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Law Offices Of Wiley Nickel, PLLC

Welcome to the Office Emily Orr!

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel is proud to announce the latest addition to our team!

Emily is a North Carolina native, who was born and raised in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.    She is proud to be a Western Carolina University Alum, where she graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors in Criminal Justice in 2013.  Before joining our team, Emily was a Deputy Clerk with the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court for the past two years where she gained valuable knowledge of criminal courtroom procedures.  The areas she was most heavily involved included: Domestic Violence, DWI, and District Criminal Court. 

As the office manager and legal assistant, Emily will likely be the first person you will speak with at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel. Her duties at the firm include answering and making calls to clients, sending out contact emails, following up with clients after their court date, and prepping paperwork and files for the attorneys.

Summer is here, let us help you stay out of trouble.

With the summer in full swing, Raleigh is full of great activities, breweries and concerts to enjoy. With a few tips in mind, you can enjoy the Summer months without unwanted encounters with law enforcement officers.

(1)  If you are drinking and don't look 21, ALE can approach and ask for your ID. It is illegal to consume alcohol under the age of 21. If you are under 21, you are likely to be targeted at events like concerts at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre. North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) agents often patrol these events looking for underage drinkers. In North Carolina, NCGS 18B-302 dictates that anyone under the age of 21 is forbidden from consuming any alcoholic beverage. Furthermore, it is illegal to use a fake I.D. to purchase alcohol, and also illegal to buy alcohol for a person under 21. Many do not realize that a charge for using a fake ID can lead to a license suspension!

(2)   If you’re going to drink at a brewery pay attention to the % alcohol concentration. Breweries are an awesome place to gather with friends, but the higher percentage beer can lead to trouble. Be aware of the percent alcohol content of the beverage you select. If you are driving home, take note that even 1 or 2 beers with a high percent can take you over the 0.08 legal limit. A charge of Driving While Impaired (DWI) will cause an immediate 30 day suspension of your license. A DWI can be very costly and requires several court appearances.

(3)    You have less rights to privacy when in your car. We see a huge number of tickets issued outside of concert venues like Red Hat, Lincoln Theatre and the Ritz for marijuana possession or possession of drug paraphernalia. Law Enforcement often patrols those parking lots and a smell of marijuana coming from your car can easily lead to a citation or arrest.

Charged with a DWI, underage drinking, or marijuana charge? Call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation with attorney Kristi Haddock or attorney Wiley Nickel.

Kristi Haddock
A High School Fight: Does it Relate to Assault?

Recently, there has been a video circulating online of a student committing an assault at a high school in North Carolina. The video lasts less than a minute, but shows a seemingly vicious assault. After viewing a video like this, you may have some questions about assault, and how it is punished. 

In North Carolina, the crime of assault is defined in the North Carolina General Statutes, and even describes varying circumstances and degrees of assault. For example, there are heightened punishments for assaults committed on school or sports officials while in the course of their duty. So, if a parent of a student on the high school basketball team assaults the basketball coach, it will be treated differently in court than a simple assault. 

You will also have to keep in mind that in the criminal context, assault and battery are lumped together, as opposed to civil matters, where assault and battery are two different torts. If you have any questions regarding assault, or have received a recent charge of assault, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC. You will receive a free consultation over the phone, or you can contact Attorneys Kristi Haddock or Wiley Nickel by email. 

Wiley Nickel
Larceny v. Robbery – What is the difference?!

To be found guilty of Larceny the State must prove that you (1) took (2) personal property (3) in the possession of another AND (4) carried that property away (5) without the consent of the possessor AND (6) with the intent to deprive the possessor of its use permanently (7) knowing that you are not entitled to it. Larceny of property valued less than $1,000 is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Where as, Larceny of property valued at more than $1,000 is a Class H felony. 

Larceny is a lesser included offense of Robbery. Which means you can only be found guilty of one or the other arising from the same offense. There are two types of Robbery, both which are felonies. A person may be found guilty of Common Law Robbery (which is a Class G Felony) if the State proves that they (1) committed larceny (2) from the person or from the person's presence (3) by violence or intimidation. A person may be found guilty of Armed Robbery (which is a Class D Felony) if the State proves that they (1) committed or attempted to commit larceny (2) from the person or from the person’s presence (3) by possession, use, or threatened use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon (4) that endangers or threatens the life of a person. 

If you were charged with Larceny, call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation. Our attorneys are also available by email at Kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley@wileynickel.com. 

Wiley Nickel
How do Moving Violations Affect My License?

Moving Violations can have a number of different effects on your license, and can have impacts on your insurance as well. However, depending on the level of your license, the impact can change. 

