Stalking Laws in North Carolina
Stalking is a crime that is taken seriously in North Carolina. If you have been charged with this criminal offense, you will need the help of a skilled lawyer to help put together a strong defense. Facing charges like these can be scary and disorienting. They have the ability to derail your future, and they can mar your reputation for years to come. In North Carolina, stalking is a class A1 misdemeanor, which places it in the same category as assault inflicting serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon. If you already have a stalking conviction on your record, subsequent stalking charges are a class F felony, which can come with steep fines and jail time upon conviction, not to mention the impact they will have on your social relationships, financial future, career, and housing prospects. If you are facing criminal charges for stalking, contact a Charlotte criminal defense lawyer.
Stalking is a Violent Crime, Even When it Does Not Involve Physical Contact. North Carolina law defines stalking as following, observing, monitoring, or communicating with a person while aware that your doing so will cause them emotional distress. Stalking can include repeated incidents of harassment and intimidating behavior, even if they do not include overt threats of physical harm. Stalking often occurs in the context of domestic violence; in most criminal cases involving stalking, the defendant is the estranged spouse or former romantic partner of the victim. Therefore, the law treats stalking as an early stage of domestic violence and imposes penalties accordingly.
What kinds of communications counts as stalking? You have probably seen scary movies where a stalker physically follows a victim or figures out where a victim will be in order to plan an attack. Today, there are so many ways to stay in contact, and it is easy to imagine how all of them can turn ugly. Just as schoolyard bullies can now continue their bullying on What’s App, and Internet trolls spread ugly rumors on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok, stalking can take place through any means of communication.
For example, if you continuously contact your ex in person, or by phone, text message, email, or social media message, you could be charged with stalking. You can even get charged with stalking if you are not the one who placed the phone call, sent the text message, or posted the images on Facebook. If you instruct a third party to communicate to or about the victim in order to cause the victim to feel fear or distress, this is enough to result in stalking charges, and those charges can land you in jail.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Personal injury lawyers can help with more than just car accident cases. You have the right to seek compensation for your injuries stemming from any kind of accident that could have been prevented if the person who caused the accident had been more careful or the entity in charge of the place where the accident happened had been following the rules. Premises liability laws in North Carolina and other states indicate that the owner of a business has a legal responsibility to protect business invitees such as customers, clients, and hotel guests, from accidental injuries. One of the most common causes of premises liability lawsuits is when a customer at a store or restaurant gets injured in an accidental fall on a slippery floor or uneven walkway. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at a place of business, contact a Charlotte personal injury lawyer.
What to Prove in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
In a premises liability case, as in any other kind of personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused you to suffer injuries which caused you to incur financial losses. In a premises liability case, your chances of recovering compensation depend on how well you can prove that the conditions at the place of business were unsafe and that employees knew or reasonably should have known about the safety hazard. For example, if you slipped and fell on the floor of a supermarket aisle after someone spilled water there, you can strengthen your case by proving that you saw one or more employees walk down that aisle shortly before your accident. If you did not see employees in that area, find out the supermarket’s policies about checking for spills and cleaning them; you might be able to argue that the company’s safety policies were insufficient or that the store did not comply with the company’s policies.
How Much Money Can You Get in a Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuit?
If you file a premises liability lawsuit after a slip and fall accident, you can request damages in the amount of your medical bills. Whether or not you have health insurance does not affect your right to sue or your ability to win your case. If you had to miss work for an extended period of time because of your injuries, whether or not you have since been able to return to work, you can also request damages in the amount of your lost income. Medical expenses and lost income both count as economic damages.
You might also be able to recover noneconomic damages, also known as pain and suffering, for ways that the injuries resulting from the accident have made your quality of life worse. There is no cap on noneconomic damages for personal injury lawsuits in North Carolina. The more severe your injuries, the greater the amount of noneconomic damages the court will order, if you request noneconomic damages.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in NC
Human life is priceless, so the purpose of wrongful death lawsuits is not to place a dollar value on the life of a person who died an untimely death. Instead, the purpose of the wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the deceased person’s family for the financial losses they suffered because of the person’s death.
