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Apex Criminal Law Blog

Law Offices Of Wiley Nickel, PLLC

The Team at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC

"When your future and reputation are at stake, an experienced Raleigh Criminal Defense Lawyer makes your rights a priority."

Wiley Nickel, Attorney Kristi Haddock and Attorney Melissa Botiglione focus on Raleigh Criminal Defense, Family Law, Wake County Traffic Tickets and Expungements from Offices in Cary and Apex.  Legal Assistant Emily Orr supports our attorneys and is likely your first point of contact when calling our firm. Contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel when you need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney, Marijuana Defense Lawyer, DWI Lawyer in the cities of Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs and Fuquay Varina.  Defending your rights is our priority.

Wake County Criminal Defense Law Firm

We fight for our clients and work tirelessly to provide the best criminal defense possible. We are passionate about our work and strive to provide caring and effective advocacy for your case.  We take pride in helping our clients and being available for them during what is often a difficult time in their lives.  Our work also includes an expungement of all public records whenever possible.

Our office is centrally located in Cary, NC.  Contact us 24-7 for a free consultation at 919-585-1486.

Wiley Nickel
Concert Goers Charged with Underage Drinking and Possession of Marijuana

Concert Season at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek officially kicks off this Saturday, April 13, 2019. Zac Brown Band leads off the summer concert series followed by Bob Seger and Hootie and The Blowfish in May.

Each year during the summer concert series, we see a surge of underage drinking tickets as well as misdemeanor possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia charges.

Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) walk through the parking lots as patrons tailgate before the concerts. If you are simply holding a beer, even if it is someone else’s beer, you could be charged with possession of alcohol. This is different than the charge of underage consumption of alcohol which requires proof that you actually consumed some of the beverage.

In North Carolina there is a zero tolerance for underage consumption of alcohol. If you are under the age of 21, officers may request to see your ID if you are holding a beverage. They may also request that you submit to a breath test if they suspect that you have been drinking alcohol.  NCGS 18B-302 

Concert goers who are over the age of 21 should take extra precautions when tailgating with patrons who are under the age of 21. A common charge we see during concert season is providing alcohol to a minor.

There are lower standards of privacy when standing in a public area like the parking lots outside the concert venues, or in your vehicle on the way to or from the concert. Just the smell of marijuana could be enough to justify a search of your vehicle depending on the circumstances.

If you are charged with an alcohol or drug related offense, and have no prior criminal history, you may qualify to earn a dismissal by completing drug and alcohol education classes. Once your case is dismissed it will be eligible for expungement from your record.

Our office handles alcohol and drug related charges, and complete the expungement process for all of our clients who qualify and wish to have their records expunged. If you would like to learn more about the opportunity to keep your record clean, contact attorney Kristi Haddock at kristi@wileynickel.com or Melissa Botiglione  at melissa@wileynickel.com with The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC.

Wiley Nickel
North Carolina DWI Conviction: What Factors Can Impact My Sentence?

If you are convicted of a DWI in North Carolina, you will face several different penalties including a license suspension, increased insurance rates, ignition interlock, fines, court costs and potential jail time. There are a number of factors that can increase the severity of the penalty you will face as well as factors that can mitigate the severity of that penalty. There are three categories of factors: (1) Grossly Aggravating Factors, (2) Aggravating Factors and (3) Mitigating Factors.


Grossly Aggravating Factors

·      A DWI conviction that occurred after the date of the current offense, but before sentencing

·      A prior conviction of DWI within the past 7 years of the date of offense

·      Driving while your licenses is suspended for a prior DWI offense

·      A previous DWI that was appealed to Superior Court but was remanded back to District

 Court or withdrawn and there has not been a sentencing hearing

·      A car wreck that resulted in serious injury

·      Having a minor child under the age of 18 years old in the vehicle


Aggravating Factors

·      Prior DWI(s) more than 7 years before the current charge

·      Passing a stopped school bus

·      Extremely dangerous or reckless driving

·      Negligent driving which led to an accident

·      Driving with a revoked license (non-DWI related)

·      Driving at least 30 mph over the speed limit

·      Speeding to Elude Arrest or Attempting to Elude Arrest

·      2 or more prior convictions for a traffic violation which are 3 driver’s license points or more

·      Having a B.A.C of .15 or higher or gross impairment of the drivers faculties


Mitigating Factors

·      Completing a substance abuse assessment and complying with the recommended treatment

·      Voluntarily submitting into a mental health facility for assessment

·      Driving under the influence of a lawfully prescribed medication under the correct dosage

·      Having a Safe Driving Record (i.e. – no convictions for an offense worth at least four points in the last five years)

·      Slight impairment of a B.A.C of .09 or less

·      Slight impairment without a chemical analysis

·      Otherwise safe and lawful driving

The number of aggravating and mitigating factors in a DWI case can impact the sentencing level if you are convicted or found guilty. There are 6 different DWI sentencing levels: (1) Aggravated Level One, (2) Level One, (3) Level Two, (4) Level Three, (5) Level Four and (5) Level Five.


Aggravated Level One

·         If a person has three or more grossly aggravating factors, they will likely be sentenced as an Aggravated Level One DWI.

·         The maximum punishment is a 36 month jail sentence and the minimum punishment of 12 months.