There are 3 levels of licenses for non-commercial drivers in North Carolina. They are: Limited Learners Permits, Limited Provisional Licenses, and Full Provisional Licenses. 

While many people are familiar with the penalties associated with violations of having a Full Provisional License, many of those same penalties apply to lower levels of licenses too. For example, a speeding ticket can result in the addition of more time to a Learners Permit, meaning that the young driver has to hold the permit longer without any more violations before obtaining the Limited Provisional License. 

There are times, depending on the severity of the offense, that a Learners Permit or Limited Provisional License can be suspended. These suspensions range in the amount of time that they will last, depending on the individual circumstances. 

If you have further questions about the levels of driving licenses, or about how moving violations affect your level of license, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC. The attorneys at Wiley Nickel can explain and work to help your situation.  

Wiley Nickel
What types of crimes are considered crimes of "Domestic Violence?"

Under North Carolina law, domestic violence extends to more than incidents involving spouses. It also includes other personal relationships like dating relationships, people living together who are members of the opposite sex, parents and their children, current or former household members, etc. 

Crimes like Assault on a Female or Simple Assault are common in the Domestic Violence courtroom. However, other charges such as Injury to Personal Property may also be considered crimes of domestic violence if the alleged victim and the offender have a personal relationship. The North Carolina General Statutes have made it so that a crime of domestic violence has harsher collateral consequences such as the loss of gun rights. So, it is important to have a zealous attorney in your corner. 

If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence, it is the State of North Carolina's burden to prove each and every element of the charge. If you have questions regarding your charge, and how to proceed call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation or set up an appointment to meet in person at our Cary office. 

Wiley Nickel
What are Collateral Consequences?

After a trial and conviction, if a person serves their sentence, does this mean that their debt to society has been repaid? Not necessarily. Collateral consequences can be imposed on an individual, even after their jail time or fine has been served/paid. Often, a defendant does not have to be warned about these additional penalties. These additional penalties are also known as civil disabilities, and are separate from criminal proceedings.

Depending on the charge, these penalties can include revocation of licenses, or even loss of financial subsidies. Some of these penalties are discretionary, but others are mandatory and will occur immediately after a conviction. Collateral consequences are governed by North Carolina statutes. There are tools to help see potential collateral consequences as well. If you have any questions regarding a charge, or any potential collateral consequences, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation. 

Wiley Nickel
I blew less than a 0.08, but was still charged with DWI! What now?

Can I be charged with DWI even though I blew less than 0.08? Yes, North Carolina General Statute 20-138.1 states that a person may be charged with DWI if they operate a motor vehicle on a public street or highway while under the influence of an impairing substance OR with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher at any relevant time after driving. 

So, this means the law governing DWI's in NC covers offenses both above and below a blood alcohol concentration of .08. The State may attempt to prove a case of DWI without any blood alcohol content at all, by proving "appreciable impairment." This means that they must prove that your physical and mental faculties were appreciably impaired by alcohol or another impairing substance like marijuana, cocaine or prescription drugs. The good news is it is much more difficult for the State to prove a case without a BAC of 0.08 or higher. 

Blood alcohol content also can impact the level of DWI at sentencing. DWI's are broken down into 6 classes of severity which are measured based on "mitigating" and "aggravating" factors. A blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher is considered an aggravating factor. A BAC of .15 or higher also triggers the ignition interlock requirement through DMV. The worst level DWI is an Aggravated level 1, which is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment. For a Aggravated level 1 punishment, the court must find 3 "grossly aggravating factors" such as serious injury caused by the impaired driving, prior DWI within 7 years or having a child under the age of 18 in the car at the time of offense. The lowest level, level 5, has a maximum punishment of 60 days imprisonment with the minimum punishment being 24 hours of community service. 

A DWI can be very costly and has long-standing repercussions on your permanent record. It is important that you put yourself in a position to best fight for your interests.

If you were charged with DWI in Wake County, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a no-cost consultation. Our attorneys, Wiley Nickel and Kristi Haddock have experience fighting DWI charges and are ready to help. Our office is located in Cary, near the intersection of Harrison Avenue and Weston Parkway. 

Wiley Nickel
How Many Different Expungements Can You Get in North Carolina?

How To Get Your Criminal Record Expunged: Can You Get Multiple Expungements in North Carolina?

You can get as many expungements as the law allows.  Some types expungements bar you from getting certain other types of expungement in the future and for other situations there could be multiple expungements allowed.  It’s all very fact specific.

Certain Convictions under 18 and Certain Drinking Tickets under 21

Many can get an NC expungement of a misdemeanor conviction for an offense committed before the age 18 plus certain drinking tickets before age 21.  That expungement statute does not list a prior expungement as a bar to getting one.

