North Carolina Law Blog

Understanding constructive possession

At Daughtry Woodard Lawrence & Starling in North Carolina, we defend numerous people facing drug charges. One of the ways we often can get the charges dismissed, usually long before the case goes to trial, is via the doctrine of constructive possession. We thought our blog readers might like to know about this little known legal doctrine.

In order to convict you of any kind of drug crime, the prosecutor must first prove that you possessed, owned, or at least controlled the drugs that law enforcement officers allegedly recovered from you. And (s)he must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Two big mistakes drivers will make after a car crash

A car accident can bring out a wide array of emotions within you all at once. Anger at the other driver, confusion at what to do next, fear of how it will affect your insurance or even relief that you are alive. One of these dominant feelings can make it difficult for you to focus on what you need to do afterwards to receive coverage for your damages and personal injuries.

Many North Carolina drivers have lost out on thousands of dollars of compensation after a crash because they either forgot to do something or approached a task the wrong way. If you want to recover safely, you need to avoid the following mistakes most people make after an accident.

What are your rights when a customer files bankruptcy?

When a customer who owes your business a substantial amount of money files for bankruptcy, you have a tough choice to make. Do you pursue the debt into bankruptcy or do you chalk off the money owed as a loss? Too many business owners chalk the money up as a loss, fearing that going through the collection proceedings will expend even more resources they may or may not have. However, this may not be the best decision for you. FindLaw details what you can do if your North Carolina business decides to pursue a customer's debt through bankruptcy.

Though every bankruptcy is different, pursuing debts into it are surprisingly routine. The first thing you need to do is stop collection attempts immediately and comply with the automatic stay. Failure to do so may mean you forfeit your rights to the past due amount entirely.

How to create a successful parenting plan during divorce

When you are going through a divorce with children, a parenting plan is a document the parents will put together to be approved by the court. The plan will govern the details relating to the responsibilities of each parent following the divorce. In the past, creating this arrangement was routinely specified as a custody arrangement. However, more and more it is now being designated as a parenting plan.

A parenting plan is not a legal document, but it will detail information about legal and physical custody of the children. Legal custody allows parents to make decisions on behalf of the child and will usually be either joint legal custody or sole legal custody if only one parent has authority. Physical custody is the time each parent will spend with the children.

Smart planning can optimize the effectiveness of an estate plan

When people are beginning to plan their estate in North Carolina, they are one step closer to a more productive, efficient and relaxed future from a financial standpoint. However, their efforts should not stop once an estate plan has been put in place. With active measures to maintain its legitimacy and optimize its productivity, people can use frequent assessment to make sure their plan stays as current and valid as possible. 

As people recognize the value of having an estate plan, they may be looking for ways to capitalize on what they have already been able to do. Professional experts have a variety of valuable suggestions in helping people reach this goal. Among them, they suggest that people have a healthy combination of secure and fluid financial assets that can be strategized for optimal financial structure. They also ask people to consider narrowing down their proposed spending and budget plans to live within their means of the income they know they will be receiving upon their retirement. 

DWI: what level of penalty can you face for a first offense

Facing DWI charges can be confusing and stressful, especially if you have never faced charges before.

Police can arrest you for driving with a BAC of .08 percent or more. North Carolina classifies DWI penalties into five different levels of severity. In the state, a DWI will result in a misdemeanor on your record. If you face a first-offense DWI, what level could penalty can you face?

Can good tires protect you from a car accident?

Maintaining your vehicle may seem monotonous at times or even inconvenient if it means you are unable to drive it temporarily. Depending on the part of your vehicle that you are doing maintenance on, you could be facing a rather considerable expense. However, keeping your vehicle in working order is more than a worthwhile consideration, it can directly affect your safety as you travel in North Carolina. 

Your tires, for example, are a critical component of your vehicle. Improper alignment or other factors that affect your tires' function could cause your tread to wear down at a much faster rate than when everything is working as it should. Regularly assessing the condition of individual parts can help guarantee you get the most extended use out of your tires as you can. Another tip is to have your tires rotated regularly to give each tire a chance to "rest" from being in a particular position. 

Proving fault for a divorce in North Carolina

Many marriages do not work out for one reason or another. Maybe both partners did not feel that magic spark they once had, or one spouse has romantic feelings for someone else. Some cannot explain why they no longer love their spouse and both parties just mutually agree to a settlement in a courtroom or with a mediator.

North Carolina is unique from most states when it comes to divorce. Like nearly one-third of the country, it is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that the state doesn’t typically allow filing for a fault divorce. But there is another option. Before you begin that necessary one-year wait period prior to the final divorce, you could file for a divorce from bed and board. While it does not end your marriage, it does allow you to file a separation based upon fault grounds. Those with faulty marriages should know some of these grounds and the proof they require when they are considering their divorce options.

North Carolina named the top state for business

A recent report points to North Carolina being a very business-friendly place. This report is Forbes’ 2018 rankings of the best states for companies.

This report ranked North Carolina the best state in the whole nation for business. This is the second year in a row in which the state has been given this top spot.

Types of distracted drivers you will find over the holidays

The holiday season is the perfect time to bring people closer together. Unfortunately, it also brings thousands of drivers and their vehicles closer together as well. In the last 5 years, December has had the third most amount of reported motor vehicle crashes out of all the months in North Carolina.

With the amount of traveling and shopping going on during the holiday season, drivers of all sorts of skill levels and experience take to the roads. It also brings about several distracted drivers that are not seen as often during the year. As you make your daily commutes, get your Christmas shopping done and prepare your trip to Grandma’s house, you should be aware of these dangerous drivers you will share the streets with.

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