Raleigh | Smithfield | Charlotte | Orlando

Recent blog posts

Untitled---2023-09-15T123706.530.jpgAccidents involving large commercial trucks can have devastating consequences, including severe injuries and even fatalities. One of the primary causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Fatigued truck drivers pose a significant risk on the road, not only to themselves but also to other motorists. 

The Dangers of Fatigue for Truck Drivers

Driving a commercial truck requires immense concentration, coordination, and alertness. There are many factors can contribute to truck driver fatigue:

  • Inadequate sleep: Truck drivers often have demanding schedules that leave little time for adequate rest. Sleep deprivation affects a driver’s ability to stay focused and react quickly while on the road.


Raleigh, NC immigration lawyerImmigrants who live in the United States include those who have lawful permanent resident status and those who have only received authorization to stay in the country temporarily. While permanent residents will be able to continue living in the U.S. without fear of deportation, other immigrants may be in the country on temporary work visas or visitor visas. These immigrants may wish to become permanent residents, and to do so, they may apply for adjustment of status. By understanding the requirements that must be met to become a lawful permanent resident, an immigrant can make sure they will be able to complete this process successfully.

Who Is Eligible for Adjustment of Status?

In order to adjust their status, an immigrant must be eligible to apply for a Green Card. There are several eligibility categories, including:

  1. Family-based Green Cards: Immediate relatives (spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 years old) of U.S. citizens can apply for adjustment of status immediately after their immigrant petition has been approved. Immediate relatives of Green Card holders or other family members of U.S. citizens may have to wait until a family preference visa becomes available based on their relationship with the petitioner.


Charlotte Immigration Lawyers for Criminal ConvictionsIf you are an immigrant living in the United States, it is crucial to know that a criminal record can have a significant impact on your immigration status. A criminal conviction can bring severe consequences such as deportation or inadmissibility to the country. As an immigrant, it is essential to be aware of the potential effects that criminal charges may have on your immigration case.

Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility

Criminal convictions can lead to a person being deemed inadmissible to the United States. An immigrant who is inadmissible will usually be barred from initially entering the U.S., and those who are already in the United States may be unable to take steps to remain in the country by applying for a visa or an adjustment of status.

There are several types of crimes that will result in inadmissibility if a person is convicted in the United States or another country. These include:


Raleigh Marijuana Charges LawyersMarijuana has been used for centuries by people around the world. Even though it has been found to be less harmful than legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco, and it also has a variety of medical benefits, it has been classified as an illegal controlled substance. Because of this, many people have been charged with drug crimes related to the possession or distribution of marijuana. However, attitudes surrounding marijuana use have been changing, and in many parts of the United States, it has been legalized for medical and recreational purposes. In the future, North Carolina could follow the example of other states and approve the drug for legal use in the state.

New Marijuana Laws Introduced by North Carolina Lawmakers

Several bills have recently been introduced in the North Carolina state legislature that could legalize marijuana possession and use by adults. House Bill 626 would allow people over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, 15 grams of concentrated cannabis, products containing up to 2,000 milligrams of THC, or six cannabis plants. It would also allow for the sale and on-site consumption of marijuana at licensed businesses, and it would provide automatic expungement of criminal records for those who were convicted of marijuana offenses that would no longer be crimes following the passage of the law. This bill is currently being considered by North Carolina House of Representatives committees.

Senate Bill 346 would make similar changes to North Carolina law. It contains the same provisions for the amount of marijuana adults would be able to possess, as well as automatic expungement of previous marijuana offenses and the prohibition of driving while under the influence of marijuana. However, it would also allow for the use of medical marijuana by people who receive registry identification cards after being certified by a doctor as having a condition that could benefit from the use of cannabis. This bill is currently being considered by the North Carolina Senate committees.


smithfield immigration lawyerOver the past several years, the United States has had to deal with a large number of people attempting to enter the country. In many cases, migrants have left their homes in countries that have experienced political unrest, violence, or other dangerous conditions and sought safety in the U.S. However, many immigrants have faced barriers preventing them from legally entering the United States, and immigration officials have taken action to quickly expel many people who entered the country without authorization. Fortunately, this may soon change as the administration of President Joe Biden begins to implement new rules and procedures governing asylum, parole, deportations, and more.

