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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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CONSULT

Helping people is what I do: and to be honest, most of the lawyers I know in small & solo law practices could use an extra hand with designing their Firm's website. Over the past 18 months, I've taught myself professional web design, including PDF generation using web forms. My life is infinitely easier, and the sheer number of mundane, routine tasks has been slashed to virtually nil. Play around on this site: what features could enhance your practice?
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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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ADVISING & CONSULTING IN THE FIELD OF LAW PRACTICE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

FLETCHER LEGAL ASSISTS SOLO ATTORNEYS AND SMALL LAW FIRMS BY AUTOMATING ROUTINE TASKS, MANAGING DATA, AND DESIGNING BEAUTIFUL WEBSITES THEY’RE PROUD TO SHOW THE WORLD. Your website says a lot about you: it’s the face that choose to present to the world. Prospective clients increasingly search for counsel online, and make decisions whether to retain your services sometimes based on the appearance of your homepage alone. Obviously, small law firms lack the resources of BigLaw; all too often, their single largest marketing resource – their website – looks sad, dilapidated, and outdated.

WHAT WE DO AND HOW WE DO IT. 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. One of the most important ways we’ve accomplished these lofty goals is by investing our time and energy into learning the skills necessary to showcase our brand in the best possible light.

WHAT DOES YOUR WEBSITE SAY ABOUT YOU? During the first decade of managing my solo practice, I chose not to have a website rather than having one that looked cheap and thrown together. When I did finally choose to incorporate a website into my practice, I spent a year teaching myself how to design, brand, build, and integrate cutting edge tools in to my site, rather than outsourcing the job. I invested a year of my life into learning this skill because I knew I couldn’t afford to hire a professional designer to build the website I knew my practice deserved. And I refused to settle for a website that looked sloppy, unprofessional, and amateur. 

THE SKILLS I HAVE LEARNED WILL FOREVER CHANGE THE WAY I PRACTICE LAW. Things will never be the same again: aside from moving to an entirely paperless law practice, I learned how to harness the power of web forms and dynamic PDF generation. These are crucial, cutting edge technologies that automatically avail my Firm as advantage that places me on level footing with BigLaw. My time has been freed-up to focus on what I want to do with my Firm. I’m no longer bound to the monotonous, routine tasks that consumed so much of my valuable time, and I am here to share those skills with you.

WE ACCEPT CLIENTS, NOT CASES. My job is to help small law firms focus on the things that matter, by making their jobs easier and reducing client expenses. With a client-focused approach that’s results-oriented, I want to help your law firm succeed and show off the best aspects of your practice to prospective and current clients.

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FORMS & DATA

WHAT WE DO AND HOW WE DO IT. 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. One of the most important ways we’ve accomplished these lofty goals is by investing our time and energy into learning the skills necessary to showcase our brand in the best possible light.

THE PRACTICE OF LAW REVOLVES AROUND FORMS. Think about how often you use forms as a Solo or Small Law Attorney: from Client Intake Questionnaires, to timesheets, form letters, Motions, Checklists, and Billing Documents, Forms are at the very center of every small law practice in America.

THE EVOLUTION OF FORMS IN MY OWN LAW PRACTICE. When I first began practicing law over a decade ago, I used Microsoft Word to create reusable documents that I could print and use as Forms. Although Microsoft Word is an excellent piece of software for creating and drafting content, it’s hardly the optimal piece of software for designing professional forms for regular use in a law firm. Before too long, I taught myself Adobe Acrobat and learned the power of the PDF.

PDF DOCUMENTS MAINTAIN THE SAME FORMATTING ON EVERY DEVICE USED TO VIEW. The problem with Microsoft Word, or virtually any software program other than those that create and modify PDF documents, is that the documents you create look differently on every device on which they’re viewed. For example: I use quite a few custom fonts when I create a document; if I were to send you the same Microsoft Word document that I drafted using my custom fonts, and you do not have those same fonts installed on your computer, the document you view will look much different than the document I created. PDF documents look the same on every computer, thus ensuring the document I created and am looking at is exactly the same as they document you’ve received and are viewing. PDF documents are essential in the practice of law to guarantee both the sender and the recipient are looking at the same exact document.

ADOBE ACROBAT PRO ALLOWS USERS TO EDIT PDF DOCUMENTS AND CREATE PROFESSIONAL FORMS. PDF documents are very different than Microsoft Word documents when it comes to editing: in order to edit a PDF document, you’ll need an expensive piece of software. Virtually every professional content creator agrees that Acrobat Pro is the gold standard of PDF editing. On top of that, Acrobat Pro can be used to create fillable forms that allow users to enter their dynamic data in form fields, and simply tab to the next field when they’ve completed each field. PDF Forms create extremely professional looking documents; each completed form looks like it was designed for this one-time use, when in fact, a well-designed PDF form can be used over and over again with every different client. Once I discovered the power of Acrobat Pro and fillable PDF forms, I thought that I’d never need another piece of document creating software again.

