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ADVICE & BLOGROLL

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DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED – Defining “Driving”

As always, we begin our analysis by reviewing the relevant law, N.C.G.S. 20-138.1: “A person commits the offense of Impaired Driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this state: While under

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DRUGGED DRIVING IN NORTH CAROLINA

Drugged Driving – or Drug DWI – is a form of “Impaired Driving,” under N.C.G.S. 20-138.1. This is the same law that the State uses to convict drunk drivers. In other words, the same law governs drunk driving and drugged driving. But, operating under the influence of drugs, and operating under the influence of alcohol, are two very different things.

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Business Card for Attorney Derek R. Fletcher
Serious cases require serious representation.
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AUTOMATED EXPUNGEMENTS

What does it mean to be an industry-leader? A game-changer? A revolutionary? We like to define it as equal parts foresight & vision, 1 part opportunity, and 2 parts hard work mixed with a splash of elbow grease.
What we saw: the legal field's failure to make expugement easy. The opportunity existed to create a website where an up-and-coming attorney could automate the expungement process. And after a year of many sleepless nights, here's where we landed:
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FLETCHER LEGAL IS A CHARLOTTE-BASED LAW PRACTICE DEDICATED TO HELPING OUR CLIENTS NAVIGATE BOTH THE JUDICIAL PROCESS, AND LIFE’S MOST DIFFICULT MOMENTS. We constantly push the limits of what’s possible when it comes to integrating technology into solo practice with the goal of reducing client fees and expanding access to law. We believe in treating people the way we want to be treated.

WE FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES, BUT RESULTS AREN’T EVERYTHING. We believe that relationships are key, and we only accept clients that we feel we can have a successful partnership with to reach the best results. We believe that legal emergencies rarely occur during business hours, and that it is essential for clients to have Attorney Fletcher’s personal cell phone number.

WE ACCEPT CLIENTS, NOT CASES, AND WE GO WHERE WE ARE NEEDED, ACROSS ALL 100 NORTH CAROLINA COUNTIES. We stick to what we’re good at, continually pushing the envelope and streamlining process steps. We always set our clients up for the best possible outcome.

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ONLINE EXPUNGEMENTS: HOW IT WORKS

FLETCHER LEGAL SAW AN OPPORTUNITY WHERE THE OTHER GUYS SAW “BUSINESS-AS-USUAL:” North Carolina Expungements should be automated! Cleaning your background should be as easy asa cleaning your credit – and now it is!

LEGAL FEES SLASHED BY AUTOMATION! By automating the expungement process, we’ve been able to slash fees in half for this service, and expand the demographic that’s now able to take advantage of this key service! This short instructional video will walk you through the process of expunging a Voluntary Dismissal in North Carolina.

<—-INSERT INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO HERE

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THE PROBLEM

WHAT HAS YOUR CRIMINAL BACKGROUND ACTUALLY COST YOU? Have you been rejected from employment or housing because of an old entry on your criminal records? Everybody makes mistakes, and at Fletcher Legal, we believe that once a person pays their debt to society, an old criminal charge or conviction shouldn’t haunt someone for life!
THE OLD WAY OF EXPUNGING WAS INEFFICIENT. Before Fletcher Legal automated the process of cleaning criminal records, a person usually had to meet with an attorney in order to expunge a charge or conviction. The attorney would determine whether the person was eligible for expungement, and if so, the best statute to file under. After meeting in person or over the phone, either the lawyer or his paralegal would make a trip to the courthouse to pull the person’s file, and record a few key pieces of data from the file. That data was filled out on the forms required by the state, enclosed with a cover letter, and mailed to the local clerk of court for filing. After 12-18 months, the Expungement Petition would be returned to the lawyer, who would notify his client that the expungement was successful.
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THE SOLUTION

OUR FIRM HAS CHANGED THE WAY EXPUNGEMENTS ARE DONE IN NORTH CAROLINA. This method was cumbersome and involved unnecessary attorney time (which costs money). What our Law Firm has done is create a list of questions, via web form, that direct the user to the correct expungement, advise them where and what data is required for filing, and whenever the user is ready to proceed, simply enter the information pertaining to the charge or conviction online. The required forms are automatically generated in our office, which we review before filing. Rather than investing 2 – 3 hours of attorney time for each expungement, we have leaned than number down as low as possible, thus saving our clients as much in legal fees as we possibly can! Before automating, our going rate was roughly $499 to expunge a dismissed charge – Now we can do it for $249!!!
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HOW IT WORKS

