Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Regarding Charges

How many Driver’s license points will I get?

It is important to keep track of your driver license points, but they have nothing to do with your insurance rates. DMV keeps track of how many driver license points you get, and may revoke you if you get too many. However, insurance companies assign a totally different set of points based on the SDIP, and increase your rates depending on the insurance points. Usually we are much more concerned with the insurance points to keep your rates low.

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I know I wasn’t going that fast. Shouldn’t I plead not guilty?

Not necessarily. One day in court I saw a man plead not guilty to a speeding ticket. At trial, the officer testified to what he saw, and that he locked the man in on his radar traveling 78 MPH in a 65 MPH zone. The man then testified that there is no way he was traveling 78 MPH because he set his cruise control at 74 MPH. The judge found him guilty.

If you are charged with travelling 78 MPH in a 65 MPH zone, the judge can find you guilty of gong 78 MPH, 77 MPH, 76 MPH, 75 MPH, or 74 MPH. He could even find you guilty of going 66 MPH in a 65 MPH zone. It still counts as a moving violation and your rates can still be increased. There is no reason to go to trial just to say you were traveling a little less than charged when we can negotiate a plea agreement that will end up saving you money on your insurance, and potentially your license.

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"He must have gotten someone else," "I slowed down before he saw me" or "I was going with the flow of traffic."

Any of these things may be true. However, if the officer gave you a ticket, he will almost certainly testify that it was you that he saw and that when he saw you, you were travelling at the speed charged. Even if its not true in your case, a Judge will trust his testimony 99.9% of the time. With out someway to challenge the officer’s credibility, or some other evidence that you were not speeding, you will almost certainly be convicted. Since we can usually negotiate a plea to prevent your insurance from increasing, it is almost never worth the risk of a trial for a speeding ticket.

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"I have never had a license in North Carolina, how can my license be revoked?"

Courts have ruled that driving, or at least driving legally, is a privilege, not a right. In addition to sounding like something your parent may have told you when you were younger, this means that DMV can suspend your privilege to drive, even if you have never had a license. In terms of revocation, actually having a license in your pocket means nothing. If your license is revoked, contact us immediately to discuss how we can restore your privilege to drive and get you behind the wheel again (legally).

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Regarding Mahlum Law Office and our Representation

How much do you charge?

There is no easy answer to this question, as every case is different. Some attorneys set their fees based on the highest number they think a client would be willing to pay. Our goal is to charge a fair amount based on the service you get and the work we do. We set fees that approximate how much time and skill will be required for certain charges. Sometimes after speaking to you, we know your case will be handled quicker than average. If that’s the case, we will usually reduce the fee we charge. If your case is particularly complex, we may charge more because of the time involved. Either way, we will clearly tell you what our fee will be before you hire us, and that amount won’t increase unless new charges are filed.

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Why should I hire you?

It is very difficult to make a decision about an attorney. Our criminal clients are dealing with the stresses of criminal charges, many for the first time, and then must make a decision about who can help them through the process. Often, clients or their families make a decision about an attorney without meeting them for more than a few minutes, particularly when the client is in jail. The stress and the urgency only make the decision more difficult to make.

At Mahlum Law Office, we understand the challenges of this process. We see it as our job to not only represent you in court, but to guide you through the entire process. We work diligently to explain the process and go over all options you may have before coming to any decision about what to do. Over the last few years, we have built our practice through dedication to our clients and working to protect their rights. Should you choose us to represent you or your loved one, we promise to provide the same dedication and diligence to you.

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I did it. Shouldn’t I just go in and plead guilty?

Not necessarily. While it is absolutely honorable to accept responsibility for your actions, there are other concerns to consider. It is possible that, in the process of investigating and charging you, the police violated your rights. If this is the case, it is vital that we challenge their actions and protect your rights. Failure to do so can give the police and the State a sense that their actions were justified and lead to further violations of individual rights.

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