Level One

·         If a person has a minor child in the vehicle or there are two grossly aggravating factors present, then that person will likely be sentenced as a Level One DWI.

·         The maximum punishment is a 24 month jail sentence with a minimum punishment of 30 days.

Level Two

·         If a person has committed one grossly aggravating factor, it is automatically a Level Two DWI.

·         The maximum punishment is a 24 month jail sentence with a minimum punishment of 7 days.

Level Three

·         If a person’s aggravating factors outweigh any mitigating factors, then that person will likely be sentenced as a Level Three DWI.

·         The maximum punishment is a 6 month jail sentence and the minimum punishment is 72 hours.


Level Four

·         When a person’s aggravating factors equal any mitigating factors or there are no aggravating or mitigating factors then that person will likely be sentenced at a Level Four DWI.

·         The maximum punishment is a 120 day jail sentence and the minimum punishment is 48 hours.


Level Five

·         When a person’s mitigating factors exceed any aggravating factors, then that person will likely be sentenced at a Level Five DWI.

·         The maximum punishment is a 120 day jail sentence and the minimum punishment is 24 hours.

If you have been arrested for a DWI in North Carolina, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC may be able to help prevent you from having an active jail sentence. You can call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation. You may also email the attorney’s directly, by contacting Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com, Kristi Haddock at kristi@wileynickel.com or Melissa Botiglione at melissa@wileynickel.com .

Wiley Nickel
Apex Marijuana Possession Attorney

Raleigh Marijuana Possession Attorney

Protecting Those Charged With Pot Related Crimes – North Carolina Cannabis Possession Lawyers

The trend in many states is toward decriminalizing marijuana possession and other pot related crimes through laws that have legalized medical marijuana. Two states recently have even legalized cannabis for personal use. Despite this liberalization of marijuana laws throughout the U.S., North Carolina has not joined in this movement to fully decriminalize marijuana. If you are arrested for marijuana possession in Raleigh or throughout North Carolina, you can face very serious penalties. Under North Carolina law, possession of any quantity of marijuana is still a criminal offense within the state.

Severe Consequences of a Weed Possession Conviction in North Carolina

The severity of penalties for pot possession is based on the quantity of the drug in your possession when you are arrested. While it is natural to be anxious if you face punishment for possession of pot, this criminal statutes only tells part of the story because there are many other consequences and penalties that may flow from a criminal conviction if you are arrested with marijuana including:

    Community service

    Drug classes

    Public record of a misdemeanor or felony conviction


    Loss of certain constitutional rights for felony convictions (i.e. voting and gun ownership)

Even these other formal consequences that flow from a marijuana possession conviction do not provide a complete picture of how one’s life may be affected by a conviction for a pot possession crime. The criminal record you receive can haunt you for years and impact many aspects of your life including employment opportunities, security clearance access, qualification for professional and certain occupational licensing, immigration consequences like removal, denial of student loans and other adverse effects.

If you are facing criminal charges because you were arrested with weed, our experienced North Carolina marijuana possession lawyers may also employ a range of other defense strategies depending on the specific facts of your case, which include the following:

Attacking Evidence of “Possession”: Even if you were arrested with the drugs in your jacket pocket, office, vehicle or close proximity to your person, this does not mean that the drugs did not belong to someone else. We may be able to provide evidence that others had access to where the cannabis was discovered and argue that you did not know that the drugs were present.

Fourth Amendment Challenges to Searches: There are many reasons that a search may be improper based on violations of Fourth Amendment protections. The police may conduct a search without a warrant based on a claimed exception to the warrant requirement that is not justified by the facts. The officers may claim that they did not have time to obtain a warrant because it might have resulted in the destruction of evidence. If the officers have already secured the scene when conducting the search, the claim of “exigent circumstances” may be attacked because there is no longer a basis to claim that the risk of the loss of evidence exists.

Anyone arrested for cannabis offenses in Raleigh or the surrounding areas should immediately speak with a Raleigh cannabis possession attorney. We offer a confidential consultation that is free of charge so that we can evaluate your case and suggest potential defense strategies. Please contact the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel at 919-585-1486 or email us so that we can start defending your freedom and reputation.  We can also discuss the North Carolina expungement process when you call.

shutterstock pdp bowl marijuana.jpg
Apex Criminal Defense Attorney

Apex Criminal Defense Attorney – Free Case Review

If you have been charged with a crime, you need the peace of mind that your Apex criminal defense attorney has what it takes to preserve your freedom.

Kristi Haddock is a trusted veteran of the Wake County Courts, with the experience that matters in fighting for the rights of the accused.

Ms. Haddock is known for his thorough attention to detail and the skillful defenses she brings to the Courtroom. As she builds and defends a case, Ms. Haddock and her team proactively work to keep their clients apprised of their rights and options, helping to put their minds at ease during this anxious time.

Nobody ever plans on winding up in a courtroom. It can be frightening to find yourself facing criminal charges, and it can be disruptive to your day-to-day life. However, when you work with Apex criminal defense attorney Kristi Haddock, you gain the benefit of an attorney you know will protect your future rights and freedoms.

Kristi Haddock earned her Juris Doctorate from Campbell University School of Law and has handled a wide variety of cases: Everything from misdemeanor drug crimes to DWI trials.