Asylum Procedures Following the End of Title 42

Over the past several years, immigration officials have used a rule known as Title 42 to expel many immigrants from the United States without following the typical deportation procedures. This rule was put in place by the administration of President Donald Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was intended to protect public health. However, it has continued to be used even after the dangers of COVID-19 have become less of a concern. After several legal challenges, Title 42 will be lifted on May 11, 2023.

Immigration officials have noted that the end of Title 42 does not mean that the United States will have "open borders." Immigrants are still required to follow the proper procedures when seeking authorization to enter the country. To reduce illegal immigration, officials will be taking steps to quickly deport those who cross the border illegally. Those who are deported in these cases will be barred from re-entry for five years, and they will not be eligible to apply for asylum.


raleigh immigration lawyerResettling in another country can be difficult for anyone, and immigrants to the United States may face a number of challenges and legal complications. In some cases, immigrants may be detained by immigration officials during deportation proceedings. Being held in detention can cause significant difficulties for immigrants and their family members. Fortunately, immigrants may be able to be released from detention during their deportation case by paying an immigration bond. When an immigration bond is requested, a bond hearing will be held. It is important for immigrants to understand what to expect during these hearings and what issues may arise.

Understanding Immigration Bonds

Immigration bonds function similarly to bail bonds in criminal cases. The bond is a sum of money paid by the individual or a third party, and it will allow an immigrant to be temporarily released from detention while they await a final decision in their case. This amount is meant to ensure that the person will appear at all future hearings and meet any other requirements put in place by an immigration judge. The bond will be returned at the conclusion of the case, as long as the immigrant has complied with all conditions set by the immigration judge.

Considerations in Immigration Bond Hearings

During an immigration detention bond hearing, a judge will determine whether a person may be released while awaiting a decision on their immigration case. The initial issue that an immigration bond hearing addresses is whether the immigrant is eligible for a bond. The judge will consider the detainee's criminal record, employment history, length of stay in the U.S., relationships with family members in the United States, and ties to their community, among other factors.


shutterstock_2074316275-min.jpgMotorcycle accidents can have a devastating effect on someone's life due to the severity of their injuries. The medical expenses, loss of income, and emotional trauma caused by an accident can quickly add up, leaving the victim with substantial financial burdens. If the accident was caused by someone else's negligence or intentional actions, the victim might be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim and seek compensation for their damages.

In North Carolina, a victim can recover several types of damages in a motorcycle accident injury claim. 

These damages fall into two broad categories: compensatory and punitive damages.


shutterstock_1577155054.jpgFor many immigrants, the United States represents a place of opportunity and the ability to be together with their loved ones. The visa system in the U.S. provides a number of ways that people from other countries can receive authorization to enter the country and live here permanently. One such visa is the fiancé visa, or K-1 nonimmigrant visa, which may be available for a foreign citizen who wishes to marry a U.S. citizen. If you are thinking about applying for a fiancé visa, it is important to understand all the eligibility requirements that will apply to both the immigrant fiancé and the U.S. citizen sponsor.

Eligible Relationship Status

The first requirement for eligibility for a fiancé visa is that the couple must be legally able to get married after the foreign citizen enters the United States. This means that both partners must meet all legal requirements for marriage in the state where the marriage will take place. That is, they must meet the applicable age requirements, and they must not be currently married. If they had been married in the past, they will need to show that the marriage has been legally terminated, which may be done by providing a copy of a divorce decree or the death certificate for a deceased spouse.

To demonstrate that they are getting married for valid reasons, the couple will usually need to show that they have met in person at some point within two years before applying for a K-1 visa. This meeting may have taken place in the United States or another country. In some cases, exceptions to this requirement may be available, although they must usually be based on long-standing customs. For example, if a couple is entering into an arranged marriage, and the practices that are often followed in the foreign fiancé's country do not involve a face-to-face meeting beforehand, a fiancé visa may be granted without the need to fulfill this requirement. Exemptions may also be available if the requirement to travel outside the United States to meet a fiancé would involve extreme hardship for a U.S. citizen.


raleigh dog bite injury lawyerAlthough most dogs are beloved family pets that never harm anyone, dog bites remain a serious problem in North Carolina. Dog attacks can happen in the blink of an eye, making it difficult to react and know what to do once the attack is over. If you or someone you love has been seriously hurt by a dog, it is important to understand that you may be able to take legal action against the dog’s owner to recover damages for your suffering and medical expenses. Furthermore, taking quick action is often necessary to protect others from the dangerous dog in the future. Read more to learn about dog bites and dangerous dog laws in North Carolina. 

