or substance abuse assessment and treatment.

The Five DWI Levels

Based on the court’s assessment of these factors, they will assign one of five punishment levels, as follows:

...

b2ap3_thumbnail_carpal-tunnel.jpgWork-related injuries are unfortunately common, especially for employees in high-risk industries like construction and others that involve heavy equipment or physical strain. If you are injured on the job in North Carolina, you are usually entitled to benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage. However, it can be difficult to understand the full amount and types of benefits to which you are entitled in order to ensure that you receive them. An experienced attorney can help you ensure fair compensation, but it is also a good idea to educate yourself about the types of benefits available in North Carolina.

Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in North Carolina

North Carolina workers’ comp benefits help to reimburse you for many different economic losses associated with your injuries. Depending on the type of injury you have suffered and the severity of its effects, you may be owed compensation for one or more of the following:

  • Medical treatment - Your employer is required to provide for the costs of all treatment deemed medically necessary for your injuries. This may include surgery, hospital stays, medication, rehabilitation, and up to 20 chiropractor visits. If you need to travel at least 20 miles round trip for your treatment, you will also be reimbursed at a rate of $0.56 per mile for travel in 2021.
  • Lost wages - Workers’ compensation also provides benefits for lost wages, but only if your injury causes you to miss work for at least 7 days. These are also known as temporary disability benefits, and they are usually paid weekly at a rate of two-thirds of the wages lost. Temporary disability payments last until you are able to return to work at full capacity, or for up to 500 weeks.
  • Permanent disability - If your injury has lasting effects from which you will never fully recover, you are entitled to permanent disability benefits. The amount is determined based on the type of injury and the impairment rating according to your doctor’s report, and it can be paid weekly or all at once. Some injuries, including severe brain and spinal cord injuries, severe burn injuries, and the loss of more than one eye or limb, are considered permanent total disabilities, and in this case, you can receive compensation for the rest of your life.
  • Vocational rehabilitation - If your injury prevents you from returning to your previous job with at least 75 percent of your previous wages, you are entitled to vocational rehabilitation services, including training, education, and vocational assessment, to help you increase your earning capacity and find new work.
  • Death benefits - If your spouse or someone upon whom you are financially dependent dies in a work-related accident, you are entitled to compensation for a portion of their lost wages, as well as up to $10,000 in funeral and burial expenses.

Contact a Raleigh, NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we are committed to helping injured workers and their families secure all of the compensation they deserve. We can represent you throughout the process of your workers’ compensation claim, and we may also be able to help you recover pain and suffering damages from a negligent third party who was responsible for your injuries. Contact our Wake County workers’ comp attorneys today at 919-533-7000 or 844-967-3536 for a free consultation. Hablamos español.

...

Smithfield divorce attorneyAlmost 20 percent of marriages involve some type of physical violence. If you have been physically harmed by your spouse, you are not alone. Domestic violence including physical, emotional, financial, and psychological abuse can make a victim feel as if he or she has no other option but to endure the mistreatment. Leaving an abusive spouse is one of the most difficult and most courageous things a person can do. If you are ready to leave an abusive spouse, make sure to learn about the legal resources you can use to protect yourself and your children.

North Carolina Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Many abusive individuals thrive on controlling their partner. If you leave your abusive marriage, it is possible that your spouse will escalate his or her behavior. One way to protect yourself is to get a protective order or restraining order. A temporary protective order can:

  • Require your spouse to stay a certain distance away from you and your children

    ...

Smithfield, NC criminal defense attorney marijuana possession

Although the majority of U.S. states have legalized cannabis consumption in some form, both the medical and recreational use of marijuana is prohibited in North Carolina. Possessing, cultivating, and distributing marijuana is punishable by heavy penalties -- including jail time in some cases. If you or a loved one have been charged with a marijuana-related crime in North Carolina. It is important to know what you are up against. Do not assume that because public opinion regarding marijuana has shifted that you do not need to take these charges seriously.

Consequences for Possession of Cannabis Vary by Quantity

It is unlawful to possess any amount of marijuana or marijuana-containing product in North Carolina. If you possess less than half of an ounce of cannabis, you face a misdemeanor charge that is punishable by a maximum fine of $200. However, possession of greater than half of an ounce of marijuana can land you in jail. Penalties for possession of 0.5 ounce – 1.5 ounce of marijuana include up to 45 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of 1.5 ounces – 10 pounds is a felony offense punishable by 3-8 months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

...

Wake County personal injury attorney truck accident

Large commercial trucks are a vital part of our American way of life. However, trucks can also cause severe, often deadly auto accidents. Truck collisions and crashes caused by fallen truck cargo injure and kill thousands of people every year in the United States. If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. However, before you can recover compensation, you must determine who is liable, or legally responsible, for the accident.

Truck Drivers May Cause an Accident By Acting Negligently

Semi-trucks and other large commercial trucks can cause catastrophic damage in a collision. Truck drivers have an extremely important responsibility to other motorists. A truck driver who fails to follow traffic laws and signals puts his or her own life and the lives of others in danger. A truck driver may be liable for your damages if the driver’s negligence caused the collision. Examples of truck driver negligence include:

...