It’s your criminal defense attorney’s job to put her expertise to work for you, and Ms. Haddock has earned a reputation as an aggressive, skilled and talented attorney. In fact, she has been recognized numerous times as one of the top defense attorneys in Apex.

This Practice Does Not Discriminate

Being accused of a crime is stressful, and it can trickle into your personal and professional life. Acquaintances can distance themselves, and the accusations against you can lead to professional consequences. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC does not discriminate. Ms. Haddock defends both misdemeanor and felony charges, including charges like:

Apex DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)

Domestic Violence

Assault on a Female

Larceny/Theft Crimes



Drug Crimes

Marijuana Possession

Apex Speeding Tickets


 Apex Criminal Defense Law Firm

The scope of Ms. Haddock’s practice encompasses all ranges of crimes prosecuted by the State of North Carolina. She is also skilled at defending crimes like embezzlement, felony larceny and felony assault.

No matter what your background, circumstances or situation might be, Ms. Haddock and Apex defense attorneys Wiley Nickel and Melissa Botiglione are prepared to defend your case. At the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, you will find a welcoming staff ready to assist you. Our office is located in Apex, NC.  You can reach us at 919-585-1486 any time for a free consultation.  The answering service will always answer the phone and contact us if time is of the essence for a quick response after hours or on the weekend.

What is a Wake County Expungement?

What is an Expungement in North Carolina?

A North Carolina criminal expungement is a legal process that petitions the Court to remove a criminal conviction or a criminal charge from a person’s record and to destroy the state’s records of the arrest, charge, and/or conviction. A person who has had an expunction granted generally cannot be found guilty of perjury if he or she denies that the arrest, charge, or conviction ever happened.

What is the difference between an “expunction” and “expungement”?

“Expunction” and “expungement” mean the same thing. North Carolina’s expunction statutes use both terms interchangeably.  People also talk about sealing a record and the effect is the same for North Carolina expungement purposes.  . If you are granted an expungement, a court order will be entered ordering law enforcement to erase or destroy your criminal record. Specifically, North Carolina’s law makes it clear that the purpose of an expungement is to clear your public record of any arrest, criminal charge, or criminal conviction.

Who is eligible for an expunction?

There are numerous expunction statutes in North Carolina. Some allow the expunction of only specific types of offenses, like drug possession. Other statutes allow expunction of a broader range of offenses but for a smaller group of people, like persons who were under 18 or 21 at the time of the offense. Still others depend on how the charge ended; for example, there are statutes that address expunction of convictions and statutes that address expunction of charges that were dismissed or for which the defendant was found not guilty.  The dismissal or “nut guilty” expungement petitions are far and away the most common type of expungement in North Carolina.  Many people are eligible for expungements for their dismissed cases and do not know it. Contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel for a free consultation with specific eligibility questions.

Who Qualifies for an Expungement in North Carolina?

While you now have an idea of what an expungement is and how it may benefit you, let’s look at who qualifies for an expungement. While people often think that having an arrest, criminal charge, or criminal conviction expunged is an absolute right, the truth is that criminal records eligible for expungement in North Carolina are more common for dismissals and less common for convictions. In fact, to be eligible for an expunction you must meet the requirements listed under the statute applicable to your scenario.


Common Terms:

Background check – a procedure now almost universally in place wherein employers, schools, and landlords check for criminal history for applicants. Since about 1990 almost all criminal convictions are available electronically and are very easily discovered in a background check.

Cleaning a Record – another term used interchangeably with expungement or clearing a record, meaning essentially the same thing.

Court Appearance – some counties require expungements to occur in open court where there is an appearance by the attorney and the prosecutor in front of the judge. In the vast majority of the cases we handle the client never needs to appear in court.

Court Order - the document showing that an expungement has been completed.  All of our clients receive official court documentation with a raised seal proving that the expungement has occurred.

Criminal Record – court and governmental databases maintain records of criminal offenses. These records are maintained pretty much indefinitely and until an expungement occurs, a record check will continue to return a criminal conviction for decades unless the charge is erased through the expungement process.  In addition to fines, probation, and jail time, a criminal record can often be a barrier to things such as gainful employment, affordable housing, professional licensing, voting rights, welfare benefits, student loans, jury duty, and immigration status.

Diversion - this is a procedure for first offenders in drug cases and other cases to have criminal proceedings suspended, be sent to a counseling or training program, and after a period of time having the case dismissed without conviction. This is an excellent program, but unfortunately the record of the charge is still public and must be expunged in order to remove it from the view of the public and potential employers.

Eligibility for Expungement – Not everyone is eligible for an expungement of their criminal record. The law is complex and we are happy to provide a free telephone consultation to determine your eligibility; on-line eligibility quizzes have inherent shortcomings.

Eligible for Expungement – when a person is able to petition the court for expungement of their criminal convictions and also public records of a dismissal or not guilty verdict

Expungement – a legal proceeding that allows a criminal conviction or dismissed criminal case to be set aside and all public records erased.

Felony - a serious crime punishable by up to life in prison, although probation is often granted for first offenders. Most low level felonies can be expunged for certain eligible offenders.