Dismissal/Not Guilty Expungements

In many cases you can’t get a dismissal expungement if you’ve had certain other types of expungements.  If you have a misdemeanor conviction on your record and want to get an expungement for a dismissed case that conviction likely does not bar you from a dismissal expungement.  For many clients the order of using their expungements is very important and if there are multiple things going on you could limit the possibilities for expungements if you do them in the wring order.

15 Year Wait Expungements

For many clients their public records can be erased through the expungement process for one misdemeanor or low level felony after 15 years have passed (assuming it’s the only criminal conviction on their record).  In that situation most other prior expungements could block them from the 15 year wait kind of expungement.  An expunction of a dismissal is the one type of expungement that is not listed as a bar to getting the 15 year type.

What Next?

A prior expungement generally makes it difficult for a person to get an expungement more than once. However there is not a rule that allows only one expungement for all scenarios. The terms of each statute control whether a person can obtain another expungement. North Carolina law creates a narrow path to additional expungements in many situations.  All cases are different.  If you have questions about getting a second expungement contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our NC Expungements Lawyers will answer your questions and let you know if we can expunge criminal records for you.

My Citation Has an Error, Does that Mean it Will Be Dismissed?

Not necessarily. A case will only be dismissed if the flaw in the citation is fatal and it is not amended by the prosecutor prior to the start of a trial. For instance, in a Shoplifting or Larceny case if the officer incorrectly lists the store's name that must be corrected prior to the start of a trial. On citations for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia the officer must list the alleged type of paraphernalia such as "wrapping papers." Errors like misstating the victim information, or alleged activity are fatal flaws. However, if the error is simply a misspelling of your name or address etc. the flaw is viewed as minor and will not impact the outcome of the case. 

If you notice an error on your citation, you should consult with an attorney to discuss your options. An error on your citation is NOT an excuse to miss court. Missing court could result in an order for your arrest or a failure to appear on your record. 

If you have any questions regarding a citation, or the information on it, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation. You may also email the attorneys directly by contacting Kristi Haddock at Kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com

Wiley Nickel
I Haven't Been Charged Yet, Was it Dropped?

Let's say that you were arrested for a DWI or an assault. You were booked and read your rights, but after being released, you never received any formal charges. You are probably wondering if that means that the prosecutor has decided not to go forward, and whether or not you can go about your daily life without worrying about it.

This doesn't mean that you are in the clear. The prosecutor can file charges at any point during a particular misdemeanor or felony's Statute of Limitations. Every offense that is punishable has some sort of time period that charges may be pursued, otherwise, the chance is lost to pursue some punishment.

The statute of limitations depends on the crime that could be charged. For many misdemeanors, the Statute of Limitations is 2 years. However, some waiting periods can be tolled, meaning that, in effect, they can stop and then pick up again, and last longer than the statute originally said.

The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel may be able to help you. If you have any questions at all, please call for a free consultation at (919)-585-1486. You can also email Kristi Haddock directly at Kristi@wileynickel.com, or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com.

Kristi Haddock
I Was Charged With a DWI, Now What?

After being arrested for DWI you probably feel confused and anxious about what to expect. What should you do next? When can you get your license back?

First, you should contact an attorney. A lawyer can help explain the process and can even help you get a Limited Driving Privilege to help get you back on the road. Often, you will be able to get a Limited Driving Privilege after just 10 days, rather than waiting the full 30 days of your pre-trial civil revocation. 

An attorney will be able to explain the court process to you and the positives and negatives of a trial versus plea. While a plea may seem like the easy way out, if you plead guilty, the DWI will show up on your permanent record and cannot be expunged under North Carolina law. You should have an attorney review your case to consider all possible defenses. 

Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty and the State of North Carolina must prove that you were Driving While Impaired beyond a reasonable doubt. They must satisfy every element of DWI to prove their case! 

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel have experience representing clients with DWI charges, and will work diligently to get the best possible outcome for you. If you have any questions about DWI charges, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation at 919-585-1486. You can also email Kristi Haddock at Kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com.

Kristi Haddock
What is a PJC?

Some misdemeanor traffic offenses in North Carolina may result in the loss of your license, or an increase of your insurance. For many, losing your license could cause you to lose your job and create a huge burden on your family. Likewise, an increase of insurance could be a difficult financial strain. 

In North Carolina, judges may choose to enter a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC). This allows the judge to not enter a conviction or impose a sentence. A PJC is often used to prevent an increase of insurance or to prevent a license revocation. This option can be extremely appealing, but is only available for certain offenses. For example, if you are charged with speeding 25 miles per hour above a posted speed limit, or charged with DWI, a PJC will not be available.