EXPUNGEMENTS WE’VE SUCCESSFULLY AUTOMATED. North Carolina law creates more than 10 different types of expungements, based on the nature of the offense, whether the charge resulted in dismissal or conviction, and the age of the offender at the time of the offense. Because we stick to what we’re good at, FLETCHER LEGAL has automated 3 different expungements, with plans to expand in the future. Expungements available through our automated system include:

WHAT IF I NEED A DIFFERENT TYPE OF EXPUNGEMENT?

WE’VE MADE ONLINE EXPUNGEMENTS SIMPLE! The process is the same for each of these 3 expungements, which I will walk you through now. And, if you ever get stuck, need a helping hand, or just want to speak with your expungement attorney, simply step into our virtual lobby by visiting attorneyvideocall.com – a secure videochat platform we developed ourselves: no software to download, no accounts to create! Medical Grade Privacy, Military Grade Security.

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FLETCHER LEGAL HAS MOVED THE EXPUNGEMENT PROCESS WHERE IT BELONGS: ONLINE!

A District Attorney may dismiss (almost) any criminal charge, at any point during the case, for any reason or for no reason at all (referred to as “prosecutorial discretion”). Many reasons may lead to a voluntary dismissal: perhaps the state believes they have a weak case they cannot prove at trial, perhaps they cannot locate the prosecuting witness, or perhaps the person charged is now in compliance with a minor traffic offense. As long as you haven’t been convicted of a felony, you’re usually able to expunge a dismissed charge. We’ve made the process easier than ever; learn more about expunging a Voluntary Dismissal here, or start expunging a Voluntary Dismissal online now.

Voluntary Dismissals are unconditional, and within the prosecutor's discretion.
A Deferred Dismissal is the result of a "deal" made with the State to dismiss the charges if the person accused stays out of trouble, or completes a period of probation.

Deferred Dismissals are not unconditional. Typically, the state “makes a deal” with a first time offender, a person charged with minor drug possession, or an underage drinker. In exchange for a guaranteed future dismissal, the person charged agrees to complete a period of probation, a drug class, or community service. Convicted felons are barred from expunging Deferred Dismissals from their criminal records. We’ve made the process easier, and less expensive, than ever! Learn more about expunging a Deferred Dismissal here, or begin expunging a Deferred Dismissal online now!

Not Guilty Verdicts, whether obtained from a judge hearing and ruling on a case, or obtained from a jury, may be expunged from a person’s criminal record, as long as that person is not a convicted felon. We’ve made the process of expunging a Not Guilty verdict easier, and less expensive, than ever before! Learn more about expunging a North Carolina Not Guilty Verdict here, or begin your online expungement now!

Judge and Jury Not Guilty verdicts are able to be expunged in North Carolina as long as the Petitioner is not a convicted felon.
HOW DO I START EXPUNGING MY RECORD ONLINE? Throughout our webpages dedicated to North Carolina Expungements, whenever you see the green and yellow “EXPUNGE NOW” graphic, clicking it will redirect you to begin the online expungement process. Or, simply navigate to the “EXPUNGE” page using the Primary Navigation Bar and enter the online expungement portal there. And, if you ever need help, a videocall may be initiated at any time by visiting our Virtual Lobby.
CALL, TEXT & BOOK APPOINTMENTS ONLINE
Designed for maximum useability. Zero phone-tag. Zero missed messages.
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YOU DON’T HAVE TO SETTLE FOR LESS! EXPUNGE ON YOUR TIME – KEEP A TEAM OF PROS ON YOUR CASE TOO! We really wanted the best of both worlds: an automated, online, expungement platform to reduce client fees, allow users to clean their criminal record at their convenience, but still having at Expungement Attorney supervising the entire filing from start to finish. Broadly speaking, there are five steps users must complete to expunge a North Carolina Voluntary Dismissal, Deferred Dismissal, or Not Guilty Verdict:

