Greenwood Law

Do you know the difference between jail and prison?

When accused of a crime, many people immediately begin to think about the possible consequences that could result from a conviction. If you are currently facing criminal charges, you may worry about fines and going to jail. Or prison. What's the difference?

Though it is common for people to use "jail" and "prison" as if they are the same term, the two words do have different meanings. As your case proceeds, understanding the difference between going to jail and going to prison may be useful to you.

New restrictive rule imposed on asylum claims

Many people in North Carolina are deeply concerned about the changes to the immigration system being made by the Trump administration. Even people who are not refugees or asylum seekers have expressed outrage at the repeated measures aimed to minimize the number of people eligible to seek protection in the United States, especially at the southern border. On July 29, Attorney General William Barr promulgated another rule aimed to cut back on asylum claims. Barr said that people cannot rely on persecution targeting their family members in order to seek asylum.

While the Trump administration claims that the U.S. immigration system is overwhelmed with fraudulent or dubious asylum requests, the rules it has promulgated are rolling back decades of understandings about how people can seek protection. In order for people to make a successful claim for asylum, they must prove that they face a credible risk of persecution in their home countries based on their race, religion, political views or membership in a particular social group. Family units have typically been understood as social groups under the asylum laws, but Barr is arguing that family persecution is an insufficient basis for asylum.

Paying for the wedding can lead to thoughts of divorce

Weddings, as North Carolina residents know, are usually a cause for celebration. The furthest thing from the minds of the happy couple is the dissolution of their marriage. However, a study by LendingTree reveals that going into debt to pay for a wedding actually led to newlyweds fighting and thinking about divorce.

According to the study, about 45 percent of couples ages 18 to 53 who married within the last two years accrued debt to pay for their wedding. Once married, however, about 47 percent of those couples that went into debt argued about the money and considered divorce. This number is drastically different for those couples who did not go into debt to pay for the wedding. For those couples, only about 9 percent said they considered divorce over money issues.

Going through divorce with separate finances

Many North Carolina millennial have shied away from co-mingling their funds, even after a couple decides to get married. It is estimated that approximately 28 percent of couples across the nation who get married never open a joint bank account and end up keeping their funds completely separate. While this may be due to the fact that it can be difficult to divide assets during a divorce, maintaining separate assets does not mean that they will not be distributed in the event of a divorce.

Many financial experts do agree that keeping separate bank accounts can reduce conflict between spouses, especially if both spouses work and earn an income. However, family law attorneys may argue that any assets, such as income, that is acquired by the couple during the course of the marriage, should be considered marital property even if the couple lives in a state that operates under equitable distribution laws, such as North Carolina.

Fighting back against embezzlement charges

Criminal charges of any kind are a serious threat to your future. Regardless of the specific charges against you, a conviction could lead to a permanent mark on your criminal record, and it could impact your future opportunities. It is smart to take your situation seriously and work for a beneficial outcome by developing a strong defense strategy.

A strong defense strategy is particularly important in cases involving white-collar crime, such as embezzlement. While these cases lack an element of violence, they are serious criminal allegations. A conviction can result in time behind bars, loss of your personal reputation and more. One of the most beneficial steps you can take is to reach out for defense guidance as soon as possible. 

Robbery laws in North Carolina

In North Carolina, robbery is considered a theft where there is a victim involved. The state puts robbery into three different categories: with a deadly weapon, train, and common law. All of these crimes are felonies. Robbery with a deadly weapon and train robbery are determined by state statute, but common law robbery is generally accepted in courts as someone taking another person's property through the threat of force, intimidation, or actual violence.

Robberies with a dangerous weapon and train robberies are considered Class D felonies. If convicted, punishment for this type of felony for a person with no prior convictions can range from 51 to 64 months. All Class D felony convictions require an active punishment, meaning the defendant must serve a prison sentence. Those who aid and abet the commission of this crime are also subject to these penalties.

Immigration rules protecting children to be curtailed

North Carolina residents may be aware that President Trump has taken aggressive action to address what he has referred to as a crisis at the nation's southern border. In late May, the White House said in a statement that Trump plans to introduce a series of escalating tariffs on Mexican-made goods because he feels that the efforts being taken by the Mexican government to address the problem are inadequate. The following day, media outlets reported that protections put into place by President Obama to protect migrant children were being curtailed.

Current immigration law allows unaccompanied migrant children to make their cases for asylum before a USCIS officer rather than a judge. If their claims are unsuccessful, they are permitted to make their arguments again in an immigration court. According to immigration officials, these protections will no longer be extended to migrant children who reach the age of 18 while detained by federal authorities and migrant children of any age who are reunited with their legal guardians or parents after being apprehended.

Student debt can affect relationship health

There are many factors that can threaten the health of a relationship. However, financial issues are often the source of breakups in North Carolina. While many spouses focus on fixing incompatible spending habits, people forget that long-standing debt can also have a negative effect.

According to a survey conducted by Student Loan Hero, college loan debt is especially dangerous for relationships. Roughly one in eight borrowers in the study identified school loans as part of the reason for their divorce. With student loan debt growing, and with the average borrower carrying over $34,000 in school loans, addressing the debt early on can be crucial to the success of the relationship. Carrying so much debt may prevent couples from moving forward with their lives. This could make it difficult for borrowers to plan weddings or save for buying a house.

Trump asylum memorandum likely to prompt a legal challenge

Media outlets in North Carolina and around the country have devoted a lot of attention in recent months to the ongoing legal challenges to some of President Trump's more controversial immigration policies. Trump has declared the situation on the nation's southern border a national emergency and has issued a flurry of executive orders designed to stem the flow of migrants heading toward the United States from Central America. However, most of his efforts have been rebuffed by the courts.

Analysts and media pundits alike predicted another contentious legal battle on April 29 when Trump signed what is likely to become a much-debated presidential memorandum. In the memorandum, Trump ordered the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security to reduce the time it takes to process asylum claims to 180 days, require those seeking asylum in the U.S. to pay an application fee and deny work permits to asylum hopefuls who crossed into the country illegally.

Police drawing blood in DWI cases

North Carolina police may be showing up at the scene of traffic stops or car accidents with medically equipped vans and portable phlebotomy tables. An increasing number of police departments are training officers to draw blood from suspects in DWI cases. As more states legalize the use of cannabis - not to mention the threat posed by the opioid crisis - an increasing number of drivers are under the influence of drugs rather than alcohol. While alcohol intoxication can be measured by a simple breath test, there is still no similarly non-invasive way to measure the presence of drugs in the bloodstream.

Police still cannot simply take blood at will from drivers stopped in traffic. However, electronic systems have made it far easier for them to obtain a warrant for a blood draw in suspected DWI cases. In many cases, they can receive a warrant authorizing blood collection within minutes. When the warrant comes in, some areas have special police vans equipped with phlebotomy equipment.

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Greenwood Law
One Salem Tower
119 Brookstown Avenue, Suite 300
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-794-6138
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