Dog Bite Injuries

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they are also animals that can act in unpredictable ways. In a matter of just a few seconds, a dog can cause serious injuries, especially to small children. Common dog bite injuries include, but are not limited to: 

  • Lacerations to hands, arms, face, and neck
  • Disfiguring cosmetic damage, including scarring
  • Nerve damage 
  • Torn ligaments
  • Serious bleeding
  • Infections
  • Broken or fractured bones 

What is a Dangerous Dog? 

Every state defines “dangerous dog” a little differently, but in North Carolina, a dangerous dog is one that has already, without provocation, seriously hurt or killed someone else. Furthermore, dogs used for dog fighting or those simply trained for dog fighting can be designated a dangerous dog, whether or not they have already attacked someone. A “potentially dangerous dog” is a dog that has injured someone badly enough to require hospitalization or cosmetic surgery, one that has seriously injured or killed another animal, or one that has approached someone who is not on the dog owner’s property in a way that appears the dog is about to attack. Sometimes even when someone is on the dog owner’s property, but is allowed to be there, premises liability laws can hold the dog owner responsible for a dog attack. Whether a dog has been designated a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog can affect a dog owner’s liability. 


shutterstock_1303104493-min.jpgPeople usually spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week at work. With so much time on the clock, work injuries are bound to happen. While some of these injuries may be so minor that they do not justify taking any kind of legal action, others can be serious enough that they put someone out of work permanently. North Carolina requires most businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance, but that does not necessarily mean your employer has workers’ compensation insurance or, if it does, that the insurance will cover your injury. To learn what kind of injuries workers’ compensation is meant to cover, read on and then contact a North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance attorney for more information. 

Which Employers Need to Have Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina? 

North Carolina law requires businesses with three or more employees to have either workers’ compensation insurance or to qualify as a self-insured employer. However, certain employees are exempt from workers’ compensation coverage, including: 

  • “Casual” employees (people who can come and go from a job site at will)


raleigh dwi defense lawyer Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol is something that few people would admit to doing. However, studies suggest as many as one in four people have driven under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Some DWI arrests are the result of a poor decision while other times, faulty breath testing devices or other issues lead to an unjustified DWI arrest. 

If you were charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may also be very nervous about the consequences you face for your actions. While this is natural, it is also important to know that the legal consequences for something like a DWI are rarely set in stone. The advocacy of a great attorney can help you fight the charges and possibly even get them dropped. 

What Can an Attorney Do in My Defense? 

Depending on the facts of the case, an attorney has several options available for fighting the charges. These include, but are not limited to: 


Raleigh personal injury lawyerMost people know that if they have been injured in a car crash, slip-and-fall accident, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence, the injured person generally has the right to seek compensation for their losses from the at-fault party. In such cases, most people think primarily about their physical injuries. However, some of the most lasting, debilitating injuries are of a psychological or emotional nature.

Mental trauma – known as emotional distress in the legal world – has serious implications that may prolong a victim’s path back to normal. It may be difficult to work, maintain relationships, and process emotions normally. The toll on the victim and their family can be enormous. The good news is that, in certain circumstances, damages for emotional distress can be recovered through a personal injury claim.

What Is Emotional Distress?

The definitions of emotional distress vary, as each victim experiences the condition differently. Most medical professionals understand the condition as a psychological response to trauma.


smithfield crimnal defense lawyerWhile North Carolina may not have a national reputation for being a hotspot of gang violence, large numbers of gangs are active in the state - well over a thousand by some counts. In 2018 and then again in 2020, members of the United Blood Nation were put into prison for crimes such as drug trafficking, illegal firearm possession, wire fraud, and committing other crimes using weapons. 

These are serious crimes with serious consequences, but not all gangs or groups are involved in criminal activity, and it may only be natural for a young person who is curious about a gang, or the parents of a young person who has shown interest in gang membership, to wonder if simply being in a gang is against the law in North Carolina. 

Is Being a Gang Member Illegal? 