  1. RESEARCH. CONFIRM EXPUNGEMENT ELIGIBILITY;

  2. MORE RESEARCH. GATHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHARGE YOU WANT TO EXPUNGE;

  3. REGISTER. CREATE ACCOUNT;

  4. PAY. PAY ONE-TIME EXPUNGEMENT FEES ONLINE;

  5. SUBMIT. ENTER DATA VIA A USER-FRIENDLY WEB FORM.
AND IT’S QUICK TOO! Start to finish, the process shouldn’t take more than an hour and half – and that’s including the small field trip that may be necessary to gather the required information about the charge you’d like removed.
WHAT WILL WE AUTOMATE NEXT? THE SKY’S THE LIMIT! At this point, we have automated dismissed charges, and charges resulting in Not Guilty Verdicts. We have every intention of automating more down the road, but we’re known as being total perfectionists: we want to make absolutely certain our Automated Expungements work exactly the way they’re supposed to before expanding the more difficult types of North Carolina Expungements. If you require a different Expungement, simply call, text, or videochat our office! We’d be more than happy to assist with removing any North Carolina charge or conviction that’s eligible for Expungement!
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HERE WE GO…Let’s go through each of these steps, one at a time:
YOUR CRIMINAL BACKGROUND MATTERS; WE GIVE YOU THE TOOLS TO LEARN. Our website contains a ton of information all about North Carolina Expungement law! There’s nothing the staff here loves more than cleaning up old criminal records – especially old felony convictions! We get so darned excited about it, that we feel compelled to share our message with the world – entirely for free.

NAVIGATING OUR WEBSITE. Starting from fletcher-legal.com (our homepage), click on “Expunge” using the primary navigation links contained in the header. Once you hover over “Expunge,” several more specific subsections, such as “Expunge a Voluntary Dismissal,” “Expunge a Deferred Dismissal,” and “Expunge a Not Guilty Verdict” will appear. Each page contains detailed information for each type of North Carolina Expungement. Take the time to review this material, as each Expungement contains very specific requirements and conditions that a user must meet in order to obtain a North Carolina Expungement.

PAY EXTRA CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE MET FOR EACH TYPE OF EXPUNGEMENT! The last thing you want is to ignore the requirements for an expungement, and just file! First of all, Expungement Petitions are vetted very thoroughly, and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (N.C. S.B.I.) will discover that you are not eligible; your petition will be denied. But what makes it all worse, is that it may take longer than a year and a half before the Petition is returned from Raleigh – “Denied,” and the whole process must start over from scratch.

RULE # 1: MAKE CERTAIN YOU MEET EVERY REQUIREMENT FOR THE EXPUNGEMENT YOU’RE SEEKING.

HOW WE HELP: We help in a few different ways: First, each expungement subsection web page we’ve put together lists the requirements that must be met for each Expungement. We’ve made easy-to-read checklists for each NC Expungement that stands out from the other materials we’ve assembled.
WE’VE CREATED A YES / NO QUESTIONNAIRE TO GUIDE USERS TO THE BEST AVAILABLE EXPUNGEMENT! Before user reach the online webform where they enter details of the charge to expunge, they must first answer a few yes/no questions to confirm eligibility. Although it’s not fail-safe, we want to do everything we can to help our clients succeed and not be rejected.
ONLINE EXPUNGEMENT PETITIONS ARE REVIEWED BY PROFESSIONALS BEFORE FILING. And lastly, once a user submits an online expungement, the final paperwork is automatically generated in our office before filing. We do our best to look over everything before mailing it to the local Clerk of Court for filing, but at the end of the day, making sure you meet all conditions for relief is on the user. If we spot an irreregularity, or an error in the paperwork, we will reach out to the user before filing the Petition in Court.
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THE ONLY REQUIREMENT TO EXPUNGE A VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL, DEFERRED DISMISSAL, OR NOT GUILTY VERDICT IS THAT THE USER CANNOT BE A CONVICTED FELON