It is a common myth that if you get another ticket after using a PJC,  both tickets penalties will come back. That myth is NOT true! However, you are only allowed to use a PJC once every 3 years for insurance purposes, and twice every 5 years for DMV purposes. If you use more than the number of PJC's allowed insurance and DMV will not know which PJC to count which could lead to an increase of points. Some judges require the completion of community service or driving school as part of a the process to earn a PJC. 

If you have received a minor traffic citation or charge, and have questions about a Prayer for Judgment Continued, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 1-(919)585-1486 for a FREE consultation. You can also email Attorney Kristi Haddock or Wiley Nickel directly at Kristi@wileynickel.com or wiley@wileynickel.com, respectively.

Kristi Haddock
Can I Be Charged For Someone Else Drunk Driving?

Imagine that you have been drinking with a friend of yours, and you know that you can't drive. Your friend says that they can drive, and you give them the keys. Next thing you know, you've been pulled over with your friend, and the cop gives your friend and you citations. You look at your citation and it says that you have Aid and Abet DWI.

You're probably asking, "What is Aid and Abet DWI?" You weren't even driving the car, and you're still getting punished.

In North Carolina, the courts have held that a person who knowingly lets an intoxicated friend drive their car is just as guilty or responsible as the person driving, because the person is aware of the drunken state of the driver. So that means that if your friend is driving the car, after you've seen this friend drink, and then your friend drives the car that causes an accident or injury, you can be charged as well.

If you have questions regarding a recent charge of an Aid and Abet DWI, or about DWI laws in general, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a FREE consultation at 1-(919)585-1486. You can also contact Attorney Kristi Haddock at Kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com. 

Kristi Haddock
What Happens When I Want to Get a New Court Date, and the Judge Says No?

You may have had something come up, and couldn't get out of it. And it so happens that on the same day, you had to go to court. What will happen next?

Before any trials or motions, courts will first call the calendar, and make sure that everyone on the calendar is present. If you are not present, the court may put on your record an FTA, which is Failure to Appear. The court instead may decide to get an OFA, which is an order for arrest. But what if you are representing yourself and need to get your matter moved to another date? By missing court, an FTA or OFA can severely impact your case.

Let's say that you received a ticket for a traffic violation. If you are not present for your time slot in court when the calendar is called, the FTA may cause your license to be suspended. And if it has not been cleared up after 40 days, it is sent to the DMV. An FTA also has a fine of $200.

You can get the FTA stricken, but if you are representing yourself, that can be difficult for a few reasons. Judges want to have clear and concise reasoning as to why they need to get rid of an FTA, and in a situation where you represent yourself, that can be hard to explain. Court is already a nerve-wracking experience, and being there on your own is extremely difficult. Getting a lawyer to help you may provide a better chance at being able to get the FTA stricken and a new court date.

If you have any questions regarding rescheduling a court date, a lawyer may be able to help you argue for a new court date. The Law Offices Of Wiley Nickel can try to help you get a new court date, and try to help your interests. Call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a FREE consultation at 1-(919)-585-1486. You can also email Attorney Kristi Haddock at kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com, directly. 

Kristi Haddock
I Went to Court, Can I Pay My Court Costs Online?

Yes, most traffic and criminal matters may be paid online after the case is resolved by following this link: https://www3.nccourts.org/onlinepayments/menu.sp

You will be required to enter in your case number and county name. You can find all of that information on your cost sheet, which you received in court. 

Remember, once you resolve your case you only have 40 days to pay before DMV will be notified of your failure to pay which results in the suspension of your license. After 40 days, the court also tacks on a $50 late fee. If you plan to pay online, make sure you pay on time!

If you have NOT yet been to court, we do NOT recommend using this tool to pay your traffic citation online. Some traffic offenses automatically result in the suspension of your license if you pay them off online prior to getting a reduction in court. Always consult with an attorney if you are unsure about the consequences of paying a fine online.

If you have received a citation or have court costs that you are interested in paying online, you can call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC. at 919-585-1486. The Offices are located in Cary, NC, and you can also email the attorneys at the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel by reaching out to Kristi Haddock at kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com, respectively.

Kristi Haddock
What do I do if I find out that an employee has been embezzling funds from my business in North Carolina?

Many people contact our law firm to ask what they should do if an employee has embezzled funds from their business in North Carolina. They discover that someone has committed embezzlement and taken money in some form or fashion from their business.  If more than $1,000 has been stolen then it’s a felony charge in North Carolina.