Expungement Filing Fee or Expungement Court Costs – this is the amount of money the court charges to process an expungement petition; it is usually $175 for both felony and misdemeanor cases.  Some type of expungements do not require an expungement filing fee/court costs and some individuals may be able to petition the courts to avoid their fees.

Fines and Fees-costs associated with a criminal conviction; fines are payable to the court or often to the probation department or other agencies for anger management classes, alcohol education programs, or the like.

Firearms Rights-a person convicted of a felony offense, or a certain number of enumerated misdemeanors in North Carolina, lose their right to possess a firearm. An expungement itself does not reinstate that right, however firearms rights can be reinstated by reduction of the felony to a misdemeanor in certain circumstances.

Governor's Pardon -a procedure where the governor of the state of North Carolina issues an official pardon for an individual convicted of a felony offense.

Infraction -a low level of criminal offense punishable only by a fine.

Legal Assistant – an individual that is not licensed to practice law but fills forms and does other tasks related to the practice of law at the supervision of an attorney.

Misdemeanor -a criminal offense punishable by up to 150 days in jail. Offenses such as larceny, drug possession and similar cases are misdemeanors. Most misdemeanors can be expunged.

On-line Record Check - dozens of Internet sites make available criminal record background checks. Our experience is that most of these sites are highly inaccurate and should not be relied upon. The most accurate way to check one's record is to contact the court directly or hire an attorney to provide a thorough background check.  Our law firm has access to all court records through the AOC and can provide accurate background checks as part of the expungement process.

Probation – a period of time following a criminal conviction were a person is still under the supervision of either the probation department, or the court. There is formal and informal probation, formal probation or supervised probation involves reporting to the probation department, informal probation or unsupervised probation has no reporting requirement.

Probation Violation – (commonly “PV”) when an individual fails to live up to their terms and conditions of probation, such as failure to pay a fine, complete a school, or complete community service.

Reduction - a procedure where a felony charge is reduced to a misdemeanor charge in North Carolina.  One may have been charged with a felony but only pled to a misdemeanor in court.  For many people it is important to get rid of the felony charge in the expungement process.

Sealing Arrest Records - if you are arrested and not charged, or the case was dismissed, you may be able to seal records of that arrest through the expungement process.

Sex Registration - persons convicted of certain offenses related to sexual conduct are required to register with the local police agency.

Class 3 Misdemeanors in North Carolina - You could be sentenced to 1 to 30 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment. The maximum penalty would be 30 days in jail and a $200 fine.

Class 2 Misdemeanors in North Carolina - The sentence for a Class 2 misdemeanor is 1 to 60 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment, with the maximum penalty being 60 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Class 1 Misdemeanors in North Carolina- The sentencing range is 1 to 120 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment. The maximum jail time you could face would be 120 days. There is no maximum fine that could be assessed. This is completely in the judge’s discretion.

Class A1 Misdemeanors in North Carolina - You could be sentenced to 1 to 150 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment, with a maximum jail sentence of 150 days. Like with a Class 1 misdemeanor, the judge would have complete discretion on the amount of the fine you could have to pay.

Active Punishment - Active punishment involves a jail sentence that you would serve in a local jail or other confinement facility.

Intermediate Punishment - You could face an intermediate punishment if the judge sentences you to supervised probation. Terms of your probation could include house arrest with electronic monitoring, drug treatment court, satellite based monitoring, and some small periods of time in a jail or other confinement facility.

Community Punishment - Community punishment does not include jail time. You would most likely face a fine, possible probation, or community service.

If you were charged or convicted of a crime in North Carolina contact North Carolina Expungement Lawyers Wiley Nickel & Melissa Botiglione at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation. Our office is located in Cary and we cover most of the entire state of North Carolina for expungements.

Wiley Nickel
Drug Possession Lawyer in Apex NC
Apex Drug Crimes Lawyer

Drug Possession Lawyer in Apex North Carolina

Not every criminal defense attorney is an experienced drug defense lawyer. If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense lawyer, we are here to help with legal representation. It doesn't matter if it’s a felony or misdemeanor. Drug possession charges in North Carolina are serious charges and require careful consideration. The goal for most clients is a dismissal and then an expungement to clear your reputation.

Possession of drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and even prescription medications such as OxyContin, oxycodone, or opioids could result in active prison terms. For many first offenders it’s possible to avoid jail time or in some cases to avoid a conviction by completing a first offenders program.

That's why it makes sense to call a law office and defense lawyers in Apex NC who have courtroom experience. There is just too much at stake not to carefully consider your legal options when asking, "How can a criminal defense lawyer help?"

North Carolina Drug Laws

To see the list of potential North Carolina drug laws, in the order of least severe to most severe (for potential jail time and North Carolina drug penalties), these are the names of those drug crimes:

Simple Possession of Marijuana - less than ½ ounce

Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana - more than ½ ounce

Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - Marijuana

Felony Possession of Marijuana - 1.5 ounce to 10 pounds

Felony Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell or Distribute

Felony Sale or Delivery of Marijuana

Felony Cultivation of Marijuana

Trafficking Marijuana

Simple possession of marijuana is one of the more common minor drug charges in North Carolina. It is a misdemeanor drug offense and for many it’s a fine only offense.  The real danger for minor drug charges is a conviction that can follow you around and close doors for possible jobs in the future.