COMBINING THE POWER OF FILLABLE PDF FORMS WITH WEB FORMS AND PDF GENERATORS IS UNBELIEVABLY POWERFUL. The problem with fillable PDF documents is that they must be sent to the client, then returned at their leisure. By creating web forms with simple fields, such as “first name,” “last name,” “email address,” etc., you’re able to shift the burned of completing routine documents from yourself onto the clients. And, by uploading your custom PDF documents onto your website, you’re able to distribute your documents to clients simply by providing a URL address for their use. Let me give you an example:

FLETCHER LEGAL USES WEB FORMS THAT GENERATE PDFs FOR CLIENTS THAT RETAIN OUR FIRM FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS. Rather than presenting a client with a complex fee agreement requiring them to fill out their personal information, the name of their insurance company, and sign a 10 page contract, we built a simple web form with fields for these same questions. Once a user hits “SUBMIT,” the data that they entered is inserted into the mapped fields of the custom PDF that we uploaded. The client doesn’t see the complex, 10 page contract until after submission when the PDF generator emails a PDF attachment of the completed document to them, to us, and to our Firm’s office manager. We simply share the URL of the webpage that contains the web form, and ask our clients to complete the simple web form when they are able.

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES OF INTEGRATING AN ONLINE PDF GENERATOR IN TO YOUR PRACTICE. Imagine the time you’ll save. Imagine eliminating the mundane and routine tasks that take up so much Attorney time that could be much better spent doing the things that help grow your business. At Fletcher Legal, we use PDF Generators for:

  • Fee Agreements

  • Client Questionnaires

  • Expungements

  • New Client Intake and Registration

  • General and Limited Appearance Forms

  • Waivers of Appearance

  • Tracking Leads
  • Firm Financials, including Income and Expense Trackers

  • Motions

  • New Client Registration

  • New Client Letters

  • Closed File Letters

  • Discovery
    Requests

PUT THE TEAM AT FLETCHER LEGAL TO WORK FOR YOU. If you’d like to learn more about Automated PDF Generation, and the skills we use to create the most advanced forms in the legal industry, contact the team at Fletcher Legal today for a free assessment.

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DESIGN & BRANDING

FLETCHER LEGAL IS MORE THAN JUST A LAW FIRM. Fletcher Legal doesn’t just help clients with Drunk Driving charges and Insurance Claims – we help Solo Attorneys and Small Law Firms up their game. Your website is what you choose to show the world; it’s the first, and sometimes only impression prospective clients have of you. Our team of professionals is able to assist your Firm with:

  • Branding & Marketing

  • Custom Website Design

  • Custom Form Design

  • Workflow & Automation

  • Fillable PDF Documents
  • Electronic Signatures

  • Paperless Law Offices

  • Online Client Registration

  • Data Management

  • Blog Posts, Custom Post Types, and Advanced Custom Fields

THE FIRST STEP IS AN ASSESSMENT OF YOUR CURRENT CAPABILITIES AND NEEDS. The first step with any new Firm we assist is analyzing their current online presence, and determining where our client wants to go. We do much more listening than talking. We seek to build a relationship built on mutual trust where we can help clients accomplish their online goals, one step at a time. After we’ve assessed their current online presence, we discuss whether a complete rebranding is necessary, or whether we can build on an underlying structure that already exists.

WE PROVIDE A ROADMAP TO ACCOMPLISHING YOUR DESIGN GOALS. After we’ve analyzed the current status of our client’s online presence, we typically begin with color schemes and logo design. We work with clients to accomplish a branding scheme that conveys the message our clients seek to convey, without using words. Clients are then able to integrate their custom logos into everything from their website headers, to email signatures and stationary. After we’ve effectively created a color scheme and logo that our clients love, we determine they type of website they require, and put forward a plan to accomplishing their goals.

PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS INCREASINGLY USE THE INTERNET TO FIND AN ATTORNEY. And, like it or not, a prospective client’s first impression of you and your practice is determined by your website’s homepage. Are you satisfied with your current website? I’m guessing that you’re not, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Our consulting services focus on designing beautiful, client-focused, easy to use websites targeted for higher search engine results. By studying and implementing the correct keywords for your specific practice, then implementing those keywords in the proper manner into your website, we are able to assist with raising your online presence onto the first page of internet search engine results. In addition to Search Engine Optimization services (SEO), Fletcher Legal can also assist you with:

  • Creating a virtual lobby where attorneys can conduct video calls with clients and prospective clients without either party having to download software, or even create user accounts. The video call platforms we implement are HIPPA compliant, for military grade encryption.