If someone has committed embezzlement from your business you should call the police and they will investigate and arrest where appropriate.  As part of the criminal process there will be an effort by the police, district attorney’s office and courts to get you all of your money back.

What happens if you try to work out a deal with the employee and don’t call the police?  After firing the employee some employers will try to work it out with that former employee and may not end up contacting the authorities.  If you sign some type of contract or enter into some sort of formal agreement with that former employee for repayment of the funds that were taken - the police may not get involved in the case if that former employee doesn’t make good on his/her promise to repay the funds that were taken.  Once you get into the point where there’s a contract then it likely becomes a civil matter and not a criminal matter and the police may decide not to get involved.  At that point your only recourse will be to sue the former employee for the lost funds if they don’t pay the funds back as part of the agreement.  All cases are unique so this may or may not apply to your specific case.

If criminal charges are brought against the former employee and they enter a plea deal or are found guilty then there will likely be some sort of restitution ordered by the courts as part of any deal or criminal sentence.  Most courts in North Carolina are very interested in getting your business paid back for the funds that were taken.

The main issue here is that if you (1) decide not to call the police and then (2) sign a written agreement for repayment with the former employee who embezzled funds and (3) the employee doesn’t make repayment then you would likely have to sue the employee in civil court and the police could decide not to get involved.

If criminal charges are brought then there are strong mechanisms in North Carolina where the District Attorney and the Judge will be very concerned with making sure that your business gets paid back those embezzled funds.

Can the Police Use Dogs to Search My Car?
Police Car

Have you been pulled over for a traffic stop? Did the police ask you to search your car, and to use the K-9 unit?

You might wonder if the police are allowed to use dogs to search your car, and the short answer is, yes, police officers may be able to use dogs to sniff the outside of your car.

Generally, the police have a wide range of authority to search someone's car. If the police see a traffic violation, or suspect other "criminal activity" such as Driving While Impaired, the police can legally stop you. Once you are stopped, the police have probable cause to search the car IF they believe evidence related to the crime they stopped you for may be present in the car. So, if they walk up to your window and see or smell marijuana they then have reason to search your car. This does NOT mean they necessarily have probable cause to search the occupants of the car. Using dogs to sniff your car to see if there is any potential drug paraphernalia or drugs present may be part of that search.

But what if you didn't allow the police to bring the K-9 unit, are they allowed to go ahead and bring out the dogs anyway? Again, the police may be able to do that, if they believe that evidence of wrongdoing might be in the car. If the police suspect that you are Driving While Impaired, and may believe that you have marijuana present in the car, they will probably be allowed to use dogs to detect the presence of possible marijuana or other drugs.

If you have questions about a recent search the police conducted of your car, or general questions regarding searches, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC., located in Cary, NC at 919-585-1486. You can also send an email to Kristi Haddock at kristi@wileynickel.com, or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com.

Kristi Haddock
Can A Speeding Ticket Cause Me To Lose My License?

Yes, if you are found guilty of speeding at a high rate of speed your license may be suspended. Additionally, your license may be suspended if you accumulate enough points. North Carolina operates on a point system, and if you receive 12 points on your license, it will be suspended by the state. This means that if you are driving with a suspended license and you are pulled over, you may also be arrested for driving without a valid license.

You can pay your tickets online, but that also means that you are effectively pleading guilty to the infraction. Not only will your insurance increase, but your license may be suspended depending on the speed and the speed zone in which you were stopped. It is always best to call an attorney to make sure you handle your ticket the best way. 

If you received a letter from DMV after paying a ticket off online in North Carolina or out of state, give our office a call. We may be able to request a hearing at the DMV to prevent your license suspension. 

If you have questions, you can call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, located in Cary, NC for a FREE consultation at 919-585-1486. You may also email Kristi Haddock or Wiley Nickel at kristi@wileynickel.com or wiley@wileynickel.com, respectively.

Kristi Haddock
Where is the Wake County Justice Center?

Did you receive a citation or receive a summons in the mail telling you to appear in court? Did that summons tell you to appear at the Wake County Justice Center? You might be wondering if that is the same thing as the Wake County Courthouse, but they are two different buildings. Both are located across the street from one another, so it is easy to mix them up. 

The Justice Center is located at 300 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC. Parking for the Justice Center is located at the Wake County Parking Deck, on 216 W. Cabarrus St. The Justice center is located across the street from the old Wake County Courthouse. The Justice Center mainly has the criminal court house, whereas the Wake County Courthouse is only for civil cases.

If you have a question about the Wake County Justice Center, or about your case in general, call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC. for a FREE consultation at 1-(919)-585-1486, or you can email Kristi Haddock at kristi@wileynickel.com, or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com. 

Kristi Haddock