Wake County criminal defense attorney

Being accused of a crime can be a shocking and overwhelming experience to go through. Whether you were charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), possessing illicit drugs, theft, a weapons crime, or another offense, you have rights. Knowing your rights is a crucial component of avoiding self-incrimination and building a strong defense against the charges. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your legal options after being arrested and charged with a crime. Your lawyer can also ensure that your rights are not violated during the proceedings.

Remain Silent to Avoid Incriminating Yourself

Anyone who has watched a police television show has heard the recitation of the Miranda Rights. Among the rights listed in the Miranda Warning is the right to remain silent. Many people underestimate how crucial this right actually is. By staying silent, you avoid accidentally saying something that may be used against you during and in future criminal proceedings. Police are permitted to use various strategies to get criminal defendants to talk – including lying. Do not allow police to interrogate you without an attorney present. Remain silent and ask for your lawyer.

...

Raleigh, NC family law attorney alimony

If you are thinking about divorce, you probably have concerns about the financial consequences of ending your marriage. One particular issue that many people misunderstand is alimony. Also called spousal support, alimony refers to payments that a spouse makes to the other after divorce. Alimony is typically awarded when there is a considerable difference in the spouse’s financial resources or when one spouse is financially dependent on the other spouse. Read on to learn about the basics of alimony in North Carolina and how to get help with alimony-related concerns during your divorce.

Providing Assistance to a Lower-Earning Spouse

Alimony is used when a spouse is not able to support himself or herself financially after a separation or divorce. A spouse may need extra financial support through alimony because he or she has a disability, has acted as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent for many years, or because other circumstances have reduced his or her earning capacity. Post-separation alimony refers to alimony payments that are made between a separation and a divorce. This support is temporary and designed to help a spouse during the transition from being married to being divorced. Post-separation alimony is intended to cover the recipient’s living expenses and other necessary costs. Traditional alimony payments begin after the divorce and may be temporary or permanent. If the recipient spouse has the ability to obtain the training or education needed to gain suitable employment, the alimony will likely be temporary. If the recipient is past the age of retirement or has a disability, the court may order permanent alimony. Alimony payments terminate if the recipient remarries or cohabitates with a boyfriend or girlfriend.

...

Wake County personal injury attorney

If you were hurt in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another incident caused by the negligent actions of another party, you may be interested in filing a personal injury claim. An injury claim may allow you to recover financial compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages caused by the accident. North Carolina personal injury lawsuits are subject to the state’s laws regarding “contributory negligence.” It is important to learn about how this law may affect your eligibility for damages.

Shared Liability for an Injury-Causing Accident

Many different elements can cause a person to be injured in an accident. Sometimes, the injured person’s own actions caused or contributed to the severity of his or her injuries. Personal injury claims involving shared fault are handled differently depending on the applicable state laws. North Carolina is one of the few states that follow a legal doctrine called “contributory negligence.” This means that you are not entitled to any damages if your injuries were caused by your own negligence. Even if your actions were only 1 percent the cause of the accident, you are typically barred from recovering compensation. However, your negligent actions must have contributed to your injuries in order for this negligence to prevent you from collecting damages. If you acted recklessly but this behavior did not cause or worsen the injury-causing accident, your negligence does not prevent you from recovering damages.

...

Johnston County personal injury attorney motorcycle accident

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating way to travel. Unfortunately, it is also quite risky. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that over 5,000 motorcyclists died in the year 2017 and thousands more were injured. If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be left with enormous medical bills and other expenses related to the crash. A personal injury claim may allow you to recover financial compensation for these costs if a negligent party is found to be at fault.

Establish the At-Fault Party

Before you can seek compensation for your costs through a motorcycle accident injury claim, you will need to determine the party who is liable, or legally responsible, for the accident. Liability may lie with another driver who was under the influence of alcohol, texting and driving or was otherwise driving carelessly. Legal responsibility may also lie with the manufacturer of a faulty motorcycle part, the municipality who failed to properly maintain the road, a trucking company, or a number of other parties. Evidence such as a red-light camera or dash camera footage, vehicle event data recorders, and witness testimony may all be used to confirm the responsible party’s liability. An attorney experienced in car accident injury cases will be able to help you gather evidence to strengthen your claim against the at-fault driver.  

...

Johnson County immigration attorney

A Permanent Resident Card or “green card” is a document that allows U.S. immigrants to reside in the United States permanently. Individuals who have successfully obtained green cards are called lawful permanent residents (LPR). After becoming an LPR and residing in the United States for at least five years, green card holders may apply for U.S. citizenship. If you or a loved one is foreign-born and interested in living in the United States, you may have questions about who is eligible to become a permanent resident. You may also be curious about what the process of applying for and obtaining a green card involves. Read on to learn more about Permanent Resident Cards and how you can get legal support for a range of immigration concerns.

Do I Qualify for a Permanent Resident Card?

There are several different ways that an individual born outside of the United States can become a lawful permanent resident. You may be able to obtain a green card if:

...
des channel 40 aila ncsb justice aila char
Back to Top