EXPUNGEMENT PETITIONS REQUIRE DETAILS ABOUT THE CASE YOU WANT EXPUNGED. The Expungement paperwork required by North Carolina courts asks a series of questions relating to the charge that the user is attempting to expunge. If you have handy the paperwork from your case, most – if not all – of the details that we’ll need can probably be found inside.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR PAPERWORK HANDY – DON’T SWEAT! WE CAN HELP! If you do not have your court paperwork handy – fret not, my friend! I’m going to teach you a very handy trick to obtain everything that we’ll need, but it may require a small field trip to your local courthouse. If you are unable to travel to a North Carolina Courthouse, REACH OUT TO US! For an additional one-time fee, we will send a member of our expungement team to retrieve this data as soon as we are able. Moreover, you do NOT need to travel to the county where the charge originated! In the past five years, electronic court records have truly stepped up, and now users are able to obtain data about any North Carolina charge or conviction from any North Carolina courthouse in the state! Here is what we will need:
  • County Name;

  • File Number;

  • Court Division (District Court or Superior Court);

  • Personal user details, including:

    • User’s full legal name;

    • User’s address;

    • User’s Driver License Number, or State Issued ID Number;

    • User’s Date of Birth;

    • User’s Social Security Number;

    • User’s Age at the time they were charged with committing a crime;

  • Any additional File Numbers for other dismissed charges to Expunge in this same county;

  • Date of Arrest;

  • Name and Address of Arresting Agency/Agencies;

  • Name of Offense;

  • Date of Offense;

  • Disposition;

  • Date of Disposition.

That’s it! All in all, the required data will look something like this:

I was charged with ______________ in ________________ County, North Carolina on ________ ______, 19/20____. The file number for this charge is ______________________.

SELECT [ ] At the time I was charged, I was only charged with this 1 crime; OR

[ ] At the time I was charged, I was also accused of other crimes in the same county that were also either dismissed or determined Not Guilty:

CHARGE 2: I was also charged with _____________, on ______ _____, ______. The file number for this charge is _____________________, and the case was filed in the same county as CHARGE 1.

CHARGE 3: I was also charged with _____________, on ______ _____, ______. The file number for this charge is _____________________, and the case was filed in the same county as CHARGES 1 & 2.

CHARGE 4: I was also charged with _____________, on ______ _____, ______. The file number for this charge is _____________________, and the case was filed in the same county as CHARGES 1, 2 & 3.

CHARGE 5: I was also charged with _____________, on ______ _____, ______. The file number for this charge is _____________________, and the case was filed in the same county as CHARGES 1, 2, 3 & 4.

For each charge / conviction, record the following data on each file:

  • FILE NUMBER:

  • DATE OF ARREST:

  • POLICE DEPARTMENT THAT ARRESTED ME:

  • POLICE DEPARTMENT ADDRESS
    NAME JAIL WHERE I WAS HELD:

  • ADDRESS OF JAIL WHERE I WAS HELD:

  • DATE OF OFFENSE:

  • DISPOSITION (CHECK ONE):

    • [  ] VOLUNTARILY DISMISSED

    • [  ] DEFERRED DISMISSAL

    • [  ] NOT GUILTY VERDICT

  • DISPOSITION DATE:

  • TRUE/FALSE: MY BLOOD WAS TAKEN IN THIS CASE AND SUBMITTED TO THE STATE CRIME LAB:
    TRUE / FALSE

  • TRUE / FALSE: I WAS HELD AT MORE THAN ONE JAIL ON THIS CHARGE / THESE CHARGES:
    TRUE / FALSE

  • TRUE / FALSE: I WAS HELD IN PRISON ON THIS CHARGE / THESE CHARGES:
    TRUE / FALSE

  • TRUE / FALSE: THE CHARGE I WANT EXPUNGED IS A DISMISSED DWI (DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED):
    TRUE / FALSE

We’ve made a helpful cheatsheet with all the information you’ll need to retrieve, and where to retrieve this data for free, which you can access and print HERE.

EVERY COURTHOUSE IN NORTH CAROLINA HAS A PUBLIC TERMINAL AVAILABLE TO ACCESS ELECTRONIC CRIMINAL RECORDS. Each and every courthouse in North Carolina has a criminal Clerk of Court. In each of their offices, a computer kiosk is open and available for public use where citizens are allowed to retrieve case information at no cost whatsoever. Our Expungement CheatSheet contains instructions for using the Clerk’s Electronic Case Management System, bur if the whole process seems intimidating, we will be more than happy to gather this information on your behalf, and email a copy over at our first convenience. Simply pay an additional one-time-fee or $49.99, and we will send an Expungement Professional from our team to gather everything you need to proceed!