It is important to note that alcohol is also a drug, and there are a lot of possession of alcohol offenses in North Carolina. There are other criminal offenses in North Carolina for underage possession of alcohol, sale of alcohol to underage persons, and purchase of alcohol by underage persons (18B-302).

The alcohol laws in North Carolina also prohibit things like:

Giving alcoholic beverages to minors

The purchase, attempt to purchase, or possession of malt beverages or unfortified wine

Purchasing, attempting to purchase, or possession of fortified wine, spirituous liquor, or mixed beverages

Aiding and abetting underage persons

Fraudulent use of identification or fake ID

Allowing use of false identification

If you are charged with possession of drugs or alcohol contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation.  We can be reached 24/7 at 919-585-1486 and offer free consultations for drug charges.  We will also talk with you about possible options for an expungement.  Our office is located in Cary, NC and we handle Wake County criminal defense matters.

Apex Domestic Violence Attorneys
Apex Domestic Violence Lawyer

Wake County Domestic Violence Attorneys

Apex domestic violence lawyer Kristi Haddock advises and represents people facing criminal charges for domestic violence often described as spousal abuse, spousal battery or domestic dispute, such charges do not always reflect a case between married people but include those living in the same location (cohabitation), or sometimes just engaged in a dating relationship.  Such cases can also lead to violation of a domestic violence protective order or DVPO.

Domestic Violence Attorney Cary

Domestic Violence Attorneys Apex

As a former prosecutor, Cary domestic violence attorney Kristi Haddock offers a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system. He understands the right steps to take in developing an aggressive defense strategy focused on securing a dismissal or minimizing any potential penalties associated with a conviction.

Domestic Violence Attorneys Cary

Apex Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic Violence cases have become extremely political and are regularly treated as “guilty until proven innocent.”   Even with minor cases, that do not involve a documented injury, proactive and rapid action by a caring defense attorney may be the key to not only avoiding a damaging no contact order, but may play a significant role in custody issues and an eventual resolution in the case that does not result in the loss of firearms, tragic orders separating you from your family and other consequences that can interfere with work, school and life.

Speak to a Cary Domestic Violence Lawyer Today!

For a free initial consultation about your legal options for resolving a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence assault charge, contact Attorney Kristi Haddock in Cary today. Contact us online or call 919-585-1486 for your free case evaluation with our Cary domestic violence attorneys.

Kristi Haddock – Domestic Violence Attorney Cary

At the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, we are committed to helping you achieve a resolution to your immediate problems, while seeking opportunities to improve the troubled family dynamics that might underlie it.

Domestic Violence Attorney Cary

In domestic violence cases, the district attorney and the judge will be especially interested in what you’re willing to do to improve relationships, conflict resolution skills, and anger management. Your demonstration toward positive change will often make the difference in a good or bad outcome for your case.

We work closely with people charged with domestic assault, assault and battery or assault on a female to obtain a dismissal, diversion to counseling/anger management or some other type of deal that ultimately leads to a dismissal. – Domestic Violence Attorneys Cary

Defense Against Domestic Violence Charges Cary

Our creative approach to difficult criminal defense problems can help you avoid the consequences of a conviction in situations such as the following:

Family violence or assault between spouses, unmarried parents, or cohabiting couples

Elder abuse

Child abuse, cruelty to a child, or child endangerment

Restraining order violations

Criminal threats

Assault on a Female

Harassment or stalking

Our ability to connect you with the programs and services that are right for your circumstances can give you an extra layer of legal protection. At the same time, we work hard to help you get the most out of the presumption of innocence that stands between you and a conviction. If you are looking for Domestic Violence Attorneys in Cary please Click Here.

Contact Us

We also keep in mind the additional risks that licensed professionals, immigrants and university students might face when they’re charged with domestic violence offenses in North Carolina. We handle Domestic Violence and Assault cases in Wake County North Carolina. To learn more about our ability to protect your interests, contact the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC in Cary; Contact us online or call 919-585-1486.

A DWI Charge Does Not Mean You’re Guilty. When Your Future Is At Stake An Experience DWI Attorney Makes Your Rights A Priority
Apex DWI Lawyer

Driving while impaired (DWI) is the official criminal charge for people accused of driving under the influence (DUI) in Wake County North Carolina. Regardless of its name, a DWI is a serious offense that could ruin your career and your personal life. North Carolina laws do not allow for expungement of DWI convictions so a conviction cannot be removed from your record. With penalties including steep fines, the loss of your driver’s license, massive insurance hikes, long periods of probation, and even the possibility of time behind bars, the mistake people usually make when facing a DWI in North Carolina is taking the situation too lightly or casually accepting a guilty plea without consulting an experienced DWI attorney about the North Carolina DWI/criminal justice process.

You may believe that it’s in your best interest to cooperate with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office because you may think you’re guilty just by being charged, but the truth is that you need to look out for yourself. By working with a highly-skilled Raleigh DWI lawyer, you can ensure your case is appropriately handled and you get the best possible outcome for your Raleigh DWI. This could mean a complete dismissal of the charge, an acquittal, or reducing the offense to something more consistent with the facts.