In North Carolina, simply being a gang member is not against the law. However, whether someone gets in trouble for conduct committed as part of a gang is a much more important question. North Carolina has laws in place that are specially designed to punish gang activity. 


wake county murder defense lawyerIf you have been charged with murder or manslaughter in North Carolina, you can bet that prosecutors will be motivated to put you behind bars. In the face of the charges against you, it may be tempting to simply give up; after all, surely no prosecutor would bring an unwinnable case of murder or manslaughter without evidence, right? Wrong. Prosecutors can be so eager to make it look like they are punishing someone responsible for murder that they might bring a weak case or even bring a case against the wrong person. When this happens to you, you need help from a North Carolina criminal defense attorney who will help you fight to stay out of prison and continue living your life. 

How Can a Lawyer Help Someone Accused of Murder? 

It may seem like the charges against you are hopeless, but with a great defense attorney, there is always a strategy for trying to beat the charges. Your attorney will carefully look at your case and, using the facts, the prosecutor’s evidence, and your own testimony, try to create the best defense possible. Among the defenses your attorney may use are: 

  • Self-defense - North Carolina has a so-called “Stand Your Ground” law that allows citizens to exercise their legal right to defend themselves without having to first retreat. If you reasonably believed that lethal force was necessary to protect yourself or someone else from imminent bodily harm or death, especially if you are at home, in your car, or at work, the right to self-defense can be a powerful defense option. 
  • Mistaken identity - If you have been confused with someone else and been wrongfully identified as the perpetrator of a murder, you will need to prove that you have an alibi or that the person identifying you is wrong. 
  • Insanity - When someone’s mental state makes them unable to distinguish between right and wrong, understand the consequences of a crime, or plan ahead to commit the kind of crime they have been accused of (such as first-degree murder), insanity may be an appropriate defense. 
  • Accidental death - People have been killed in tragic accidents, even by seemingly minor actions like playing a prank on a friend. If you had no criminal intent to cause someone else harm and are not guilty of criminal negligence, you may be able to avoid murder charges by claiming it was an accident. 

Call a Raleigh, North Carolina Murder Defense Attorney Now

If you or a loved one have been charged with any kind of murder or manslaughter, do not delay - get legal assistance right away from an aggressive, experienced Wake County homicide defense attorney with Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC. We fight passionately for our clients’ rights and have a proven track record of obtaining results in every area of our practice. Call us now at 919-533-7000 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. Hablamos Español.


Abogado de Borrar Antecedentes Penales

Incluso con el mejor abogado de defensa criminal, no siempre es posible evitar las condenas por delitos. Una característica desafortunada de nuestro sistema de justicia penal es que los antecedentes penales a menudo hacen que alguien continúe pagando por sus delitos, a veces mucho después de que esa persona haya pagado su deuda con la sociedad. Peor aún, incluso ser arrestado o acusado de un delito sin haber sido condenado puede tener el mismo efecto. Si tiene antecedentes penales y se pregunta si puede borrarlos, hable con un abogado defensor penal de Carolina del Norte con experiencia en eliminación de antecedentes penales.

¿Cómo puedo borrar mis antecedentes penales?

Es importante tener en cuenta que la ley de Carolina del Norte usa el término "expurgación" en lugar de "expurgación", pero estos términos significan exactamente lo mismo y se pueden usar indistintamente. Una expurgación es la eliminación de antecedentes penales por orden de un juez. Después de que se eliminen los antecedentes penales, la persona por la que se eliminaron puede decir honestamente que no ha cometido ese delito (con excepciones para ciertos fines de inmigración).


smithfield workers compensation lawyerWorkers’ compensation is an invaluable resource for those who get injured at work. However, many workers have preexisting conditions that can be aggravated by work or which are made unbearable by injuries that happen at the workplace. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance companies often try to avoid paying out fair settlements to injured workers, especially those with preexisting conditions. Preexisting medical conditions can give insurance companies an excuse to point to other causes than work. 

You may still be able to receive workers’ compensation after you suffer from a workplace accident if you had a preexisting condition, but it may be an uphill battle. If you were hurt in a work-related incident, make sure to work with an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney who can help you fight for your rights. 

How Do Preexisting Conditions Affect Workers’ Compensation Payments? 

Generally speaking, employers in North Carolina should not ask you about your medical history and should not have access to it. However, if you were injured at work and need to file a workers’ compensation claim, you are responsible for disclosing a preexisting condition. Workers’ compensation payments are not required to cover a preexisting condition per se, but they can certainly be required to cover a preexisting condition that has been aggravated by a workplace incident. 