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OUR CHEATSHEET ENSURES YOU’VE COLLECTED ALL NECESSARY CASE DETAILS. Once your Expungement CheatSheet is completed, you’ve confirmed your eligibility, and you’ve acquired all the key details about the charge you’d like Expunged – you are ready to rock-‘n-roll! To begin your automated expungement, visit our firm’s homepage at fletcher-legal.com. Using the Primary Navigation Menu located in the webpage Header, Hover over “Expunge,” then select the dropdown page labeled “Automated Expungements.”
REGISTER WITH FLETCHER-LEGAL.COM! Locate the type of Expungement that you would like to begin filing online, then click below it’s title where it says “BEGIN MY ONLINE EXPUNGEMENT.” The first required step involves creating a user profile for our Firm’s website. The process is extremely simple, and takes less than 2 minutes. You’ll need to create a username and password, then enter some personal details before moving forward. All user data is held on the internet’s most secure webserver: Google Cloud.
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PAY YOUR ONE-TIME LEGAL FEES USING OUR SECURE GATEWAY, POWERED BY STRIPE. After registration, you will be directed to our online Payment Platform, built on Stripe. No credit card data is ever held on our Firm’s webserver – once submitted, user data is immediately processed through Stripe, and a reciept will be emailed to you using the email address we have on file. After you’ve submitted your credit card payment, click the buttons that appear at the bottom of the screen directing you to the last step of Expunging your North Carolina Criminal Record Online: entering case data.
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ALMOST FINISHED! After you’ve gathered the details about the charge to expunge, you’ve created an account with our Law Firm, you’ve entered your credit card details using our secure Payment Gateway, and you’ve tripled-checked to make sure you are eligible for the expungement that you’re applying for, then you only have one step left: simply entering details about the charge to expunge using our Firm’s Automated Expungement Processor.
OUR WEB FORMS OUR HOSTED ON A SEPERATE PLATFORM WITH FAR LESS VISITORS, AND EVEN HIGHER SECURITY STANDARDS. You will automatically be redirected to a different site managed by our Law Firm to complete this last step called fletcherlitigation.com. We host our automated forms here instead of on our main page to limit the volume of traffic that visits this site, and to take extra precaution with site security. After you’ve completed all the required questions – which are assembled in a user-friendly graphic interface – you’ll be redirected back to a “Thank-You Screen” on fletcher-legal’s primary website. From there, you can read more about what happens to your Expungement Petition upon submission, what to do if you need to change the information you’ve entered before it’s filed, and what to expect next. If you have any further questions, you can call, text, or videochat our team of expungement professionals at your convenience!

THANK YOU SINCERELY FOR THE TRUST YOU PLACE IN OUR FIRM!

WHILE YOU’RE HERE…If this is the first you’ve heard of FLETCHER LEGAL, I’d like to invite you to spend a little time on our website! A great place to learn a little more about what we’re all about is on the page titled “CORE VALUES,” located under the “COUNSEL” tab of the Primary Navigation Menu. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, click on “REPRESENTATION;” and – if we may ever be of service, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We take clients – not cases. What we mean by that is that we seek to establish long term, client-focused relationships as trusted advisors – we’re not one-and-done speeding ticket lawyers. Each and every client has Attorney Fletcher’s personal cell phone number for legal emergencies, and is treated like the only client in the Firm.

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FLETCHER LEGAL HELPS CLIENTS JUST LIKE YOU!

SERIOUS CASES REQUIRE SERIOUS REPRESENTATION. If you or someone you know has questions restoring their firearm rights, or to begin the process of restoring your gun rights now, call FLETCHER LEGAL at 704-747-7262, shoot that number a text, step into our virtual lobby for a video call, or book an appointment now for your free case evaluation. Fletcher Legal has helped clients restore North Carolina firearm rights, appeal from pistol purchase denials, and challenge concealed carry decisions. We conduct independent investigations in every case we take, which reduces denials, and ensures a smooth hearing.
VIRTUAL SERVICES REDUCE CLIENT EXPENSES. Schedule an appointment today to speak with Attorney Fletcher, either by video call, text message, or phone call. We offer flexible payment arrangements, independent investigations, and 24 x 7 emergency services. Book an appointment online now to begin building your defense.
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