• 21 Colonial Square

    Sylva, NC



"When I was a law student, 1977-1980, the law books of our library filled four stories. A lot more law has been made since then. As more law is made, it gets more complicated. It tends to lead lawyers to more specialization, since keeping up with one area of the law is more feasible than trying to know and keep up to date with everything."

If you have a legal issue outside of criminal law or closely related matters, I’ll be glad to suggest a lawyer or lawyers to handle your matter.

I’ve included some information about a couple of things that are part of what I do and information about our United States and North Carolina Constitutions.



North Carolina law has changed quite a bit in this area in the last 5 years. We have gone from a state that was very limited in cases that could be expunged (removed from the public record) to having quite a few areas where an expunction could be possible. One example applies to some lower level felony conviction. A person with such a conviction is eligible for an expunction by proving that they had been of good moral character for the most recent 10 years after the conviction(s). If all convictions happened during the same session of court, they are considered as if they were one conviction.



Traffic Tickets

The DMV has a fairly new option for people to simply pay their tickets online. I don’t mean this literally, but I wonder if the insurance companies created that option for DMV. Another option in handling a ticket is to do what your buddy advises. That might work fine. You could also handle it yourself by going to Court and speaking with the prosecutor. The prosecutors are nice people but, by law, they can’t give you legal advice. Doing it yourself may well work out, but it’s like relying on your buddy’s advice.


On occasion, saving a person’s Driver’s License is my main goal in going to Court. In most cases, though, the aim is to prevent or lessen an increase in the cost of your liability insurance. Hiring me, or any other lawyer who knows what he or she is doing in traffic court, will cost more up front. Insurance points, though, add to the cost of liability insurance for 3 years. It is unusual when a lawyer can’t get something better than what the results of just paying the ticket would be. A smaller point is that you can waive your personal appearance, the lawyer goes to Court instead, and you go about your business on the Court date.


There are a few situations in which you can and should handle yourself. If so, I’ll tell you. One of these situations is if you get a ticket as a result of an accident in which you are at fault. Get a letter from your insurance agent or company stating that they have paid or will pay the damages of the other driver. Take the letter and a copy to court and the odds are very good that the charge(s) will be dropped. Another situation is if you get a ticket from your Driver’s License being expired. Get your license renewed and take it to court. I haven’t heard yet of an occasion where the charge wasn’t dropped. In these situations, there is also a method for you to handle them online. https://www.nccourts.gov/help-topics/traffic-and-vehicles/traffic-violations




United States Constitution (click for easy access to the U.S. Constitution)

North Carolina also has a constitution https://www.ncleg.gov/Laws/Constitution . It contains our state’s Declaration of Rights, which is similar to the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10) of the United States Constitution.

North Carolina courts tend to apply the provisions of the Declaration of Rights in the same manner as corresponding sections of the Bill of Rights. For example, the 14th amendments to the United States Constitution provide that no one should be deprived of life, liberty or property unless it is done by the due process of law. The similar provision of the North Carolina Constitution is the Law of the Land clause of Article 1, Section 19. This clause stands for the same principle.