At The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC, Attorney Kristi Haddock knows that dealing with a DWI is frightening and extremely stressful, but you don’t need to go through it alone. Our DWI attorneys have assisted countless individuals when DWI charges put their futures at risk. We know what it takes to fight back and to win.

To learn more about how our Raleigh DWI lawyers can help with your DWI case, call us right away at (919) 585-1486 or contact us through our online form to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Our office is located in Cary, NC and we’re available to talk during the weekend and after hours. The answering service can always reach one of our three DWI lawyers at the law firm.

Are you eligible for a North Carolina Expungement?

Are you eligible for a North Carolina Expungement?

Your case is over but your record remains visible for all to see! If your case was dismissed (or you have certain convictions), you can protect your reputation and rebuild your life through the process of Expunging your North Carolina criminal record (also called Expunction).  Even if your case was dismissed a record still remains that is visible to future employers, current employers, customers, landlords, colleges, insurers and anyone else who might do a check on your record.

If you worked with your attorney to negotiate a dismissal of your criminal charge or are found not guilty at trial your criminal arrest record will still remain.  Even if you get a voluntary dismissal the original criminal charge will always be on your record.  If your record is expunged then all searches of your record will show a clean criminal record and a clean public arrest record.

A new law change allows for certain misdemeanor convictions to be expunged after 5 years and certain felony convictions to be erased through the expungement process after 10 years have passed.

Call The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation at 919-585-1486 to see if you are eligible for a North Carolina Expungement. Contact Expungement Lawyer Melissa Botiglione at our office in Cary today.

Assault Charge Lawyer in Apex, NC
Apex NC assault charge lawyer

In North Carolina assaults are viewed as serious violent crimes. You do not have to physically touch someone to be charged with assault in Apex, North Carolina, and even found guilty. If you are facing the possibility of a criminal record for assault or time in prison, you need the best possible assault charge lawyer in Apex, NC on your side who can help to get the best outcome for you.

Even if you were just defending yourself in a brawl, you might have let your anger take over. Whatever the case may be and whatever the situation was, your side of the story must be heard, and everyone deserves fair treatment under the law in North Carolina. An assault charge lawyer in Raleigh, NC will work to defend your rights.

Laws and Penalties Regarding Assault in Apex, North Carolina

There are many different classifications and levels of assault in North Carolina. A great deal of the distinction involves who was hurt, how severely they were hurt, and what happened.

Misdemeanor Assault

If an assault occurs that is not considered as one of the more serious types of assault under North Carolina law, it is typically classed as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Such assaults usually include verbal assaults, fights, and minor physical contact.

A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 120 days of jail time. If you have a criminal history, and depending on what it is, your assault charge lawyers might be able to have your sentence suspended so that you rather serve time on probation instead of in prison. There are often deferral deals available where one could do community service or anger management classes as part of a deal for a dismissal.

Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon

A deadly weapon is usually considered a tool or weapon that has the potential to cause death. This could include a strangulation device, a vehicle, a firearm, and other objects that could cause such harm. Under this offense, there are a number of situations that qualify and each has their own potential sentence and classification.

For an assault in Apex, North Carolina that occurred with intent to kill and resulting in seriously bodily injury, you will be charged with a Class C felony. These felonies are punishable by up to 44 – 92 months imprisonment if you are a first-time offender. The sentence may be longer if you have prior convictions.

It must be noted that there are circumstances within your case that could automatically elevate the seriousness of your charge. Aggravating circumstances include assaults done on people such as the elderly, handicapped, and firemen. Furthermore, an assault in Raleigh, N.C. committed at a school, on public transportation, or at a public event might be viewed as more serious.

Domestic Simple Assault in North Carolina

If you have been a victim of domestic violence, it is not unusual for an assault and battery or simple assault to have taken place. There are a variety of layers of assault and battery and they may sometimes occur between people who have, or had, a dating relationship of some type.

Simple Assault

A simple assault is a Class 2 misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days in prison. This kind of assault occurs when someone commits assault on someone else. Interestingly, physical contact does not have to be made for an assault to have taken place.

Assault on a Female

When a female is assaulted, it is considered a Class A1 misdemeanor that is punishable by a sentence of no more than 150 days imprisonment. When it comes to domestic households, this can be a common charge, since often, verbal arguments between people involved in a relationship can result in physical confrontations. For men, in particular, this can be problematic, since the laws afford females additional protection as it relates to being the victim of an assault.

In order to meet the elements of assault on a female, an adult male who is eighteen years or older must have committed battery or assault on a female.

When Should You Contact an Assault Charge Lawyer?

A knowledgeable assault charge lawyer will have ample experience with cases of assault in Raleigh, N.C. An assault charge lawyer understands how to present a case in the best possible way to the prosecutor and judge, and can defend you against your charges, often getting those charges dismissed or reduced before going to trial. If you are facing charges of assault, you need to speak to an assault charge lawyer with the right experience who can protect your rights.

If you have been charged with an assault, it is important not to discuss the situation with anyone other than your assault charge lawyer.