For example, they can seek compensation for the medical bills that the deceased person incurred for the injuries they sustained in the accident, injuries that eventually became fatal. If the deceased person was a working adult on whom other family members depended financially, you can also request damages for lost income, namely, the money your family would have if the deceased person were still around to earn it.
Wrongful death cases proceed similarly to personal injury cases in many aspects. To find out more about seeking damages from a person or entity responsible for causing an untimely death, contact a Charlotte personal injury lawyer.
Why do people file wrongful death lawsuits?
The situations where you can file a wrongful death lawsuit are similar to the ones where you can file a personal injury lawsuit, except that the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death, instead of merely causing injury. These are some common reasons that people file wrongful death lawsuits:
● Accidents, including motor vehicle accidents and premises liability
● Medical malpractice and nursing home negligence
● Manslaughter and homicide cases
Wrongful death lawsuits and manslaughter cases.
Accidentally killing another person can result in criminal charges of involuntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and the like. You have the right to sue the person who accidentally killed your family member for wrongful death, regardless of whether the person receives criminal charges. If the defendant pleads guilty to manslaughter, it puts you in a strong position to win your wrongful death case. If the defendant is acquitted or pleads no contest, you can still win your wrongful death case in civil court. To win a wrongful death case, you must only show a preponderance of the evidence, whereas in a criminal case, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A preponderance of the evidence means that there is a greater than 50% chance that your claims about the defendant’s negligence are true.
Who Files the Lawsuit on Behalf of the Deceased Person?
The plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit is the estate of the deceased person. This means that, according to North Carolina law, the person who has the right to file the lawsuit is the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. If the deceased person left a will, the will indicates whom the court should appoint as personal representative. If the person died without a will, the court will appoint a personal representative; in most situations like this, the personal representative is a close family member of the deceased person who requested to be appointed to that role. Before the wrongful death lawsuit, or any other legal actions related to the estate, can proceed, the court must appoint a personal representative for the estate.
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Choosing A Doctor for Workers’ Comp Case’s
How much control do you have over the choice of doctors in a workers’ compensation case?
The good news about workers’ compensation is that any accidental injury that happens at work is eligible for coverage. The bad news is that it is ultimately your employer’s decision, instead of yours, as to which treatments and medical consultations will be covered. Workers’ compensation doctors are as concerned about providing the least expensive treatments as they are about providing the most effective ones. Therefore, if, for example, you continue to suffer from back pain months after a work injury and after completing physical therapy, your employer will likely not agree to pay for surgery on your back until you have tried other less expensive treatments and are sure that they are not helping. North Carolina law gives patients receiving treatment through workers’ compensation some say in changing the course of their treatment, but the patients often get plenty of pushback from their employers. A Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer can help you advocate for yourself to get the treatment you need.
Your Employer Gets First Pick of Doctors. It is an exaggeration to say that your doctor controls every aspect of your treatment in a workers’ compensation case. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer will present you with a list of participating doctors from which you can choose. If necessary, these doctors will refer you to specialists. If you feel that the treatment that your workers’ comp doctor has recommended is not working or will not work, you have the right to request a second opinion.
The same applies if you disagree with your workers’ compensation doctor about whether you have reached maximum medical improvement or about the work tasks that you can currently handle.
If you want a second opinion, you must request it in writing. You and your employer will then agree on which new doctor you will see; if you cannot agree, then the Industrial Commission will choose.
You Can Go To A Doctor Of Your Choice, But There Is No Guarantee That Workers’ Comp Will Pay For It. In emergency situations, you must go for treatment at the nearest hospital, without regard for which insurance the hospital and its doctors accept; therefore, workers’ comp pays for emergency treatment regardless of which doctor or hospital is providing the treatment.