Charlotte car crash injury lawyer Getting in any kind of serious car accident can be a traumatic experience, to say nothing of the physical danger and potentially long-term health implications of such a crash. But suffering in a car crash because somebody decided to drive drunk can be one of the worst kinds of crashes to endure; not only will you have to deal with the painful and expensive healing and recovery process of a typical car accident, but you know that if not for the irresponsible driver’s actions, the accident would likely never have happened in the first place. If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving car crash in North Carolina, you may be considering taking legal action against them. Having a personal injury attorney in your corner will help.

Is a Drunk Driver Responsible Always for a Car Accident? 

Although the driver of the vehicle you crashed into may have been drunk, that does not necessarily mean that he or she will be found responsible for the accident. In fact, if you contributed to the car crash at all, you likely will not be able to recover any compensation for the damage the accident caused. North Carolina personal injury claims fall under “pure” contributory negligence laws, so any contribution on behalf of the plaintiff bars recovery. It is important to talk to an attorney to determine whether you likely share fault for the accident, because shared fault can also result in an insurance company that is going to fight giving you fair compensation. 

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit? 

Every state has a statute of limitations for bringing lawsuits in personal injury cases, and North Carolina is no exception. Generally, the statute of limitations for car accident lawsuits is three years from the date of the crash. However, if someone died in the accident, and a loved one wants to bring a wrongful death claim, they have only two years from the date the person died. 


raleigh expungement lawyerEven with the best criminal defense attorney, it is not always possible to avoid convictions for crimes. An unfortunate feature of our criminal justice system is that a criminal record often makes someone continue to pay for their crimes, sometimes long after that person has paid back their debt to society. Worse, even being arrested for or charged with a crime without being convicted can have the same effect. If you have a criminal record and are wondering whether you can get it wiped clean, speak with a North Carolina criminal defense attorney with experience in record expungement

How Can I Get My Criminal Record Expunged? 

It is important to note that North Carolina law uses the term “expunction” rather than “expungement,” but that these terms mean exactly the same thing and can be used interchangeably. An expunction is the erasure of a criminal record by order of a judge. After a criminal record has been expunged, the person for whom it was expunged can honestly say that they have not committed that crime (with exceptions for certain immigration purposes). 

The criminal records that can generally be expunged in North Carolina include, but are not limited to: 


Wake County personal injury lawyerGetting seriously injured in a car accident can upend your life. You may be unable to work, get around comfortably, or enjoy any of the things you used to be able to do. Even if your injuries are not life-threatening or severe, a car accident can have a major impact on your life, causing major disruptions that take time, effort, expensive medical treatment, and personal therapy to overcome. 

When these kinds of injuries happen because of someone else’s negligent or intentionally dangerous driving, you deserve to recover compensation. The other driver’s insurance company knows this - but they are also trying to stay in business and make money. This may lead to an insurance company lowballing you in an offer for compensation, hoping that you will not have a personal injury attorney who knows their tricks and who will fight for your rights. Here are five reasons a North Carolina insurance company does not want you to hire a personal injury lawyer after a car accident. 

Personal Injury Attorneys Know How to Prove Fault

Investigations are an important part of personal injury claims, especially when there is confusion or disagreement about why an accident happened and who is ultimately responsible. Personal injury attorneys know how to conduct thorough accident investigations, including collecting video evidence, witness testimony, and accident reconstruction evidence to prove liability on the part of the other driver. 


Wake County personal injury lawyerAccidents with public transit vehicles tend to result in serious injuries - after all, buses, trains, trams, and other forms of public transit are usually much larger than passenger vehicles, and collisions commonly cause catastrophic injuries or death. But public transportation agencies owe a duty of care to prevent avoidable injuries, and when the driver, operator, or a mechanical defect is responsible for an accident, the transportation agency could be held liable. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident with a North Carolina public transit vehicle, read on to learn how a personal injury attorney can help. 

Why Do I Need a Lawyer in a Public Transit Accident Case? 

If a government agency’s liability in an accident is clear, the agency may want to work quickly with victims to settle a claim brought by the victim or his or her family. However, this settlement offer may not reflect the full extent of the harm done by the accident - for example, by not covering the full value of a victim’s lost wages, medical expenses, or a family’s long-term grief from the loss of a parent or child. 

An attorney can guide you throughout the claim process, handling complex paperwork and legal matters so you can focus on recovering. An attorney will complete a full investigation, determine who was responsible for the accident, and negotiate on your behalf to make sure the city compensates you for the full value of your claim. 

des channel 40 aila ncsb justice aila char
Back to Top