Contact an Assault Charge Lawyer in Raleigh at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC Today

An assault charge lawyer can assist you with your assault charges and ensure that you have the right criminal defense team on your side to fight aggressively for you at trial. It is also important to have an attorney on your side to effectively represent you and who will work tirelessly to defend you against your charges or seek any possible advantages. Our defense lawyers are committed to fighting for the best possible case outcome and protecting your rights throughout the Wake County criminal defense process. You can reach us at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation. Our office is located in Cary, NC and we handle assault cases in Wake County, NC.

Do I need a lawyer for a speeding ticket in Apex North Carolina?

What should I do after I receive a speeding ticket in North Carolina?

Do not pay your speeding ticket without calling an attorney. Contact an Apex Speeding Ticket Lawyer for more information. Most local attorneys offer free consultations. Paying your ticket may lead to a suspension of your driving privileges and could cause your insurance to go through the roof.

Can I represent myself in traffic court?

Yes but it’s generally a really bad idea. An experienced attorney will review your DMV record to handle your case in the best way possible. The goal for most clients is a reduction to the non-moving violation on improper equipment and also to receive zero insurance points. If you mishandle your ticket you may find that your license is suspended or you will receive a steep hike in your insurance premiums. Our rates start at $98 and we are generally able to go to court on your behalf.

Does the officer have to prove his/her radar was working properly?

No. The radar simply corroborates the officer’s visual estimate of your rate of speed. No radar reading is required to convict you of speeding. The officer simply needs to state that based on his/her training that your estimated speed was 75 in a 55 to get a conviction. That’s not easy to beat at trial.

Can the District Attorney in Traffic Court Reduce my ticket?

They can dismiss, reduce or amend your ticket to another charge (like Improper Equipment). Then only a judge can give you a PJC. An experience speeding ticket attorney will know what type of reduction or amended charge is best for you.

How much are the court costs and fines for most speeding tickets?

The costs generally range and no two cases are alike. For a reduction to improper equipment you’re probably looking at $263 for Wake County. The in Wake County a speeding ticket would probably have court costs and fines of only $188 or $198. While Improper Equipment is higher in terms of costs it’s much better because it’s a non-moving violation and you don’t have to worry about the possibility of losing your safe driver discount for some carries.

Wake County Speeding Ticket Lawyer/Chatham County Traffic Ticket Attorney

If you received a speeding ticket in Wake County or Chatham County, North Carolina please contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation. You can reach us at 919-585-1486. Our sattelite office is located in Apex, NC.

Improper Equipment Speeding Ticket Lawyer in Apex

Improper Equipment in NC is a lesser-included offense to a traffic ticket in Wake County and Chatham County, North Carolina.

Improper Equipment is a non-moving violation in North Carolina which means no insurance or insurance points will be assessed if you have your speeding ticket reduced down to improper equipment. It is often in the discretion of the district attorney to allow a ticket to be reduced to Improper Equipment in Wake County, North Carolina.

A prosecutor may allow a reduction to Improper Equipment for speeding tickets as certain conditions are met. Often the Assistant District Attorney will examine the driving history and facts of the case before offering a reduction to a traffic ticket. Improper equipment reductions vary county by county and are subject to the approval of the District Attorney.

An experienced traffic ticket attorney may be helpful in dealing with getting you the best deal possible.  They can also likely appear in court on your behalf for most traffic offenses.

The prosecutor has no duty to give everyone the same plea offer because each case varies. An experienced speeding ticket can review your DMV record to make sure your case is handled the right way.

Why are the court costs for improper equipment in NC more than just paying off the speeding ticket traffic violation?

North Carolina assesses a surcharge or fine for improper equipment reductions. The additional surcharge for improper equipment in NC is $50.00. Regardless improper equipment will save you money in the long run even with the additional fine to the State.  In Wake County the court costs and fines for improper equipment are usually $263.

Will my insurance increase if I am found responsible of Improper Equipment in NC?

Improper equipment in NC is a non-moving violation and the conviction carries NO insurance traffic points. However, an improper equipment reduction will show up on a North Carolina driving record.

Will an improper equipment in NC show up on my driving record?

Yes it will show up on your North Carolina driving record. In Wake County you will need to provide your official driving record to be considered.  Providing these documents is a service we provide for our clients.

If you are charged with speeding in Wake County or Chatham County call the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation.  Our office is located in Apex, NC and you can reach us at 919-585-1486.

Melissa Botiglione joins the The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC

The The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC is proud to welcome Associate Attorney Melissa Botiglione to the team!

Melissa is originally from Long Island, New York and spent her childhood in Matthews, North Carolina. She graduated from North Carolina State University with Magna Cum Laude in 2015 with a degree in Political Science and minor in Italian Studies. After graduating from NCSU, Melissa went on to attend law school at Campbell University School of Law where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2018.

While at Campbell, Melissa focused her studies in criminal law and actively participated in pro bono service. She served on the Pro Bono Council as the Project Coordinator for the Re-entry project working with legal aid to provide expungement advice and assistance with Legal Aid clients. She also served as President of the Campbell Law Innocence Project, a member of the Death Row Visitation Project, and a member of the Campbell Public Interest Law Student Association. She also participated in the Restorative Justice Clinic, facilitating meetings with juveniles to address the needs of each party to prevent the potentially harmful effects of the criminal justice system. In 2018, Melissa was awarded the Campbell Law School Pro Bono Publico Award for her commitment to pro bono activities by providing nearly 800 hours of pro bono services during her three years at Campbell.