  • Creating custom online payment portals, allowing clients to pay their attorney’s fees online with credit cards. No more having to chase down clients when their bills become due.

  • Creating an online calendaring and appointment scheduling system that blocks off days and times as you’d like. When a client books an online appointment, that time is now blocked off to prevent another client from booking an appointment at the same time. You can also choose to collect appointment fees by requiring users to input a credit card before they are able to schedule an online appointment to speak with an attorney.

  • Creating custom forms and PDF Generators for clients to fill out contracts & agreements, intake questionnaires, medical record releases, and any other document your practice may require. Coupled with the ability to accept electronic signatures, the possibilities are endless.

  • Designing custom logos, branding, and color schemes for your law practice, including Calls to Action and Landing Pages.

  • Writing Copy for your firm’s specific practice areas.

  • Uploading PDF forms and handouts for clients to download and review, including e-books.

  • Building a gorgeous website from the ground up that you’ll be proud to show off to your clients, your colleagues, and the entire world.

BUILD YOUR BRAND. To learn just how Fletcher Legal can help you, jump into our virtual lobby for a free consultation with a member of our staff, book an appointment online, or give us a phone call.

CALL, TEXT & BOOK APPOINTMENTS ONLINE
Designed for maximum useability. Zero phone-tag. Zero missed messages.
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TIME IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET. Solo Attorneys and lawyers at small law firms have very difficult jobs. Aside from practicing law, they’re charged with being the IT professional, generating new business, expanding their practice areas, learning new law, billing and collections, as well as being the janitor and receptionist. They lick every envelope going out. And as any Solo Attorney will tell you, their most valuable asset is time; there’s never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the to-do list.

AUTOMATE EVERYTHING YOU CAN. Automating workflow is the key to success for any lawyer. The entire purpose of form creating is so that one isn’t required to reinvent to wheel for every new client. Whatever can be automated, should be automated. At Fletcher Legal, we help SmallLaw level the playing field by automating routine tasks that needlessly take attorney time from where it can better be spent.

WHAT TASKS CAN EASILY BE IMPLEMENTED BY A SMALL LAW PRACTICE? The first tasks that a small law firm should automate include Client Intake and gathering Client Data. Whenever possible the burden of completing routine documents should be shifted from the Attorney onto the client. In a criminal defense practice, the first and easiest documents to automate include:

  • Client Intake Questionnaires

  • Standard Fee Agreements

  • Appearance of Counsel

  • Waiver of Appearance
  • Client Payment Plans

  • Welcome Letters

  • Closed File Letters

  • Benefits & Features of your Law Firm’s Website

WHAT’S THE PROCESS FOR AUTOMATING STANDARD LEGAL DOCUMENTS? The first forms take time to create – there’s no doubt about that. But, once created, you’ll never have to worry about reinventing the wheel if done properly. We being in Microsoft Word, keeping in mind what the finished product should look like. Anytime a form field will be inserted down the road, we leave a blank space, or inclue a line of underscores that look like this: ___________________.

SAVE THE WORD DOCUMENT AS A PDF AND BEGIN FORM EDITING WITHIN ACROBAT PRO. The document should be saved as both a Microsoft Word document (in case later changes need to be made), as well as a PDF document. Next, we open the PDF in Acrobat and insert our form fields. We spend a significant amount of time making sure our texts match what we created in Word, and the placement of our fields lines up properly with the text we drafted in Word.

CREATE YOUR WEB FORM USING A PREMIUM WORDPRESS PLUGIN. After we have a properly working PDF fillable form, we create our web form using a WordPress Form plugin, such as Formidable Forms or WP Forms. After the questions are drafted, and our web form is complete, we upload the form to a new page using a standard template we’ve created in Elementor.

OUTCOME & RESULTS. Lastly, we upload the PDF document using special software that allows us to map our Form fields to our web form, then calibrate the settings to email us the finished document, and voila! We’ve now automated a routine task down to the bare minimum amount of work necessary, shifted the burden of form completion onto the client, and have a gorgeous template for future use. It should complicated because it is – but that’s where we can help.

FLETCHER LEGAL HELPS LAW FIRMS JUST LIKE YOURS AUTOMATE ITS STANDARD PRACTICES. If you’d like to know more about how you can put us to work automating your routine practices, give us a call or hop into our virtual waiting room to speak with a member of our staff.

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FLETCHER LEGAL HELPS LAWYERS JUST LIKE YOU!

SERIOUS LAW FIRMS REQUIRE SERIOUS WEBSITES. If your web presence is lacking, your website isn’t much to be proud of, or you would just like to learn more about the power of web forms or how Fletcher Legal can help you with PDF Generation, step into our virtual lobby for a no cost, no obligation video call. Fletcher Legal doesn’t take cases; we take clients. We focus on building long term relationships to help clients achieve their long terms goals.

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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