Finding a doctor that you trust and with whom you feel comfortable is not easy; if you have already established a good relationship with a doctor who has treated you for previous health conditions, it is understandable to want to be able to see them about your work injury, too. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will not agree to this unless you make a very strong case for why your own doctor can help you in ways that the doctors chosen by your employer cannot. You must show by preponderance of the evidence that your own doctor is better suited to manage your case than any of the previous doctors chosen by your workers’ comp case manager.
Workers compensation cases can become very complicated, it is important to have the right counsel through the entire process.
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Not All Violent Crimes are Felonies
Another common misconception about violent crimes is that they are all felonies. In fact, it is possible to get misdemeanor charges for assault or battery if the victim does not sustain serious injuries. The chances that the prosecutors will treat your assault or battery charges as misdemeanors are greater if the victim was not seriously injured and if there were no weapons involved.
Contact Plumides, Romano & Johnson, PC About Violent Crime Charges
Our violent crimes defense lawyers can help you fight your charges or seek a plea deal if you are facing charges for a violent crime such as assault or battery. Contact us to discuss your case.
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Murder, Manslaughter, and Homicide
According to North Carolina law, murder and homicide are the same. These terms mean that the defendant intentionally killed the victim; the degrees of homicide depend on how premeditated the killing was.
Manslaughter is when the victim died as a result of the defendant’s actions, but the defendant did not intend to kill the victim. It is voluntary manslaughter if the defendant intended to injure the victim but did not think that the victim would die, such as if the defendant and the victim got into a fistfight and the victim died of their injuries. Involuntary manslaughter is if the defendant caused an accident in which the victim suffered fatal injuries.
You need to know your rights as well as the consequences so that you can have the best representation possible.
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Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are not interchangeable. There are a lot of things that most people do not understand about criminal law until they get charged with a crime, including the differences between some closely related offenses. There are many incidents in which a defendant gets charged with assault and also with battery, but the terms “assault” and “battery” are not the same. Assault is any action that causes the victim to feel a reasonable fear of imminent physical harm, such as brandishing your fist in front of the victim’s face. You can be convicted of assault even if you do not make physical contact with the victim. Battery is any hostile touching of another person, such as punching or slapping, whether it causes a visible injury or not.
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Misunderstood Criminal Law Terms
In the court of public opinion, there are only two kinds of crime, namely violent crime and nonviolent crime, and violent crime is always bad. Even as public support increases for pretrial diversion programs and other ways of reducing mass incarceration, a lot of people will qualify their statements with “only for nonviolent offenses.” Therefore, if you are being accused of assault, domestic violence, or any other crime related to physical violence, you might feel like you have no one on your side. In fact, all defendants in criminal cases, no matter the seriousness of the crime of which they are accused, have legal rights, including the right to representation by a lawyer. If you are facing charges for a violent crime, contact a Charlotte criminal defense attorney.
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The Benefit Of A Prenuptial Agreement
Before getting married, soon-to-be spouses in Charlotte might want to consider the benefits of getting a prenuptial agreement. Despite its negative reputation, a prenup can actually open the lines of communication for a couple. For a prenup to be valid, both people must get legal counsel, and neither may conceal any financial assets.
A prenup can be particularly important for someone who owns a business, has a blended family or is getting married for the second time. The documents can protect the business from the other partner if the couple gets divorced. It can also protect any other assets either person is bringing into the marriage. Furthermore, the prenup may specify that neither spouse is responsible for the debts of the other spouse if the two get a divorce.
Some couples may be concerned about alimony if one makes more money than the other. However, the prenup can address this as well. This might be particularly important if one spouse has been the stay-at-home parent. Since it can be difficult to reenter the workforce after years away, the parent may want assurance that spousal support will be available.
A prenuptial agreement is not airtight. One partner may challenge the documents if they were rushed into or seem unfair. That’s why it’s important to work with a lawyer before signing a prenuptial agreement. Legal counsel could make sure that the terms of the prenup will stand up in court. Ultimately, a thoroughly negotiated prenup could be advantageous to both parties in a divorce.