During law school, she interned at numerous different state agencies including the Wake County Public Defender’s Office, The Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of North Carolina, The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Wake County District Attorney’s Office. During her internships, Melissa gained valuable District Court experience and knowledge of courtroom procedures.

During her spare time, Melissa enjoys cooking, NC State football and DIY projects. As a new attorney, she hopes to be a zealous advocate for her clients.

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Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21
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N.C.G.S. § 20-138.3 makes it unlawful for a person less than 21 years of age to operate a motor vehicle after, or while, consuming any alcohol or another controlled substance. Driving After Consuming Under 21, also called a “baby DWI” or “provisional DWI,” is a serious charge that can result in significant criminal and DMV consequences.

It is important to note that driving while your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above the legal limit of .08, or if the officer finds other evidence of impairment, will likely result in an additional Driving While Impaired charge (DWI). A conviction of Driving After Consuming Under 21 is a Class 2 misdemeanor, potentially resulting in a fine, probation, and/or jail time. Furthermore, a conviction of Driving After Consuming Under 21 results in a mandatory one-year driver’s license suspension.

Drivers who were at least 18 years of age at the time of the offense, and meet other requirements, may be eligible for a limited driving privilege. Additionally, some judges may offer an opportunity to “earn” a prayer for judgement continued (PJC) following a conviction of Driving After Consuming Under 21. To “earn” the PJC most judges will require completion of community service hours and/or substance abuse treatment. If a PJC is granted, then the judge will not impose any fine, probation, or jail time, and no license suspension will result from the conviction. 

Our experienced attorneys will be able to assist you in potentially obtaining a PJC and avoiding the harsh consequences that accompany a conviction of Driving After Consuming Under 21. If you are interested in talking to an attorney about your case 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
Speeding Tickets in a School Zone

Speed limits around school zones have traditionally been lowered to protect children and pedestrians in the area during school hours. Drivers approaching the zone should receive ample notice from signs in the area, designating both the speed and the times during which that speed is enforced.

Normal speeding charges in Wake County are generally easily reducible with the help of an experience traffic attorney. A speeding ticket in a school zone can be much more difficult to reduce and carry significant consequences, such as points on your license and increased insurance rates. An experienced attorney will be able to assist you in getting the best possible outcome.

At the judge’s discretion, you may be able to get a prayer for judgement continued. In order to get a PJC most judges will also require community service. The benefit of a PJC, as a result of successfully completing community service, is that your insurance rates will not increase as a result of your ticket.

Our experienced traffic attorneys can help determine if you are eligible for a PJC and work on getting you the best possible outcome for your situation. If you have received a 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
Paying Court Costs and Traffic Tickets Online

Most traffic and criminal matters may be paid online after the case is resolved at this link: https://www3.nccourts.org/onlinepayments/menu.sp

Once on the site you will be prompted to enter your case number and county name. You can find all of this information on your cost sheet, which you received in court.

Once your case is resolved you have only 40 days to pay your court costs before the DMV is notified of your failure to pay which will result in the suspension of your license and an additional $50 late fee.

If you have not yet been to court, we do NOT recommend using this tool. Paying traffic tickets online is an admission of guilt. With some traffic offenses admitting guilt, prior to getting them reduced in court, will result in an automatic suspension of your license. An experienced attorney will be able to help you receive the best possible outcome for your traffic offense.

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. You can also email the attorneys at the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel by emailing Kristi Haddock at kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley Nickel at wiley@wileynickel.com, respectively.

Kristi Haddock
When Can I Use a PJC?

North Carolina law grants judges the discretion to enter a Prayer for Judgement Continued(PJC). This is an appealing option as it allows for prevention of penalties, such as increased insurance or license revocation, that are often associated with misdemeanor traffic offenses. While appealing, this option is only available for certain offenses. Certain judges may also require the completion of community service or driving school as part of the process for a PJC. A skilled attorney will be able to assist you in understanding when a PJC is available.

There are also limitations on the amount of times a PJC can be used. It is a common myth that if you get another ticket after using a PJC both tickets and their penalties will come back. This myth is not true. However, it is true that a PJC may be used only once every 3 years for insurance purposes, and once every 5 years for DMV purposes. Using a PJC more than is allowed can result in confusion for insurance and the DMV, possibly leading to an increase in points.

If you have received a 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
Legal Representation at the DMV

The  North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles mandates that anyone convicted of a second DWI within 7 years faces a four-year suspension of their driver’s license. After two years, drivers with a four-year suspension are eligible to request a DWI conditional restoration hearing. It is important to consider hiring an attorney for this complicated and lengthy hearing process.

Two years from the date of your conviction you may start the hearing request process. The first step will be scheduling a preliminary restoration hearing. Following that hearing you must obtain a FBI background check, a substance abuse evaluation, and have three witnesses available to testify at your final hearing.

Once your hearing date is scheduled an experienced attorney will sit down with you and your three witnesses to prepare for your hearing.

Attorney’s Kristi Haddock and Wiley Nickel are ready to guide you through this process. When your ability to drive is at stake, you cannot afford to cut corners. Call our office for a free consultation today, 919-585-1486.

Kristi Haddock